And he taketh his staff in his hand, and chooseth for him five smooth stones from the brook, and putteth them in the shepherds' habiliments that he hath, even in the scrip, and his sling is in his hand, and he draweth nigh unto the Philistine.
1 Samuel 17:40 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
He took his staff - What we would call his crook.
Five smooth stones -
1. Had they been rough or angular, they would not have passed easily through the air, and their asperities would, in the course of their passage, have given them a false direction.
2. Had they not been smooth, they could not have been readily despatched from the sling.
A shepherd's bag - That in which he generally carried his provisions while keeping the sheep in the open country.
And his sling - The sling, both among the Greeks and Hebrews, has been a powerful offensive weapon. See what has been said on Judges 20:16 (note). It is composed of two strings and a leathern strap; the strap is in the middle, and is the place where the stone or bullet lies. The string on the right end of the strap is firmly fastened to the hand; that on the left is held between the thumb and middle joint of the fore finger. It is then whirled two or three times round the head; and when discharged, the finger and thumb let go their hold of the left end string. The velocity and force of the sling are in proportion to the distance of the strap, where the bullet lies, from the shoulder joint. Hence the ancient Baleares, or inhabitants of Majorca and Minorca, are said to have had three slings of different lengths, the longest they used when the enemy was at the greatest distance; the middle one, on their nearer approach; and the shortest, when they came into the ordinary fighting distance in the field. The shortest is the most certain, though not the most powerful. The Balearians are said to have had one of their slings constantly bound about their head, to have used the second as a girdle, and to have carried the third always in their hand. See Diod. Sic. lib. v., c. 18, p. 286, edit. Bipont.
In the use of the sling it requires much practice to hit the mark; but when once this dexterity is acquired, the sling is nearly as fatal as the musket or bow; see on 1 Samuel 17:49 (note). David was evidently an expert marksman; and his sling gave him greatly the advantage over Goliath; an advantage of which the giant does not seem to have been aware. He could hit him within any speaking distance, if he missed once, he had as many chances as he had stones; and after all, being unencumbered with armor, young, and athletic, he could have saved his life by flight. Against him the Philistine could do but little, except in close fight; it is true he appears to have had a javelin or missile spear, (see on 1 Samuel 17:6 (note)), but David took care to prevent the use of all such weapons, by giving him the first blow.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Judges 3:31 And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad...
Judges 7:16-20 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers...
Judges 15:15,16 And he found a new jawbone of an donkey, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith...
Judges 20:16 Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men left handed; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise...
brook. or, valley
bag. [heb] vessel
Matthew 10:10 Nor money for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
1 Samuel 17:40 Parallel CommentariesApproached Bag Bed Brook Chooseth Chose Direction Draweth Drew Habiliments Hand Nigh Philistine Pouch Putteth Scrip Sending Shepherds Shepherd's Sling Smooth Staff Stick Stones Stream Used WalletApproached Bag Bed Brook Chooseth Chose Direction Draweth Drew Habiliments Hand Nigh Philistine Pouch Putteth Scrip Sending Shepherds Shepherd's Sling Smooth Staff Stick Stones Stream Used WalletTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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