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1 Samuel - Chapter 17

1 The Philistines mustered their troops for war; they assembled at Socoh in Judah and pitched camp between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-Dammim.

2 Saul and the Israelites also mustered, pitching camp in the Valley of the Terebinth, and drew up their battle-line opposite the Philistines.

3 The Philistines occupied the high ground on one side and the Israelites occupied the high ground on the other side, with the valley between them.

4 A champion stepped out from the Philistine ranks; his name was Goliath, from Gath; he was six cubits and one span tall.

5 On his head was a bronze helmet and he wore a breastplate of scale-armour; the breastplate weighed five thousand shekels of bronze.

6 He had bronze greaves on his legs and a bronze scimitar slung across his shoulders.

7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and the head of his spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron. A shield-bearer walked in front of him.

8 Taking position in front of the Israelite lines, he shouted, 'Why have you come out to range yourselves for battle? Am I not a Philistine and are you not Saul's lackeys? Choose a man and let him come down to me.

9 If he can fight it out with me and kill me, we will be your servants; but if I can beat him and kill him, you become our servants and serve us.'

10 The Philistine then said, 'I challenge the ranks of Israel today. Give me a man and we will fight it out!'

11 When Saul and all Israel heard what the Philistine said, they were dismayed and terrified.

12 David was the son of an Ephrathite from Bethlehem of Judah whose name was Jesse; Jesse had eight sons and, by Saul's time, he was old and well on in years.

13 Jesse's eldest three sons followed Saul to the war. The names of the three sons who went to the war were: the eldest Eliab, the second Abinadab and the third Shammah.

14 David was the youngest; the eldest three followed Saul.

15 David alternated between serving Saul and looking after his father's sheep at Bethlehem.

16 Morning and evening, the Philistine advanced, presenting himself thus for forty days.

17 Jesse said to his son David, 'Take your brothers this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves, and hurry to the camp, to your brothers.

18 And take these ten cheeses to their commanding officer; find out how your brothers are and bring some token back from them;

19 they are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of the Terebinth, fighting the Philistines.'

20 David got up early in the morning and, leaving the sheep with someone to guard them, took up his load and went off as Jesse had ordered; he reached the encampment just as the troops were leaving to take up battle stations and shouting the war cry.

21 Israel and the Philistines drew up their lines facing one another.

22 David left his bundle in charge of the baggage guard and, running to the battle-line, went and asked his brothers how they were.

23 While he was talking to them, the champion (Goliath, the Philistine from Gath) came up from the Philistine ranks and made his usual speech, which David heard.

24 As soon as the Israelites saw this man, they all ran away from him and were terrified.

25 The Israelites said, 'You saw that man who just came up? He comes to challenge Israel. The king will lavish riches on the man who kills him, he will give him his daughter in marriage and exempt his father's family from all taxes in Israel.'

26 David asked the men who were standing near him, 'What would be the reward for killing this Philistine and saving Israel from disgrace? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, to challenge the armies of the living God?'

27 The people told him what they had been saying, 'That would be the reward for killing him,' they said.

28 His eldest brother Eliab heard David talking to the men and grew angry with him. 'Why have you come down here?' he said. 'Whom have you left in charge of those few sheep in the desert? I know how impudent and artful you are; you have come to watch the battle!'

29 David retorted, 'What have I done? May I not even speak?'

30 And he turned away from him to someone else and asked the same question, to which the people replied as before.

31 David's words were noted, however, and reported to Saul, who sent for him.

32 David said to Saul, 'Let no one be discouraged on his account; your servant will go and fight this Philistine.'

33 Saul said to David, 'You cannot go and fight the Philistine; you are only a boy and he has been a warrior since his youth.'

34 David said to Saul, 'Your servant used to look after the sheep for his father and whenever a lion or a bear came and took a sheep from the flock,

35 I used to follow it up, lay into it and snatch the sheep out of its jaws. If it turned on me, I would seize it by the beard and batter it to death.

36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear, and this uncircumcised Philistine will end up like one of them for having challenged the armies of the living God.'

37 'Yahweh,' David went on, 'who delivered me from the claws of lion and bear, will deliver me from the clutches of this Philistine.' Then Saul said to David, 'Go, and Yahweh be with you!'

38 Saul dressed David in his own armour; he put a bronze helmet on his head, dressed him in a breastplate

39 and buckled his own sword over David's armour. David tried to walk but, not being used to them, said to Saul, 'I cannot walk in these; I am not used to them.' So they took them off again.

40 He took his stick in his hand, selected five smooth stones from the river bed and put them in his shepherd's bag, in his pouch; then, sling in hand, he walked towards the Philistine.

41 The Philistine, preceded by his shield-bearer, came nearer and nearer to David.

42 When the Philistine looked David up and down, what he saw filled him with scorn, because David was only a lad, with ruddy cheeks and an attractive appearance.

43 The Philistine said to David, 'Am I a dog for you to come after me with sticks?' And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

44 The Philistine said to David, 'Come over here and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the wild beasts!'

45 David retorted to the Philistine, 'You come to me with sword, spear and scimitar, but I come to you in the name of Yahweh Sabaoth, God of the armies of Israel, whom you have challenged.

46 Today, Yahweh will deliver you into my hand; I shall kill you, I shall cut off your head; today, I shall give your corpse and the corpses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the wild beasts, so that the whole world may know that there is a God in Israel,

47 and this whole assembly know that Yahweh does not give victory by means of sword and spear -- for Yahweh is lord of the battle and he will deliver you into our power.'

48 No sooner had the Philistine started forward to confront David than David darted out of the lines and ran to meet the Philistine.

49 Putting his hand in his bag, he took out a stone, slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead; the stone penetrated his forehead and he fell face downwards on the ground.

50 Thus David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; he hit the Philistine and killed him, though he had no sword in his hand.

51 David ran and stood over the Philistine, seized his sword, pulled it from the scabbard, despatched him and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.

52 The men of Israel and of Judah started forward, shouting their war cry, and pursued the Philistines as far as the approaches of Gath and the gates of Ekron. The Philistine dead lay all along the road from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron.

53 Turning back from their ferocious pursuit of the Philistines, the Israelites plundered their camp.

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

55 When Saul saw David going to engage the Philistine he said to Abner, the army commander, 'Abner, whose son is that boy?' 'On your life, O king,' Abner replied, 'I do not know.'

56 The king said, 'Find out whose son the lad is.'

57 When David came back after killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the Philistine's head in his hand.

58 Saul asked him, 'Whose son are you, young man?' David replied, 'The son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.'

Book of 1 Samuel Chapters

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