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David by Michelangelo -The original is in the Accademia Gallery in Florence since 1873

David by Michelangelo – The original is in the Accademia Gallery in Florence since 1873

According to 1 Samuel 17, the ‘men of Israel’ under King Saul faced the Philistines near the Valley of Elah. David heard the Philistine giant Goliath challenge the Israelites to send their own champion to decide the outcome in single combat; Goliath used to regularly stand opposite the Israelite camp and shout insults concerning King Saul and the Israelite people. David told Saul he was prepared to face Goliath alone. David picked five smooth stones from a nearby brook, and struck Goliath in the forehead with a stone from his sling. Goliath fell dead, and David took Goliath’s sword and beheaded him. The Philistines fled in terror. Saul inquired about the name of the young champion and David told him that he was the son of Jesse.

In some translations 2 Samuel 21:19 states that Goliath was killed by Elhanan son of Jair from Bethlehem. “Most likely, storytellers displaced the deed from the otherwise obscure Elhanan onto the more famous character, David.”

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