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Thursday, April 3 2014

1 Samuel 17: The Battle Of David And Goliath

"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"

Israel's wars with the Philistines persisted through the entire time (about 2 centuries) of Joshua (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Joshua) and the Judges (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Judges). By the beginning of Israel's monarchy in the time of Samuel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Samuel), the Philistines remained a powerful and painful "thorn in the flesh" for Israel. The Philistine warriors were big and deadly; among the most fearsome of them was Goliath of Gath.

"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 the Philistines. 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 between them.

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 a span. 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." (1 Samuel 17:1-11 KJV)

David was elected by the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) to replace Saul (see 1 Samuel 15: Saul's Impeachment) while David was a teenager - the youngest of the sons of Jesse (see Jesse The Bethlehemite).

David wasn't even yet of military-service age when he was chosen to replace Saul. When David's three oldest brothers were called to duty in the army, David, as an underage youth, remained at home to tend to his father's flocks (the same Bethlehem area, centuries later, where other shepherds became the first witnesses of the newborn Messiah; see Bethlehem In History And Prophecy). It was not a great distance to the frontier area where the conflict was happening, so one day Jesse sent David to deliver some supplies to his brothers.

David and Goliath

"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 Shammah. 17:14 And David was the youngest: and the three eldest followed 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." (1 Samuel 17:12-19 KJV)

David made the short journey to the scene of the standoff. When he saw that none of the Israelite troopers had accepted Goliath's challenge, he asked "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?"

The question did not go well with his brothers, who were among the soldiers who didn't go out to fight the arrogant Philistine. Their already-existing animosity toward David ("David said, What have I now done?" - most-likely because of Samuel's anointing of David rather than one of them; see 1 Samuel 16: The Anointing Of David) is evident in their rebuke of him.

"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. 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 heard them. 17:24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.

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 Israel.

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 manner. 17:31 And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him." (1 Samuel 17:20-31 KJV)

David then volunteered to go out and fight the giant Philistine. He had no military experience, but he had defended his father's flocks from ferocious bears and lions that had attacked them. Along with his sling, David also had the most powerful weapon of all - faith: "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."

"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.

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.

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. 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." (1 Samuel 17:32-40 KJV)

Saul's armor was too big; David had no physical armor of his own (see Ephesians: Put On The Whole Armour Of God). David nevertheless walked out onto the battlefield with the sure knowledge that his blaspheming enemy was about to be a dead man: "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."

David and Goliath

"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 countenance. 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 gods. 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.

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 earth. 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." (1 Samuel 17:41-50 KJV)

The battle ended with a gory trophy - Goliath's head. In so doing however, David singlehandedly caused the entire Philistine army to break formation and run for their lives. The battle was over - and the faithful shepherd-boy king had won it.

"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. 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, Enquire 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." (1 Samuel 17:51-58 KJV)

Fact Finder: Saul offered his armour to David, but David couldn't use it because it was too big for him. What later happened to Saul's armor?
See The Armour Of Goliath and Saul


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This Day In History, April 3

503 BC: As stated on the Fasti Triumphales (stone tablets that were once erected in the Roman Forum), Roman consul Publius Postumius Tubertus celebrated a military victory over the Sabines (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

Roman Ruins 686: Maya king of the Kaan kingdom Yuknoom Yich'aak K'ahk' assumed the throne of Calakmul.

1043: Edward the Confessor was crowned the King of England.

1189: Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Pope Clement III resolved their disagreements and signed the Peace of Strasbourg (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation and Emperors and Popes).

1531: Martin Luther was excommunicated by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (Luther was condemned by the Emperor, not the Pope; see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) at the Diet (the term for a legislative assembly in some countries) of Worms ("Worms" is the English rendering of Vorms, a city in Germany).

1559: Philip II of Spain and Henry II of France signed the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis in France, ending nearly 60 years of war.

1721: Sir Robert Walpole was appointed first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer, effectively Britain's first Prime Minister.

1756: The Marquis de Montcalm sailed from France for Canada, where he would later die at the Battle of The Plains of Abraham (a battle that decided Canada's political future, which up to that time had been contested between Britain and France). The British commander, General James Wolfe, was also killed in the battle, near Quebec City on September 13 1759.

1882: The U.S. frontier criminal (gang leader, bank and train robber, murderer) Jesse James was killed by a member of his own outlaw gang, Robert Ford.

1885: Gottlieb Daimler was granted a German patent for his engine design.

1922: Joseph Stalin was appointed as the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1930: Ras Tafari was proclaimed Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.

1933: Royal Air Force Lt. David McIntyre and the Scottish Marquess of Clydesdale, flying 2 open-cockpit Westland aircraft, completed the first overflight and aerial photographic survey of Mount Everest.

1936: Bruno Hauptmann, convicted kidnapper and killer of aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh's infant son, was executed.

1949: Transjordan signed an armistice with Israel (which was actually the return of the southern kingdom of Judah; see The Southern Kingdom and The Gathering of Israel and Judah) that had become an independent nation (again) the year before (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

1968: Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech. It was his last; King was assassinated the next day by James Earl Ray, a U.S. Army veteran and escaped felon with convictions for burglary, armed robbery and mail fraud.

1969: U.S. Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird announced that the U.S. would start to "Vietnamize" the war effort (the Vietnam War was actually a civil war of the Vietnamese people whose nation had been divided into South and South by imperial France and the U.S. in the 1940s and 1950s).

1996: Theodore Kaczynski was arrested in Montana as the terrorist "Unabomber."

1996: Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and all 29 passengers and 6 crew were killed when a U.S. government aircraft crashed in Croatia.

2000: Microsoft was ruled to have violated U.S. antitrust laws by keeping "an oppressive thumb" on its competitors.


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