1 Samuel 17:38-58
Then Saul dressed David in his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and put a coat of mail (armor) on him. Then David fastened his sword over his armor and tried to walk, [but he could not,] because he was not used to them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, because I am not used to them.” So David took them off. Then he took his [shepherd’s] staff in his hand and chose for himself five [a]smooth stones out of the stream bed, and put them in his shepherd’s bag which he had, that is, in his shepherd’s pouch. With his sling in his hand, he approached the Philistine.
The Philistine came and approached David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. When the Philistine looked around and saw David, he derided and disparaged him because he was [just] a young man, with a ruddy complexion, and a handsome appearance. The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with [shepherd’s] staffs?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a [b]javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the corpses of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that this entire assembly may know that the Lord does not save with the sword or with the spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will hand you over to us.”
When the Philistine rose and came forward to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand into his bag and took out a stone and slung it, and it struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone penetrated his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck down the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand. So he ran and stood over the Philistine, grasped his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their [mighty] champion was dead, they fled. The men of Israel and Judah stood with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as the entrance to the valley and the gates of Ekron. And the [fatally] wounded Philistines fell along the way to Shaaraim, even as far as Gath and Ekron. The sons of Israel returned from their pursuit of the Philistines and plundered their camp. Then David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his weapons in his tent.
When Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner the captain of the army, “Abner, whose son is this young man?” And Abner answered, “By your life, O king, I do not know.” The king said, “Ask whose son the young man is.” When David returned from killing [Goliath] the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. Saul asked him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”
- 1 Samuel 17:40 Smooth stones offered less resistance to the air in flight and would travel with greater speed and accuracy. The sling was a pouch attached to the ends of two long leather thongs, and was a formidable weapon (as the Philistine giant was about to discover).
- 1 Samuel 17:45 This weapon may have been similar to a scimitar (short curved sword).
1 Samuel 18
Jonathan and David
When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bonded to the soul of David, and [a]Jonathan loved him as himself. Saul took David that day and did not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan stripped himself of the outer robe that he was wearing and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword, his bow, and his belt. So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and he acted wisely and prospered; and Saul appointed him over the men of war. And it pleased all the people and also Saul’s servants.
As they were coming [home], when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul with tambourines, [songs of] joy, and [b]musical instruments. The women sang as they played and danced, saying,
“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.”
Then Saul became very angry, for this saying [c]displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed [only] thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” Saul looked at David with suspicion [and jealously] from that day forward.
Saul Turns against David
Now it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul, and he raved [madly] inside his house, while David was playing the harp with his hand, as usual; and there was a spear in Saul’s hand. Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice.
Now Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul. So Saul had David removed from his presence and appointed him as his commander of a thousand; and he [d]publicly associated with the people. David acted wisely and prospered in all his ways, and the Lord was with him. When Saul saw that he was prospering greatly, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he publicly associated with them.
Then Saul said to David, “Behold I will give you my older daughter Merab as a wife; only be brave for me and fight the Lord’s battles.” For Saul thought, “My hand shall not be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my life or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be the king’s son-in-law?” But at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, she was [instead] given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.
David Marries Saul’s Daughter
Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David; and when they told Saul, it pleased him. Saul said, “I will give her to him so that she may become a snare (bad influence, source of trouble) to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David for a second time, “You shall be my son-in-law today.” Then Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David secretly, saying, ‘Listen, the king delights in you, and all his servants love you; now then, become the king’s son-in-law.’” So Saul’s servants spoke these words to David. But David said, “Is it a trivial thing in your sight to become a king’s son-in-law, seeing that I am a poor man and insignificant?” The servants of Saul told him what David said. Then Saul said, “This is what you shall say to David: ‘The king wants no dowry except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to take vengeance on the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul’s intention was to cause [e]David’s death at the hand of the Philistines. When his servants told David these words, it pleased him to become the king’s son-in-law. Before the time [for the marriage] arrived, David arose and went, he and his men, and killed two hundred Philistine men, and David brought their foreskins [as proof of death] and presented [f]every one of them to the king, so that he might become the king’s son-in-law. So Saul gave him Michal, his [younger] daughter, as a wife. When Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, his daughter, loved him, Saul was even more afraid of David; and Saul became David’s constant enemy.
Then the Philistine commanders (princes) came out to battle, and it happened as often as they did, that David acted more wisely and had more success than all Saul’s servants. So his name was highly esteemed.
- 1 Samuel 18:1 David’s testimony before Saul and Jonathan’s response to hearing it established a friendship, admiration and loyalty that lasted beyond Jonathan’s death (2 Sam 9:1).
- 1 Samuel 18:6 Lit three-stringed.
- 1 Samuel 18:8 Lit was evil in his eyes.
- 1 Samuel 18:13 Lit went out and came in before and so throughout the chapter.
- 1 Samuel 18:25 Lit David to fall by.
- 1 Samuel 18:27 Lit in full number.