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Bible Commentaries

Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

1 Samuel 17

Verse 1

Now. Ch. 1 Samuel 17:1 reads on chronologically from 1 Samuel 16:13 (see note on 1 Samuel 16:14 ). An author's right is claimed for placing the later episode here (1 Samuel 16:14 , 1 Samuel 16:23 ), in order to connect and contrast the two spirits with Saul and David. The canonical order alternates David's call and Saul's. See notes on 1 Samuel 16:14 ; 1 Samuel 18:12 .

Verse 2

men . Hebrew. 'ish. App-14 .

by = in. About sixteen miles south-west of Jerusalem.

Verse 4

champion . Hebrew. 'ish-habbenayivl = "the man between the two [hosts]", or, the duellist. This accords with the subscription of Psalms 8:0 (see note there)

Muth-labben = the death of the man between; i.e. the death of the champion (Goliath) which Psalms 8:0 celebrates. Psalms 144:0 , which has the same words, "What is man" has for its title in Septuagint. "A Psalm of David concerning Goliath"(compare1 Samuel 8:4; 1 Samuel 8:4 with Psalms 144:3 ). See 1 Samuel 17:23 .

six . Note this number "6" stamped like a "hallmark" on this "man" (as on Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 3:0 ) Compare the six pieces of armour, verses: 1 Samuel 17:5-9.17.7 .

cubits . See App-51 .

span . See App-51 .

Verse 5

And . Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton in verses: 1 Samuel 17:5-9.17.7 . App-6 . Note the six pieces of armour thus emphasised; and see App-10 .

Verse 6

target . Hebrew. kedon, a small shield. Translated "shield "in 1 Samuel 17:45 .

Verse 7

shield . Hebrew zinnah, a shield of the largest size, covering the whole body. Same word in 1 Samuel 17:41 , not 1 Samuel 17:6 and 1 Samuel 17:45 .

Verse 8

man . Hebrew. 'ish . App-14 .

Verse 11

greatly afraid = feared exceedingly. Compare 1 Samuel 17:24 .

Verse 12

eight sons . David was now between sixteen and seventeen years old. See note on 1 Samuel 16:5 .

men. Hebrew 'enosh. App-14 .

for an old man . Septuagint and Syriac read "was old", advanced in years.

Verse 14

was = he [was].

Verse 16

forty . The number significant of probation. App-10 .

Verse 17

ephah . See App-51 .

Verse 18

their pledge : i.e. a token from them of their welfare = a message or letter, or a lock of hair. Compare Genesis 37:13 , Gen 14:32 , Gen 14:33 .

Verse 20

as = according as.

fight = place of battle.

Verse 22

carriage = baggage: i. e, goods carried.

Verse 23

behold . Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .

armies = ranks.

Verse 24

men. Hebrew. 'ish. App-14 .

man . Hebrew. 'ish. App-14 .

were sore afraid = feared exceedingly. Compare 1 Samuel 17:11 .

Verse 25

and. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton. App-6 .

Verse 26

men . Heb, 'enosh. App-14 .

defy = reproach.

God. Hebrew. Elohim . App-4 . "Living", always in contrast with idols.

Verse 30

manner = word.

Verse 32

Let no man's heart fail. Septuagint reads "Let not the heart of my lord fail".

man's . Hebrew. 'adam. App-14 .

Verse 34

kept = was keeping. Compare 1 Samuel 16:11 .

his . Some codices, quoted in the Massorah, read "my".

and. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton ( App-6 ) in verses: 1 Samuel 17:34-9.17.36 .

Verse 35

beard = mane, or throat.

Verse 36

them . The Septuagint adds "them" and reads "[Shall I not go and smite him, and turn aside reproach to-day from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine] that he hath", &c.

defied = reproached.

living God , Both these words in plural in Hebrew Compare 1 Samuel 17:26 .

Verse 37

The LORD = Jehovah . App-4 .

paw . . . hand . Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause) for power put forth by it. App-6 .

Verse 39

assayed = tried, or, was content to start: assay French essayer.

Verse 40

staff = club, one of the three equipments of the Eastern shepherd: crook for the sheep's help, club for sheep's defence, and the bag for himself.

Verse 42

ruddy. Compare 1 Samuel 16:12 , 1 Samuel 16:13 .

dog . No stronger term of contempt. 2 Kings 8:13 .Matthew 15:26 .

gods = god, as in Judges 16:23 .

Verse 44

field. Some codices, with Aramaean, Septuagint, and Vulgate, read "earth".

Verse 45

shield. See note on "target", 1 Samuel 17:6 .

the LORD of hosts . See note on 1 Samuel 1:3 .

Verse 46

and. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton in verses: 1 Samuel 17:46-9.17.47 . give. Septuagint reads "give [thy limbs and] the carcasses", &c.

that there is a God in Israel = that Israel bath a God.

Verse 47

assembly = assembled host. Compare Numbers 22:4 , "company".

Verse 51

drew it out ; showing that Goliath had not deigned to do so.

champion . Hebrew. gibbor = mighty man. App-14 . Not the same word as in 1 Samuel 17:4 and 1 Samuel 17:23 .

Verse 52

the valley . Septuagint reads "entrance into Gath".

wounded = stricken, or slain.

Verse 53

children = sons.

tents = camps.

Verse 54

Jerusalem . Jerusalem (west of Moriah) had been taken by Judah, who dwelt there. The Jebusites were still holding Jebus, or Zion, the mount immediately south of Moriah. Compare Joshua 15:63 .Judges 1:7 , Judges 1:8 . Zion was taken later by David. See 2 Samuel 5:7 , and App-68 .

Verse 55

whose son . . . ? Though Saul had just had an interview with David, he did not know his father, whom he had promised (1 Samuel 17:25 ) to make free in Israel. Note in all these passages (verses: 55, 56, 58) Saul's inquiry is not about David, but about David's father.

thy soul = thyself (emph.) Hebrew. nephesh. App-13 .

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 17". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/1-samuel-17.html. 1909-1922.