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irishman

Five Smooth Stones

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Why “smooth” stones?  The Lord could merely have said “five stones”, but He chose to put the word “smooth” in there.  I believe that every word in the Bible was meant to be there; every word has meaning, and significance, what do you suppose the “smooth stones” meant?   
    Perhaps David knew a but about ballistics, trajectory, and wind resistance.  Just as a cone shaped bullet cuts the wind better than a round ball, so would a smooth stone sail through the air faster than a rough stone.  The velocity would be increased because the air would go over and under the stone easier, with less resistance than a rough stone might, and would therefore hit harder.  Whatever the reason, it was necessary to mention under the inspiration of God.  
    That is a possibility, I suppose, but what do you think the reason for the word “smooth” was?  
 

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Another reason is perhaps that a smooth stone would have a better, more consistent, and more accurate release from the sling.  Jagged, rough, and even oddly shaped rocks would rub differently on the leather pouch that would affect how it flies out and spins.  Selecting a consistent type of stone would necessarily increase his accuracy and precision.  I think what this shows, more than anything, is that David was no novice.  Though we should be able to tell that from his actual shot.  However, his careful selection shows his experience with the weapon and confidence he had in the ability to use it effectively.  You can almost imagine him doing target practice and honing his skills while he watched over his fathers sheep.   The Bible doesn't explicitly say, but is a possibility that he used the slingshot to kill the lion and bear attacking the flock (1 Sam 17:34-36).

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Let me add that rough stones tend to crumble and break apart.  The smooth stones were probably more dense, definitely more aerodynamic which delivered better accuracy and gave a higher velocity resulting in more energy delivered to the target.

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It is a common thing even today among traditional shepherds to use the sling.
One of the things they use the sling for is to scare the.sheep towards themselves. The trick is to drop the stone onto a rock beyond the straying sheep - the cracking sound that the stone makes scared the sheep - but it has to be close enough to scare him, but on the.correct side.

It takes practice and skill to get it right, but the shepherd can use the sling to direct the sheep, as well as to protect them.

I have always wondered why five stones? Was it a bit of doubt?

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I have always wondered why five stones? Was it a bit of doubt?

 

Great question!  Not doubt, prudence.  You never go unprepared.  

 

Without hi-jacking this thread, David used a weapon to kill an aggressor AND he relied on the Lord of Hosts to do so.   :bleh:  

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It is a common thing even today among traditional shepherds to use the sling.
One of the things they use the sling for is to scare the.sheep towards themselves. The trick is to drop the stone onto a rock beyond the straying sheep - the cracking sound that the stone makes scared the sheep - but it has to be close enough to scare him, but on the.correct side.

 

I've never heard that before, but makes total sense.  Incredibly interesting.  Thanks for that tidbit!

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I have always wondered why five stones? Was it a bit of doubt?

I don't know that anyone really knows, but I've heard it said before that it was because Goliath had 4 brothers (which he did) and so David was simply prepared for them if need be.  

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I have always wondered why five stones? Was it a bit of doubt?
 

 

Concerning this question of doubt, I would strongly contend otherwise.  The entire contextual thrust of 1 Samuel 17 indicates that David was the one individual within the Israelite camp that had full assurance of faith in the almighty power of the Lord their God to grant victory.  Such a subtle indicator of doubt (five stones, instead of one stone) seems completely foreign to the explicitely indicated point of the context. 

 

Concerning the element of "smooth" stones -- As has been indicated repeatedly above, this is a very practical necessity for the best shot possible.  Such would indicate David's practical understanding and skill, as a long-time shepherd, concerning his tool of choice.  Choosing five stones, as has also been indicated above, would also indicate David's habit of preparedness.  (If he was going to put forth the effort to acquire one stone out of the brook, why not simply acquire a hand-full to fill his pouch.) 

 

Is there a spiritual truth to be gleaned from this information?  If there is, I would contend the following -- that although full assurance of faith in the Lord our God must be the central focus of our hearts, such full assurance of faith does not completely cancel any need for practical wisdom and personal preparation.  Rather, being fully committed to full assurance of faith in the Lord our God, we should yet recognize that the Lord our God often intends to work directly through our practical wisdom and personal prepartion.  Indeed, He is the One who does the great and mighty work through us and should receive all the glory thereof.  Yet He desires to do the work through us, through our submission of the very abilities and preparation that He has brought into our lives through His own hand of guidance.

