1 Samuel 17

1 The armies of the Israelites and Philistines being ready to battle,

4 Goliath challenges a combat.

12 David, sent by his father to visit his brethren, takes the challenge.

28 Eliab chides him.

30 He is brought to Saul;

32 shews the reason of his confidence;

38 and slays the giant.

55 Saul takes notice of David.


7:7; 13:5; 14:46,52; Jud 3:3


Jos 15:35


2Ch 11:7


2Ch 28:18

Shocho. Azekah.

Jos 10:10,11; 15:35; Jer 34:7

Ephes-dammim. or, the coast of Dammim.

1Ch 11:13


the valley.

19; 21:9

set the battle in array. Heb. ranged the battle.



23; 21:9,10; 2Sa 21:19; 1Ch 20:5

of Gath.

27:4; Jos 11:22; 2Sa 21:16-22; 1Ch 20:4-8

whose height.

De 3:11; 1Ch 11:23; Am 2:9

six cubits.According to Bp. Cumberland's calculation, the height of Goliath was about eleven feet ten inches; but Parkhurst estimating the ordinary cubit at seventeen inches and a half, calculates that he was nine feet six inches high. Few instances can be produced of men who can be compared with him. Pliny says, "The tallest man that hath been seen in our days was one name Gabara, who, in the days of Claudius, the late Emperor, was brought out of Arabia: he was nine feet nine inches." Josephus mentions a Jew, named Eleazar, whom Vitellius sent to Rome, who was seven cubits, or ten feet two inches high. Becanus saw a man near ten feet, and a woman that was full ten feet. And, to mention no more, a man of the name of John Middleton, born at Hale, near Warrington, in Lancashire, in the reign of James the First, was more than nine feet high. Dr. Plott, in his history of Staffordshire, says, that "his hand, from the carpus to the end of the middle finger, was seventeen inches, his palms eight inches and a half broad, and his whole height was nine feet three inches; wanting but six inches of the height of Goliath of Gath."

armed. Heb. clothed.


target of brass. or, gorget.

1Ki 10:16; 2Ch 9:15

the staff.

2Sa 21:19; 1Ch 11:23; 20:5

servants to Saul.

26; 8:17; 2Sa 11:11; 1Ch 21:3

and serve us.


I defy.

25,26,36,45; Nu 23:7,8; 2Sa 21:21; 23:9; Ne 2:19

give me.

Job 40:9-12; Ps 9:4,5; Pr 16:18; Jer 9:23; Da 4:37


De 31:8; Jos 1:9; Ps 27:1; Pr 28:1; Isa 51:12,13; 57:11


58; 16:1,18; Ru 4:22; Mt 1:6; Lu 3:31,32


Ge 35:19; Ps 132:6; Mic 5:2; Mt 2:1,6

eight sons.

16:10,11; 1Ch 2:13-16

the names.

28; 16:6-9; 1Ch 2:13


2Sa 13:3,32; 21:21


the youngest.

16:11; Ge 25:23



forty days.

Mt 4:2; Lu 4:2

Take now.

Mt 7:11; Lu 11:13

parched corn.

25:18; Ru 2:14; 2Sa 17:28



cheeses. Heb. cheeses of milk.

2Sa 17:29; Job 10:10

their thousand. Heb. a thousand. look.

Ge 37:14; Ac 15:36; 1Th 3:5,6

the valley.Dr. Richardson says, that in about twenty minutes, in an easterly direction, form the cave of St. John, (which is about two hours or six miles, in a westerly direction, from Jerusalem,) they came to the valley of Elah; which position seems to agree with that of Shochoh and Azekah. He describes it as "a small valley, and the place of the encampment is pointed out where it narrows into a broad, deep ravine; part of it was in crop, and part of it was under the plough, which was drawn by a couple of oxen. A small stream, which had shrunk almost under its stony bed, passes through it from east to west, from which we are informed that David chose out five smooth stones, and hasted and ran to meet the haughty champion of Gath. A well of water under the bank, with a few olive trees above, on the north side of the valley, are said to mark the spot of the shepherd's triumph over his boasting antagonist. Saul and his men probably occupied the side of the valley which is nearest to Jerusalem, on which the ground is higher and more rugged than on the other side."


left the sheep.

28; Eph 6:1,2

trench. or, place of the carriage.

26:5; Lu 19:43

fight. or, battle array, or place of fight.


his carriage. Heb. the vessels from upon him. saluted hisbrethren. Heb. asked his brethren of peace.

Ge 37:14; Jud 18:15; Mt 10:12,13; Lu 10:5,6



him. Heb. his face.



11; Le 26:36; Nu 13:33; De 32:30; Isa 7:2; 30:17

the king.

18:17-27; Jos 15:16; Re 2:7,17; 3:5,12,21

free in Israel.

Ezr 7:24; Mt 17:26


11:2; Jos 7:8,9; 2Ki 19:4; Ne 5:9; Ps 44:13; 74:18; 79:12; Da 9:16

Joe 2:19


36; 14:6


10; De 5:26; Jer 10:10; 1Th 1:9; 1Jo 5:20

So shall it.


Eliab's anger.

16:13; Ge 37:4,8,11; Pr 18:19; 27:4; Ec 4:4; Mt 10:36; 27:18

Mr 3:21



I know.

16:7; Ps 35:11; Jude 1:10

Pr 15:1; Ac 11:2-4; 1Co 2:15; 1Pe 3:9

manner. Heb. word.


sent for him. Heb. took him.

