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Goliath Challenges Israel

17 Now (A)the Philistines gathered their camps for battle; and they were gathered at Socoh which belongs to Judah, and they camped between (B)Socoh and (C)Azekah, in (D)Ephes-dammim. But Saul and the men of Israel were gathered and camped in (E)the valley of Elah and arranged themselves for battle to meet the Philistines. Now the Philistines stood on the mountain on one side while Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with the valley between them. Then a champion came out from the camps of the Philistines named (F)Goliath, from (G)Gath, whose height was [a]six cubits and a [b]span. And he had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was clothed with scale-armor, and the weight of that scale-armor was five thousand [c]shekels of bronze. He also had bronze [d]greaves on his legs and a (H)bronze [e]javelin slung between his shoulders. (I)And the shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and the head of his spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron; (J)his shield-carrier also walked before him. And he stood and called out to the [f]battle lines of Israel and said to them, “Why do you come out to arrange yourselves for battle? Am I not the Philistine and you (K)slaves of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. (L)If he is able to fight with me and strike me down, then we will become your slaves; but if I prevail against him and strike him down, then you shall become our slaves and serve us.” 10 Again the Philistine said, “(M)I openly [g]reproach the battle lines of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

12 Now David was (N)the son of [h]the (O)Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, whose name was Jesse, and (P)he had eight sons. And [i]Jesse was old in the days of Saul, advanced in years among men. 13 And the three older sons of Jesse had gone. They had gone after Saul to the battle. And (Q)the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and the second to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14 (R)But David was the youngest. Now the three oldest had gone after Saul, 15 (S)but David went back and forth from Saul (T)to shepherd his father’s flock at Bethlehem.

16 Then the Philistine approached, morning and evening, for forty days and took his stand.

17 Then Jesse said to David his son, “(U)Take now for your brothers an ephah of this roasted grain and these ten loaves and run to the camp to your brothers. 18 (V)You shall also bring these ten cuts of cheese to the commander of their thousand, (W)and look into the welfare of your brothers, and bring back [j]a token from them. 19 And Saul and they and all the men of Israel are in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.”

20 So David arose early in the morning and left the flock with a keeper and carried the supplies and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the (X)circle of the camp while the military force was going out in battle lines shouting the war cry. 21 And Israel and the Philistines arranged themselves in battle lines, battle line [k]against battle line. 22 Then David left his (Y)baggage in the [l]care of the baggage keeper and ran to the battle line and entered in order to greet his brothers. 23 As he was speaking with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine from Gath named Goliath, was coming up from the battle lines of the Philistines, and he spoke (Z)these same words; and David heard them.

24 Now all the men of Israel saw the man, and they fled from him and were greatly afraid. 25 And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who is coming up? Surely he is coming up to [m]reproach Israel. And it will be that the king will enrich the man who strikes him down with great riches and (AA)will give him his daughter and make his father’s house [n]free in Israel.”

26 Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who strikes down this Philistine and takes away (AB)the reproach from Israel? For who is this (AC)uncircumcised Philistine, that he should [o](AD)reproach the battle lines of (AE)the living God?” 27 And the people spoke to him in accord with this word, saying, “(AF)Thus it will be done for the man who strikes him down.”

28 Then Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and (AG)Eliab’s anger burned against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I myself know your arrogance and the wickedness of your heart, for you have come down in order to see the battle.” 29 But David said, “What have I done now? Was it not just a word?” 30 Then he turned [p]away from him to another and (AH)said the same word; and the people responded to him with the same word as [q]before.

David Puts Goliath to Death

31 Then the words which David spoke were heard. And they told them [r]to Saul, and he sent for him. 32 And David said to Saul, “(AI)Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; (AJ)your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 Then Saul said to David, “(AK)You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant was shepherding his father’s sheep. And a lion and a bear would come and take a lamb from the flock, 35 and I would go out after it and strike it and (AL)rescue the lamb from its mouth. Then it rose up against me, and I would seize it by its beard and strike it down and put it to death. 36 Your servant has struck down both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has [s]reproached the battle lines of the living God.” 37 And David said, “(AM)Yahweh, who delivered me from the hand of the lion and from the hand of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “(AN)Go, and may Yahweh be with you.” 38 Then Saul clothed David with his robes and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor. 39 And David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” And David took them [t]off. 40 Then he took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and (AO)his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.

41 Then the Philistine came on and drew near to David, with the shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And the Philistine looked and saw David. And (AP)he despised him; for he was but a youth and (AQ)ruddy, with a handsome appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, “(AR)Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And (AS)the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh (AT)to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, (AU)but I come to you in the name of Yahweh of hosts, the God of the battle lines of Israel, whom you have [u]reproached. 46 This day Yahweh will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the (AV)dead bodies of the camp of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth, (AW)that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that (AX)Yahweh does not save by sword or by spear; (AY)for the battle is Yahweh’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

48 Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that (AZ)David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David sent his hand down into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.

50 Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and put him to death; but there was no sword in David’s hand. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and (BA)took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and put him to death and cut off his head with it. (BB)Then the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, so they fled. 52 But the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines [v]as far as the valley and to the gates of (BC)Ekron. And the slain Philistines lay fallen along the way to (BD)Shaaraim, even to Gath and Ekron. 53 Then the sons of Israel returned from hotly pursuing the Philistines and plundered their camps. 54 And David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his weapons in his tent.

55 Now when Saul saw David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is (BE)this young man?” And Abner said, “By your life, O king, I do not know.” 56 And the king said, “You inquire whose son the youth is.” 57 So when David returned from striking down the Philistine, Abner took him and (BF)brought him before Saul with the Philistine’s head in his hand. 58 And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “(BG)I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”


  1. 1 Samuel 17:4 Approx. 9 ft. or 2.7 m, a cubit was approx. 18 in. or 45 cm
  2. 1 Samuel 17:4 A span was approx. 9 in. or 23 cm
  3. 1 Samuel 17:5 A shekel was approx. 0.4 oz. or 11 gm
  4. 1 Samuel 17:6 Or shin guards
  5. 1 Samuel 17:6 Or scimitar
  6. 1 Samuel 17:8 Lit lines, so in ch
  7. 1 Samuel 17:10 Or defy
  8. 1 Samuel 17:12 Lit this
  9. 1 Samuel 17:12 Lit the man
  10. 1 Samuel 17:18 Lit their pledge
  11. 1 Samuel 17:21 Lit to meet
  12. 1 Samuel 17:22 Lit hand
  13. 1 Samuel 17:25 Or defy
  14. 1 Samuel 17:25 Free from taxes and public service
  15. 1 Samuel 17:26 Or defy
  16. 1 Samuel 17:30 Lit from beside him
  17. 1 Samuel 17:30 Lit the former word
  18. 1 Samuel 17:31 Lit before
  19. 1 Samuel 17:36 Or defied
  20. 1 Samuel 17:39 Lit off from himself
  21. 1 Samuel 17:45 Or defied
  22. 1 Samuel 17:52 Lit until your coming to