1 Samuel 17:49
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.
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(49) And smote the Philistine in the forehead.—The LXX. add the words “through the helm” The Greek translators could not understand the fact of the forehead being unprotected. But the head-pieces of the armour then do not appear to have possessed “visors;” the face was covered with the heavy shield, which was borne, we are told (1Samuel 17:7), before him. No doubt the Philistine, utterly despising his youthful “unarmed” antagonist, advanced towards him without using, as was customary, the face protection of the shield.

Slinging stones had been brought among the Israelites to an extraordinary perfection. Many years before this time we read that in the tribe of Benjamin were “700 chosen men left-handed; every one could sling stones at an hair’s breadth, and not miss” (Judges 20:16).

A work by W. Vischer, on “Ancient Slings” (Basel, 1866), quoted by Lange, speaks of slingers who could hit the part of the enemy’s face at which they aimed.

17:48-58 See how frail and uncertain life is, even when a man thinks himself best fortified; how quickly, how easily, and by how small a matter, the passage may be opened for life to go out, and death to enter! Let not the strong man glory in his strength, nor the armed man in his armour. God resists the proud, and pours contempt on those who defy him and his people. No one ever hardened his heart against God and prospered. The history is recorded, that all may exert themselves for the honour of God, and the support of his cause, with bold and unshaken reliance on him. There is one conflict in which all the followers of the Lamb are, and must be engaged; one enemy, more formidable than Goliath, still challenges the armies of Israel. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Go forth to battle with the faith of David, and the powers of darkness shall not stand against you. But how often is the Christian foiled through an evil heart of unbelief!The Lord saveth not with sword ... - Observe the consistent teaching of such passages as 1 Samuel 14:6; Exodus 14:13-18; Judges 7:2, Judges 7:4,Judges 7:7; Psalm 44:6, etc., and their practical use to the Church as lessons of trust in God, and distrust of ourselves. 49. smote the Philistine in his forehead—At the opening for the eyes—that was the only exposed part of his body. Either,

1. The stone pierced through his helmet; which such stones being slung would not seldom do; as even Diodorus Siculus relates. Or,

2. The stone might get in through one of those holes which are left in helmets, that he that wears it may see his way, and how to direct his blows. Or rather,

3. The proud giant had lift up that part of his helmet which covered his forehead; and that in contempt of David and his weapons, and by the singular direction of God’s providence.

And David put his hand in his bag,.... The shepherd's scrip, in which he had put the five stones he took out of the brook:

and took thence a stone; and put it into his sling he had in his hand:

and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead; it is made a difficulty of how he should smite him on his forehead, when he had a helmet of brass upon his head, 1 Samuel 17:5; in answer to this Kimchi observes, that some say, that when David said he would give his flesh to the fowls of the air, at the mention of that he looked upwards, and what was upon his forehead fell backwards, and then David slung and smote him; or he might put back his helmet to talk with David, and hear and be heard the better; and having nothing to fear from an unarmed man, might neglect to put it forward again; or there might be some open space left in the helmet for him to look through, in at which the stone might pass; so the Targum renders it, he smote him in the house of his eyes, so the stone passed through the eye hole into his brain: but after all, supposing his forehead ever so well covered, as the stone slung by David was under a divine direction, so as to hit a person in motion, it came with a divine power, which nothing could resist; and supposing this, of which there need no doubt, it could as easily pass through the helmet of brass, as pierce into his forehead and sink there; nor can this be thought the least incredible, if what Diodorus Siculus (m) relates of the Baleares be true, that they were so dexterous at slinging, that they not only would sling stones bigger than others could, and were so directed, that they seldom missed their mark, being inured to it from their youth, but would even in battle break in pieces shields, helmets, and all kinds of armour, with which bodies were covered:

that the stone sunk into his forehead; and so into his brain, as a stone is immersed and sinks in water, when thrown into it; with such force did it go, and with so much ease did it make its way, through the direction and power of God:

and he fell upon his face to the earth; Jarchi observes, that it was most natural for him to have fallen backwards, being struck upon his forehead; but so it was, that David might have no trouble to cut off his head, for by this means he fell nearer to him.

(m) Bibliothec. l. 5. p. 298.

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.
1 Samuel 17:49When the Philistines rose up, drawing near towards David (קם and ילך simply serve to set forth the occurrence in a more pictorial manner), David hastened and ran to the battle array to meet him, took a stone out of his pocket, hurled it, and hit the Philistine on his temples, so that the stone entered them, and Goliath fell upon his face to the ground.
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