A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Did Goliath of Gath Have a Medical Condition?

Some think the powerful Philistine suffered from gigantism or acromegaly. Check it out here.


Dan said...

If so, bummer for Goliath.

Then a kid with a wrist-rocket takes him down.

John B said...

As someone who has suffered from acromegaly for almost twenty years, I feel compelled to correct and clarify some things found in this article.

While gigantism and acromegaly are similar in their cause, a tumor the pituitary gland, gigantism occurs during one's growing years and acromegaly doesn't develop until a person is fully growth, usually when a person is in their late 20's-30's. Acromegaly does not cause a person to grow any taller, therefore Goliath didn't have acromegaly, though being very tall is not uncommon among people with gigantism.

The likelihood that a stone could have caused damage to the tumor is extremely small. The pituitary gland lies near the center of the skull behind the eyes. For a stone to do any damage to it, the stone would have had to sink 3-4 inches into the skull. By the time a stone got far enough into Goliath's head to damage the pituitary and/or the tumor, the damage to his brain would have caused him to pass out or die. And even it could go that deep, there's nothing about the tumor which would cause an excessive amount of blood loss.

The article does correctly state the effect of the disease on the eyes up to a point. In addition to losing peripheral vision, there is a great sensitivity to light. If David had approached Goliath with the sun to his back and not from directly in front of him, David could have gotten close to Goliath without being seen clearly.

To learn more facts about these debilitating diseases visit www.pituitary.org or www.acromegaly.org.

Allan R. Bevere said...

John B,

Thanks for the clarifications

Nawthun Suthnuh said...

Goliath needed someone to carry his shield, a clue that he may indeed have had health issues and lacked the stamina, or the agility to maneuver well if forced to lug it himself. His head size may also have made it difficult to make a helmet big enough to adequately protect his forehead, without being too heavy for him to deal with its weight, leaving that area majorly exposed.