Five Smooth Stones

Notes and References from 2/11/01
Five Smooth Stones

I Sam 16:21
And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armour bearer.

I Sam 17:1-51
And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them. And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. And 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. And he 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. And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.

And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee. And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.

And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. 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. 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. 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. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

There are conflicting interpretations of the story of David and Goliath. Interpreters Bible points out on pages 970-979 of Vol 2 that one of the main arguments is the mention of the name Goliath, of Gath. In Sam II 21:19 Elhanan killed the brother of Goliath but the word ďbrotherĒ was not in the original source document. In Davidís case the original documents do not mention Goliath, in fact only an anonymous champions is mentioned. Also, David saw Goliathís sword in the temple before that battle. (At the time he was Saulís armor bearer.) The simple task of eliminating the championís name completely restores the story to historical accuracy.

We then have a problem with the measurements and the weights. A cubit is the distance from the elbow tot he tip of the index finger and a span is the distance from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger. 6 Ĺ cubits would make Goliath 9 Ĺ feet tall! His armor was 5000 shekels (220 pounds by Syrian measure and 90 pounds by Babylonian measure.) That makes a great story for the Israelites who were shorter, however, it makes him 5 Ĺ feet tall by Palestinians disproportionately long arms.

Finally we have to deal with the slaying of Goliath without a sword. The source documents indicate that the stone actually stunned David. David actually killed him with a sword and then proved he was dead by cutting off Davidís head and holding it up for all to see.

Now letís look at the symbolic meaning of the story. David chose five smooth stones. I like to think of the five smooth stones as the spiritualized opposite of the five material senses. (In other words, spiritual sense.) David tried Saulís armor but he put them off for he had not proved them. That included Saulís helmet of brass.

Goliath was protected with brass armor. One of the meanings of the word brass is shamelessness, imprudence, audacity, presumption---ego!

Therefore, what really happened here. A young shepherd boy (innocence and purity) used the smooth stone of spiritual discernment to dethrone the material sense of seeing life in mater (ego and pride). The one Ego, God, was seen to be all; the false sense of ego (material power, audacity, presumption, brass, etc was removed (had itís head cut off!). David ran to meet the champion of the Philistines. No timidity but boldness, expectationótotal confidence. We can always rely on spiritual sense to defeat material claims of dominance. Material forces will always claim to be more powerful but it power is nothingness as we saw in the story of Moses and the seashore when he was sunder attack.

He did not go to matterís threats with more matter. He had not proved those weapons, so he put them down. David was the youngest of his family yet God had chosen him to reign. Here is another example of the individualization of Godís power and the rising to greatness by one individual put into a difficult situation.

Next week we will look at Mrs. Eddyís definition of Soul as God instead of the material definition of soul, which is material sense. Another individual, Jacob, will be put into a difficult situation and through the individualization of spiritual power will be renamed Israel and become the father of all peoples. (the 12 tribes of Israel).

See you next week.

Next Article
Previous Article
Return to Class Note Menu

Home Page | Email List | Ask Your Teacher | Archives
Class Notes
| Photo Album