David And His Five Smooth Stones

In 1 Sam 17.40 David is going to fight Goliath and he picks up five smooth stones, and this is very significant in what David is doing. In the Peshat, or literal level, David is not being presumptuous here and he took five stones in case he missed. As a teenage boy who has fought lions and bears, and now he is going to fight a giant warrior with military skills, he had many things going on in his mind. But he was not going to let this uncircumcised Philistine blaspheme the name of Yehovah and insult the army of the Lord, but he also knows that he needs extra stones in case he misses. But in the Sowd, or deeper level, there are a whole lot of things going on here and there may be some allusions to some other concepts as things played out.

In Deut 32 Moses records a song and it is very eschatological, but we won’t get into all the prophecies there at this time. We refer you to our study on Deut 32 on this website. But there is an interesting fact that has a bearing on this concept. Moses describes Yehovah as “Rock” five times. The rock was a significant theme in the life of Moses because it is how he treated the “Rock” that played a role in whether he entered the promised land or not (Deut 32.51). He also wrote the five books of the Torah which is the foundation stone or rock to all other Scripture. David is going to face Goliath in the name of Yehovah so he picks up five rocks, one for every time the rock is mentioned in Deut 32, alluding to the five books of Torah.

The Scriptures say the rocks were “smooth” because they came out of a brook and the stones were fashioned by the living water that flowed over them and moved them down the brook, indicating that God made them, not man. This brook can be traced back to a place called Migdal Oz, meaning strong tower. Prov 18.10 says, “The name of Yehovah is a strong tower (the name that David is fighting with and for), and the righteous run into it and are saved.” David knew something about the aerodynamics of slinging a smooth stone through the air. He only needed the first one as it turned out, and Goliath was killed. David’s men kill four other giants related to Goliath in 2 Sam 21.22 for a total of five. In 2 Sam 22, David records a song very similar to Deut 32 and mentions Yehovah as a “Rock” five times again, so he recognizes the significance.

This theme of the “rock” will play out throughout Scripture and is clearly a reference to Yehovah and Yeshua. In Dan, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a giant (like Goliath) statue and Daniel gives the interpretation. A “rock” or stone uncut by human hands (like the five smooth stones of David) comes and strikes the “giant” again and destroys it (Dan 2.31-35, 45), a direct allusion back to what David did. In Zech 12.3 Jerusalem is described as a “burdensome stone/rock” that will lacerate and injure any nation that comes against it.

The concept of the rock or stone is a major one in the Scriptures. We see Jacob resting on and anointing a stone/rock on Mount Moriah in Gen 28, “the stone that the builders rejected has become the chief the cornerstone” in Psa 118.22. The confession of Peter that Yeshua is the Messiah is the rock or cornerstone on which his eschatological kahal will be built. So, as we can see, David’s five smooth stones has a very significant eschatological meaning in the Scriptures.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

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