1 Samuel 17-18 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
David versus Goliath
17 The Philistines gathered their forces for war at Socoh in Judah and camped between Socoh and Azekah in Ephes-dammim. 2 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.
3 The Philistines were standing on one hill, and the Israelites were standing on another hill with a ravine between them. 4 Then a champion named Goliath, from Gath, came out from the Philistine camp. He was nine feet, nine inches[a][b] tall 5 and wore a bronze helmet[c] and bronze scale armor that weighed one hundred twenty-five pounds.[d] 6 There was bronze armor on his shins, and a bronze javelin was slung between his shoulders. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s beam, and the iron point of his spear weighed fifteen pounds.[e] In addition, a shield-bearer was walking in front of him.
8 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. 9 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 forty 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 ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18 Also take these ten portions of cheese to the field commander.[g] Check on the well-being 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 charged 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 family 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 troops 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 he 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 sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of Armies, the God of the ranks of Israel—you have defied him. 46 Today, the Lord will hand you over to me. Today, I’ll strike you down, remove your head, and give the corpses[l] of the Philistine camp to the birds of the sky and the wild 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 facedown to the ground. 50 David defeated the Philistine with a sling and a stone. David overpowered the Philistine and killed him without having a sword. 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 fled. 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?”
“Your Majesty, 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.
18 When David had finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan was bound to David in close friendship,[p] and loved him as much as he loved himself. 2 Saul kept David with him from that day on and did not let him return to his father’s house.
3 Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as much as himself. 4 Then Jonathan removed the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his military tunic, his sword, his bow, and his belt.
5 David marched out with the army and was successful in everything Saul sent him to do. Saul put him in command of the fighting men, which pleased all the people and Saul’s servants as well.
6 As the troops were coming back, when David was returning from killing the Philistine, the women came out from all the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing with tambourines, with shouts of joy, and with three-stringed instruments. 7 As they danced, the women sang:
Saul has killed his thousands,
8 Saul was furious and resented this song.[q] “They credited tens of thousands to David,” he complained, “but they only credited me with thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom?” 9 So Saul watched David jealously from that day forward.
Saul Attempts to Kill David
10 The next day an evil spirit sent from God came powerfully on Saul, and he began to rave[r] inside the palace. David was playing the lyre as usual, but Saul was holding a spear, 11 and he threw it, thinking, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David got away from him twice.
12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had left Saul. 13 Therefore, Saul sent David away from him and made him commander over a thousand men. David led the troops 14 and continued to be successful in all his activities because the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul observed that David was very successful, he dreaded him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David because he was leading their troops. 17 Saul told David, “Here is my oldest daughter Merab. I’ll give her to you as a wife, if you will be a warrior for me and fight the Lord’s battles.” But Saul was thinking, “I don’t need to raise a hand against him; let the hand of the Philistines be against him.”
18 Then David responded, “Who am I, and what is my family or my father’s clan in Israel that I should become the king’s son-in-law?” 19 When it was time to give Saul’s daughter Merab to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.
David’s Marriage to Michal
20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David, and when it was reported to Saul, it pleased him.[s] 21 “I’ll give her to him,” Saul thought. “She’ll be a trap for him, and the hand of the Philistines will be against him.” So Saul said to David a second time, “You can now be my son-in-law.”
22 Saul then ordered his servants, “Speak to David in private and tell him, ‘Look, the king is pleased with you, and all his servants love you. Therefore, you should become the king’s son-in-law.’”
23 Saul’s servants reported these words directly to David,[t] but he replied, “Is it trivial in your sight to become the king’s son-in-law? I am a poor commoner.”
24 The servants reported back to Saul, “These are the words David spoke.”
25 Then Saul replied, “Say this to David: ‘The king desires no other bride-price except a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.’” Actually, Saul intended to cause David’s death at the hands of the Philistines.
26 When the servants reported these terms to David, he was pleased[u] to become the king’s son-in-law. Before the wedding day arrived,[v] 27 David and his men went out and killed two hundred[w] Philistines. He brought their foreskins and presented them as full payment to the king to become his son-in-law. Then Saul gave his daughter Michal to David as his wife. 28 Saul realized[x] that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved him, 29 and he became even more afraid of David. As a result, Saul was David’s enemy from then on.
30 Every time the Philistine commanders came out to fight, David was more successful than all of Saul’s officers. So his name became well known.