Pr 22:29The preceding twenty verses, from the 12th to the 31st inclusive, the 41st, and from the 54th to the end of this chapter, with the five first verses and the 9th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, and 19th, of ch. 18, are all wanting in the Vatican copy of the LXX.; and they are supposed by Dr. Kennicott, and others, to be an interpolation. But, as Bp. Horsley observes, it appears, from many circumstances of the story, that David's combat with Goliath was many years prior to Saul's madness, and David's introduction to him as a musician. In the first place, David was quite a youth when he engaged with Goliath, (ver. 33, 42:) when introduced to Saul he was of full age, (ch. 16:18.) Again, this combat was his first appearance in public life, and his first military exploit, (ver. 36, 38, 39:) when introduced as a musician, he was a man of established character, and a man of war (ch. 16:18.) Now the just conclusion is, that the last ten verses of ch. 16 have been misplaced; their true place being between the ninth and tenth verses of ch. 18. Let them be removed there, and the whole apparent disorder will be removed.


Nu 13:30; 14:9; De 20:1-3; Isa 35:4; Heb 12:12


14:6; 16:18; Jos 14:12; Ps 3:6; 27:1-3

Thou art not.

Nu 13:31; De 9:2; Ps 11:1; Re 13:4

for thou are but.


lamb. or, kid.

smote him.

Jud 14:5,6; 2Sa 23:20; Ps 91:13; Da 6:22; Am 3:12; Ac 28:4-6

2Ti 4:17,18


26; Eze 32:19,27-32; Ro 2:28,29


10; Isa 10:15; 36:8-10,15,18; 37:22,23,28,29; Zec 2:8; 12:3

Ac 5:38,39; 9:4,5; 12:1,2,22,23

The Lord.

7:12; Ps 11:1; 18:16,17; 63:7; 77:11; 138:3,7,8; 2Co 1:9,10

2Ti 4:17,18


20:13; 24:19; 26:25; 2Sa 10:12; 1Ch 22:11,16

armed David with his armour. Heb. clothed David with hisclothes.


put them off.

Ho 1:7; Zec 4:6; 2Co 10:4,5


Jud 3:31; 7:16-20; 15:15,16; 20:16; 1Co 1:27-29

brook. or, valley. bag. Heb. vessel.

Mt 10:10



1Ki 20:18; 2Ki 18:23,24; Ne 4:2-4; Ps 123:3,4; 2Co 11:27-29

a youth.

33; 16:12


24:14; 2Sa 3:8; 9:8; 16:9; 2Ki 8:13


Ge 27:29; Nu 22:6,11,12; Jud 9:27; Pr 26:2

Come to me.

1Ki 20:10,11; Pr 18:12; Ec 9:11,12; Jer 9:23; Eze 28:2,9,10

Eze 39:17-20

I will give.Parallel instances of vaunting occur in some writers of a more recent date:--The conspirators against the emperor Maximinus having slain him, his son, and several of his best friends, threw out their bodies to be devoured by dogs and the fowls of the air. This custom appears to have been frequently threatened; and, however shocking to human feelings, was often carried into effect.

Thou comest.

Ps 44:6

in the name.

2Sa 22:33-35; 2Ch 32:8; Ps 3:8; 18:2; 20:5-7; 118:10,11; 124:8

Ps 125:1; Pr 18:10; 2Co 3:5; 10:4; Php 4:13; Heb 11:33,34


10,26,36; Isa 37:23,28

will the Lord.

De 7:2,23; 9:2,3; Jos 10:8

deliver thee. Heb. shut thee up.

Ps 31:8

take thine.



44; De 28:26; Isa 56:9; Mt 24:28; Re 19:17,18

all the earth.

Ex 9:16; 15:14,15; Jos 4:24; 1Ki 8:43; 18:36,37; 2Ki 19:19

Ps 46:10; Isa 52:10; Da 2:47; 3:29; 6:26,27

saveth not.

Ps 33:16,17; 44:6,7; Pr 21:30,31; Ho 1:7

the battle.

14:6; 2Ch 20:15-17; Ps 46:11; Isa 9:7; Zec 4:6; Ro 8:31,37

David hasted.

Ps 27:1; Pr 28:1


1Ki 22:34; 2Ki 9:24; 1Co 1:27,28

So David prevailed.The tradition of the combat between David and Goliath, in which the latter was killed, is preserved among the Arabs; for he is mentioned in the Koran, where he is called Galut or Jalut. The Arabs also call the dynasty of the Philistine kings, who reigned in Palestine when the Hebrews came there, Galutiah, or Jalutiah. Achmed Al Fassi says, "Those kings were as well known by the name of Jalaut, as the ancient kings of Egypt by that of Pharaoh. David killed the Jalaut who reigned in his time, and entirely rooted out the Philistines, the rest of whom fled into Africa, and from them descended the Brebers or Berbers, who inhabit the coast of Barbary." It is remarkable that the Berbers themselves should acknowledge their descent from the Philistines. "The name Goliath, which they pronounce Sghiàlud, is very common among the Brebers, and the history of the champion of the Philistines is very well known to the Moors. When children quarrel, and the bigger one challenges the smaller to fight the latter answers, 'Who will fight with you? {Enta men ulid Sgiàlud.} You are of the race of Golaith.' The Jews who dwell among them, on the mountains, all call them Philistines."

21:9; 23:21; Jud 3:31; 15:15

but there was.

39; 13:22

his sword.

21:9; 2Sa 23:21; Es 7:10; Ps 7:15,16; Heb 2:14

cut off.



Heb 11:34

the men of Israel.

14:21,22; Jud 7:23; 2Sa 23:10


Jos 15:33-36,45,46

they spoiled.

2Ki 7:7-16; Jer 4:20; 30:16

took the head.

21:9; Ex 16:33; Jos 4:7,8

whose son.

58; 16:21,22


the head.


Whose son.To account for the apparent inconsistency of Saul not knowing David, see the Note at the end of ver. 31.

I am the son.

12; 16:18,19
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