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1 Samuel 17 Expanded Bible (EXB)

David and Goliath

17 The Philistines ·gathered [assembled; mustered] their armies for ·war [battle]. They ·met [gathered; assembled; mustered] at Socoh in Judah and camped at Ephes Dammim between Socoh and Azekah. Saul and the Israelites ·gathered [assembled; mustered] in the Valley of Elah and camped there and ·took their positions [drew up their battle line] to fight the Philistines. The Philistines ·controlled [occupied; stood on] one hill while the Israelites ·controlled [occupied; stood on] another. The valley was between them.

The Philistines had a champion fighter from Gath named Goliath. He was ·about nine feet, four inches tall [L six cubits and a span].[a] He came out of the Philistine camp with a bronze helmet on his head and a coat of bronze ·armor [mail; scale-armor] that weighed ·about one hundred twenty-five pounds [L five thousand shekels]. He wore bronze ·protectors [greaves] on his legs, and he had a bronze spear ·on his back [across his shoulders]. The wooden part of his larger spear was like a weaver’s ·rod [beam], and its ·blade [head] weighed ·about fifteen pounds [L six hundred shekels of iron]. The ·officer who carried his shield [shield bearer] walked in front of him.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ·Israelite soldiers [L ranks of Israel], “Why have you ·taken positions [lined up] for battle? ·I am [L Am I not…?] a Philistine, and you are Saul’s servants! Choose a man and send him to fight me. If he can fight and kill me, we will be your ·servants [slaves]. But if I can kill him, you will be our ·servants [slaves] [L and serve us].” 10 Then he said, “Today I stand and ·dare [defy; challenge] the ·army [ranks] of Israel! ·Send one of your men [L Give me a man] to fight me!” 11 When Saul and the Israelites heard the Philistine’s words, they were ·very scared [dismayed and terrified].

12 Now David was the son of Jesse, an Ephrathite from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons. In Saul’s time Jesse was an old man [16:1–13]. 13 His three oldest sons followed Saul to the war. The ·first [L firstborn] son was Eliab, the second was Abinadab, and the third was Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. Jesse’s three oldest sons ·followed [remained with] Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to Bethlehem, where he took care of his father’s sheep.

16 For forty days the Philistine came out every morning and evening and ·stood before the Israelite army [L took his stand].

17 Jesse said to his son David, “Take [L quickly] this ·half bushel [L epah] of ·cooked [roasted] grain and ten loaves of bread to your brothers in the camp. 18 Also take ten ·pieces [cuts] of cheese to the commander [L of thousands]. See how your brothers are and bring back some ·proof to show me that they are all right [news/token/assurance of them]. 19 They are with Saul and the Israelite army in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.”

20 Early in the morning David left the sheep with ·another shepherd [L a keeper]. He took the food and left as Jesse had ·told [directed; ordered] him. When David arrived at the camp, the army was going out to their battle positions, shouting their war cry. 21 The Israelites and Philistines were lining up their men ·to face each other in battle [army against army].

22 David left ·the food [his baggage/bundle/things] with the man who kept the supplies and ran to the battle line to ·talk to [greet; L inquire about the welfare of] his brothers. 23 While he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, came out [L from the Philistine ranks]. He shouted things against Israel as usual, and David heard him. 24 When the Israelites saw Goliath, they were very much afraid and ·ran away [fled].

25 They said, “·Look at [L Have you seen…?] this man! He keeps coming out to ·challenge [defy] Israel. The king will give ·much money [a great reward; great wealth] to whoever kills him. He will also let whoever kills him marry his daughter. And his father’s family will ·not have to pay taxes [be made free] in Israel.”

26 David asked the men who stood near him, “What will be done to reward the man who kills this Philistine and takes away ·the shame [this disgrace/reproach] from Israel? Who does this ·uncircumcised [pagan] Philistine think he is? Does he think he can ·speak against [taunt; defy; challenge] the armies of the living God?”

27 The Israelites told David what would be done for the man who would kill Goliath.

28 When David’s oldest brother Eliab heard David talking with the ·soldiers [men], ·he was angry with [L his anger burned against] David. He asked David, “Why did you come here? Who’s taking care of those few sheep of yours in the ·desert [wilderness]? I know you are ·proud [insolent; impudent] and ·wicked at heart [deceitful]. You came down here just to watch the battle.”

29 David asked, “Now what have I done wrong? Can’t I even ·talk [ask a question]?” 30 When he turned [away] to other people and asked the same questions, they gave him the same answer as before. 31 ·Yet [Then] what David said was told to Saul, and he sent for David.

32 David said to Saul, “Don’t let anyone ·be discouraged [lose heart because of him]. I, your servant, will go and fight this Philistine!”

