Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 17

Goliath insults David

1 Samuel 17:41-44

David did not begin the fight against Goliath: Goliath started it.

David had gone down to the stream to select suitable stones for the fight. That stream was in the valley between the two armies (17:3).

Goliath was in his usual position at the front of Philistiaís army. He was trying to frighten away anyone from Israel who dared to move forward.

Then Goliath saw David. David was perhaps 15 or 18 years old, but he seemed very young in Goliathís opinion. The description of David in 1 Samuel 17:42 is like the description in 1 Samuel 16:12, when David was just a boy.

Goliath was a very cruel man, and immediately he hated David. Goliath moved closer to David because Goliath wanted to kill David with his javelin. The javelin was a metal pole with a sharp end. Goliath needed to be close enough to David so that he could throw the javelin accurately.

Soon, David would be in great danger. Goliath laughed at David. The staff (stick) that David was carrying seemed very weak in Goliathís opinion.

Then Goliath cursed David in the name of his false gods. In other words, Goliath asked his god to punish David with an awful death. Nobody would even bury Davidís body. Instead wild dogs and vultures (nasty wild birds that eat dead bodies) would eat up Davidís body.

Goliath was close to David, but David could not throw a stone at Goliath. Another soldier from Philistia was carrying a shield in front of Goliath. A shield was a large board, probably of wood and leather. If David threw a stone from his present position, it would hit the shield and not Goliath.

Next part: Davidís reply to Goliath (1 Samuel 17:45-46)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.