Goliath Was Not Alone


Goliath has gotten so much attention when it comes to the story of David that some people think he’s the only giant spoken of in the Bible. But there are two other passages in 1 Chronicles, with parallel passages in 2 Samuel that explain the giants defeated by David and his Mighty Men.

1 Chronicles 11:22–23

22 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man of Kabzeel… And he struck down an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits tall. [7 1/2 to 8 feet] The Egyptian had in his hand a spear like a weaver’s beam.

1 Chronicles 20:4–8

4 And after this there arose war with the Philistines at Gezer. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Sippai [or Saph: 2 Sam. 21:18], who was one of the descendants of the giants... 5And there was again war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair struck down Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 6 And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants. 7 And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, struck him down. 8 These were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

2 Samuel 21:16–22

16 And Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants of the giants, whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of bronze, and who was armed with a new sword, thought to kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid and attacked the Philistine and killed him.

So in addition to Goliath, we have five other giants being killed by David’s men. 1) Benaiah killed an Egyptian giant, 2) Sibbecai killed the giant Sippai [Saph], 3) Elhanan killed the giant Lahmi, brother of Goliath, 4) Jonathan killed an unnamed giant, and 5) Abishai killed Ishbi-benob the giant.

But these are not mere chronicling of random deaths of a few tall bad guys. There is meaning and deliberation behind these facts. There is deliberate intent by the author to link these giants to the Nephilim of Genesis 6 whose diabolical plan was thwarted by God with the Flood.

Firstly, most are summarized in the same context, indicating a literary and theological purpose behind combining them together. Secondly, except for the Egyptian, they are all Philistines fighting Israel. In Joshua 11:21-22 we read that Joshua deliberately sought out the Anakim giants in Canaan and cut them off everywhere in the hill country. But then it gives this qualification: “There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the people of Israel. Only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod did some remain.”

So, some giants were left by Joshua – in the land of Philistia. The very cities from which came the giants David would fight, including Goliath. It was almost as if God was deliberately keeping the last of the giants in order to finally destroy them through his messianic king. They were the leftover giants from Joshua’s conquest, and they were linked back to the evil Nephilim before the flood (Num. 13:32-33).

And there is strong indication that the giants were trying to kill David specifically as well. Ishbi-benob is said to explicitly have been trying to kill David (2 Sam. 21:16); another one “taunted Israel” (1Chron 20:7), the same phrasing used of Goliath; and of course, Lahmi, Goliath’s brother, would no doubt have revenge against the slayer of his sibling on his mind.

But there is still more to this picture.

The English phrase used of the giants in these passages is that they were “descendants of the giants.” It is used three times in 1 Chron. 20 and four times in 2 Sam. 21. The authors go out of their way to stress these warriors as connected to that special group of giants that were theologically tied to the Nephilim of Genesis 6.

This narrative theological thread of giants from the Nephilim of Noah’s day to the Rephaim of David’s time conspires to imply a deliberate summary of climactic conflict between the titan Seed of the Serpent in Canaan and the Seed of Abraham from Eve.

But a closer look at the original Hebrew behind the translation “descendants of the giants” in 1 Samuel and 1 Chronicles reveals much more then merely being linked to those oversized warriors left alive by Joshua in Philistia.

Biblical scholar Conrad E. L’Heureux examines this Hebrew phrase, yalid ha rapha, that translates as “descendants of the giants.” He explains that the word rapha, is the specific word for the Rephaim giants and warriors in the Bible. But the word yalid, “never refers to genealogical lineage. Rather, the yalid was a person of slave status and dedicated to the deity who was head of the social unit into which he was admitted by a consecration.”[1]

DavidCoverMedResThis religious devotion indicates that the “descendants of the giants” can be translated as the “devotees of Rapha.” L’Heureux concludes that this was probably some kind of reference to an elite cult of warriors religiously bound to their Rephaim code. What was that code? Was it to hunt down and destroy the Seed of Eve, the messianic king?

