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Mourning Goliath: An Editorial from the Philistine Times

A recent archeological discovery of a large basalt stone at Tel-es-Safi in Judah, dating from the middle of the 9th century B.C., contains what appears to be an editorial from the Philistine Times. Known as the Moabite Stone II, it has been translated from the Phoenician by Avraham Klein and Nasim Shephelah.


Today is a day of mourning. We lament the passing of our hero and champion, Goliath of the holy city of Gath, on the bloody field of Shocoth. He was a man worthy of a great people, admired for his valor, innocence, and willingness to die in the defense of the state. He will be remembered as a glorious martyr for the cause and will serve as an ideal to be emulated by future generations of brave young Philistines.

Standing only six feet nine inches tall, he fearlessly stepped forward, challenging the Israelites to send a warrior against him in single combat. Characteristically, the Israelites wavered for forty days, unable to muster the courage to engage in a fair contest until they could manipulate the situation to their advantage. Need we remind our readers that the Israelitic response, when it finally did come, was entirely disproportionate, sending a vicious killer like David against the gentle and selfless Goliath? Were we not ready to live in peace with the Israelites would they have merely disarmed and trusted our beneficence? We call upon the community of nations to raise a collective voice against the perpetration of such massacres as we saw on the field of Shocoth.

For the purpose of this belligerent and expansionist tribe is evident to all: to attack peace-loving Philistia, crush the conciliatory Moabites, exterminate Amnon and Cush, both renowned for their tranquility and repeated diplomatic initiatives, and ultimately to wipe the temperate kingdom of Assyria off the face of the earth. The agenda of this vile blot upon the visage of humanity is transparent: to establish a Greater Israel extending to the very ends of the known world.

Do they not launch their missiles of stone against the tents of the sick and the nurseries of the young? Do they not seek to infect our people with poisoned dates and jellies? Do they not lay traps for us wherever we may walk in reverent contemplation of heaven’s bounties? Do they not send rats among us to do their pestilential bidding? Do they not foment discord among their neighbors by setting one against the other with lies and plots? Yea, do they not insult the name of our Lord by their very presence on the soil of our ancestors?

Yet there is no doubt that the nations and kingdoms of the Fertile Crescent wish only to live in harmony among themselves, to extend a fatherly hand to the widow and the child, and to exercise the virtues of compassion and tolerance. Our armies, as is well known, are devoted to the welfare of our citizens, building bridges across dangerous ravines, constructing hospitals, draining swamps, and assisting the victims of earthquake, drought, and hurricane. Our emissaries are constantly engaged in errands of mercy, bringing concord to far-lying regions that have yet to taste the blessings of civilization. Our people cry peace, peace, peace. For this reason, we have been ill-prepared to meet a militant and quarrelsome horde of thugs and hooligans who seek only conquest and spoliation.

This is a time for vigilance and steadfast resolve against a savage and warlike nation that is also an interloper in the region. Were we responsible for their Egyptian captivity? Did we ask them to come, we who have been here since time immemorial? Are we so credulous as to believe the myth they have circulated that they were here on the land before the great famine? And that it is we who are the invaders? We who are the relative latecomers? What brazenness! God willing, we will carry the spirit of our fallen martyr, the noble Goliath so cruelly undone, into battle and utterly defeat the barbaric Israelitic entity.

Their cowardly canniness, teeming numbers, passion for world domination, financial resources, appetite for blood, and of course their monopoly of the written word — all these will not avail them and the day will come, God willing, when they will assuredly be driven into the sea.