1 Samuel 17
International Standard Version
Goliath Challenges the Israelis
17 The Philistines assembled their army for battle. They were assembled at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and they camped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. 2 Saul and the Israelis assembled and camped in the valley of Elah, where they set up their forces to meet the Philistines. 3 The Philistines were standing on the hill on one side while the Israelis were standing on the hill on the other side, with the valley between them.
4 A champion named Goliath from Gath came out from the Philistine camp. He was four cubits and a span[a] tall, 5 wore a bronze helmet on his head, and wore bronze scale armor that weighed about 5,000 shekels.[b] 6 He had bronze armor on his legs[c] and carried a bronze javelin slung[d] between his shoulders. 7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam and the iron point of his spear weighed 600 shekels.[e] A man carrying his shield walked in front of him.
8 He stood still and called out to the ranks of Israel, “Why should you move into position for battle? Am I not a Philistine and you Saul’s servants? Choose a man for yourselves to come down against me. 9 If he’s able to fight me and strike me down, then we will become your servants; but if I prevail against him and strike him down, then you will become our servants and serve us.” 10 The Philistine said, “I defy[f] the ranks of Israel today. Send me one man and let’s fight together.” 11 When Saul and all the Israelis heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and very frightened.
David Comes to the Camp
12 David was the son of that Ephrathite man named Jesse from Bethlehem in Judah. He had eight sons; at the time when Saul was king he was old, having lived to an advanced age. 13 The three oldest sons of Jesse followed Saul into battle. The names of his three sons who went to the battle were his firstborn Eliab, Abinadab, his second son, and Shammah, the third. 14 David was the youngest, while the three oldest had followed Saul. 15 And David would go back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep in Bethlehem. 16 For 40 days the Philistine would come forward, morning and evening, to take his position.
17 Jesse told his son David, “Take this ephah[g] of roasted grain to your brothers, along with these ten loaves of bread, and quickly take them to your brothers in the camp. 18 Take these ten pieces of cheese to the commander of the unit,[h] check on the well-being of your brothers, and bring something back from them. 19 Saul, your brothers,[i] and all the men of Israel are in the valley of Elah fighting with the Philistines.” 20 David got up early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, took the supplies,[j] and went as Jesse had directed him. He arrived at the encampment[k] as the army was going out to the battle line, shouting the battle cry.
David Hears Goliath’s Challenge
21 Israel and the Philistines moved into position for battle, battle line facing battle line. 22 David left the supplies he had with him in the care of the supply keeper and ran to the battle line. When he arrived there, he asked his brothers about their well-being. 23 As he was speaking with them, the Philistine champion named Goliath from Gath came up from the Philistine battle lines and spoke his usual words,[l] as David listened. 24 When all the Israelis saw the man, they fled from him and were very frightened.
25 “Did all of you see this man coming up?” one Israeli asked. “He comes up to defy[m] Israel, and the king will richly reward the man who kills him. He will give his daughter to him and will make his father’s house tax[n] free in Israel.”
26 David asked the men who were standing by him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? Indeed, who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy[o] the armies of the living God?”
27 The people also told him the same thing,[p] saying, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”
28 Eliab his oldest brother heard him talking to the men. Eliab was angry with David and said, “Why did you come down here? And who did you leave those few sheep with in the wilderness? I know your insolence and wicked intentions.[q] You came down just to see the battle!”
29 “What have I done now?” David asked. “It was just a question,[r] wasn’t it?” 30 Then he turned from him toward another person and asked the same thing. The people replied to him the same way as the first one had.
David Accepts the Challenge
31 When the words that David had spoken were heard, they were reported to Saul, and he sent for him. 32 David told Saul, “Let no one’s courage[s] fail because of him; your servant will go fight this Philistine.”
33 Saul told David, “You can’t go against this Philistine and fight him. You are only a young man, but he has been a warrior since his youth.”
34 David told Saul, “Your servant has been a shepherd for his father. When a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I would go out after it, strike it down, and rescue the lamb[t] from its mouth. Then when it rose up against me, I would grab it by its fur,[u] strike it down, and kill it. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he defied[v] the armies of the living God.” 37 David continued, “The Lord who delivered me from the power of[w] the lion and the power of[x] the bear will also deliver me from the power of[y] this Philistine.”
Saul told David, “Go! And may the Lord be with you.”
