In the Bible, David’s age at the time he killed Goliath is not given. Nevertheless, certain biblical texts indicate that he was a “youth.” David’s age at the time he slew Goliath can be estimated with the use of a definition of the term “youth” and a consideration of David’s size.
David’s physique. Since David and his physically-amazing sibling Eliab shared the same parents (or at least the same father), David may have reached a similarly outstanding height.
The argument made by Saul to David. David offered to fight Goliath after being upset by the Philistine’s remarks against the living God. Saul’s response to David’s offer is instructive. Notably, he did not assert that David was too short, despite the fact that even the tallest persons alive today would be dwarfed by Goliath.
Instead, Saul stated, “You cannot battle this Philistine since you are a youth and he has been a warrior since his youth” (1 Samuel 17:33). Saul attempted to dissuade David by pointing up David’s youth and Goliath’s experience. The Hebrew word for “youth” (, na’ar) can refer to someone of any age, from a child (Moses in Exodus 2:6) to someone old enough to lead a military coup (Absalom in 2 Samuel 18:32).
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Some have suggested that the slaying of Goliath may have occurred before David played the harp for King Saul, however there are flaws in this thesis. In the first place, 1 Samuel 17:15 states, “But David occasionally went and returned from Saul to Bethlehem to tend his father’s sheep.” Therefore, David served Saul frequently before to his meeting with Goliath.
Also, 1 Samuel 18:2 relates that immediately following the battle with Goliath, Saul kidnapped David and did not allow him to return to his father’s house. Finally, chapter 16 indicates that Saul and David were presented to one another and that David became Saul’s armor-bearer (verse 21), yet chapter 17 contains no such introduction, indicating that they were previously acquainted.