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(1.00) (1Sa 17:51)

tn Heb “his”; the referent (Goliath) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

(1.00) (1Sa 17:54)

tn Heb “his”; the referent (Goliath) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

(1.00) (1Sa 17:8)

tn Heb “he”; the referent (Goliath) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

(0.75) (Jer 14:9)

tn Heb “mighty man, warrior.” For this nuance see 1 Sam 17:51, where it parallels a technical term used of Goliath earlier in 17:4, 23.

(0.66) (2Sa 21:19)

sn The Hebrew text as it stands reads, “Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite.” Who killed Goliath the Gittite? According to 1 Sam 17:4-58 it was David who killed Goliath, but according to the MT of 2 Sam 21:19 it was Elhanan who killed him. Many scholars believe that the two passages are hopelessly at variance with one another. Others have proposed various solutions to the difficulty, such as identifying David with Elhanan or positing the existence of two Goliaths. But in all likelihood the problem is the result of difficulties in the textual transmission of the Samuel passage. The parallel passage in 1 Chr 20:5 reads, “Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath.” Both versions are textually suspect. The Chronicles text appears to have misread “Bethlehemite” (בֵּית הַלַּחְמִי, bet hallakhmi) as the accusative sign followed by a proper name אֶת לַחְמִי (ʾet lakhmi). (See the note at 1 Chr 20:5.) The Samuel text appears to have misread the word for “brother” (אַח, ʾakh) as the accusative sign (אֵת, ʾet), thereby giving the impression that Elhanan, not David, killed Goliath. Thus in all probability the original text read, “Elhanan son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath.”

(0.65) (1Sa 17:5)

sn Although the exact weight of Goliath’s defensive body armor is difficult to estimate in terms of modern equivalency, it was obviously quite heavy. Driver, following Kennedy, suggests a modern equivalent of about 220 pounds (100 kg); see S. R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel, 139. Klein, taking the shekel to be equal to .403 ounces, arrives at a somewhat smaller weight of about 126 pounds (57 kg); see R. W. Klein, 1 Samuel (WBC), 175. But by any estimate it is clear that Goliath presented himself as a formidable foe indeed.

(0.62) (Mar 1:13)

sn The 40 days may allude to the experience of Moses (Exod 34:28), Elijah (1 Kgs 19:8, 15), or David and Goliath (1 Sam 17:16).

(0.50) (1Ch 20:5)

tc The Hebrew text reads, “Elchanan son of Jair killed Lachmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite.” But it is likely that the accusative marker in front of לַחְמִי (lakhmi, “Lachmi”) was originally בֵּית (bet), and that אֶת־לַחְמִי (ʾet lakhmi) should be emended to בֵּית הַלַּחְמִי (bet hallakhmi, “the Bethlehemite”). See 2 Sam 21:19.

(0.44) (1Sa 17:4)

tc Heb “his height was six cubits and a span.” The LXX, a Qumran manuscript of 1 Samuel, and Josephus read “four cubits and a span.” A cubit was approximately 17.5 inches, a span half that. So the Masoretic text places Goliath at about 9½ feet tall (cf. NIV84, CEV, NLT “over nine feet”; NCV “nine feet, four inches”; TEV “nearly 3 metres” while the other textual witnesses place him at about 6 feet, 7 inches (cf. NAB “six and a half feet”). Note, too, that the cubit was adjusted through history, also attested in Babylon (NIDOTTE 421-424 s.v. אַמָּה). If the cubits measuring Goliath were reckoned as the cubit of Moses, his height at 6 cubits and a span would be approximately 7 feet 9 inches tall. This is one of many places in Samuel where the LXX and Qumran evidence seems superior to the Masoretic text. It is possible that the scribe’s eye skipped briefly to the number 6 a few lines below in a similar environment of letters. The average Israelite male of the time was about 5 feet 3 inches, so a man 6 feet 7 inches would be a very impressive height. Saul, being head and shoulder above most Israelites, would have been nearly 6 feet tall. That is still shorter than Goliath, even at “four cubits and a span,” and makes a sharper contrast between David and Saul. There would have been a greater expectation that a 6 foot tall Saul would confront a 6 feet 7 inches Goliath, placing Saul in a bad light while still positioning David as a hero of faith, which is fitting to the context.

(0.38) (Psa 89:19)

tc The MT reads עֵזֶר (ʿezer, “help, strength”), thus “I have placed help on a warrior,” which might effectively mean “I have strengthened a warrior.” The BHS note suggests reading נֵזֶר (nezer, “crown”), similar to the sentiment of anointing in the next verse. HALOT suggests reading עֹזֶר (ʿozer, “hero”) based on an Ugaritic cognate which means “young man, hero, warrior” (HALOT 811 s.v. II עזר). Craigie treats it similarly, taking עזר as “lad/boy/stripling,” parallel to “young man” in the next line, and seeing either David and Saul or David and Goliath as the historical referent (P. C. Craigie, Psalms [WBC], 19:410).

(0.31) (1Sa 17:1)

tc The content of 1 Sam 17-18, which includes the David and Goliath story, differs considerably in the LXX as compared to the MT, suggesting that this story circulated in ancient times in more than one form. The LXX for chs. 17-18 is much shorter than the MT, lacking almost half of the material (39 of a total of 88 verses). Many scholars (e.g., McCarter, Klein) think that the shorter text of the LXX is preferable to the MT, which in their view has been expanded by incorporation of later material. Other scholars (e.g., Wellhausen, Driver) conclude that the shorter Greek text (or the Hebrew text that underlies it) reflects an attempt to harmonize certain alleged inconsistencies that appear in the longer version of the story. Given the translation characteristics of the LXX elsewhere in this section, it does not seem likely that these differences are due to deliberate omission of these verses on the part of the translator. It seems more likely that the Greek translator has faithfully rendered here a Hebrew text that itself was much shorter than the MT in these chapters. Whether or not the shorter text represented by the LXX is to be preferred over the MT in 1 Sam 17-18 is a matter over which textual scholars are divided. For a helpful discussion of the major textual issues in this unit see D. Barthélemy, D. W. Gooding, J. Lust, and E. Tov, The Story of David and Goliath (OBO). Overall it seems preferable to stay with the MT, at least for the most part. However, the major textual differences between the LXX and the MT will be mentioned in the notes that accompany the translation so that the reader may be alert to the major problem passages.

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