I Samuel Chapter
Introduction: We continue
our study on Samuel this week. In last week’s lesson, we studied
about David being chosen as the new king of Israel. At the end of
the chapter, the current king, King Saul, began having trouble
sleeping due to an evil spirit troubling him. The servants sought
out a man who could play soothing music with the harp, and it was
David that came to be the one chosen. This was all in the plan of
Defiance of Israel by Goliath
17:1 Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle,
and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and
pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim.
17:2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and
pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against
17:3 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
17:4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the
Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and
gives us the location of the armies of the Philistines and long with
the location of Israel in verse 2. The Israelites camped in the
valley of Elah, which lay about 11 miles southwest of Jerusalem. The
Philistines were in Ephesdammim which was between Shochoh and
Azekah. This was in the plain of Judah leading down to the
Philistine cities. In this battle, the Philistines were the
attackers while the Israelites were the defenders. The champion of
the Philistines, Goliath, challenged the Israelites to settle the
whole battle with a simple one on one combat. The height it gives us
in verse 4 says he was six cubits and a span. In terms we
understand, that made him about 9 feet and 9 inches tall. This was a
huge man, possibly one of the largest fighters to ever live. Goliath
was of Gath, a descendant of the giants whom Caleb had driven out of
17:5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed
with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand
shekels of brass.
17:6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of
brass between his shoulders.
17:7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his
spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a
shield went before him.
17:8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto
them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a
Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and
let him come down to me.
17:9 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 ye be our servants, and serve us.
17:10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day;
give me a man, that we may fight together.
17:11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine,
they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
give us a description of the armor that Goliath wore. He was well
protected, and have a very heavy set of armour. He calls upon the
Israelites to send down a man to fight with him and makes a
proposition that the loser would serve the winner. He calls the men
the servants of Saul, and defies the whole army of Israel. This
discouraged King Saul as well as the men serving in his army. It
says that they were greatly afraid. The reason for this was because
they were looking at this through the eyes of man, without regarding
what God could do for them if they had faith.
Henry said this about Goliath.
days the two armies lay encamped facing one another, each
advantageously posted, but neither forward to engage. Either they
were parleying and treating of an accommodation or they were waiting
for recruits; and perhaps there were frequent skirmishes between
small detached parties. All this while, twice a day, morning and
evening, did the insulting champion appear in the field and repeat
his challenge, his own heart growing more and more proud for his not
being answered and the people of Israel more and more timorous,
while God designed hereby to ripen him for destruction and to make
Israel’s deliverance the more illustrious. All this while David is
keeping his father’s sheep, but at the end of forty days Providence
brings him to the field to win and wear the laurel which no other
Israelite dares venture for. We have in these verses,
I. The present state of his family.
His father was old (v. 12): He went among men for an old man, was
taken notice of for his great age, above what was usual at that
time, and therefore was excused from pubic services, and went not in
person to the wars, but sent his sons; he had the honours paid him
that were due his age, his hoary head was a crown of glory to him.
David’s three elder brethren, who perhaps envied his place at the
court, got their father to send for him home, and let them go to the
camp, where they hoped to signalize themselves and eclipse him (v.
13, 14), while David himself was so far from being proud of the
services he had done his prince, or ambitious of further preferment,
that he not only returned from court to the obscurity of his
father’s house, but to care, and toil, and (as it proved, v. 34) the
peril, of keeping his father’s sheep. It was the praise of this
humility that it came after he had the honour of a courtier, and the
reward of it that it came before the honour of a conqueror. Before
honour is humility. Now he had that opportunity of mediation and
prayer, and other acts of devotion, which fitted him for what he was
destined to more than all the military exercises of that inglorious
camp could do.
17:12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehemjudah,
whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among
men for an old man in the days of Saul.
17:13 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 unto him Abinadab, and the third
17:14 And David was the youngest: and the three eldest followed
Verse 12 explains that Jesse
had 8 sons and four of them are named in the next two verses. The
oldest 3 were in Saul’s army.
II. David is Sent to the
Army of Saul
17:15 But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's
sheep at Bethlehem.
17:16 And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and
presented himself forty days.
17:17 And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren
an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the
camp to thy brethren;
17:18 And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their
thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge.
17:19 Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the
valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.
17:20 And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep
with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and
he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and
shouted for the battle.
17:21 For Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array,
army against army.
Verse 15 says that David had
returned home from being with Saul and was working again for his
father tending the sheep. David was a man always busy in his work
which speaks well of him. Being in the King’s palace did not give
him a feeling of superiority, but he continued to work as he had in
the past taking care of the sheep. We aren’t given a reason why
David had returned home, but no doubt God had intended for David to
go up to the battle. Jesse prepares to send David up to see about
his brothers and see how the battle was progressing. He prepares
some corn and ten loaves of bread to take up to this sons along with
some cheese for the captain. David arrived in the camp just as the
battle was about to break forth. It said that when David arrived, he
shouted for the battle.
17:22 And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the
carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.
17:23 And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the
champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies
of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David
17:24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from
him, and were sore afraid.
was visiting with his brothers, Goliath came out and issued his
challenge again. David heard the challenge, and was not moved like
the others. It says all the men of Israel fled from him and were
17:25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come
up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the
man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and
will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in
17:26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What
shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh
away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised
Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
17:27 And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So
shall it be done to the man that killeth him.
