Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 17

Goliath insults Israelís army

1 Samuel 17:8-11

Everyone in Israelís army knew clearly that their battle against Philistiaís army would be a very important battle.

The defeat of Israelís army would give control of their entire country to Philistiaís rulers. On the other hand, success against Philistia would make Saulís rule in Israel strong. The two countries continued to be serious enemies during the whole of Saulís rule.

Israelís army did not begin the attack because its soldiers were too afraid. They could see that Philistiaís army included many very strong men. The most impressive of these men was, of course, Goliath.

Every day, Goliath came out of his camp to laugh at Israelís men. He told them that they did not need to fight a battle. They only needed to find one man from Israel who could fight him (Goliath). If that man killed Goliath, the defeat of Philistiaís army was certain. If Goliath killed the man from Israel, the defeat of Israelís army was certain.

That was what Goliath said. The reality, of course, is that one fight does not win a battle. However, both armies would watch the fight. The army whose hero won would gain great courage for the battle. The other army would become weak and afraid. Clearly, it would be impossible for Israelís army to win that battle unless one of its men killed Goliath.

Really, Goliath wanted to frighten Israelís men so much that they would all run away. He wanted them to go back to their homes. Then Philistiaís army could take control of Israel without any battle. However, Saul was such a powerful man that none of Israelís soldiers dared to leave their camp. For those reasons, both armies waited in their camps for 40 days, and neither side began the battle.

Next part: David arrives at Israelís camp (1 Samuel 17:12-20)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.