David And Goliath

An ancient story about clever Strategy, it also illustrates how weaknesses can be used as strategically as strengths. David’s small size appeared to be his weakness, but became his strength in battle.

Adapted From The Book David And Goliath By Malcolm Gladwell

Goliath was a giant, at least 6’9” tall, wearing a bronze helmet and full body armor. He carried a javelin, a spear, and a sword. An attendant preceded him, carrying a large shield.

Goliath challenged the Israeli army, led by King Saul, to choose a man to come down to fight him: “If he prevails against me, we shall be slaves to you. But if I prevail, you will be slaves to us.”

In the Israeli camp, no one moved. Who could win against such a giant? Then a shepherd boy, David, who came down from Bethlehem to bring food to the army, stepped forward and volunteered. Saul objected: “You are but a lad and he is a man of war trained from his youth for battle.” But Saul had no other options but to let David go.

Goliath wore a tunic made up of hundreds of overlapping bronze scales that covered his arms and reached to his knees, weighing more than 100 pounds. He had bronze shin guards protecting his legs with attached bronze plates covering his feet. He wore a heavy metal helmet. He had three separate weapons all optimized for close combat.

David wore only his shepherd clothes. Saul tried to give him his sword and armor so at least to have a fighting chance. David tried them on at first but then refused. He was not used to them and knew they would weigh him down. Instead, he picked up five smooth stones and ran down into the valley with a shoulder bag and his staff.

David ran towards Goliath. Pulling something from his bag and aiming quickly yet carefully, he took one of the five smooth stones and shot it from the small slingshot he used to protect his flock from wild animals. The power of a rock shot from a slingshot is equivalent to a modern day handgun. Aimed straight at a vulnerable part, it could kill. It took a split second from launch to target, not nearly enough time for Goliath to react to protect himself. David was victorious.

“The heat of the battle is as sweet as the victory.”