Qela: David’s Sling

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You have probably heard the account of the shepherd boy named David facing the giant Goliath in battle with the fate of the nation of Israel hanging in the balance. How was David able to defeat Goliath?  What was the weapon he chose for battle? What can Hebrew pictographs reveal to us about this weapon? Will there be anything that will point us to Messiah? Let’s investigate.

Even after the nation of Israel took possession of the promised land of Canaan they only enjoyed rest from war for a brief time. Opposition periodically arose from those displaced nations not totally destroyed as God had commanded. 

In the first book of the prophet Samuel in chapter 17, verses 19 and 21, the predicament of Israel at that time is described:

Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 
For Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array, army against army.​ 

How was this war to be decided? The Philistine champion had put forth this challenge in verses 8 and 9:

And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? Am not I a Philistine, and ye servants of Saul? Choose you a man for you and let him come down to me.
If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him then shall ye be our servants and serve us.​ 

What is missing so far in this picture is the fact that this Philistine champion named Goliath of Gath was over 9 feet tall and had weapons and armor to match. Verse 24 tells us that the warriors of Israel were dismayed:

And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.

But not everyone was paralyzed with fear. The shepherd boy David, who was the 8th and youngest son of Jesse, exclaimed in verse 26:

Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

King Saul of Israel offered his armor to the brave young shepherd boy, but David refused the king's offer and instead chose the weapons he had used to protect the flocks and herds of his family. In verse 40, these are described for us:

And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. 

The word sling is the Hebrew word Qela which can mean a sling or a hanging. What will the ancient pictographs show us that will give us more insight? Qela is spelled Qoof Lamed Ayin


Qoof is the picture of the back of the head and means behind, the last, or the least.

Lamed is the picture of the shepherd’s staff  and means the authority, to have control or the voice of authority.

Ayin is the picture of the eye and means to see, to know, or to experience. 


This tells us that the Sling of David, the Qela, is something that will be used or experienced by someone demonstrating authority who is surprisingly the least or the last. This describes David well who was the 8th son of his father Jesse and just an insignificant shepherd boy. He was, however, the one who demonstrated unquestionable authority as he used his sling to attack and slay Goliath.

Each of these three letters is also a number. These numbers also have a meaning based on how they are used in scripture. What can they reveal to us?

Qoof is the number 100 and is associated with the children of promise.

Lamed is the number 30 and points us to the blood sacrifice of Christ.

Ayin is the number 70 and refers to perfect spiritual order carried out with all spiritual power and significance.

What does this mean? If we add the meaning of the numbers to that of the pictures we discover this: This weapon will be used by an insignificant person who will be given the authority to rescue the children of Israel with spiritual power and significance. But how does this relate to the number 30 and the blood sacrifice of Christ?

The total of the three numbers in Qela is the number 200. Why is that significant? This is the number of the letter Reysh, which is a picture of the Prince and points us to the tension between the sufficiency of God and the insufficiency of man. Who is this Prince?

Remember what David placed into the sling when he faced Goliath. It was the stone, which in Hebrew is the word, Eben. The Prophet Isaiah, speaking for God in chapter 28 verse 16 declared this:

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.​ 

Rabbi Paul further describes this stone for us in his letter to the Ephesians in chapter 2 verse 20:

And are built upon the foundation for the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. ​ 

Can you see this?  David on his own with his sling, the Qela, would never have been able to defeat the enemies of Israel. He was insufficient for such a task. But with the Eben, the stone that is a picture of Jesus Christ, the Messiah to come, who is all-sufficient, he could stand in victory. 

And how did the Prince secure not only this victory for David and all Israel but the ultimate victory over sin and death for us? It was through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ that is described in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 12:

But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God. ​

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Joshua King says:

    I like these studies. I Love how the whe language points to one single origin. The Tau and Aleph.

  2. Robert s., Caple says:

    very good i loved it

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