33 Saul answered, “You can’t go out against this Philistine and fight him. You’re only a ·boy [youth]. Goliath has been a warrior since ·he was a young man [his youth].”

34 But David said to Saul, “I, your servant, have been keeping my father’s sheep. When a lion or bear came and ·took [carried off; stole] a ·sheep [lamb] from the flock, 35 I would chase it. I would ·attack [L strike] it and ·save [rescue] the sheep from its ·mouth [jaws]. ·When [If] it ·attacked [turned on] me, I caught it by its ·fur [or jaw] and hit [L struck] it and killed it. 36 I, your servant, have ·killed [L struck] both ·a [the] lion and ·a [the] bear! This ·uncircumcised [pagan] Philistine will be like them, because he has ·spoken against [taunted; defied; challenged] the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who ·saved [rescued; delivered] me from a lion and a bear will ·save [rescue; deliver] me from this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you.” 38 Saul put his own ·clothes [tunic] on David. He put a bronze helmet on his head and dressed him in ·armor [mail; a breastplate]. 39 David put on Saul’s sword [L over it] and tried to walk around, but he was not used to all the armor Saul had put on him.

He said to Saul, “I can’t go in this, because I’m not used to ·it [them].” Then David took it all off. 40 He took his ·stick [staff] in his hand and chose five smooth stones from a ·stream [wadi]. He put them in his shepherd’s bag and grabbed his sling. Then he ·went to meet [walked toward; approached] the Philistine.

41 At the same time, the Philistine was ·coming closer to [approaching] David. ·The man who held his shield [His shield bearer] walked in front of him. 42 When Goliath looked at David and saw that he was only a ·boy [youth], ·tanned [ruddy] and handsome, he looked down on David with ·disgust [contempt; scorn; disdain]. 43 The Philistine said to David, “·Do you think I am [Am I] a dog, that you come at me with a ·stick [staff]?” He used his gods’ names to curse David. 44 He said to David, “Come here. I’ll ·feed your body [L give your flesh] to the birds of the air and the wild animals [L of the field]!”

45 But David said to ·him [the Philistine], “You come to me using a sword ·and two spears [a spear and a javelin]. But I come to you in the name of the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; of hosts], the God of the armies of Israel! You have ·spoken against [taunted; defied; challenged] him. 46 Today the Lord will ·hand you over to me [deliver you into my hands], and I’ll ·kill you [L strike you down] and cut off your head. Today I’ll feed the bodies of the Philistine soldiers to the birds of the air and the wild animals. Then all the ·world [earth] will know there is a God in Israel! 47 Everyone ·gathered here [in this assembly/crowd] will know the Lord does not need swords or spears to ·save [rescue; deliver] people [Ps. 46:9]. The battle ·belongs to him [is the Lord’s], and he will ·hand you over to us [give you into our hands].”

48 As ·Goliath [L the Philistine] came ·near [closer] to attack him, David ran quickly [L toward the battle line] to meet him. 49 He took a stone from his bag, put it into his sling, and slung it. The stone hit the Philistine and went deep into his forehead, and Goliath fell facedown on the ground.

50 So David ·defeated [triumphed/prevailed over] the Philistine with only a sling and a stone. He hit him and killed him. He did not even have a sword in his hand. 51 Then David ran and stood ·beside [over] him. He took Goliath’s sword out of its ·holder [sheath] and killed him ·by cutting [or and then cut] off his head.

When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ·ran [fled]. 52 The men of Israel and Judah ·shouted [surged forward with a shout] and chased the Philistines all the way to the entrance of the city of Gath and to the gates of Ekron.

The Philistines’ bodies lay on the Shaaraim road as far as Gath and Ekron. 53 The ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] returned after chasing the Philistines and ·robbed [sacked; plundered] their camp. 54 David took Goliath’s head to Jerusalem and put Goliath’s weapons in his own tent.

55 When Saul saw David go out to ·meet [fight] Goliath, Saul asked Abner, commander of the army, “Abner, ·who is that young man’s father [whose son is that young boy]?”

Abner answered, “·As surely as you live [L By your life/soul], my king, I don’t know.”

56 The king said, “Find out whose son ·he [the lad/youth] is.”

57 When David came back from ·killing [striking] ·Goliath [the Philistine], Abner brought him to Saul. David was still holding ·Goliath’s [the Philistine’s] head.

58 Saul asked him, “Young man, ·who is your father [whose son are you]?”

David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”


  1. 1 Samuel 17:4 six cubits and a span Hebrew copies read “six cubits and a span.” Some Greek copies and one Dead Sea Scroll copy read “four cubits and a span” (about six feet, nine inches).
Expanded Bible (EXB)

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