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David’s Triumph Over Goliath: 1 Samuel 17:54 And Ancient Near Eastern Analogues

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Chapter Summary

The Story of King David and Goliath is one of the best-known dramatic narratives in the Bible. Biblical scholars and archaeologists have investigated the duel from the perspective of archaeology, especially concentrating on the weaponry involved. This chapter investigates the significance of removing Goliath's head to Jerusalem, a Jebusite stronghold, and attempts to resolve the question of &t;whose tent&t; was taken and why. By carefully examining the text of 1 Samuel 17:54 and offering some contextual data about ancient Near Eastern military practice, the chapter attempts to answer what was behind David's strange antics after slaying the Philistine champion. Furthermore, these questions are examined within the present debate about the historiographical value of 1 Samuel 17 as raised by I. Finkelstein and A. Yadin who have independently proposed Greek influence on the biblical narrative.

Keywords: 1 Samuel 17:54; ancient Near Eastern analogue; archeological data; biblical narrative; Finkelstein; Goliath; Jerusalem; King David; Philistine; Yadin



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