When did the battle of David and Goliath take place? I would assume a fairly accurate estimate could be given because it had to be when David was alive (and probably fairly young), and this date range could be determined by tracing through the genealogies. I tried to find it online, and estimates surprisingly vary widely between the 11th century BC to the 6th century BC. Can anyone help narrow down this range using the genealogies, or some other method?


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The 6th century BC is when some scholars believe the story of David and Goliath was written, not when it actually took place. For example, Jacob L. Wright, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Emory University, has written that the most popular legends about David, including his killing of Goliath, his affair with Bathsheba, and his ruling of a United Kingdom of Israel rather than just Judah, are the creation of those who lived generations after him, in particular those living in the late Persian or Hellenistic period.

Archaeologists have established that Gath, traditional home of Goliath, was destroyed in the ninth century BC, which means the story is set in the ninth century or earlier. At the time of the slaying, David appears to be quite a young man, probably in his teens. Since David's birth is conventionally to around 1040 BC, the battle of David and Goliath took place around 1020 BC.

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