How David came to command a Philistine contingent

 

 

Taken from John R. Salverda’s

David as Cadmus (Part One)

http://www.academia.edu/3856448/David_as_Cadmus_Part_One_

Another source of David’s army, a group of volunteers from Gath, called “Gittites” (also called “might men” or “Gibborim.” These Gittites are called Gibborim by the Septuagint and by Josephus.) may have served as an “inspirational” model for the Greek myth. David seems to have earned no small measure of respect amongst the Philistines, especially those of Goliath’s hometown Gath, this may be due to the giant’s, little noted, taunting pledge;

“And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, . . . And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, . . . 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.” (1st Samuel 17:4-9).

These, the words of Goliath’s own mouth, may indeed have had something to do with the fact that David was able to find refuge among the Philistines at the city of Gath when King Saul had made him his enemy. David stayed with the Philistines for more than a year and was eventually made a commander of a Gittite contingent of the Philistine army. David retained the city of Ziklag and 600 soldiers from Gath who swore allegiance to him and were his faithful men. It is almost as if many of the Philistines from the city of Gath, the home town of Goliath, were honoring the pledge of their champion to serve under David in the event that he should kill Goliath. This is perhaps another way to understand how Cadmus could obtain soldiers from the teeth (his word) of the slain monster (Goliath).

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