The story of David and Goliath appears in the book of Samuel 1:17. The story states that among the Philistine army, a giant named Goliath stirred fear into the hearts of the Israelites. David, who was just a young shepherd boy, was sent to the battle lines and upon learning about the giant, volunteered to fight him. David declared himself armed in the name of the Lord, slung a stone in his slingshot and hit the giant’s forehead. The giant fell to the ground and David killed him with his enormous sword.
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The basics of a David costume are the same as those of a shepherd boy. A loose cream-colored dress or a monk’s habit is the first layer. A sheet cut and sewed or pinned to cover the shoulders works just as well. The dress, habit, or cloth should be long, falling midway between the calves. A red cloth or scarf around the neck is the next layer, followed by red cloth draped over the head. A dark elastic band or headband should then be placed around the cloth. Finally, a gold or yellow thick rope would be tied around the waist to complete the shepherd costume.
Several props relating to the story of David and Goliath complement the basic shepherd costume. Most importantly, costume-wearers should have a slingshot, small felt bag of stones or marbles, and a stick to represent the staff. These are the items that David brought with him to fight Goliath. Other secondary items enhance this costume. A harp, for example, could represent the harp David played for the King. Additionally, party-goers can bring a small sign with a well-known quote from the story, such as the following: "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."
Giant in Armor
The basics of a Goliath costume are those of a giant in armor. The giant in the story of David and Goliath is over 9 feet tall, so a tall person is ideal for this costume. Interested persons can buy plastic knight’s armor at a costume shop, or draw the pattern onto plain gray or silver cotton pants and long-sleeve shirt. Costume-wearers can purchase a knight’s mask made of plastic, or paint a mask onto their face with silver face paint. An important detail is a hole in the forehead of the mask or a black dot drawn on the face to represent the hole. This is where David’s stone hit the giant and knocked him to the ground.
Like the David costume, several props signal to people that this giant knight is Goliath from the biblical story. An oversized plastic sword, spear and javelin -- all of which the giant carried on him -- are ideal. Lastly, a sign with invented insults and threats towards David and the Israelites could further contextualize the costume. Most importantly, the people dressed as David and Goliath should appear together. The biblical story is known by both of their names and a joint appearance is the best way to guarantee that people will recognize the costumes.