T³ U 17:1–18:9. War with Philistines. V 18:10,11. Evil spirit incites Saul against David. W 18:12–19:7. Saul's hostility to David. U 19:8. War with Philistines. V 19:9–20:1-. Evil spirit incites Saul against David. W 20:-1–27:4. Saul's hostility to David.
U X 17:1-54. Battle with Philistines. Y 17:55–18:5. Favor of Saul to David. X 18:6,7. Battle won. Praise for victory. Y 18:8,9. Disfavor of Saul to David.
X q 1-3. The two armies. Arrayed. r 4-40-. Defiance of Goliath. r -40-51-. Combat with Goliath. q -51-54. The two armies. Flight and pursuit.
1 Samuel 17)
1: Now (ch. 17 reads on chronologically from 16:13 [see note on 16:14]. An author's right is claimed for placing the later episode here [16:14,23], in order to connect and contrast the two spirits with Saul and David. The canonical order alternates David's call and Saul's. See notes on 16:14; 18:12.)
The chronological order is clear on the face of the text for all who will see it.
16:1-13. David's call by Yahaveh. 17:1-18:4. David's exploits. 16:14-23. David's call by Saul. 18:5-30. David's exploits.
2: And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched in the valley of Elah (= oak. About 16 miles S.E. of Jerusalem), and set the battle in array against the Philistines.
3: And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.
r Z s 4-7. Goliath's armor. t 8-10. Goliath's challenge. u 11. Israel's fear. A 12-31. David's mission. Z u 32-. Saul's encouragement. t -32-37. Goliath's challenge accepted. s 38-40-. David's armor.
4: And there went out a champion (Heb. ’ish-habbênayim = "the man between the two hosts", or, the duelist. This accords with the subscription of Psalm 8 [see note there]. Mûth-labbên = the death of the man between; i. e. the death of the champion [Goliath] which Ps. 8 celebrates. Ps. 144, which has the same words, "What is man", has for its title in Sept. "A Psalm of David concerning Goliath" [cp. Ps. 8:4 with 144:3. See v.3) out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath (= splendid. A type of Anti-Christ. Compare with Satan), of Gath (= wine-press), whose height was six cubits and a span (note this number "6" stamped like a "hallmark" on this "man" [as on Nebchadnezzar, Dan. 3]. Cp. 6 pieces of armour, vv.5-7. He was aprox. 10' 3" tall).
5: And he had an helmet of brass upon his head (approx. 15#), and he was armed with a coat of mail (approx. 100#); and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
6: And he had greave of brass upon his legs approx. 30#, and a target (= a small Shield) of brass between his shoulders.
7: And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam (approx. 26'); and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him (a shield of the largest size, covering the whole body. He was wearing about 273 lbs. of armor).
8: And he stood and cried to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why are you all come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and you all servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.
9: If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall you all be our servants, and serve us.”
10: And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.”
11: When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and feared exceedingly (cp. v.24).
A B 12. House of Jesse. C v 13-15. The army. w 16. Goliath's challenge. B 17-22. Message of Jesse. C w 23,24. Goliath's challenge. v 25-31. The army.
12: Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Beth-lehem-judah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons (David was now between 16 and 17 years old. See 16:5): and the man went among men was old in the days of Saul.
v x 13. The eldest three. y 14-. David. x -14. The eldest three. y 15. David.
13: And the three eldest sons of Jesse went and followed Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons that went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.
14: And David he was the youngest:
and the three eldest followed Saul.
15: But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem (that was his responsibility).
16: And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days (the number of probation).
B z¹ 17,18. Command. z² 19-22. Obedience.
17: And Jesse said to David his son, “Take now for your brethren an ephah (aprox. 3 pecks) of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to your brethren;
18: And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and look how your brethren fare, and take their pledge” (i.e. a token from them of their welfare = a message or letter, or a lock of hair. Cp. Gen. 37:13,14,32,33. This was for David to get in good with the head man).
19: Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines (in reality, there was no much fighting going on, just a lot of talking).
20: And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, according as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the place of battle, and shouted for the battle.
21: For Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array, army against army (they were getting all worked up but there was no fight).
22: And David left his baggage (i.e. goods carried) in the hand of the keeper of the baggage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.
23: And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke according to the same words: and David heard them.
24: And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and feared exceedingly (cp. v.11).
v a 25. The king's reward. b d 26. David. Inquiry. e 27. People. Answer. c 28. Eliab's reproof of David. c 29. David's reply to Eliab. b d 30-. David. Inquiry. e -30. People. Answer. a 31. The king's mission.
