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1 Samuel 17 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

David versus Goliath

17 The Philistines gathered their forces for war at Socoh in Judah and camped between Socoh and Azekah in Ephes-dammim. Saul and the men of Israel gathered and camped in the Valley of Elah; then they lined up in battle formation to face the Philistines.

The Philistines were standing on one hill, and the Israelites were standing on another hill with a ravine between them. Then a champion named Goliath, from Gath, came out from the Philistine camp. He was nine feet, nine inches tall[a][b] and wore a bronze helmet[c] and bronze scale armor that weighed 125 pounds.[d] There was bronze armor on his shins, and a bronze sword was slung between his shoulders. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s beam, and the iron point of his spear weighed 15 pounds.[e] In addition, a shield-bearer was walking in front of him.

He stood and shouted to the Israelite battle formations: “Why do you come out to line up in battle formation?” He asked them, “Am I not a Philistine and are you not servants of Saul? Choose one of your men and have him come down against me. If he wins in a fight against me and kills me, we will be your servants. But if I win against him and kill him, then you will be our servants and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel today. Send me a man so we can fight each other!” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words from the Philistine, they lost their courage and were terrified.

12 Now David was the son of the Ephrathite from Bethlehem of Judah named Jesse. Jesse had eight sons and during Saul’s reign was already an old man. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war, and their names were Eliab, the firstborn, Abinadab, the next, and Shammah, the third, 14 and David was the youngest. The three oldest had followed Saul, 15 but David kept going back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s flock in Bethlehem.

16 Every morning and evening for 40 days the Philistine came forward and took his stand. 17 One day Jesse had told his son David: “Take this half-bushel[f] of roasted grain along with these 10 loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18 Also take these 10 portions of cheese to the field commander.[g] Check on the welfare of your brothers and bring a confirmation from them. 19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah fighting with the Philistines.”

20 So David got up early in the morning, left the flock with someone to keep it, loaded up, and set out as Jesse had instructed him.

He arrived at the perimeter of the camp as the army was marching out to its battle formation shouting their battle cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines lined up in battle formation facing each other. 22 David left his supplies in the care of the quartermaster and ran to the battle line. When he arrived, he asked his brothers how they were. 23 While he was speaking with them, suddenly the champion named Goliath, the Philistine from Gath, came forward from the Philistine battle line and shouted his usual words, which David heard. 24 When all the Israelite men saw Goliath, they retreated from him terrified.

25 Previously, an Israelite man had declared: “Do you see this man who keeps coming out? He comes to defy Israel. The king will make the man who kills him very rich and will give him his daughter. The king will also make the household of that man’s father exempt from paying taxes in Israel.”

26 David spoke to the men who were standing with him: “What will be done for the man who kills that Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Just who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

27 The people told him about the offer, concluding, “That is what will be done for the man who kills him.”

28 David’s oldest brother Eliab listened as he spoke to the men, and became angry with him. “Why did you come down here?” he asked. “Who did you leave those few sheep with in the wilderness? I know your arrogance and your evil heart—you came down to see the battle!”

29 “What have I done now?” protested David. “It was just a question.” 30 Then he turned from those beside him to others in front of him and asked about the offer. The people gave him the same answer as before.

31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, so he had David brought to him. 32 David said to Saul, “Don’t let anyone be discouraged by[h] him; your servant will go and fight this Philistine!”

33 But Saul replied, “You can’t go fight this Philistine. You’re just a youth, and he’s been a warrior since he was young.”

34 David answered Saul: “Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it down, and rescued the lamb from its mouth. If it reared up against me, I would grab it by its fur,[i] strike it down, and kill it. 36 Your servant has killed lions and bears; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Then David said, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you.”

38 Then Saul had his own military clothes put on David. He put a bronze helmet on David’s head and had him put on armor. 39 David strapped his sword on over the military clothes and tried to walk, but he was not used to them. “I can’t walk in these,” David said to Saul, “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off. 40 Instead, he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the wadi and put them in the pouch, in his shepherd’s bag. Then, with his sling in his hand, he approached the Philistine.

