Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 21

The sword of Goliath

1 Samuel 21:8-9

When David fought Goliath, he had no experience in the use of a sword. For that reason, David refused to take a sword with him (17:50). He used Goliathís own sword to cut off his head (17:51).

Now, however, David needed a sword to defend himself. As an army commander, David had learnt how to use a sword well. So, he asked the chief priest for a sword. The chief priest offered him the sword of Goliath.

Here, we learn for the first time what happened to Goliathís sword. It was a valuable object, and, after the fight, David had the right to keep it.

However, David did not keep it. That sword was evidence of the fact that God had rescued Israel. David did not consider that he himself had defeated Goliath: it was God who saved Israel that day (17:46).

So David had handed the sword over to Israelís priests. They considered it a sacred object; they placed it with other sacred objects that showed Godís relationship with Israel. They put it next to the ephod, a long shirt that the chief priest wore. He used certain objects in the ephod, called the URIM and THUMMIM, when he inquired of God.

The chief priest offered that sword back to David because he had no other sword to offer him. Usually, it would not be right for someone to take back something that he had given to God. However, on this occasion the chief priest permitted it. Perhaps it was right for David to carry with him the evidence of what God had done for him in the past. Until David could return that sword to Godís house, it would constantly remind him to trust God.

Next part: Gath in Philistia (1 Samuel 21:10)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.