WHO KILLED GOLIATH?
And there was again war with the
Gob; and Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim the
slew Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear
a weaver s beam (2 Samuel 21:19).
And there was again war with the Philistines;
Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of
the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a
beam (1 Chronicles 20:5).
The record of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)
speaks of the defeat of the giant of Gath by the
This story is used to emphasize faith and faithfulness
young from their earliest ages. However, some have
discrepancy between the account in 1 Samuel and two
passages (2 Samuel 21:19 and 1 Chronicles 20:5).
2 Samuel 21:19, it appears that Elhanan killed Goliah;
Chronicles 20:5 states that Elhanan killed Lahmi the
brother of Goliath. The question, then, is who
First, we must recognize who Elhanan was
According to 1 Chronicles 20:5, Elhanan was the son of
This was not the same man as Elhanan the Bethlehemite,
Dodo (2 Samuel 23:24; Keil and Delitzsch, 1996,
Furthermore, it appears that Jair and Jaareoregim
the same person (Barnes, 1998, 2:120). Barnes, as well
editors of The Pulpit Commentary, noted that
difficulty may have begun when oregim, the
translatedweaver in this passage, ended up
being placed on
the wrong line by a copyist=97something that has been
happen in several instances (see Spence and Exell,
4:514). Therefore, Jair, combined with oregim,
Jaare-oregim in order to make it fit with
grammar (Spence and Exell, 4:514).
Second, the phraseLahmi the brother of is
absent in 2
Samuel 21:19. The King James Version inserts the
brother of betweenBethlehemite and
Furthermore, in the Hebrew, eth Lachmi (a
ofLahmi and the termbrother) appears to
changed into beith hallachmi (Beth- lehemite).
this simple correction, the two texts would be in
agreement (Clarke, n.d., p. 369). In other words,
of and the nameLahmi likely were combined by
a copyist to
form what is translated in English as
Beth-lehemite in 2
Samuel 21:19. This, however, caused the difficulty
passage was paralleled with 1 Chronicles 20:5.
In his Encyclopedia of Bible
Gleason Archer used the same scenario mentioned
explain this difficulty, and then summed up the
noting:In other words, the 2 Samuel 21 passage is
perfectly traceable corruption of the original
fortunately has been correctly preserved in 1
(1982, p. 179). A fair, in-depth examination of the
difficulty shows that there actually is no
all, but simply a copyistss mistake.
Archer, Gleason L. (1982), Encyclopedia of Bible
Difficulties (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Barnes, Albert (1998 reprint), Barness Notes:
Esther (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Clarke, Adam (no date), Commentary and Critical
the Old Testament: Joshua to Esther (New York, NY:
Keil, C.F., and F. Delitzsch (1996), Commentary
Old Testament: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).
Spence, H.D.M., and Joseph S. Exell, Eds. (1978),
Pulpit Commentary: Ruth, I & II Samuel (Grand
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