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David's Sling: An Unexpected Advantage in the Biblical Story

The biblical tale of David and Goliath is often misunderstood. It wasn't a miracle that David won - he actually had a big advantage.

As a slinger, with a sling and projectile, David had a huge advantage in range and power over Goliath. Ancient armies had three types of warriors: cavalry, infantry, and projectile warriors (slingers/archers). Slingers beat infantry. So in reality, Goliath as infantry was vulnerable to David's long-range weapon.

Additionally, many medical experts now believe Goliath had acromegaly, impaired vision and mobility issues. So David, who refused to fight Goliath in close combat and instead exploited his weakness, had the upper hand the whole time, not the underdog.

Section: 1, Chapter: 1

Book: David and Goliath

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

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