Born: c. 1060 B.C.
Died: c. 1030 B.C. (killed in battle)
Birthplace: Gath, Palestine
Best known as: The giant slain by David's slingshot
Goliath was a giant soldier from Gath in ancient Palestine, according to a famous story in the biblical book 1 Samuel. The 17th chapter describes an armed clash between the Philistines, led by Goliath, and the army of Israel. Despite Goliath's intimidating size, the unlikely Judean boy-hero David meets him on the field of battle. David slings a fatal stone that hits the giant between the eyes and fells him. David beheads the fallen Goliath, Israel wins in a rout and David goes on to become king. In sports, politics, business and other arenas, a competition between seemingly mismatched opponents is sometimes described as "David and Goliath" or "David versus Goliath."
Extra credit: In 2005, archaelogists at the likely site of Gath found the word "Goliath" inscribed in an ancient language on a pottery shard... According to the King James version of the Bible, Goliath's height was "six cubits and a span" -- roughly three meters, or more than nine feet, in modern terms.
Copyright © 1998-2015 by Who2?, LLC. All rights reserved.
More on Goliath from Fact Monster:
Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.