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1 Samuel 17:1-11 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 17

The Challenge of Goliath. The Philistines rallied their forces for battle at Socoh in Judah and camped between Socoh and Azekah at Ephes-dammim. Saul and the Israelites rallied and camped in the valley of the Elah, drawing up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines were stationed on one hill and the Israelites on an opposite hill, with a valley between them.

A champion named Goliath of Gath came out from the Philistine camp; he was six cubits and a span[a] tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a bronze breastplate of scale armor weighing five thousand shekels, bronze greaves, and had a bronze scimitar slung from his shoulders. The shaft of his javelin was like a weaver’s beam, and its iron head weighed six hundred shekels.[b] His shield-bearer went ahead of him. He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel: “Why come out in battle formation? I am a Philistine, and you are Saul’s servants. Choose one of your men, and have him come down to me. If he beats me in combat and kills me, we will be your vassals; but if I beat him and kill him, you shall be our vassals and serve us.” 10 The Philistine continued: “I defy the ranks of Israel today. Give me a man and let us fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard this challenge of the Philistine, they were stunned and terrified.

David Comes to the Camp.[c]


  1. 17:4 Six cubits and a span: about nine feet nine inches (a cubit equals about eighteen inches; a span equals about eight inches). The Greek text and 4QSama read: “four cubits and a span” (six feet nine inches). The description of the Philistine’s might and his powerful weapons contrasts with the picture of the youthful David who trusts in God.
  2. 17:7 Six hundred shekels: over fifteen pounds.
  3. 17:12–31 Here the final editor begins an alternative account of David’s encounter with the Philistine hero, which continues in vv. 50–51 and concludes in 17:55–18:5.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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