41 The Philistine came closer and closer to David, with the shield-bearer in front of him. 42 When the Philistine looked and saw David, he despised him because he was just a youth, healthy[j] and handsome. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog that you come against me with sticks?”[k] Then he cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” the Philistine called to David, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts!”

45 David said to the Philistine: “You come against me with a dagger, spear, and sword, but I come against you in the name of Yahweh of Hosts, the God of Israel’s armies—you have defied Him. 46 Today, the Lord will hand you over to me. Today, I’ll strike you down, cut your head off, and give the corpses[l] of the Philistine camp to the birds of the sky and the creatures of the earth. Then all the world will know that Israel has a God, 47 and this whole assembly will know that it is not by sword or by spear that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord’s. He will hand you over to us.”

48 When the Philistine started forward to attack him, David ran quickly to the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 David put his hand in the bag, took out a stone, slung it, and hit the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. 50 David defeated the Philistine with a sling and a stone. Even though David had no sword, he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 51 David ran and stood over him. He grabbed the Philistine’s sword, pulled it from its sheath, and used it to kill him. Then he cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they ran. 52 The men of Israel and Judah rallied, shouting their battle cry, and chased the Philistines to the entrance of the valley and to the gates of Ekron.[m] Philistine bodies were strewn all along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron.

53 When the Israelites returned from the pursuit of the Philistines, they plundered their camps. 54 David took Goliath’s[n] head and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put Goliath’s weapons in his own tent.

55 [o] When Saul had seen David going out to confront the Philistine, he asked Abner the commander of the army, “Whose son is this youth, Abner?”

“My king, as surely as you live, I don’t know,” Abner replied.

56 The king said, “Find out whose son this young man is!”

57 When David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the Philistine’s head still in his hand. 58 Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?”

“The son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem,” David answered.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 17:4 DSS, LXX read four cubits and a span
  2. 1 Samuel 17:4 Lit was six cubits and a span
  3. 1 Samuel 17:5 Lit helmet on his head
  4. 1 Samuel 17:5 Lit 5,000 shekels
  5. 1 Samuel 17:7 Lit 600 shekels
  6. 1 Samuel 17:17 Lit this ephah
  7. 1 Samuel 17:18 Lit the leader of 1,000
  8. 1 Samuel 17:32 Lit let a man’s heart fall over
  9. 1 Samuel 17:35 LXX reads throat; lit beard
  10. 1 Samuel 17:42 Or ruddy
  11. 1 Samuel 17:43 Some LXX mss add and stones?” And David said, “No! Worse than a dog!”
  12. 1 Samuel 17:46 LXX reads give your limbs and the limbs
  13. 1 Samuel 17:52 LXX reads Ashkelon
  14. 1 Samuel 17:54 Lit the Philistine’s
  15. 1 Samuel 17:55 LXX omits 1Sm 17:55–18:5

1 Samuel 17 New International Version (NIV)

David and Goliath

17 Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh and Azekah. Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.[a] He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels[b]; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.[c] His shield bearer went ahead of him.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other. 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul’s time he was very old. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.

16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.

17 Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah[d] of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18 Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance[e] from them. 19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.”

20 Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.

25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.”

26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”

28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.

32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath[f] and to the gates of Ekron. Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. 53 When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp.

54 David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem; he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent.

55 As Saul watched David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is that young man?”

Abner replied, “As surely as you live, Your Majesty, I don’t know.”

56 The king said, “Find out whose son this young man is.”

57 As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine’s head.

58 “Whose son are you, young man?” Saul asked him.

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

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 17:4 That is, about 9 feet 9 inches or about 3 meters
  2. 1 Samuel 17:5 That is, about 125 pounds or about 58 kilograms
  3. 1 Samuel 17:7 That is, about 15 pounds or about 6.9 kilograms
  4. 1 Samuel 17:17 That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms
  5. 1 Samuel 17:18 Or some token; or some pledge of spoils
  6. 1 Samuel 17:52 Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew of a valley
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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