Tagged: Harafa

Goliath’s lineage

Goliath does not appear from nowhere in the Torah account. While it is well-known that he is a Philistine, less well-known is his parentage.

Goliath grew to be nine feet nine inches tall, so his parents had to be giants as well, right? Not so!

According to Jewish tradition, Goliath (or Golyat, to use his genuine name in Hebrew), was one of the four sons of Orpah. Readers of the Book of Ruth will recognize Orpah as the daughter in law who did not stand in loyalty to Naomi after Naomi’s sons die, but returned to her own people, the Moabites.

According to the Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 42b, because Orpah parted from Naomi reluctantly and shed four tears, she was given four sons, all of them giants. This interpretation means that Orpah is oen and the same as Harafa.

All four of Orpah’s sons were giants, although the Talmudic literature makes it clear that Golyat was the tallest and strongest of them. At nine feet nine inches, one would hope so.