Video of an Ancient-Style Sling in Action

As a followup to my post on the famous biblical slinger David, here is a video of my wife’s cousin Brian Grubbs using a sling against a (thankfully) unpopulated target. Brian appears to be using smaller-sized stones than those excavated at Khirbet Qeiyafa, yet I would still flee very rapidly from his line of fire. Note the sonic backlash of each shot, and consider the approximate caliber size of the stones frequently used in ancient times.

The most famous account of a biblical slinger is the David vs. Goliath in 1 Samuel 17, but the Bible discusses ancient slingers in other places. Among them:

  • 700 left-handed slingers were a key component of the Benjamite defense that resoundingly defeated two Israelite assaults in Judges 20. A left-handed slinger was especially deadly since the projectile would attack its victim on the unshielded right side.
  • David had ambidextrous Benjamite slingers among his “mighty men” when he based himself in the Philistine town of Ziklag (1 Chronicles 12).
  • King Uzziah of Judah prepared slinging stones in his re-armament program (2 Chronicles 26:14).
  • Jeremiah gives an intense description of God’s punishment on His wicked, rebellious people in Jeremiah 10:18, “I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and I will bring distress on them, that they may feel it.”

On an archaeological note… Some ancient slinging stones have been found to have inscriptions, similar to the modern practice of “signing” bombs. (“Merry Xmas, Hitler,” et al.) During the Khirbet Qeiyafa excavation, Prof. Guy Stiebel mentioned that his favorite ancient slingstone is inscribed with the Greek equivalent of “Ouch.”

HT: David Grubbs

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About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister in English and Spanish with the North Terrace Church of Christ and participates annually in archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke also leads tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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2 Responses to Video of an Ancient-Style Sling in Action

  1. afrankangle says:

    Interesting as I’ve never seen slinging before. Clearing the trees? Distance?

    • BrianGrubbs says:

      Yes they were clearing the trees. My average distance is around 230 yards, using 4oz stones and cast concrete eggs. At least it was a year ago when I shot this, I haven’t measured any of my distance shots in a while, focusing mainly on accuracy.

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