1 Samuel 17
GOD'S WORD® Translation

1The Philistines assembled their armies for war. They assembled at Socoh, which is in Judah, and camped between Socoh and Azekah at Ephes Dammim. 2So Saul and the army of Israel assembled and camped in the Elah Valley. They formed a battle line to fight the Philistines. 3The Philistines were stationed on a hill on one side, and the Israelites were stationed on a hill on the other side. There was a ravine between the two of them. 4The Philistine army's champion came out of their camp. His name was Goliath from Gath. He was ten feet tall. 5He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he wore a bronze coat of armor scales weighing 125 pounds. 6On his legs he had bronze shin guards and on his back a bronze javelin. 7The shaft of his spear was like the beam used by weavers. The head of his spear was made of 15 pounds of iron. The man who carried his shield walked ahead of him. 8Goliath stood and called to the Israelites, "Why do you form a battle line? Am I not a Philistine, and aren't you Saul's servants? Choose a man, and let him come down to [fight] me. 9If he can fight me and kill me, then we will be your slaves. But if I overpower him and kill him, then you will be our slaves and serve us." 10The Philistine added, "I challenge the Israelite battle line today. Send out a man so that we can fight each other." 11When Saul and all the Israelites heard what this Philistine said, they were gripped with fear.

12David was a son of a man named Jesse from the region of Ephrath and the city of Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul's day he was an old man. 13Jesse's three oldest sons joined Saul's army for the battle. The firstborn was Eliab, the second was Abinadab, the third was Shammah, 14and David was the youngest. The three oldest joined Saul's army. 15David went back and forth from Saul's camp to Bethlehem, where he tended his father's flock. 16Each morning and evening for 40 days, the Philistine came forward and made his challenge.

17Jesse told his son David, "Take this half-bushel of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread to your brothers. Take them to your brothers in the camp right away. 18And take these ten cheeses to the captain of the regiment. See how your brothers are doing, and bring back some news about them. 19They, along with Saul and all the soldiers of Israel, are in the Elah Valley fighting the Philistines."

20David got up early in the morning and had someone else watch [the sheep]. He took [the food] and went, as Jesse ordered him. He went to the camp as the army was going out to the battle line shouting their war cry. 21Israel and the Philistines formed their battle lines facing each other. 22David left the supplies behind in the hands of the quartermaster, ran to the battle line, and greeted his brothers. 23While he was talking to them, the Philistine champion, Goliath from Gath, came from the battle lines of the Philistines. He repeated his words, and David heard them.

24When all the men of Israel saw Goliath, they fled from him because they were terrified. 25The men of Israel said, "Did you see that man coming [from the Philistine lines]? He keeps coming to challenge Israel. The king will make the man who kills this Philistine very rich. He will give his daughter to that man to marry and elevate the social status of his family."

26David asked the men who were standing near him, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and gets rid of Israel's disgrace? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should challenge the army of the living God?" 27The soldiers repeated [to David] how the man who kills Goliath would be treated.

28Eliab, David's oldest brother, heard David talking to the men. Then Eliab became angry with David. "Why did you come here," he asked him, "and with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how overconfident and headstrong you are. You came here just to see the battle." 29"What have I done now?" David snapped at him. "Didn't I [merely] ask a question?" 30He turned to face another man and asked the same question, and the other soldiers gave him the same answer.

31What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, who then sent for him. 32David told Saul, "No one should be discouraged because of this. I will go and fight this Philistine." 33Saul responded to David, "You can't fight this Philistine. You're just a boy, but he's been a warrior since he was your age." 34David replied to Saul, "I am a shepherd for my father's sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35I went after it, struck it, and rescued the sheep from its mouth. If it attacked me, I took hold of its mane, struck it, and killed it. 36I have killed lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them because he has challenged the army of the living God." 37David added, "The LORD, who saved me from the lion and the bear, will save me from this Philistine." "Go," Saul told David, "and may the LORD be with you." 38Saul put his battle tunic on David; he put a bronze helmet on David's head and dressed him in armor. 39David fastened Saul's sword over his clothes and tried to walk, but he had never practiced doing this. "I can't walk in these things," David told Saul. "I've never had any practice doing this." So David took all those things off. 40He took his stick with him, picked out five smooth stones from the riverbed, and put them in his shepherd's bag. With a sling in his hand, he approached the Philistine.

41The Philistine, preceded by the man carrying his shield, was coming closer and closer to David. 42When the Philistine got a good look at David, he despised him. After all, David was a young man with a healthy complexion and good looks. 43The Philistine asked David, "Am I a dog that you come to [attack] me with sticks?" So the Philistine called on his gods to curse David. 44"Come on," the Philistine told David, "and I'll give your body to the birds." 45David told the Philistine, "You come to me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Armies, the God of the army of Israel, whom you have insulted. 46Today the LORD will hand you over to me. I will strike you down and cut off your head. And this day I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals. The whole world will know that Israel has a God. 47Then everyone gathered here will know that the LORD can save without sword or spear, because the LORD determines every battle's outcome. He will hand all of you over to us."

48When the Philistine moved closer in order to attack, David quickly ran toward the opposing battle line to attack the Philistine. 49Then David reached into his bag, took out a stone, hurled it from his sling, and struck the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank into Goliath's forehead, and he fell to the ground on his face.

50So using [only] a sling and a stone, David proved to be stronger than the Philistine. David struck down and killed the Philistine, even though David didn't have a sword in his hand. 51David ran and stood over the Philistine. He took Goliath's sword, pulled it out of its sheath, and made certain the Philistine was dead by cutting off his head. When the Philistines saw their hero had been killed, they fled. 52Then the soldiers of Israel and Judah rose up, shouted a battle cry, and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and to the gates of Ekron. Wounded Philistines lay on the road to Shaaraim and all the way to Gath and Ekron. 53When the Israelites came back from their pursuit of the Philistines, they looted all the goods in the Philistine camp. 54David took the Philistine's head and brought it to Jerusalem, but he kept Goliath's armor in his tent.

55As Saul watched David going out against the Philistine, he asked Abner, the commander of the army, "Abner, whose son is this young man?" Abner answered, "I solemnly swear, as you live, Your Majesty, I don't know." 56The king said, "Find out whose son this young man is." 57When David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner brought him to Saul. David had the Philistine's head in his hand. 58Saul asked him, "Whose son are you, young man?" "The son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem," David answered.

GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.

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