The discoveries of Ugarit in relation to the Bible shed light on the Rephaim as deified dead giant warriors,[2]. Thus, the origin of my elite corps of giants in David Ascendant called the Yalid ha Rapha or my colloquial adaptation, the “Sons of Rapha,” bound by oath to their own Seed (of the Serpent) to destroy the messianic Seed of Eve, David.

Click here to pre-order your Kindle version of David Ascendant
Click here for the book trailer, author interview, artwork.



[1] Conrad E. L’Heureux “The yelîdê hārāpā’: A Cultic Association of Warriors,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 221,(Feb., 1976), pp. 83-85.

[2] See Brian Godawa, Enoch Primordial Appendix on the Rephaim,( Los Angeles, CA, Embedded Pictures Publishing, 2012), pp 364-366.




In King David’s story there are five passages that contain giants in the narrative. The most famous one is 1 Samuel 17 that tells the story of Goliath. In fact, that story is so famous, it seems that some Christians think he’s the only giant in the Bible! Others say he wasn’t much of a giant at all. That’s because there are textual problems with the sources we have for the English text of the Old Testament.

In 1 Samuel 17:4, Goliath is described as being “6 cubits and a span.” Scholarly consensus describes the “cubit” as being approximately 18 inches, measured by the distance between an average man’s elbow and forefinger. A “span” is about half of that length, which is about the distance of an outstretched hand, or 9 inches. So by these standards, Goliath’s “6 cubits and a span” was about 9 feet, 9 inches tall.

But there is a problem with that measurement. The 6 1/2 cubit dimension is taken from the Hebrew Masoretic Texts (MT), which are not always the most reliable in their transmission history. Some scholars point out that the Septuagint (LXX), the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Josephus after them describe Goliath at only “4 cubits and a span,” which would make him more like 6 feet, 9 inches tall. According to archeological estimates of discovered remains in Canaan, the average Jew was about 5 feet, 6 inches tall.[1] This shorter version of Goliath would still be a tall man compared to the average ancient Jew, but not at all the supernatural monstrosity of 9 feet, 9 inches tall.

But scholar Clyde Billington has pointed out that the DSS and Josephus may have taken their cue from the LXX, which was translated in Egypt. Egypt’s royal cubit was consistently at 20.65 inches.[2] It is entirely reasonable that the LXX translators would adjust the Biblical numbers to coincide with their own definitions of measurement. Using the Egyptian cubit would make Goliath’s height from the LXX come out to just over 9 feet tall – the same height as in the MT 7 feet 9 inches, not as tall as the MT, but a giant nonetheless. (Update: 7/8/15 thanks to Andy Doerksen).

A further complication arises when one considers the fact that Moses had been raised and educated as royalty in Egypt. So he and the Exodus Israelites no doubt used the Egyptian royal cubit in their measurements. The question then is whether or not the original Hebrew text translated that cubit measurement to the smaller Mesopotamian/Levantine common cubit.

There is an indication in other Biblical texts of the awareness of this cubit difference. The writer of the Chronicles (written much later in Israel’s history during the exile) makes this distinction when describing the dimensions of Solomon’s temple. He writes, “the length, in cubits of the old standard, was sixty cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits” (2 Chron. 3:3). Ezekiel describing the measurements of the temple in his vision also makes this distinction of cubit difference as well when he writes, “the altar by cubits (the cubit being a cubit and a handbreadth)” (Ezek. 43:13). He later calls this a “long cubit” (Ezek. 41:8). So these parentheticals written by authors around the time of the exile indicate that during that time, there was still an awareness of the older longer Egyptian royal cubit as if they had been still using it up until that date.[3]

If we apply this longer cubit measurement to Goliath’s 6 cubits and a span, we get a height of about 10 1/2 feet tall![4] And the Egyptian warrior that was killed by Benaiah (1 Chron. 11:23) 8 feet 6 inches tall. Remember Og of Bashan, whose bed was 9 cubits long? (Deut. 3:11). That might make his bed approximately 15 1/2 feet long and Og about 13 to 14 feet tall (The longer cubit however is most likely not being used in reference to Og’s height since the text says it is measuring “according to the common cubit” as opposed to the royal cubit).

