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David And Goliath

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CHAPTER 17 Jul. 5 
Goliath Challenges Israel
Now the Philistines gathered their armies to battle and assembled at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and they encamped between Socoh and Azekah in Ephesdammim. 2Saul and the men of Israel assembled and encamped in the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. 3The Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, and there was a valley between them. 4A champion went out of the camp of the Philistines named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5He had a helmet of bronze on his head and he wore a bronze coat of mail which weighed five thousand shekels. 6He had bronze shin armour on his legs and a javelin of bronze between his shoulders. 7The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam and his iron spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels, and his shield bearer went before him. 8He stood and shouted to the armies of Israel, Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. 9If he is able to fight and kill me, then we will be your servants, but if I overcome him and kill him, then you will be our servants, and serve us. 10The Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day! Give me a man and let us fight one another! 11When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine they were dismayed, and terrified.

David Visits the Army of Israel
12Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse. He had eight sons and was considered an old man in the days of Saul. 13The three eldest sons of Jesse had gone after Saul to the battle. Their names were Eliab the firstborn, next to him Abinadab and the third Shammah. 14David was the youngest; and the three eldest followed Saul. 15Now David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 16The Philistine drew near morning and evening and took his stand for forty days. 17Jesse said to David his son, Now take an ephah of parched grain and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers; 18and take these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand. See how your brothers are doing and bring back news. 19Saul and David’s brothers and all the men of Israel were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20David rose up early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper and took the gifts, and went as Jesse had commanded him; he came to the camp as the army was going forth to the battle, shouting the war cry. 21Israel and the Philistines put the battle in array, army against army. 22David left his things with the keeper of supplies and ran to the army and came and greeted his brothers.

David Accepts Goliath’s Challenge
23As he talked with them Goliath came up, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, out of the ranks of the Philistines. He shouted the same words, and David heard them. 24All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were terrified. 25The men of Israel said, Have you seen this man who keeps coming up? He comes up to defy Israel. The king has promised to give great riches to the man who kills him, and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel. 26David said to the men who stood by him, What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? 27The people repeated to him what they had said: This is indeed what is promised to the man who kills him. 28Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why have you come down? With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the presumption of your heart; you have only come down to see the battle. 29David said, What have I done now? Can I not speak? 30He turned away from him toward someone else and said the same, and the people answered him as before. 31When the words of David were heard, they repeated them to Saul and he sent for him. 32David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of this Philistine. Your servant will go and fight him. 33Saul said to David, You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight him; you are only a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth. 34David said, Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35I went out after it and struck it, and rescued it out of its mouth. When it turned on me I caught it by its beard and killed it. 36Your servant killed both the lion and the bear. This uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God. 37David said, Yahweh who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. Saul said to David, Go; and Yahweh be with you. 38Saul dressed David in his own clothes. He put a bronze helmet on his head and put a coat of mail on him. 39David strapped his sword onto his tunic and he tried to move, but he was not used to it. David said to Saul, I can’t go with these; I am not used to them. So David took them off. 40He took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag. His sling was in his hand as he drew near to the Philistine.

David Kills Goliath
41The Philistine advanced and came near to David with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42When he looked at David he despised him, for he was only a youth, ruddy and handsome. 43The Philistine said to David, Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks? The Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44He said to David, Come here and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the animals of the field. 45Then David said to the Philistine, You come against me with a sword, a spear and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of Yahweh of Armies, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46Today Yahweh will deliver you into my hand. I will strike you down and cut off your head. I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines today to the birds of the air and the wild animals of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47and that all those here may know that Yahweh doesn’t save with sword and spear, for the battle is Yahweh’s and He will give you into our hand. 48When the Philistine came closer to attack David, David ran quickly towards the Philistine army. 49He put his hand into his bag, took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead and he fell on his face to the ground. 50So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him without a sword in his hand. 51Then David ran and stood over the Philistine, took hold of his sword, drew it out of its scabbard and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52The men of Israel and Judah arose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gate of Ekron. The wounded of the Philistines fell down all the way to Shaaraim, Gath and Ekron. 53The Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines and plundered their camp. 54David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armour in his own tent. 55When Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of the army, Abner, whose son is this youth? Abner said, As your soul lives, O king, I don’t know. 56The king said, Find out whose son the young man is! 57As David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him to Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58Saul said to him, Whose son are you, young man? David answered, I am the son of your servant Jesse, the Bethlehemite. 


17:9 This conflict is prophetic of Christ’s victory over sin on the cross (see on :54). The way that Israel failed to find a man to fight until David arose is exactly the language of the prophecies which speak of our inability to find a single man who could overcome sin, until Christ did so on the cross (Is. 41:28; 50:2; 59:16). There was a very real possibility that Christ like David could have failed [for He was man, not God Himself]- with the same disastrous consequences.
17:16 The faithful Israelite would have thought of the sacrifices being offered morning and evening, and would’ve reflected that they were powerless to give victory (cp. Heb. 10:4).
17:26 What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine…?- David asks this having just heard what would be done for the man who killed Goliath (:25); and then he asks it again (:30). The implication is that the offer of Saul’s daughter he found motivating. As Saul’s servant, from a poor family, he likely would’ve looked on at her from a distance, regretting that she was unreachable (18:23); and she was in love with him (18:20). Jonathan, her brother, was perhaps already his good friend (see on 14:6). Perhaps this looks forward to how Christ was motivated in His battle with sin by the thought of thereby winning us, His bride.
17:32 Let no man’s heart fail- Just before Christ destroyed the power of sin on the cross, He assured us in similar words (Jn. 14:1,27).
17:35 I went out after it and struck it, and rescued it out of its mouth- This shows an unusual level of commitment to the sheep, after the pattern of the unusual shepherd in Christ’s parable who risks His life in fighting a wild animal to save a sheep- no normal shepherd would do this. David not only prefigured Christ as the ultimately “good shepherd”, but shows the value he attached to all God’s creation.
17:40 Five smooth stones- He took five not because he thought he might miss a few times but because Goliath had four sons whom he likely intended to kill at the same time (2 Sam. 21:18-22; 1 Chron. 20:4-8). This was indeed spiritual ambition. But those four sons were killed later, by David’s men; just as we are left with some aspects of Christ’s victory against sin to follow up on ourselves. 
17:46 I will strike you down and cut off your head- David was completely confident in faith, and had worked out what he would do after the initial victory- he would cut off Goliath’s head. Christ likewise was confident of victory on the cross and His parables and teachings assumed that victory ahead of time. 
That all the earth may know that there is a God- The spirit of Christ’s words just before He went out to kill the power of sin on Golgotha (Jn. 14:31; 17:23). 
17:49 His forehead- This is twice emphasized; pointing forward to how Christ’s victory over sin was ultimately in the mind.
17:54 'Golgotha' meaning 'The place of the skull' may well be the place near Jerusalem where David buried Goliath's skull. The whole incident opens up as a prototype of Christ’s victory over sin on the cross, with Goliath presented as a “man of sin”.