The Old Testament is no place for wimps. It is filled with men like Joshua, who razed the walls of Jericho and slaughtered its inhabitants, “both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys” (Joshua 6:21). Sampson slaughtered an army of a thousand Philistines wielding only the jawbone of an ass (Judges 15:15). Even the Israelite women were tough. An especially good example is Jael, who lured the Canaanite general, Sisera, into her tent, got him drunk, laid him, and then, as he slept it off, drove a tent peg through his head (Judges 4:21).
But the toughest, cleverest, most illustrious warrior of them all was David. Remember him? His exploits are related in the biblical books of First and Second Samuel. In Bible School I learned that as a mere boy, David took on Goliath, a real live giant, and without sword or shield, brought him down with just a sling and a stone. Then, as the giant lay unconscious upon the ground, David drew Goliath’s own sword and cut off his head with it. The Bible says that when the Philistines saw this, they fled. When I saw the color illustration of this in my Bible, I thought it was cool. Another legend relates how David won his way into the royal family by presenting King Saul with the foreskins of two hundred Philistines. This was not illustrated in my Bible. Eventually, David himself would become king, subdue the Philistines, and establish a kingdom that would be the symbol of Israel’s Golden Age for centuries to come.