Caravaggio - David with the Head of Goliath 1595


Goliath, a famous giant of Gath, who "morning and evening for forty days" defied the armies of Israel (1 Samuel 17).  He was possibly descended from the old Rephaim, of whom a scattered remnant took refuge with the Philistines after their dispersion by the Ammonites (Deuteronomy 2:20,21; 2 Samuel 21:22)

His height was "six cubits and a span," which taking the cubit at 21 inches, would make him 10 1/2 feet high. 

In 2 Samuel 21:19, we find that another Goliath of Gath was slain by Elhannan, also a Bethlehemite.


Archaeologists find evidence of "Goliath" in earliest Philistine artifacts
By Associated Press  November 11, 2005
Archaeologists digging at the purported biblical home of Goliath have unearthed a shard of pottery bearing an inscription of the Philistine's name, a find they claim lends historical credence to the Bible's tale of David's battle with Goliath.

While the discovery is not definitive evidence of Goliath's existence, it does support the Bible's depiction of life at the time the battle was supposed to have occurred, said Dr. Aren Maeir, a professor at Bar-Ilan University and director of the excavation.

"What this means is that at the time there were people there named Goliath," he said. "It shows us that David and Goliath's story reflects the cultural reality of the time."

Some scholars assert the story of David slaying the giant Goliath is a myth written down hundreds of years later. Maeir said finding the scraps lends historical credence to the biblical story.

The shard dates back to around 950 B.C., within 70 years of when biblical chronology asserts David squared off against Goliath, making it the oldest Philistine inscription ever found, the archaeologists said.

Scientists made the discovery at Tel es-Safi, a dig site in southern Israel thought to be to be the location of the Philistine city of Gath.

Maeir doubts an archaeological find can ever prove Goliath's existence, but said the shard was exciting nonetheless because of its depiction of life during the time period.