Where did David kill Goliath? The Bible gives numerous landmarks in 1 Samuel 17 to locate the battlefield. It was “between Socoh and Azekah” (v. 1). The armies were camped on mountains “with a valley between them” (3). David stopped at “the brook” to gather sling stones on his way to face Goliath (40). These details and others place the battle in front of Khirbet Qeiyafa, the site where I have excavated during two seasons. Qeiyafa may sit on the site of King Saul’s base camp.
The brook referred to in verse 40 runs along the valley at the foot of Khirbet Qeiyafa and the surrounding hills. The brooks is dry during the summer months. There are still stones in the riverbed that have been smoothed by the brook’s water.
Here are a couple of the stones I gathered from the Elah brook a few days ago.
Two smooth, sling-sized stones from the Elah brook. David would have gathered stones like these in his confrontation with Goliath. They are big and heavy enough to kill at high velocity. What is the modern caliber equivalent for these? Photo by Luke Chandler.