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Tuesday, June 4 2013
The Armour Of Goliath and Saul
Saul was chosen to be Israel's first human king (see the Fact Finder question below) at the time when David, Israel's yet-to-be second human king, was still a youth. When the army of Israel, under the command of Saul, was unwilling to fight the mighty Philistine warrior Goliath, David volunteered. David's experience and skill at that point wasn't from sustained battles between heavily armed and armoured troops of opposing armies, but to the life or death self-defense act of taking down a charging lion or bear with a single, surely-lethal shot.
"17:33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
David had no armour, so Saul offered his own to the young shepherd. Apart from David never having used heavy armour, it was not a good fit. Saul was a very tall man (see the Fact Finder question below); his too-big for David armour would have been disastrously cumbersome. Instead, David entered the battle with a sling and few stones.
"17:38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. 17:39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it.
Heavily-armoured Goliath, and his shield bearer, came at David with arrogant boasts. David calmly replied to Goliath that the Philistine was about to be a dead man.
"17:41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. 17:42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. 17:43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 17:44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
David took down Goliath with a single shot - not to his shield, not to his body armour, but to his face ("forehead" literally means the front of the head) that was unprotected by his helmet. It was such a shock to the other armoured Philistine troops that they all ran from the young shepherd and his sling. David took two trophies from his victory - Goliath's severed head, that he took to Jerusalem, and Goliath's armour, that he put in his tent.
"17:48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 17:49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
Goliath's armour didn't save him. What about Saul's armour that Saul had offered to David? When the time came, Saul's armour didn't save its owner either. Saul was killed in battle, by the Philistines, while wearing that armour.
"31:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. 31:2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul's sons. 31:3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.
As David had done with Goliath's head and armour, the Philistines did with Saul's head and his armour.
"31:9 And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people. 31:10 And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.
Fact Finder: How did Saul get to be Israel's first human king? Why was he replaced by David?
This Day In History, June 4
781 BC: The first documented solar eclipse was recorded, in China.
1039: German King Henry III (Henry is the German form of Heinrich) became Holy Roman Emperor.
1411: King Charles VI granted a monopoly for the exclusive production of Roquefort cheese to the people of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon (an area of southern France).
1584: Sir Walter Raleigh established the first English colony on Roanoke Island, old Virginia (now North Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina is named after Sir Walter Raleigh).
1760: 22 ships carrying New England planters arrived in Nova Scotia to replace the Acadians.
1783: First flight: French brothers Etienne and Joseph Montgolfier made the first public flight of a hot-air balloon.
1792: Captain George Vancouver claimed Puget Sound for Britain.
1800: Construction of the original White House was completed (it was burned in August 1814 by British Marines during the War of 1812-14 in retaliation for the U.S. burning and looting of the Parliament Building in Toronto months before).
1831: The Belgian Congress proclaimed Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg as the first king of Belgium after the southern provinces split with the Netherlands.
1878: Under the terms of the Cyprus Convention, the Ottoman Empire ceded Cyprus to the United Kingdom (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1920: The Treaty of Trianon. Signed after the First World War by Hungary and the allies (excluding U.S. and U.S.S.R.), it reduced Hungary by one third, and deprived it of access to the sea; it gave Transylvania, the East Banat, and other districts to Romania; Slovakia and Ruthenia to Czechoslovakia; Croatia, Slavonia and the West Banat to Yugoslavia; the Bergenland to Austria.
1928: Zhang Zuolin, the President of the Republic of China, was assassinated by Japanese agents.
1939: The MS St. Louis, a German ocean liner with 963 Jewish refugees aboard, was denied permission to land in Florida, after being turned away from Cuba. Forced to return to Europe, more than 200 of its passengers later died in Nazi concentration camps.
1940: The British completed the evacuation of 300,000 troops from Dunkirk. Prime Minister Winston Churchill made his famous speech to the House of Commons: "we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender..."
1941: Kaiser (the German form of Caesar) Wilhelm II, ninth king of Prussia and third German emperor from 1888-1918, died in exile in the Netherlands.
1942: The 3-day Battle of Midway, the turning point in the sea war in the Pacific during the Second World War, began. The Japanese lost 4 aircraft carriers, 1 cruiser and 248 aircraft, with a total of 3,057 killed; the U.S. lost 1 aircraft carrier, 1 cruiser and 150 aircraft, with a total of 307 killed.
1944: Rome fell to the Allied forces, becoming the first Axis (Berlin, Rome, Tokyo) capital to fall during the Second World War.
1961: At the Vienna summit, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev triggered the Berlin Crisis by threatening to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany and ending U.S., British and French road access to East Berlin.
1986: Jonathan Pollard pleaded guilty to espionage for selling top secret U.S. military information to Israel.
1989: Hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square were killed by the Chinese army using tanks and machine guns.
1989: A natural gas explosion near Ufa, Russia, killed 575 people when two passenger trains passing each other threw sparks onto a leaking gas pipeline.
1998: Terry Nichols was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. His co-conspirator, Timothy McVeigh, was sentenced to death.