Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle. And they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in line of battle against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armour on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him.
Comment: War seemed to be an almost constant event between Israel and the Philistines. Although, as I understand it, there is no connection between the Philistines and the Palestinians, who live in the same area, war is still the background of the two nations. The concept of wars settled, or significantly influenced, by single combatants are well recorded in historical writings and apparently were known into the middle ages. And with a champion as described here it is no wonder that the Philistines didn’t want the wastage of people and goods that could be avoided if Goliath won, what they saw as a very one sided contest. At about 275cm tall and covered as he was by armour he must have looked like an advancing tank or an enraged charging elephant to the Israelis! And I doubt that his armour bearer was a dwarf!
Prayer: What should we attempt for You is a question we all face sometimes. Give us wisdom and courage I pray.