38 Saul put his garments on David, set a bronze helmet on his head, and put armor on him. 39 David strapped Saul’s[z] sword over his garments and tried to walk, but[aa] he was not used to the armor.[ab] David told Saul, “I can’t walk in these because I’m not used to them,”[ac] and then took them off. 40 He took his staff in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook and put them in the pouch in his shepherd’s bag. He approached the Philistine with his sling in his hand.
David Defeats Goliath
41 With a man carrying his shield in front of him, the Philistine kept coming closer to David. 42 When the Philistine looked and saw David, he had contempt for him, because he was only a young man. David had a dark, healthy complexion and was handsome. 43 The Philistine asked David, “Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?” Then the Philistine cursed David by his own gods and 44 told David, “Come to me! I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the sky and to the beasts of the field.”
45 Then David told the Philistine, “You come at me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of the Heavenly Armies, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied.[ad] 46 This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I’ll strike you down and remove your head from you. And this very day I’ll give the dead bodies of the Philistine army to the birds of the sky and to the animals of the earth, so that all the earth will know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and this whole congregation will know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or spear. Indeed, the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hands.”
48 When the Philistine got up and came closer to meet David, David quickly ran to the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 David reached his hand into the bag, took out a stone, slung it, and struck the Philistine in his forehead. The stone sunk into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. 50 David defeated the Philistine with a sling and a stone; he struck down the Philistine and killed him, and there was no sword in David’s hand. 51 David ran and stood over the Philistine. He took the Philistine’s[ae] sword, pulled it from its sheath, killed him, and then he cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52 The men of Israel and Judah got up with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as the entrance to[af] the valley and to the gates of Ekron. Wounded Philistines fell along the way to Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. 53 The Israelis returned from pursuing the Philistines and plundered their camp. 54 David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put Goliath’s[ag] weapons in his tent.
55 When Saul saw David going out to meet the Philistine, he asked Abner, the commander of the army, “Whose son is this young man, Abner?”
Abner said, “As surely as you live, your majesty, I don’t know.”
56 The king replied, “Go find out whose son the young man is.”
57 When David returned from striking down the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him to Saul with the Philistine’s head in his hand. 58 Saul told him, “Whose son are you, young man?”
David said, “The son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”
- 1 Samuel 17:4 I.e. about six and a half feet; so DSS 4QSama and LXX; MT reads six cubits and a span (i.e. nine and a half feet)
- 1 Samuel 17:5 I.e. about 125 pounds at 0.4 shekels per ounce
- 1 Samuel 17:6 Or bronze greaves; i.e. leg armor worn below the knees
- 1 Samuel 17:6 The Heb. lacks slung
- 1 Samuel 17:7 I.e. about 15 pounds at 0.4 shekels per ounce
- 1 Samuel 17:10 Or challenge
- 1 Samuel 17:17 I.e. about a half-bushel; an ephah was a measure of dry capacity equal to about one half of a bushel
- 1 Samuel 17:18 Lit. thousand
- 1 Samuel 17:19 Lit. they
- 1 Samuel 17:20 The Heb. lacks the supplies
- 1 Samuel 17:20 Or entrenchment
- 1 Samuel 17:23 Lit. according to these words
- 1 Samuel 17:25 Or challenge
- 1 Samuel 17:25 The Heb. lacks tax
- 1 Samuel 17:26 Or challenge
- 1 Samuel 17:27 Lit. spoke to him according to this word
- 1 Samuel 17:28 Lit. wickedness of your heart
- 1 Samuel 17:29 Lit. a word
- 1 Samuel 17:32 Lit. heart
- 1 Samuel 17:35 The Heb. lacks the lamb
- 1 Samuel 17:35 Lit. beard
- 1 Samuel 17:36 Or challenged
- 1 Samuel 17:37 Or hand of
- 1 Samuel 17:37 Or hand of
- 1 Samuel 17:37 Or hand of
- 1 Samuel 17:39 Lit. his
- 1 Samuel 17:39 Lit. for
- 1 Samuel 17:39 Lit. he had not tested
- 1 Samuel 17:39 Lit. I have not tested
- 1 Samuel 17:45 Or challenged
- 1 Samuel 17:51 Lit. his
- 1 Samuel 17:52 Lit. until you enter
- 1 Samuel 17:54 Lit. his