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The Story of David: David and Goliath

Once upon a time there was a shepherd named David. His three older brothers went off to fight in the army of Israel, under the command of King Saul. But David stayed behind with their father, Jesse, in the town of Bethlehem.

One day after his brothers had been gone for forty days, David’s father said to him, “Go take this bread and cheese and corn to the camp where your brothers and the rest of the army are, and give all this to the captain of their company.”

When David got to the place where the army of Israel was, they were just getting ready to go to battle with the army of the Philistines.

A champion came out of the camp of the Philistine army, a man named Goliath. He was over nine feet tall. He had a helmet of brass on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and he wore brass armor on his legs, and brass armor on his back. He carried a long spear, with an iron tip that weighed six hundred shekels.

He stood in the valley between the two armies, and called out to army of Israel. “Why are ye come to set your battle in array?” he shouted. “Am not I a Philistine, and ye servants of Saul? Choose a man from among you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him, and kill him, then you shall all be our servants, and serve us.”

When Saul and the army of Israel heard Goliath’s challenge, they were greatly afraid.

David came up to the army of Israel right after Goliath has issued his challenge. All the men in the army were talking about it. “Have you seen this man who has come up from the army of the Philistines?” they said. “King Saul has promised that if any man dares to take Goliath’s challenge, and also manages to kill Goliath, the king will give that man great riches, and give him the princess in marriage.”

Eliab, David’s eldest brother, saw David just then. “What are you doing here?” said his brother angrily. “I know your pride, and the naughtiness of your heart. You just came down so that you could watch the battle.”

David told Eliab that their father had sent him. “And now that I’m here,” he said, “I will go and fight this Goliath.”

Saul heard that David said he would fight Goliath. So Saul sent for David. But when he saw how young David was, he said, “You are not able to fight Goliath.”

“I have watched my father’s sheep,” said David, “and when a lion and a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went after them. I took the lion by his beard and killed him; and I killed the bear; and I can kill this Goliath too.”

Saul gave David a helmet made of brass, and a sword to buckle around his waist. But David took off the helmet and the sword. He took his shepherd’s staff, and he took five smooth stones from the brook, and he took his sling.

When Goliath, the Philistine, saw David, the shepherd, he laughed. “Come to me,” said Goliath, “and I will give leave you dead for the vultures to feed upon.”

“You come with a sword and a shield,” said David. “But I come in the name of Adonai, the god of Israel. Adonai will deliver you into my hand, and I will leave you dead for the vultures to feed upon.”

Goliath arose and started walking forward to meet David. David put his hand in his bag and took one of the five smooth stones. He ran ahead to meet Goliath, put the stone in his sling, and using his sling hit Goliath right in the forehead, and Goliath fell down dead.

When David returned, he was taken to Saul, and Saul adopted him as one of his own sons. And David became best friends with Saul’s own son, Jonathan.


Source: Hebrew Bible, 1 Samuel 18.