Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 17

David arrives at Israel’s camp

1 Samuel 17:12-20

Every morning and evening for 40 days, Saul had ordered Israel’s army to begin the battle against Philistia’s army. The men got ready for the battle, then they went to their positions in the valley, between the two camps.

Philistia’s soldiers arranged themselves in a similar manner at the other side of the valley. The two armies began to shout at each other, and Israel’s men wanted very much to fight.

Then Goliath, the giant man, stood forward at the front of Philistia’s army. He laughed at Israel’s men; none of them dared to fight him. So Israel’s men returned to their camp and the battle did not begin. They were more afraid of Goliath than they were afraid of Saul.

After 40 days, the situation was becoming desperate for Israel. Israel’s army was running out of food. If the soldiers returned home, Philistia’s army would take control of Israel without even a battle. So Israel’s army depended very much on young men like David who brought food to the soldiers.

David had to walk about 15 miles (25 kilometres) from Bethlehem to the army’s camp. He took as much grain and bread as he could carry. He took that food for his three brothers. They were ordinary soldiers; David also had a gift for the commander of their group.

David left home early in the morning. He had a heavy load, but he was walking down the hill for most of the distance. He arrived while the army was leaving their camp that morning. David went with them and he greeted his brothers.

Next part: Goliath’s behaviour astonishes David (1 Samuel 17:21-24)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.