Whichever way one measures a cubit, Goliath was a giant.

You can read my novel about Goliath and the five other giant Rephaim assassins who sought to kill King David. I kid you not. It’s in the Bible. Check it out below.



The War of the Seed continues with the Philistines vs. the Messiah King of Israel.

Click here to pre-order your Kindle version of David Ascendant
Click here for the book trailer, author interview, artwork.

This is available for Kindle purchases only. Paperbacks and audio are not available for pre-orders.


[1] G. Ernest Wright, “Troglodytes and Giants in Palestine,” Journal of Biblical Literature 57:3 (Sept 1938): 305-309.
[2] Clyde E. Billington, “Goliath and The Exodus Giants: How Tall Were They?” JETS, 50/3 (September 2007) 489-508.
[3] Conservative scholars claim that Moses wrote the Pentateuch during the time of the Exodus, so that would most likely mean that the older longer cubit was used in those texts. Critical scholars claim that Moses did not write the Pentateuch, but that it was mostly written and/or compiled during the time of the Exile which would mean they most likely used the newer shorter cubit in the Pentateuch, but then made some reference to that older cubit in Chronicles and Ezekiel to remind their readers of the changeover. However, this does not change the fact that the longer cubit was still being used long past the time of the exile.
[4] If this is the case, then the Septuagint translators misunderstood the cubit of the Hebrew text as being the smaller cubit, when in fact it was the larger Egyptian cubit. They would then be translating the number incorrectly downward.

How To Make it in Hollywood

I had a great interview on the new and way cool podcast The Doorpost Podcast Project by Duane Barnhart:


The Doorpost Podcast Project is a weekly entertainment business podcast, hosted by Duane Barnhart, interviewing some of today’s most successful and inspiring Entertainment Entrepreneurs. It was Milton Berle who said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” We help our audience learn to build doors of opportunity. Each episode shines a spotlight on our featured guest as they share their journey of successes and failures, hard work and big breaks, lessons learned and the steps taken to turn those lessons into accomplishments.

The Way Back

An epic road movie. Based on a true story that was probably plagiarized by author Slavomir Rawicz as his own experience. A handful of Polish prisoners in the Russian Gulag in Siberia during WWII, escape their prison in the freezing tundra and travel 4000 miles to freedom in India, going through the Gobi Desert AND over the freezing Himilayas.

This survival story was most amazing to me in that it is probably the first Hollywood movie about the Russian Gulags. There are dozens and dozens of movies and television stories about the German concentration camps in WWII, but what most of the public does not know is that the Soviet Communist Gulag system makes the Nazi camps look like children’s play pens. Problem is, they didn’t get the exposure they should have. It reveals how uneducated many people are about the truly evil empire of Soviet Russia and the atrocities that dwarfed the Nazi machine by 3x. Stalin starved over 20 million of his own people. 20 million of his own people. And that is not counting the other 30 million killed in the entire Stalin era for a grand total near 50 MILLION PEOPLE – savagely and brutally killed, many of them tortured as “political dissidents” because they were not Communist party members. Yet, this is the FIRST movie about the Soviet Gulags? All I can say is Peter Weir is a heroic filmmaker to bring out this essence of Communism in an era that seems to deny it was even a threat.


This is a story of a widowed astronomy professor played by Nicolas Cage, who has a young son that receives upon a cryptic pattern of numbers from a grade school “time capsule” written by a young school girl fifty years earlier. Cage stumbles upon the key to the numbers as a prophecy of important disasters around the world and their death tolls for the next fifty years up until this very year, when it indicates everyone will die in the last catasrophe. He soon realizes that it is a prophecy of the end of the world that will occur from a freak solar super flare that will burn up all life on earth.

The story is Cage’s spiritual journey from one of unbelief to belief in a purposeful meaning to life. I am careful not to add “God” in the equation, because even though the movie uses Christian concepts and imagery, I believe a convincing argument can be made that the movie is ultimately a humanistic demythologizing of the Faith similar to what Stargate and Planet of the Apes did.

