After finding carvings of Philistine soldiers in the temple of Ramses lll in Egypt, archaeologists discovered that the soldiers:

– wore feathered helmets secured under their chins by leather straps. Headbands, probably of metal, held the feathers in place.

– wore breastplates and short skirts that had wide hems and tassels.

– were clean-shaven and quite tall.

– sometimes carried small, round shields and straight swords.

Perhaps the most well-known Philistine soldier was Goliath, the giant who was killed by David. The biblical account of David and Goliath provides a number of details about the giant and his military gear. Goliath:

– was a hardened warrior.

– was more than nine feet tall.

– wore a coat of bronze scale armor weighing 125 pounds. (The coat of scales was designed to protect its wearer without restricting movement.)

– carried a spear that had a fifteen-pound point.

– came from the Philistine city of Gath.

– wore a bronze javelin on his back.

– wore a bronze helmet.

– defied the God of Israel, and paid for it with his life.

– symbolized evil. (Some scholars point to the ways in which the number six was used to describe him as a symbol of Goliath’s evil.)


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