HOW DID GOLIATH DIE?
Many of us are taught as a child that Goliath died when the stone from David’ssling struck him in the forehead. Some modern translations seem to read thisway as well. However, the original Hebrew text of 1 Samuel 17:49-51 makesclear the fact that Goliath was actually killed by his own sword at the hands of David after David had literally made him bow down to the God of Israel! In theHebrew Bible, to die by one’s own weapon was an especially humiliating or tragicdeath.
:And he reached Davidthe hand of him into the bag and he took fromthere a stone and heslung and he struck thePhilistine on theforehead/greave of himand she sank the stoneinto the forehead/greaveof him and he fell onthe face of him to theground. 50 So hetriumphed David over the Philistine with thesling and with the stoneand he struck down thePhilistine and he killedhim. And a sword notin the hand of David 51and he ran David andhe stood over thePhilistine and he took hold of the sword of him and he drew her from the scabbard of her
and he killed him
and he cut off with her the head of him.
Reaching into his bagand taking out a stone,he slung it and struck the Philistine on theforehead. The stonesank into his foreheadand he fell facedown onthe ground. 50 SoDavid triumphed over the Philistine with asling and a stone;without a sword in hishad he struck down thePhilistine and killedhim. 51 David ran andstood over him. Hetook hold of thePhilistine’s sword anddrew it from thescabbard.
hekilled him, he cut off his head with thesword.
David put his hand inhis bag, took out astone, slung it, andstruck the Philistine onhis forehead; the stonesank into his forehead,and he fell face downon the ground. 50 SoDavid prevailed over the Philistine with asling and a stone,striking down thePhilistine and killinghim; there was nosword in David's hand.51 Then David ran andstood over thePhilistine; he graspedhis sword, drew it outof its sheath,
he cut off hishead with it.
And David put his handin his bag and took outa stone and slung it andstruck the Philistine onhis forehead. The stonesank into his forehead,and he fell on his faceto the ground. So David prevailed over thePhilistine with a slingand with a stone, andstruck the Philistine andkilled him. There wasno sword in the hand of David.  ThenDavid ran and stoodover the Philistine andtook his sword anddrew it out of its sheath
cutoff his head with it.
Of the above English translations, the ESV comes closest to the Hebrew wordingwithout conveying an incorrect timeline of events.An additional translation issue involves the word for the bronze “greaves” Goliathwas wearing on his legs. The Hebrew word translated as “greave” (shin guard)appears only once in the Hebrew Bible—in the description of Goliath at thebeginning of the chapter: