By Agharowu E. E. Honsbira

One may not name the names of those who, in attempts to prove Aribisala wrong in his “David did not kill Goliath” contestation; instead one may frown at their unacademic responses against academic papers like Aribisala’s. “Aribisala is a Satan.” How, really, is Aribisala a Satan? “Aribisala is Antichrist.” How is he  Antichrist? This discourse, fighting against calling him names, seeks to prove him wrong.

To begin with, here are the highlights of the Aribisala controversy – the object of this contestation:

Wrongful crediting of the killing of Goliath to David in place of Elhanan.

* Says 2 Sam 21:19 means David did Not Kill Goliath, that the whole account is faulty.

* Says NKJV account of 2 Sam 21:19 is faulty.

* Say 1 Ch 20:5 radically departs from 2 Sam 21:19, meaning David did not kill Goliath.

* Says David took the credit of Joab capturing Rabbah, as if he (David) did the capture (2 Sam 12: 26-31).

* Says when David first met Saul is controversial, that therefore, the whole story of David killing Goliath is false.

* Description of David as a man of war, 1 Sam 16:18 (that David, too small, cannot be so described).

* Says David was at the time not yet a man, but called so in 1 Sam 16:18.

* Says (1 Sam 17:38-39) David had been introduced as an armour bearer of Saul, but that, later, Saul’s armour “was too heavy for David.”

* That at the battle front, Saul says he did not know David before, 1 Sam 17:55.

David killed Goliath; Brother Aribisala, only that the story of how he did is wrapped in seemingly confusing renditions: but far from it. Whether, or not, the Bible contains contradictions is not the issue here; rather, the issue is whether its story of David killing Goliath is true.

The Bible narrative that David killed Goliath, 1 Samuel 17: 50-51, shall remain one of those stories of the Bible that Bible believers can brag of; for, laden with truth, its adequacy stands tall among the rare miracles of the Old Testament that can be allied with not only the New, but also with Reason in the age of Science through which the world is passing. What is more, which giant can withstand the thrust of a heavy, round stone, well directed, well pressured? When Goliath approached David, David counter-approached and with a sling and a stone, had Goliath full-length on the ground (1 Samuel 17:48-49). Then, running quickly and standing astride the Philistine and with Goliath’s own sword, he had his head removed (1 Samuel 17: 50-51). One would hope there is no contradiction here, only that the deed, in addition to being spiritually wrought, is also physical. This is the presence of the spirit in the physical, like the presence of heat in a molten lead!

On whether or not the account of the death of Goliath and the role of David is erroneous, consider these. There are no errors here; but viewed with the eyes of moderns, after a span of over thousands of years, there are verisimilitudes of errors and contradictions. One of such verisimilitudes of error is in 2 Sam. 21:19 comingled with 1 Chronicles 20:5. In the former “And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, slew Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.” This, paralleling the account of 1 Chronicles 20:5 that “Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lhami, the brother of Goliath, the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam,” produces a mirage of difficulty. These are i. David and Elhanan could refer to the same person since David, a Hebrew word meaning “favour” or “Beloved” is synonymous to Elhanan, a Hebrew word meaning “favour” or “beloved.” ii. Elhanan, the son of Jaare-Oregim and Elhanan the son of Jair could mean the same person since Jaare, occurring only once in the Bible, could be a variant of Jair, with the attachment “Oregim,” meaning “weavers.” It could be an additive to “Jaare” from the semblance of the weaver arsenal and the shaft of Goliath’s arsenal.

Oregim in Hebrew means weaver while the weaver uses an instrument that looks like the shaft of the spear of Goliath. This can be a stand-point since no literary work houses more figures of speech than the Bible!

That is not all. Aribisala says the NKJV having “the brother of Goliath” in italics shows the phrase was added by its translators to effect a selfish manipulation of the Bible. Even then other versions do not render “the brother of Goliath” in Italics. Is this also to manipulate the Bible for selfish reasons? “Those who eat do so in order to live; those who forbid do so in order to live” is an Isekirian adage. Thus, while the NKJV italicizes the portion to mean “also a giant,” the RSV does not have it italicized in its belief that even the fool is expected to feel that “brother of Goliath is much likely to be a giant (like Goliath).

Another explanation can be given to this verisimilitude of confusion – where David is Elhanan. Where David is Elhanan, the Goliath referred to in his respect would be one, while that killed by Jonathan is another, making one to think of two Goliaths. Where he is not, the Goliaths, who are hired giant fighters (1 Chronicles 20:8) are more than one and each person – David, Elhanan, Sibbecai and Jonathan – have each killed a Goliath (1 Chronicles 20:8). The Goliaths were many – not one – because the Goliaths, who were giants, were originally Raphaims whom the Jews met in Canaan on arrival from Egypt (Gen. 15:18-20).When Chedorlaomer took Lot captive, he fought with these Raphaims at Ashteroth-karnaim (Gen. 14: 1,5). These various Goliaths were remnants of the Emim giants (Deut 2:10) and the Zamzumim (Deut. 2:20), the original occupants of the sworn land. Finding themselves as mercenaries in the Philistinian army (perhaps to retaliate dispossession by the Israelic invaders), their invincibility was only first broken by David!

A probable conclusion from here is that David (beloved, favoured), being one David, looks like Elhanan (favoured, beloved) while Goliath, far from being one, were many from whom David and his men of valour each killed a number (1 Ch. 21:8). David was not Elhanan.

*Honsbira can be reached via 08073603926; emails: [email protected], [email protected]

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