Your servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The lion and the bear.—The lion and the bear were, in the days of Saul, common in Palestine; the country then was densely wooded. In some of the wilder districts bears are still numerous.
Shall be as one of them.—“He, the idolator, must know that he has not to do with mere men, but with God: with a living God will he have to do, and not with a lifeless idol.”—Berleburger Bible.1 Samuel 17:36-37. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear, &c. — There is a remarkable, and never to be sufficiently admired modesty in this relation of David, which he concludes by attributing all he had done to the goodness and power of God. And he takes encouragement from the experience which he had already had of these divine attributes being exerted on his behalf on a less important occasion, to believe that they would be exerted on this occasion also, which was much more important, as peculiarly involving the glory of God and the best interests of his people, which had not been the case in the former instances. This uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them — Goliath debased himself below a brute by his blasphemy, and therefore he now carried no more terror with him to David than a lion or a bear. Seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God — Here we see the foundation of David’s confidence of success. The Philistine had defied the living God in defying his armies, and had openly avowed himself his enemy. And David therefore comes forward, as his friend, to espouse his cause. It is as if he had said, The lion and the bear were only enemies to me and to my sheep, and it was only in defence of them that I attacked these brute beasts; but this Philistine is an enemy to God and his people, and it is for their honour that I attack him.Slew both the lion and the bear: this he is probably thought to have done after he was anointed; when he was endowed with singular gifts of God’s Spirit; and, among others, with extraordinary courage of heart and strength of body.
And this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them; as he was like them in nature, savage, cruel and unclean, so he would be in his end, killed as they; of this David was fully persuaded and assured in mind having an impulse from the Spirit of God, by which he was certified of it:
seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God; so that as he justly deserved to die, he made no doubt of it it would be his case.Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)36. seeing he hath defied, &c.] “The trusting heart of God’s servant could see no ground for fearing one who came forth to defy Jehovah.” Wilberforce’s Heroes, p. 242.
The Sept. reads: “Shall I not go and smite him, and take away the reproach from Israel this day? for who is this uncircumcised, who hath reproached the army of the living God?”
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