25: And the men of Israel said, “Have you all seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who kills him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel.”
26: And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying, “What shall be done to the man that kills this Philistine (he wants to make sure he heard them right. Finally a man [David] arrives on the scene), and takes away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should reproach the armies of the living God?” ("Living", always in contrast with idols. When God is with you, you do not fear anyone!)
27: And the people answered him after this manner, saying, “So shall it be done to the man that kills him.”
28: And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why do you come down to this place? and with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride, and the naughtiness of your heart; for you are come down that you might see the battle.”
29: And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? (i.e. Why hasn't someone done something about this?)
30: And he turned from him toward another, and spoke after the same word: (he's kind of putting them down)
and the people answered him again after the former manner.
31: And when the words were heard which David spoke, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him.
32: And David said to Saul, “Let no man's heart fail (the Sept. reads "Let not the heart of my lord fail") because of him;
your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
33: And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for you are but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”
34: And David said to Saul, “Your servant was keeping my father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock (see Rev. 13:2):
35: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his mane (or throat), and smote him, and slew him.
36: Your servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them (the Sept. adds "them" and reads "shall I not go and smite him, and turn aside reproach today from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he has", &c), seeing he has reproached the armies of the living God” (both these words in plural in Heb.).
37: David said moreover, “The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand (Fig., put for power put forth by it) of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
38: And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.
39: And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he tried to go (or, was content to start: assy = French essayer); for he had not proved it. And David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them.” And David put them off him. (he wasn't trained in this equipment)
40: And he took his staff in his hand (= club, one of the 3 equipments of the Eastern shepherd: crook for the sheep's help, club for sheep' defense, and the bag for himself), and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook (#5 = grace. See Rev. 2:17; 13:18. Our weapon is Christ - our Rock!), and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand:
r f -40-41. Approach. g 42-47. Colloquy. f 48. Approach. g 49-51-. Conflict.
and he drew near to the Philistine.
41: And the Philistine came on and drew near to David; and the man that bare the shield went before him.
g h¹ 42-44. Goliath. h² 45-47. David.
42: And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy (cp. cp. 16:12,13), and of a fair countenance.
43: And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog (Goliath hated this. No stronger term of contempt. 2 Kings 8:13. Matt. 15:26), that you come to me with staves?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods (i.e. Goliath's gods, Dagon, Baal, &c.).
44: And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the earth.” (or, "I'll tear you up boy")
45: Then said David to the Philistine (part of the key of David. VV. 45-46 are the words "from the mouth of babes” [= youth, or young man/woman]. Matt. 21:16. Ps. 8:2), “You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts (= Yahaveh Sabaioth), the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
46: This day will the Lord deliver you into my hand (Heb. cagar = shut you up); and I will smite you, and take your head from you; and I will give (Sept reads "give your limbs and the carcasses) the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day to the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that Israel has a God.
47: And all this assembled host (cp. Num.22:4, "company") shall know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands.” (To be afraid is a waste of time. A coward dies a thousand deaths, but a hero dies but once)
48: And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew near to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
49: And David put his hand in his bag, and took from that place a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. (The deadly wound to the beast)
50: So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
51: Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof (showing that Goliath had not deigned to do so), and slew him, and cut off his head therewith.
And when the Philistines saw their mighty man was dead, they fled.
52: And the men of Israel and of Judah arose (both houses), and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until you come to the valley (Sept. read "entrance into Gath"), and to the gates of Ekron. And the stricken (or slain) of the Philistines fell down by the way to both gates (this is the proper "Translation", not "transliteration" as "Shaaraim" is), even to Gath, and to Ekron.
53: And the sons of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their camps.
54: And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem (Jerusalm [west of Moriah] had been taken by Judah, who dwelt there. The Jebusites were still holding Jebus, or Zion, the mount immediately south of Moriah. Cp. Josh. 15:63. Judg. 1:7,8. Zion was taken by David. See 2 Sam.5:7); but he put his armour in his tent (this sword will show up later).
55: And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of the host, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” (though Saul had just had an interview with David, he did not know his father, whom he had promised [v.25] to make free in Israel. Note in these passages [vv.55,56,58] Saul's inquiry is not about David, but about David's Father) And Abner said, “As your soul (= yourself [emph.]) lives, O king, I cannot tell.”
56: And the king said, “Inquire you whose son the stripling is.” (see 16:14)
57: And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.
58: And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, you young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”