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Catholic Dictionary




A gigantic Philistine warrior from Gath, nine feet tall. Before battle lines drawn up between the Philistines and the Israelites, he challenged the latter to send forth a representative warrior and settle the battle in single combat. A young shepherd, David, volunteered to respond to the challenge, and King Saul reluctantly agreed. Without armor and equipped only with a sling and five stones, David went forth to meet the redoubtable Goliath. A single sling shot settled the combat; the stone pierced the giant's forehead and David slew him with the giant's sword. Inspired by this feat, the Israelites drove the enemy all the way back to Gath (I Samuel 17).