Slinging

A rock. A strip of leather.

And yet, a serious weapon.

The slingshot was a common ancient weapon, found even in Egyptian king Tutankhamen’s tomb. It was used all through the world except in Australia (where the spear was more common).

Slingers and their weapons have been mentioned by Homer, Xenophon and Thucydides and the Roman Vegetius.

The Greek historian Strabo writes of the Balearic Islanders, “their training in the use of slings used to be such, from childhood up, that they would not so much as give bread to their children unless they first hit it with the sling.” He also says how the fighters would go to battle “with three slings worn round the head.”1

The shot for slings has been made of various materials. We all know of David picking up five stones. (1 Samuel 17:40) Also used through history have been ones molded from lead with symbols on them and others of clay. Simple yet deadly.

The sling has even been used as a weapon as late as the Spanish Civil War to sling grenades.

Ehud in the Bible (Judges 3) was a Benjaminite. This tribe was famous for having whole troops of “slingers”—left-handed slingers! David used those stones to defeat a giant in one well-aimed shot.

Recently, shot has been unburied in Scotland that has holes through the middle. Researchers think this was so the Romans could shoot at the natives in Scotland, sending terror through their enemies just from the loud and annoying whistling sound alone! The Romans could also send multiple ones at the same time.2

A powerful deterrent.

Can we make a comparison here? We too can be small but mighty. With God on our side, like He was with David the shepherd boy against the giant Goliath, He can use us in powerful ways. Our weaknesses show His strength.

You. Your youthfulness or your inexperience.

And yet, a serious tool God can use.

People still compete against each other in slingshot competitions—look it up!

1“LacusCurtius • Strabo’s Geography — Book III Chapter 5″. Penelope.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 12 July 2021.

2https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/whistling-sling-bullets-were-roman-troops-secret-weapon/ Retrieved 12 July 2021.

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