1 Samuel 17 BSB
1 Samuel 17
Berean Study Bible

Goliath's Challenge

1Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war at Socoh in Judah and camped between Socoh and Azekah in Ephes-dammim. 2Saul and the men of Israel assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah, arraying themselves for battle against the Philistines.

3The Philistines stood on one hill and the Israelites stood on another, with the valley between them.

4Then a champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out from the Philistine camp. He was six cubits and a span in height,a 5and he wore a bronze helmet and bronze coat of mail weighing five thousand shekels.b 6He had armor of bronze on his legs, and a bronze javelin was slung between his shoulders. 7The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.c In addition, his shield bearer went before him.

8And Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and array yourselves for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose one of your men and have him come down against me. 9If he is able to fight me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and labor for us.”

10Then the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day! Give me a man to fight!”

11On hearing the words of the Philistine, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and greatly afraid.

David Accepts the Challenge

12Now David was the son of a man named Jesse, an Ephrathite from Bethlehem of Judah who had eight sons in the days of Saul. And Jesse was old and advanced in years.d 13The three older sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab, the second was Abinadab, and the third was Shammah. 14And David was the youngest.

The three oldest had followed Saul, 15but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep in Bethlehem.

16For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening to take his stand.

17One day Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah of roasted graine and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18Take also these ten portions of cheese to the commander of their unit. Check on the welfare of your brothers and bring back an assurance from them.f 19They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.”

20So David got up early in the morning, left the flock with a keeper, loaded up, and set out as Jesse had instructed him. He reached the camp as the army was marching out to its position and shouting the battle cry. 21And Israel and the Philistines arrayed in formation against each other.

22Then David left his supplies in the care of the quartermaster and ran to the battle line. When he arrived, he asked his brothers how they were doing. 23And as he was speaking with them, suddenly the champion named Goliath, the Philistine from Gath, came forward from the Philistines and shouted his usual words, which David also heard.

24When all the men of Israel saw Goliath, they fled from him in great fear.

25Now the men of Israel had been saying, “Do you see this man who keeps coming out to defy Israel? To the man who kills him the king will give great riches. And he will give him his daughter in marriage and exempt his father's house from taxation in Israel.”

26David asked the men who were standing with him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Just who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

27The people told him about the offer, saying, “That is what will be done for the man who kills him.”

28Now when David’s oldest brother Eliab heard him speaking to the men, his anger burned against David. “Why have you come down here?” he asked. “And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and wickedness of heart—you have come down to see the battle!”

29“What have I done now?” said David. “Was it not just a question?” 30Then he turned from him toward another and asked about the offer, and those people answered just as the first ones.

31Now David's words were overheard and reported to Saul, who called for him.

32David said to Saul, “Let no man's heart fail on account of this Philistine. Your servant will go and fight him!”

33But Saul replied, “You cannot go out against this Philistine to fight him. You are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

34David replied, “Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep, and whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock, 35I went after it, struck it down, and delivered the lamb from its mouth. If it reared up against me, I would grab it by its fur, strike it down, and kill it. 36Your servant has killed lions and bears; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.”

37David added, “The LORD who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

“Go,” said Saul, “and may the LORD be with you.”

David Slays Goliath

38Then Saul clothed David in his own tunic, put a bronze helmet on his head, and dressed him in armor. 39David strapped his sword over the tunic and tried to walk, but he was not used to all this armor.

“I cannot walk in these,” David said to Saul. “I am not used to them.” So David took them off. 40And David took his staff in his hand, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag. And with his sling in hand, he approached the Philistine.

41Now the Philistine came closer and closer to David, with his shield-bearer before him. 42When the Philistine looked and saw David, he despised him because he was just a boy, ruddy and handsome. 43“Am I a dog,” he said to David, “that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44“Come here,” he called to David, “and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”

45But David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with a dagger, spear, and sword, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand. This day I will strike you down, cut off your head, and give the carcasses of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the creatures of the earth. Then the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47And all those assembled here will know that it is not by sword or by spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and He will give all of you into our hands.”

48As the Philistine started forward to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49Then David reached into his bag, took out a stone and slung it, striking the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

50Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 51David ran and stood over him. He grabbed the Philistine’s sword and pulled it from its sheath. And having killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 52Then the men of Israel and Judah charged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gathg and to the gates of Ekron. The bodies of the Philistines were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron.

53When the Israelites returned from their pursuit of the Philistines, they plundered their camps. 54David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put Goliath’s weapons in his own tent.

55As Saul had watched David going out to confront the Philistine, he said to Abner the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this young man?”

“As surely as you live, O king,” Abner replied, “I do not know.”

56“Find out whose son this young man is!” said the king.

57So when David returned from killing the Philistine, still holding his head in his hand, Abner took him and brought him before Saul.

58“Whose son are you, young man?” asked Saul.

“I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem,” David replied.

Footnotes:

4 a Hebrew; that is, about 9 feet 9 inches or 3 meters. LXX, DSS, and Josephus four cubits and a span
5 b That is, about 125 pounds or 56.7 kilograms
7 c That is, about 15 pounds or 6.8 kilograms
12 d LXX, Syriac; Hebrew advanced among men
17 e That is, about 23 quarts or 22 liters (probably about 36 pounds or 16 kilograms of roasted grain)
18 f Or some token from them, or some pledge from them, or a confirmation from them
52 g LXX; Hebrew of Gai, that is, of the valley

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