There’s a curious double killing in 1 Samuel 17:50-51.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
1 Samuel 17:50-51
At first this looks like clumsy editing (the ignorant refactor blunders again, in his obsessive need to keep sources he wrecks the narrative flow, once again – fortunately Altar and others have taught us to credit the reactor with a little more sense).
Instead, the careful reader is faced with a question – why did Goliath get killed twice? Surely once is enough.
There are a few theories. The first is that the blow from the stone merely stunned Goliath, the second blow was the one that really killed him. That seems to be the sense of verse 49. The the first blow caused him to fall. But verse 50 seems to stop us going down this route. It’s there to say “no, that one stone was enough; that was all he needed to prevail, and by the way he didn’t need a sword.” There is a whole anti-sword thing going on in this chapter – it’s most prominent in verse 38, where David refuses Saul’s sword. The whole point of the chapter is that the world of armies, and kingly posturing, and armour isn’t going to work for Israel. She’s already tried this with Saul and it’s not been going well. If Israel wants to play the human power game, the game of militarism and weapon acquisition then it’s going to fail. It will fail because it will always meet a Goliath, and it will fail because an over-reliance on technology creates an army of cowards, who don’t know how to trust in God because all they know is the power of technology. There is a quote from a French General which I can’t source who I am sure said of the Americans during the Bosnian war (when the Americans could kill from a distance through their technology) “what kind of soldiers are these who no longer look upon the eyes of their enemy” (similar points are made here).