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Giants Everywhere

11 Feb

There is a website dedicated to talking about giants, basically biblical ones, but it is written by a very solid unbeliever who tries to undermine the Bible at every opportunity:

https://remnantofgiants.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/diagnosing-goliath-gigantism-acromegaly-pituitary-tumours-etc/

Although it shouldn’t have to be said – the worldwide “Flood” is not an historical event! Donnelly and Morrison’s analysis of medical conditions developing in periods defined “before” and “after” the Flood is, well, silly.

Just because he doesn’t accept the truth doesn’t mean the truth is silly or that it did not take place or that those who do have some mental deficiency.  it has always intrigued me that unbelievers want tolerance from Christians for their false views yet fail to give tolerance to those they disagree with.  I guess they have forgotten the passage of scripture ‘ you reap what you sow’ so they really can’t complain about being rejected or considered off by those who believe when they sow those seeds every time they write about the Bible or someone who writes about the Bible.

One thing though he does talk about an interesting study  concerning the medical condition of Goliath and I will say it is a possibility that he did suffer from some disease that caused his great stature but it is a discussion without a solution because we only have a few words in the Bible to use for a diagnosis.

In modern times, various medical experts (and many people who are not medical experts) have attempted to diagnose the cause of Goliath’s gigantic height. One recurring suggestion is that poor old Goliath was suffering either from gigantism or acromegaly, caused by excessive growth hormones.

I do not know why people try to do this because there is no way to get verification of their hypothesis. The stories in the Bible aren’t about Goliath and the other giants so we are not going to be given any more information than is necessary to communicate what God wants us to read and learn. I am not saying they are wrong, I am saying that we have more important things to do than worry about how Goliath got so big.

There are other points to address here as well, like the following comment:

First, the height of Goliath in the probably older LXX version is only 6 3/4 feet. Even given an average male Philistine height of just over five feet, Goliath’s height is hardly a sure sign of any medical abnormality.

I would like to know how the owner of that website can make this statement of fact when no one has ever seen a real Philistine let alone measured one. They disappeared as a separate people roughly 2500 years ago and no one is able to trace their lineage to them, that I am aware, so this contradiction to the biblical record is without merit. it is also useless and used only to support the unbelief of those who reject the Bible.

Second, the details of the story are dubious. Famously, in 2 Samuel 21, it is “Elhanan” who kills Goliath of Gath, not David. So when modern medical experts draw inferences from the details in the story about David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17, the grounds for doing so are poor.

When I read the whole post the other day, I looked up the scriptures to see if there were any real discrepancies between them and what caught my eye was this part of the passages in question All verses right now are from 2 Samuel:

22 These four were born to the [q]giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

and

17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “You shall not go out again with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish the lamp of Israel.”

The second passage tells us that this battle with giants was not the same one in which David killed Goliath for at that time he was looked upon as a mere shepherd boy and not the lamp of Israel. The first tells me that it is possible that Goliath had 4 sons or 4 brothers. Now it is not unheard of for a family to give their sons the same name (George Foreman is an example) but it is rare and this could be one of those rare moments where Goliath’s parents gave two of their sons this name.

I opt for the former because of these words

18 Now it came about after this that there was war again with the Philistines at Gob;

20 There was war at Gath again,

Which tells me that there is some passage of time between the different wars and that David had ascended to the throne or a position of great authority. Saul is not mentioned thus it is most likely that David is the King by the time these wars took place. This tells me that the Goliath that Elhanan killed was not the one David killed when Saul was king.

The big problem here is that 2 Sam 21:15–22 and 1 Chron 20:4–8 don’t actually mention any family relations.

Yet that is not true, as we read:

and he also had been born to the [p]giant. 21 When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, struck him down. 22 These four were born to the [q]giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants

The words ‘the giant’ are referring to one specific person and these 4 are all brothers. Now the question that remains is, are they brothers of the Goliath David killed or are they his sons?  I think too many people make very bad assumptions about the original Goliath by thinking he was a single, childless person. It is highly likely that he had a wife and a family when he went off into battle against Saul and the Israelites.

Most of that article is focused on the medical study, which is linked below

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4113151/

I have read it but am not convinced that they are close to correct. Why can’t Goliath and his sons or brothers just be giants? Why must there always be some scientific, medical explanation? Most people can understand the Bible and know that when God said that they were giants that they may actually be real giants and simply grew taller than anyone else.

For the reasons provided above, the conclusions of those who have attempted to diagnose Goliath are far from “fact”. The modern diagnosis of Goliath is an entirely misguided enterprise from the get go.

I will agree with the owner of Remnants of Giants here and feel that some Christians do not have enough to do and have far too much time on their hands. Better judgment is needed when expounding upon scripture.  How Goliath and his family got so tall will remain a mystery forever. Let’s not waste time on frivolous topics.

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3 Comments

Posted by on February 11, 2015 in academics, Bible, faith, history, leadership

 

3 responses to “Giants Everywhere

  1. Deane

    February 11, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    “I will agree with the owner of Remnants of Giants here … How Goliath and his family got so tall will remain a mystery forever.”

    Thank you for your agreement with my post!

    “I would like to know how the owner of that website can make this statement of fact when no one has ever seen a real Philistine let alone measured one. They disappeared as a separate people roughly 2500 years ago and no one is able to trace their lineage to them, that I am aware, so this contradiction to the biblical record is without merit. it is also useless and used only to support the unbelief of those who reject the Bible.”

    I based my statement about the average height of Philistine on various scientific analyses which have estimated the height of Philistines from their skeletal remains. See further details here:

    https://remnantofgiants.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/how-tall-was-your-average-philistine-compared-with-goliath/

     
    • theologyarchaeology

      February 12, 2015 at 4:15 am

      I do not agree with all of it but you made some very good points which made sense. i think those Doctors over-stepped in their analysis but their point of view still has possibilities.

       
      • theologyarchaeology

        February 12, 2015 at 4:19 am

        People feel free to click on that link. it goes to one opinion about the height of the philistines and I would encourage you to read that and then do more study on the topic. For myself, 4 sets of usable remains are not enough to establish their average height.

         
 
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