 

I pray that these thoughts may of value in this discussion and may be "good to the use of edifying."

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle

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It is feasible that David could find many "smooth stones" in the brook.  The water rushing over the stones would eventually take off the roughness,  I agree that they are better for accuracy, speed (velocity) and therefore hit with more impact.  Incidentally, and in spite of some comments we hear, the Bible says that David slew Goliath with a stone, not the sword (1 Sam. 17:50).  I also agree with the spiritual application, but will add that there is always victory when we trust in the Lord fully and wholeheartedly, in whatever "giant" we must face.

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I like the thought of preparedness, and certainly his actions to this point show that there was no doubt in general - but still......

I also this account is a great at example of the preparing the man and the man trusting that God has prepared him.
Unlike many I don't think the Lord guided the stone in a miraculous way.
David was experienced with the sling, and was courageous - he knew what he could do - BUT also acknowledged that without the Lord he would not prevail.
I absolutely believe that the Lord has intervened miraculously at times, but the miracle in this instance was in preparing the man (boy!) Not in specifically guiding the stone.

It is interesting that he also tried on the armour before stating that he couldn't use it - not because it would have been wrong to do so, or that in doing so it showed lack of faith in God, but because he had not proven it - he wasn't trained in using that equipment.

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I am a slinger, was taught some thirty years ago the art. I haven't slung in several years now but it is fun.

Recently my wife and I discussed this in our morning time together in the word.

David told the King of his slaying of the bear and the lion with his hand and that he would do the same to the uncircumcised.

As David, a ruddy youth, entered the battlefield in front of king and country, he stopped to get the stones, I dont think he was

relying on the stones, the number or shape of them with a conscious thought, It was the manner of a good shephard to act

upon instinct and experience. Like the shepherd who removed from the mouth of a lion, two legs and a piece of an ear,

I believe was recorded by Amos the Prophet. David as he approached Goliath, said , you come with sword and spear, but I come

in the name of the Lord of Hosts the God of the armies Israel whom you have defied. In the context it seems David may have been running as he went,

He would have slung all five stones if the first had not hit it's mark, then he would have slain the armour bearer then turned and

lept on Goliath, In his mind he was already victorious and later gave thanks for the same victory. Just some thoughts. I apologize

if I misquoted the text of scripture but was not trying to imply doctrinal importance to the stones, though I'm sure there is

because we are referred to as lively stones, but that is for another time. sorry for the rush but my wife needs to get on the computer!  

Edited by bloodmarked

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It is interesting that David tried on the armor first, but that could have been to appease the king; after all, he represented the king of Israel as well as the Lord of Hosts.  Anyway, he did use the weapon he had mastered instead of that which was no doubt bulky and clumsy on him.

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I am a slinger, was taught some thirty years ago the art. I haven't slung in several years now but it is fun.

Recently my wife and I discussed this in our morning time together in the word.

David told the King of his slaying of the bear and the lion with his hand and that he would do the same to the uncircumcised.

As David, a ruddy youth, entered the battlefield in front of king and country, he stopped to get the stones, I dont think he was

relying on the stones, the number or shape of them with a conscious thought, It was the manner of a good shephard to act

upon instinct and experience. Like the shepherd who removed from the mouth of a lion, two legs and a piece of an ear,

I believe was recorded by Amos the Prophet. David as he approached Goliath, said , you come with sword and spear, but I come

in the name of the Lord of Hosts the God of the armies Israel whom you have defied. In the context it seems David may have been running as he went,

He would have slung all five stones if the first had not hit it's mark, then he would have slain the armour bearer then turned and

lept on Goliath, In his mind he was already victorious and later gave thanks for the same victory. Just some thoughts. I apologize

if I misquoted the text of scripture but was not trying to imply doctrinal importance to the stones, though I'm sure there is

because we are referred to as lively stones, but that is for another time. sorry for the rush but my wife needs to get on the computer!  

 

Good thoughts. DAVID's defeat of the giant ='S total faith in God, not self, not his sling, not the stones he carefully picked up. We to can defeat giants, all it take is faith.

 

 

Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

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