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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

1 Samuel 17

Verses 1-58


Goliath’s challenge and defeat (17:1-58)

The Philistines again assembled their troops to fight against Israel (17:1-3). As often happened in ancient warfare, the invaders challenged the defenders by calling for a contest between the champions of the two sides (4-11). At this time David was back on his father’s farm at Bethlehem, for he did not need to remain at Saul’s court when Saul was away directing affairs on the battlefield (12-16).
When circumstances later brought David to the scene of the battle, he discovered that the Philistines had a champion, Goliath, whom no Israelite dared to fight (17-25). David was not even a soldier, but he volunteered to fight the Philistine (26-32). He reasoned that since Goliath had defied God he was certain of defeat, and since Israel was God’s army it was certain of victory (33-40; cf. v. 26, 45). David killed Goliath without using a sword or a spear, proving that God did not need weapons to save his people (41-50). The Philistines fled in confusion, but the Israelites caught and killed many of them, then plundered the camp they left behind (51-54).
Saul did not immediately recognize David as the young man who had previously played music to calm him during his half-mad fits. It was probably after David’s victory over Goliath that Saul took him into his court permanently, making him his armour-bearer and full-time court musician (55-58; see 16:21-22; 18:2).


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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 17". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/1-samuel-17.html. 2005.