1 Samuel 17

1 Samuel 17

 
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1 The Philistines now mustered their army for battle and camped between Socoh in Judah and Azekah at Ephes-dammim.

2 Saul countered by gathering his troops near the valley of Elah.

3 So the Philistines and Israelites faced each other on opposite hills, with the valley between them.

4 Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was a giant of a man, measuring over nine feet* tall!1

5 He wore a bronze helmet and a coat of mail that weighed 125 pounds.*2

6 He also wore bronze leggings, and he slung a bronze javelin over his back.

7 The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver's beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed fifteen pounds.* An armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a huge shield.3

8 Goliath stood and shouted across to the Israelites, "Do you need a whole army to settle this? Choose someone to fight for you, and I will represent the Philistines. We will settle this dispute in single combat!

9 If your man is able to kill me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves!

10 I defy the armies of Israel! Send me a man who will fight with me!"

11 When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.

12 Now David was the son of a man named Jesse, an Ephrathite from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. Jesse was an old man at that time, and he had eight sons in all.

13 Jesse's three oldest sons--Eliab, Abinadab, and Shammah--had already joined Saul's army to fight the Philistines.

14 David was the youngest of Jesse's sons. Since David's three oldest brothers were in the army, they stayed with Saul's forces all the time.

15 But David went back and forth between working for Saul and helping his father with the sheep in Bethlehem.

16 For forty days, twice a day, morning and evening, the Philistine giant strutted in front of the Israelite army.

17 One day Jesse said to David, "Take this half-bushel* of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread to your brothers.4

18 And give these ten cuts of cheese to their captain. See how your brothers are getting along, and bring me back a letter from them.*"5

19 David's brothers were with Saul and the Israelite army at the valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.

20 So David left the sheep with another shepherd and set out early the next morning with the gifts. He arrived at the outskirts of the camp just as the Israelite army was leaving for the battlefield with shouts and battle cries.

21 Soon the Israelite and Philistine forces stood facing each other, army against army.

22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies and hurried out to the ranks to greet his brothers.

23 As he was talking with them, he saw Goliath, the champion from Gath, come out from the Philistine ranks, shouting his challenge to the army of Israel.

24 As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright.

25 "Have you seen the giant?" the men were asking. "He comes out each day to challenge Israel. And have you heard about the huge reward the king has offered to anyone who kills him? The king will give him one of his daughters for a wife, and his whole family will be exempted from paying taxes!"

26 David talked to some others standing there to verify the report. "What will a man get for killing this Philistine and putting an end to his abuse of Israel?" he asked them. "Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?"

27 And David received the same reply as before: "What you have been hearing is true. That is the reward for killing the giant."

28 But when David's oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men, he was angry. "What are you doing around here anyway?" he demanded. "What about those few sheep you're supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and dishonesty. You just want to see the battle!"

29 "What have I done now?" David replied. "I was only asking a question!"

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Notes:

1: Hebrew 6 cubits and 1 span [which totals about 9.75 feet or 3 meters]; Greek version and Dead Sea Scrolls read 4 cubits and 1 span [which totals about 6.75 feet or 2 meters].

2: Hebrew 5,000 shekels [57 kilograms].

3: Hebrew 600 shekels [6.8 kilograms].

4: Hebrew ephah [18 liters].

5: Hebrew and take their pledge.


New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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