1 Samuel 17:26
And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) And David spake . . .—Very vividly does the historian here depict the scene that morning in the “front:” the dismayed soldiers of King Saul watching and listening to the boastful, impious words, as the giant champion shouted them across the narrow ravine which parted the outposts of the two armies; the enthusiastic shepherd boy, glowing with religious fervour, going from group to group of the advanced guard in the front, as they stood gloomily leaning on their spears, asking questions, and gleaning all the information possible about this insulter of his God.

17:12-30 Jesse little thought of sending his son to the army at that critical juncture; but the wise God orders actions and affairs, so as to serve his designs. In times of general formality and lukewarmness, every degree of zeal which implies readiness to go further, or to venture more in the cause of God than others, will be blamed as pride and ambition, and by none more than by near relations, like Eliab, or negligent superiors. It was a trial of David's meekness, patience, and constancy. He had right and reason on his side, and did not render railing for railing; with a soft answer he turned away his brother's wrath. This conquest of his own passion was more honourable than that of Goliath. Those who undertake great and public services, must not think it strange if they are spoken ill of, and opposed by those from whom they expect support and assistance. They must humbly go on with their work, in the face not only of enemies' threats, but of friends' slights and suspicions.The living God - This fine expression occurs first in Deuteronomy (marginal reference), and next in Joshua 3:10, and 2 Kings 19:4. We find it twice in the Psalms of David Psalm 42:2; Psalm 84:2, four times in the prophets, and frequently in the New Testament. It is generally in contrast to false gods (1 Thessalonians 1:9, etc.). 25. make his father's house free in Israel—His family should be exempted from the impositions and services to which the general body of the Israelites were subjected. Why should you all be thus dismayed at him? he is but a man, and that of an accursed race, a stranger and enemy to God, and no way able to stand before them who have the living and almighty God for their strength and refuge.

And David spake to the men that stood by him,.... Who were next to him, looking upon the Philistine, and hearing what he said:

saying, what shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine,

and taketh away the reproach from Israel? which he asked not for the sake of the reward, but to observe the necessity there was of some man's engaging with him, and killing him, or otherwise it would be a reproach to Israel, and to signify that he had an inclination to attempt it:

for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? there were two things which provoked David, and raised indignation in him against this man; the one was, the character of the person that reproached, a Philistine, an uncircumcised person, a profane man, that had no true religion in him, an alien from the commonwealth of Israel, and a stranger to the covenants of promise; and the other was the persons whom he reproached, the armies of the living God, of the King of kings, and Lord of lords; and which in effect was reproaching the Lord himself, and which David, filled with zeal for God, and for his people, could not bear; and the consideration of these things animated him to engage with him, not doubting of success.

And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the {h} reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

(h) This dishonour that he does to Israel.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. the living God] Jehovah as the one “living and true God” is contrasted with the idols of the heathen “which have no breath in their mouths.” Cp. Deuteronomy 5:26, and esp. 2 Kings 19:4.

1 Samuel 17:26When David heard these words, he made more minute inquiries from the bystanders about the whole matter, and dropped some words which gave rise to the supposition that he wanted to go and fight with this Philistine himself. This is implied in the words, "For who is the Philistine, this uncircumcised one (i.e., standing as he does outside the covenant with Jehovah), that he insults the ranks of the living God!" whom he has defied in His army. "He must know," says the Berleburger Bible, "that he has not to do with men, but with God. With a living God he will have to do, and not with an idol."
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