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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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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."
"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.
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.
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?
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).
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.
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.