Feb. 17, 2000

(RNS) An Israeli neurologist says he knows the real reason thebiblical King David triumphed over the Philistine giant Goliath, andit's no giant act of heroism.

"It was a miracle that such a small and young shepherd could defeatGoliath in battle," said Professor Vladimir Berginer on Thursday (Feb.17). "But now I have found an explanation for it."

Goliath -- who was about 10 feet tall, according to the OldTestament -- suffered from a pituitary gland disease known asacromegaly, said Berginer. He said he reached his conclusion after yearsof analyzing the biblical story.

"This is the only disease where sufferers can grow to such aheight," Berginer said.

He said an advanced form of the disease impaired Goliath's vision sothat the giant could not see David clearly, making it easy for David tosurprise Goliath with a stone thrown to the head.

"I am sure that from time to time, Goliath did not see David becausein the Bible it was written a few times that Goliath was very slow, butDavid ran," said Berginer.

Berginer said the stone thrown by David damaged Goliath's skull butwas not his actual cause of death. Once Goliath was knocked unconscious,David was able to kill him with a sword.