17:28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men;
and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest
thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in
the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine
heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
17:30 And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the
same manner: and the people answered him again after the former
asked whether he had seen this giant who was defying Israel. They
informed him that Saul had made valuable promises to any man who
would fight and kill Goliath. Then man who did this would be given
riches and wed the king’s daughter. On top of that, his family would
be free of taxes. Eliab, David’s oldest brother, had heard David and
detected the scorn in his voice and how he rebuked the Israelite
soldiers in his words. He mocks David and accuses him of neglecting
the sheep so he could just come down and watch the battle. David had
not been neglectful at all, and was sent by his father while another
watched over the sheep. He says in verse 29 “What have I now done?
Is there not a cause?” Of course there was a cause. God’s people and
the cause of the Lord was being put to shame by the boastful
Philistine Goliath. Today, there is a cause for us also. What we
face can sometimes seem more hopeless than going to a battle with a
giant, but we need to not let the fears of this life keep us from
taking part in the battle against Satan and the evil all about us.
David’s Victory Over Goliath
17:31 And when the words were heard which David spake, they
rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him.
17:32 And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of
him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
17:33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this
Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man
of war from his youth.
Some of the men relayed the
words that David spoke to King Saul. He sends for David and he
assures Saul that he was not afraid to go out and fight with
Goliath. David’s words were “Let no man’s heart fail because of
him”. Saul looked the young man over and tells him that he was not
able to go up against Goliath since he was just a youth and Goliath
was a man of war from his youth.
Young people can look on
this and learn that God can still use a young person in his service.
If we are in God’s will and doing a great work, believe me, God will
give you the necessary strength you need to get the job done. David
was unmoved and continues to insist that he can fight this battle.
17:34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep,
and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
17:35 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
beard, and smote him, and slew him.
17:36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this
uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath
defied the armies of the living God.
17:37 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 of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and
the LORD be with thee.
David goes into some of his
past experiences and assures Saul that God would give him the
victory over the giant. He says that he had fought the lion and the
bear that came upon his father’s sheep, and he would fight this
giant and God would deliver him into his hand. In our Christian
lives, we are given small tests to see how strong we are. You can
rest assured that you won’t conquer any giants until you can win the
battle over the bear and the lion, whatever those are in your own
life. Lots of battles in this life, and some are much harder than
others. But with God’s strength, we can go forth and be conquerors.
Saul is moved by David, and tells him to Go, and the Lord be with
17:38 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.
17:39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to
go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go
with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.
Saul does his best to
prepare David for the battle and gives him some armour and a brass
helmet along with a coat of mail. He also gives him a sword, but
David tells him that he couldn’t use these things. He had not proven
them, and he puts them off. Remember that you can’t be skillful with
a tool you haven’t mastered. If we want to be used in a great way in
God’s service, we need to know our bible and use the armour God has
prepared for us.
17:40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth
stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he
had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew
near to the Philistine.
17:41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the
man that bare the shield went before him.
17:42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he
disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair
17:43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou
comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his
17:44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give
thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
David is a wise young man.
He takes off the armour and weapons that he hasn’t mastered, and
took his own staff in his hand and put five smooth stones in his
shepherd’s bag. He takes out his sling and draws near to Goliath. He
looks at him and starts immediately to make fun of him and curses
David by his gods. He tells him to come on in and he’d feed his
flesh to the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field.
17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a
sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in
the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom
thou hast defied.
17:46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will
smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the
carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of
the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may
know that there is a God in Israel.
17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with
sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you
into our hands.
17:48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and
drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army
to meet the Philistine.
17:49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence 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
17:50 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.
17:51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took
his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and
cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their
champion was dead, they fled.
17:52 And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and
pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the
gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the
way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron.
What a great victory this was.
David knew he would win because he came in the name of the Lord.
Verse 45 recorded that as “Thou
comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but
I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the
armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”
not have come with a huge weapon, but he had mastered that sling
shot. And he took one of those smooth stones out the bag, and
whirled it around and let it fly. He sunk right into the head of
Goliath, and he fell flat. He then ran up and took Goliath’s sword
and cut off the head of this gigantic enemy of the Philistines. The
giant came in the power of his sword and spear, but David came in
the name of his God. There is no battle we can’t win when we trust
God and have him on our side. The Israelites rose with a shout and
pursued and destroyed the Philistines all the way to Ekron.
McGee related Goliath to Satan in our lives today.
There are many great spiritual
lessons in this chapter. For example, the giant represents the
world; Saul, I think, represents Satan; and David represents the
believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are admonished, “Love not the
world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the
world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). We are
in the world but not of it. What a difference there is between David
and Samson. Samson treated the Philistines as friends—he even
married one of them. David treated Goliath as an enemy. The world
system, the Kosmos—which includes all governments, educational
programs, and entertainments—is the enemy of the believer today. The
interesting thing is that David’s faith enabled him to go out to
meet the giant and defeat him. “For whatsoever is born of God
overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the
world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). It is the same lesson Joshua
learned at Jericho: he found out that the battle is the Lord’s.
David also learned that he could not use the weapons of this world
to fight the battle. He had to use his own weapons, his own
methods—those in which God had schooled him. The believer today
needs to recognize that the world can be overcome only by his faith
and confidence in God.
17:53 And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the
Philistines, and they spoiled their tents.
17:54 And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to
Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.
17:55 And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he
said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this
youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.
17:56 And the king said, Inquire thou whose son the stripling is.
17:57 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.
17:58 And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And
David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.
Saul is quite impressed with
this young man, and tells his captain to find out more about the
young boy. He says that he was David, son of they servant Jesse, the
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