1 Samuel 17:43
And the Philistine said to David, Am I a dog, that you come to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
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(43) Am I a dog?—The Philistine warrior—as the shepherd boy, all unarmed, drew near—rose apparently, for he was seated, as was often the custom with these heavily-clad warriors of antiquity when not actually engaged in combat, and coming towards David, taunted him and his cause with the most contemptuous expressions. “Am I a dog,” he asked—and dogs are animals held in many parts of the East in great contempt—“that you come against me with sticks and staves?” The LXX. missed the force of this plural “of contempt,” and altering the text, translates “with staff and with stones.”

By his gods.—This should be rendered by his God. No doubt the idolator here made use of the sacred Name, so dear to every believing Israelite, thus defying the Eternal of Hosts.

17:40-47 The security and presumption of fools destroy them. Nothing can excel the humility, faith, and piety which appear in David's words. He expressed his assured expectation of success; he gloried in his mean appearance and arms, that the victory might be ascribed to the Lord alone.His beard - Put here for his throat, or under jaw; neither lion nor bear has a beard properly speaking. 42-47. the Philistine said … said David to the Philistine—When the two champions met, they generally made each of them a speech, and sometimes recited some verses, filled with allusions and epithets of the most opprobrious kind, hurling contempt and defiance at one another. This kind of abusive dialogue is common among the Arab combatants still. David's speech, however, presents a striking contrast to the usual strain of these invectives. It was full of pious trust, and to God he ascribed all the glory of the triumph he anticipated. With staves, i.e. with a staff; the plural number for the singular; as Genesis 21:7 46:7.

The Philistine cursed David; he prayed that his god Dagon, and Ashtaroth, &c., would destroy him. And the Philistine said unto David, am I a dog?.... Truly David did not think him much better, because of his impudence, impurity, and barking blasphemy against God, and the armies of Israel; the Targum is,"am I a despised dog?''

verily he was by David:

that thou comest to me with staves? or with a staff, the plural for the singular, to beat him with it as a dog is beaten, and as David used to beat his dog with, while keeping his father's sheep, when the dog he had with him did not do his business as he should; he says nothing of his sling and stones, they being out of sight:

and the Philistine cursed David by his gods: by Dagon and others; he made an imprecation by them, and wished the greatest evils might befall him from them; he devoted him to them, and doubted not to make a sacrifice of him.

And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine {o} cursed David by his gods.

(o) He swore by his gods that he would destroy him.

43. Am I a dog] The Sept. (B) reads: “Am I a dog that thou comest to me with a staff and stones? And David said, Nay but worse than a dog.”"Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear; and the Philistine, this uncircumcised one, shall become like one of them (i.e., the same thing shall happen to him as to the lion and the bear), because he has defied the ranks of the living God." "And," he continued (1 Samuel 17:37), "the Lord who delivered me out of the hand (the power) of the lion and the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine." David's courage rested, therefore, upon his confident belief that the living God would not let His people be defied by the heathen with impunity. Saul then desired for him the help of the Lord in carrying out his resolution, and bade him put on his own armour-clothes, and bird on his armour. מדּיו (his clothes) signifies probably a peculiar kind of clothes which were worn under the armour, a kind of armour-coat to which the sword was fastened.
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