The story begins with Cage unable to get over his wife’s recent death. He masks his own unbelief when he tells his son that he never said there was no heaven, “but if you want to believe there is a heaven and mom is there, that’s fine.” Of course Cage’s statements about the size of the universe and how “we are all alone” indicates his real belief and we soon see him in class addressing the classic question of randomness versus determinism in the universe. He brings up the galaxy and the anthropic principle of how life is so finely tuned to the precision of the universe that some people say this indicates a purposeful design. When he concludes with the other view he indicates that it may all be chance, “the result of a complex yet inevitable string of complex biological mutations. There is no grand meaning, there is no purpose.” It’s clear, the death of his wife has brought him to this conclusion and when a student asks him what he thinks, he says, “I think shit just happens,” indicating his despair.

We also learn that Cage is estranged from his pastor father because of his father’s religious beliefs. Cage tells his sister not to pray for him. Meanwhile, Cage’s son, Caleb is being stalked by strange men in trenchcoats, as if they are waiting for just the right time. When Cage figures out the prophecy is about the solar super flare, he calls his religious pastor father and talks about the gift of prophecy and that the end is near. Cage brings his son to a safe place, only to discover the trenchcoat beings are angels, with what appears to be wings who shed their human disguise, and come from an object that resembles the spinning wheels of Ezekiel’s visions in the Bible (This Ezekiel passage is clearly referenced in the film). We hear the kid explain that he and others are “chosen” to be taken away to start a new world. “Only the chosen can go. Those who heard the call.” Obvious New Testament language. We then see Caleb and other children from around the earth “raptured” off the earth as the solar super flare burns up all life in an apocalyptic “judgment” scenario reminiscent of Revelation.

Cage explains that he now believes and knows that he will be in heaven with mom and Caleb someday. He drives out to his parent’s home, makes his reconciliation with them. Dad says, “This isn’t the end, son.” Cage replies, “I know,” and he is now spiritually reunited as they burn up in a ball of fire. We then see Caleb and another little girl arrive on a pristine new planet like an adolescent Adam and Eve and run over to a huge tree that is an obvious metaphor of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden spoken about in the Book of Revelation at the end of the world. At least this is what one interpretation of the Bible says it means. Anyway, the Christian imagery is blatant throughout the film, making this an outright Christian metaphor.

But is it a Christian worldview? Or is it a humanistic demythologizing of Christianity? I think that there is enough indication for one to argue that the “angels” were actually aliens in physical starships just as Stargate argued, making religion a superstitious interpretation of scientific facts. This of course is a very common cliché in movies ever since the book “Chariots of the Gods” in the 1970s that posited that the angelic manifestations in the Bible were actually “ancient astronauts” in flying saucers that were misinterpreted by ignorant religious people as spiritual beings. The fact that the “angels” in Knowing are in very physical spaceships seems to indicate this secularizing demythologizing. But of course, one may argue that it is simply the same “wheels within wheels” that Ezekiel saw in his heavenly vision (and pointed out in the movie), making it ultimately biblical. I think there is just enough ambiguity for either interpretation.

In the DVD special features a documentary about apocalypticism in history addresses it as an element of all religions and an anthropological phenomenon of coding society’s fear. An anthropologist claims that the nuclear age created the “Rapture theory” in the Bible and birthed the UFO craze out of our social fears. They try to show commonalities in all religions regarding the deity and destructive identity of the sun and then explain the scientific possibility of solar super flares. They end on the “alien mythology” of aliens bringing us out of our self destruction to give us another chance, so the documentary at least is more a demythologizing than a scientific support for religious belief.

