There were giants in the earth in those days; Genesis 6:4a

DAVID & GOLIATH– 1 Samuel 17: 1-58

Most of us have heard the story of David & Goliath as told in 1 Samuel 17;  and realize Goliath was undoubtedly the most notorious giant referred to in the Bible. (There were others!)

This story begins when two armies had gathered for battle on the mountains overlooking  the Elah valley. The Philistine army was on one side of the mountain, and King Saul, (with the men of Israel)–was on the other side. The giant, known as “Goliath was six cubits and a span in height. He had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.”

  • Goliath’s height (depending on the translation) was estimated to be  7′ to 10′. The average height of a man, during Biblical times, is generally estimated to be  5′ to 5′ 6″ (Today’s average height of a man is about 5′ 10″.) David’s height as a young man has been estimated at 5′ 2″.

“And he (Goliath) had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.”

Clark’s Commentary regarding the weight of Goliath’s coat; “The weight, five thousand shekels. Following Bishop Cumberland’s tables, and rating the shekel at two hundred and nineteen grains, and the Roman ounce at four hundred and thirty-eight grains, we find that Goliath’s coat of mail, weighing five thousand shekels, was exactly one hundred and fifty-six pounds four ounces avoirdupois. A vast weight for a coat of mail, but not all out of proportion to the man.”

In David’s eyes, Goliath was not only taunting Israel’s army, he had openly defied God. 1 Samuel 17: 45-47; 45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. 46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.

David took one of the stones from his Shepherd’s bag and loaded it into his sling. What chance would this young boy have against the giant Goliath, considering his small stature, no armor and just a sling for a weapon? But David’s faith– and his words to Goliath would prevail;  I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied; This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand.”  Goliath’s coat (armor) most likely weighed more than David–but his size, nor his armor, would create even the slightest advantage against his challenger! No amount of earthly strength can overcome God’s power–or the ability of His faithful servants.


 Deuteronomy 2: 20-21   20 That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims; 21 A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the LORD destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead:


2 Samuel 21: 15-22 15 Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines: and David waxed faint. 16 And Ishbibenob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David.17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah succoured him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him.

Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel. 18And it came to pass after this, that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob: then Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Saph, which was of the sons of the giant.19And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20 And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant.

21 And when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimeah the brother of David slew him.22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.


Deuteronomy 3:11 11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.

Clark’s commentary regarding Og;  “Nine cubits was the length – four cubits the breadth – ( or about 13′ 5” long x 6′ wide) Allowing the bedstead to have been one cubit longer than Og, which is certainly sufficient, and allowing the cubit to be about eighteen inches long, for this is perhaps the average of the cubit of a man, then Og was twelve feet high. This may be deemed extraordinary, and perhaps almost incredible, and therefore many commentators have, according to their fancy, lengthened the bedstead and shortened the man, making the former one-third longer than the person who lay on it, that they might reduce Og to six cubits; but even in this way they make him at least nine feet high.”


The Guinness Book of World Records lists Robert Pershing Wadlow (1918-1940) as the tallest man in modern day history.

  • Wadlow was over 6′ by the age of 8, and by age 13, he was 7’4″.
  • He weighed close to 500 lbs at the time of his death–at age 22. He wore a size 37 shoe.
  • He was buried in a 10′ casket weighing apx 1,000 lbs. (There were 12 pallbearers).
  • He was almost 9′ tall at the time of his death. (8′ 11.1″).

Sultan Kösen, of Turkey is reported by Guiness to be the tallest living man. The  8′ 3″ giant was born December 10, 1982. He weighs 371 pounds.

The tallest former NBA player is currently Yao Ming, He’s 7′ 6″ and played for the Houston Rockets.

The story of David & Goliath can be applied to any problem we encounter today, especially those problems that may seem impossible for us to overcome.  Believers are very swift to acknowledge that God helps them overcome all obstacles.  Ephesians 6: 10-17  tells us to “Be strong in the Lord, and the power of his might; and to Put on the whole armour of God–And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

David did not possess the maturity, the physical strength, the weapons, nor the protective body armor of his opponent–he didnt need them. On that day he was obviously armed with the “whole armor” of God. We can be successful in overcoming life’s great challenges as well–if we place our trust and faith in the LORD.

“Thank God we can face our Giants today– they may not be physical people, but problems can become gigantic in proportion–Gods grace is enough.”—Pastor Robert E. Johnson

Source: The Holy Bible; KJV;  Illustrations from The Child’s Bible; 1883. Read more about Giants here.