Why did David choose five smooth stones before going to fight Goliath?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Some presume that David took five smooth stones instead of just one because he had some doubt. However, there is no indication in the story of David and Goliath that by picking up five smooth stone...

July 01 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
- Why 'five stones':

Possibly, David chose five stones because in scripture five is a number associated with provision, grace, and fullness. (Gen 4:34, Gen 45:22, I Sam 21:3, Matt 24:17, Mark 8:19 David knew that the victory would come from from God, not from his own strength. David knew that the victory was by the grace of God, not by his own merit. David knew that the victory of God would be complete. Whether David was conscious of the symbolism or not, the choice of five stones was fitting.

"You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” I Samuel 17:45-47

Just as David credited God, and not his own strength, for the rescue from the bear and lion, he humbly credits the victory to God.

Also, David possibly took the five stones because Goliath was not the only giant around. Four are mentioned, at least one of which was Goliath's brother, in II Samuel 21:18-22. All five of these died by either David's hand or those under his command. The giants had been wiped out by Joshua from Israel, but some remained in Gaza, Gath (where Goliath was from), ans Ashdod (Josh 11:21-22)

While David was only to face Goliath on the battlefield, there was no guarantee that the Philistines would honor the outcome of this "Victory by Championship" battle. Also, even if the philistines left, there was no guarantee that Goliath's family would not take revenge. Fortunately, the philistine army fled in fear when Goliath was defeated (I Samuel 17:1-58), and it does not appear that the other giants challenged David at this time. They were defeated by David's men later.

In general, he would have taken the multiple stones just as an archer carries more than one arrow in his quiver, or a soldier loads his gun completely.

-Why 'smooth stones':

These smooth stones would have been the swiftest, most aerodynamic, most accurate, and most easily flung from the sling; vs. Rough or misshapen stones.

August 18 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Denver ray Moore jr
Because they fly though the air straighter.

December 17 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Internet image Ben Jones Retired Professional Photographer
Perhaps he chose five to make it easier to find one in a hurry in his leather bag. 

Actually the stone that David hurled at Goliath didn't kill the giant. David killed Goliath with Goliath's own sword. 1 Sam 17:49 "Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground." 1 Sam 17:51 "Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran." 

Apparently the stone just knocked him unconscious, giving David enough time to sever Goliath's head, killing him. Goliath was nine feet nine inches tall.

December 18 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
The five smooth stones that were meant for 5 lords of the Philistines 1 Sam.17:40,49; 2 Sam. 8:1; 2 Samuel 21:15-22.

I would surmise that he did not go into battle with Goliath thinking he may need more than one stone to slay a giant. He was prepared and did his homework so-to-speak knowing Goliath had four brothers which may have potentially retaliated against him after knocking Goliath down. (2 Samuel 21:20-22) Therefore, David chose five stones in order to prepare for his battle against Goliath. This displays David’s true heart, his complete confidence, trust, and faith in God.

I flew over to Israel and visited the Elah Valley where David fought and killed Goliath. My tour guide let me pick up and keep one stone from the stream which is now called Brook Elah. I still have it! It may be the very stone with which David killed Goliath! I show it to my audience every time I preach or teach on David's defeat of this giant.

December 18 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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