The Director, Alex Proyas seems to deny the imagery used in the film as being exclusively Christian. He explains on the director’s commentary that to him, the Christian mythology in the film is a part of our cultural imagery, but are more symbolic shorthand for a “bigger story” of humanity coming to peace with its mortality and finding hope beyond it. Anthropologized faith. Proyas addresses the presence of physical spaceships in the film as aliens and that the Ezekiel vision would be exactly how an ancient religious person would interpret an alien. Proyas, claims he is definitely showing the religious impulse as an interpretation of scientific reality, yet was deliberately making it ambiguous so that anyone could bring their own interpretation to the imagery. When the interviewer exclaims that the religious interpretation (over the alien science one) is the central image of the story, Proyas balks and says that that is what the interviewer brought to the film, rather than the film exhibiting.

For Proyas, the meaning lies in Cage’s son surviving him as the hope of how we survive our mortality. Humanistic demythology. Proyas wanted the movie to be relative in its meaning to the viewer. He explicitly says he deliberately wanted the imagery to be ambiguous so that they could be interpreted as either angels or aliens. Angels or Aliens? You decide.

The Great Raid

Partially recommended. This is the true story of the greatest rescue of American POWs in history. An elite force of newbie Texas Rangers were sent in to rescue about 500 POWs in a Philippine POW camp held by the Japanese. These were men who survived the Bataan death march and were wasting away from starvation and beatings by the Japanese. Colonel Mucci and his men rescued all the POWs, with but one POW death and a couple of fatalities in the squad. A truly miraculous story. For that and for the fact that the story shows SOME of the atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese soldiers and police against the Americans, this movie should be seen. The problem is that because of the Nuremburg trials and the obsessive focus on Nazi war crimes, the Japanese war crimes were all but overshadowed and ignored by the public and the resultant consciousness of history in this country. So see it. But unfortunately, it is not a very good movie in storytelling and filmmaking terms. It reeks of television writing and the characters are not nearly as engaging as they should be. With terrible choices for leads like Benjamin Bratt and James Franco, it just cries out for good acting. And the Japanese are cardboard villains, and apart from the atrocities, you just don’t feel for these guys. They are flat characters and there are too many of them. The only good story is the doomed love story between a Major in the camp, played by Joseph Fiennes and an American woman in the Filipino underground, played by Connie Neilson. They are the only ones who have an interesting and dramatic past and connection in that she was married to his commanding officer who was killed and now they live to be together with each other. This is also the story that they brilliantly play as the tragic element in the otherwise victorious story. Not everything was happy results in this realistic story of human pathos and the triumph of the spirit. But I must admit, I am a bit biased in my observations for a couple reasons. One, this is the movie that I discovered Miramax was developing when my movie, To End All Wars came out. Turns out they tried to buy the distribution of our movie, and it is clear now, that they wanted to shelf our movie so they would be the first out with their POW movie. Thank God the producers didn’t go with them. The Great Raid lacked the epic transcendence and memorable characters, scenes and lines that a good epic should have. But also, I was rewriting the miniseries for this same exact story for Disney Touchstone when the Weinsteins discovered the production and literally strong-armed our production into the trash can because of their power (We were both under Disney distribution). Ours was based on the Hampton Sides bestselling novel and it was clearly superior. I was hired to bring in a stronger Japanese element like I did in TEAW. I was also rewriting other elements of it. And it was going to include a bit of the Bataan death march, which is a story that needs to be told as well as some amazing other historically true stuff. Oh well, water under the bridge. But all that said, still see the movie because these men died for your freedom. We owe it to them to know their story, regardless of the fact that oafish trolls may have ruined the movie.

Broken Flowers

Not Recommended. This is a story with a powerful moral theme that I think is hindered by an immoral element that destroys the very morality of the story itself. A great premise of Bill Murray, a lonely lifeless eternal womanizing bachelor, who receives a letter in the mail telling him he has sired a son that is now 19 years old by one of his past conquests. But the mother does not tell him who she is, so he is left wondering. He is pushed into a plan by his next door neighbor, a family man, with a loving wife and kids, to seek out his ex-girlfriends and try to figure out which one it is. So Murray goes on a cross country trip to visit each of several woman who he may have dated around 19 years ago. As he visits each one, we see each of them, living wasted lives, that it is implied HE has been of some cause. Sharon Stone, plays a white trash woman who sleeps with anything that moves, and has no real heart connection, not even with her daughter, who is a small version slut of her mom. Jessica Lange has become a lesbian kooky new age “animal communicator” who thinks she is a Dr. Dolittle with animals. Another one has become a lonely consumer lifestyle suburban desperate housewife married to a loving but empty real estate salesman. And another has become a rural crude white trash biker’s chick. And the beautiful dramatic aspect of this filmmaking is how Jim Jarmusch, the writer/director communicates the emptiness of each of these women’s lives, and indeed, Murray’s life as well, almost entirely through looks and visuals. Almost NOTHING is spoken of their misery or despair. You can see it in their eyes and reactions to him. They have all had their lives sucked out of them, and he has no life left in him. No emotion, no heart or zeal for reality. He’s a living personification of Hugh Hefner. And then, he becomes haunted by this search for a son. Every young man he sees in each town, looks as if he could be his son. When Murray gets back home, having failed to figure out which one it was, he discovers a drifter that he assumes is his son, but when he reaches out to the kid assuming he is his father, the kid runs and we see he isn’t. And Murray is left literally, on a crossroad, with nothing, and having not found his son. He is unredeemed. He is entirely alone and without any connection. It is, in fact, a tragedy. The kid had asked Murray for some philosophical advice and Murray told him, “The past is gone, the future isn’t here yet. So this is all there is, the present.” And you can’t help but think that this existential worldview is the driving force of such selfishness. Living for the moment is part and parcel of the destruction of human connection and relationship. It is supreme selfishness that destroys life in yourself and in others. It’s a beautiful testament to the despair and emptiness of a promiscuous life. A life that can find no intimacy, and therefore no human connection. A life that begins with “fun” and sexual experiences, but ends in complete isolation and insignificance. A touch of irony is thrown in, when the family man neighbor says he is helping Murray find his ex-girlfriends because he believes Murray “understands women.” In other words, the grass is greener syndrome makes the people who do know the normalcy of intimacy with a wife and family actually mistakenly assume that men who are able to bed so many women must know women. They do and they don’t. They know how to use and manipulate them, but not how to know them intimately. Promiscuous womanizers don’t really know the meaning of love and therefore the beauty and comfort of normalcy in marriage and relationships. It is the “boring” lifelong commitment that finds intimacy and true human connection. The trouble is that we too easily take it for granted, and this movie makes that point. The reason why I cannot recommend it though is because there is a full frontal nudity shot of a girl who is supposed to be a teen slut hitting on Murray. Murray runs from it, but the damage is done cinematically. I don’t have a problem with the concept of such temptation or depravity in a movie, but the filmmaker shows full frontal nudity for a girl that is supposed to be a teenager (though, obviously, the actress could not legally be a teen). So, in effect, the filmmaker imitates child pornography in the making of his movie, which effectively destroys the moral import of the rest of the movie. There are limits to the appropriate depiction of sin, and this movie, by imitating child pornography, stepped over that line. I think it is more autobiographical of the dark fantasies of filmmakers, like Jarmusch, than it is a does of “reality,” as they might claim.


Not Recommended. Tarantino is not to be trusted. This movie is boring. I walked out after the first third of the movie because it had no soul. Okay, I understand that these movies are the Chinese version of superheros. But I guess I just don’t like Eastern superheros because they think that emotionless expression is somehow “deep”, when all it really is is dramatically uninteresting. Human beings are emotional beings, so universal emotional suppression in all characters is simply boring drama. Yeah, yeah, my western prejudice. And in this case, my western prejudice is simply superior for dramatic story. And if you doubt that, just look at the worldwide gross of OUR superhero movies as opposed to these Eastern superhero movies, and well, your doubt will dissolve. Also, a movie that is a string of long 5 minute fight scenes, one after another, just doesn’t make good story. Sure, the choreography and cinematography is cool, but choreography and cinematography IS NOT STORY, they are enhancement to story. Without story, they become boring shallow style without substance. And that’s what Hero is: style without substance.