17 The Philistines gathered their troops 2 for battle. They assembled at Socoh in Judah. They camped in Ephes Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah. 2 Saul and the Israelite army 3 assembled and camped in the valley of Elah, where they arranged their battle lines to fight against 4 the Philistines. 3 The Philistines were standing on one hill, and the Israelites 5 on another hill, with the valley between them.
4 Then a champion 6 came out from the camp of the Philistines. His name was Goliath; he was from Gath. He was close to seven feet tall. 7 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and was wearing scale body armor. The weight of his bronze body armor was five thousand shekels. 8 6 He had bronze shin guards 9 on his legs, and a bronze javelin was slung over his shoulders. 7 The shaft 10 of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and the iron point of his spear weighed six hundred shekels. 11 His shield bearer was walking before him.
8 Goliath 12 stood and called to Israel’s troops, 13 “Why do you come out to prepare for battle? Am I not the Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose 14 for yourselves a man so he may come down 15 to me! 9 If he is able to fight with me and strike me down, we will become your servants. But if I prevail against him and strike him down, you will become our servants and will serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “I defy Israel’s troops this day! Give me a man so we can fight 16 each other!” 11 When Saul and all the Israelites 17 heard these words of the Philistine, they were upset and very afraid. 12 18
Now David was the son of this Ephrathite named Jesse from Bethlehem 19 in Judah. He had eight sons, and in Saul’s days he was old and well advanced in years. 20 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to war. The names of the 21 three sons who went to war were Eliab, his firstborn, Abinadab, the second oldest, and Shammah, the third oldest. 14 Now David was the youngest. While the three oldest sons followed Saul, 15 David was going back and forth 22 from Saul in order to care for his father’s sheep in Bethlehem.
16 Meanwhile for forty days the Philistine approached every morning and evening and took his position. 17 Jesse said to his son David, “Take your brothers this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread; go quickly 23 to the camp to your brothers. 18 Also take these ten portions of cheese to their commanding officer. 24 Find out how your brothers are doing 25 and bring back their pledge that they received the goods. 26 19 They are with Saul and the whole Israelite army 27 in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.”
20 So David got up early in the morning and entrusted the flock to someone else who would watch over it. 28 After loading up, he went just as Jesse had instructed him. He arrived at the camp 29 as the army was going out to the battle lines shouting its battle cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines drew up their battle lines opposite one another. 22 After David had entrusted his cargo to the care of the supply officer, 30 he ran to the battlefront. When he arrived, he asked his brothers how they were doing. 23 As he was speaking with them, the champion named Goliath, the Philistine from Gath, was coming up from the battle lines of the Philistines. He spoke the way he usually did, 31 and David heard it. 24 When all the men of Israel saw this man, they retreated 32 from his presence and were very afraid.
25 The men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who is coming up? He does so 33 to defy Israel. But the king will make the man who can strike him down very wealthy! He will give him his daughter in marriage, and he will make his father’s house exempt from tax obligations in Israel.”
26 David asked the men who were standing near him, “What will be done for the man who strikes down this Philistine and frees Israel from this humiliation? 34 For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he defies the armies of the living God?” 27 The soldiers 35 told him what had been promised, saying, 36 “This is what will be done for the man who can strike him down.”
28 When David’s 37 oldest brother Eliab heard him speaking to the men, he became angry 38 with David and said, “Why have you come down here? To whom did you entrust those few sheep in the desert? I am familiar with your pride and deceit! 39 You have come down here to watch the battle!”
29 David replied, “What have I done now? Can’t I say anything?” 40 30 Then he turned from those who were nearby to someone else and asked the same question, 41 but they 42 gave him the same answer as before. 31 When David’s words were overheard and reported to Saul, he called for him. 43
32 David said to Saul, “Don’t let anyone be discouraged. 44 Your servant will go and fight this Philistine!” 33 But Saul replied to David, “You aren’t able to go against this Philistine and fight him! You’re just a boy! He has been a warrior from his youth!”
34 David replied to Saul, “Your servant has been a shepherd for his father’s flock. Whenever a lion or bear would come and carry off a sheep from the flock, 35 I would go out after it, strike it down, and rescue the sheep from its mouth. If it rose up against me, I would grab it by its jaw, strike it, and kill it. 36 Your servant has struck down both the lion and the bear. This uncircumcised Philistine will be just like one of them. 45 For he has defied the armies of the living God!” 37 David went on to say, “The Lord who delivered me from the lion and the bear will also deliver me from the hand of this Philistine!” Then Saul said to David, “Go! The Lord will be with you.” 46
38 Then Saul clothed David with his own fighting attire and put a bronze helmet on his head. He also put body armor on him. 39 David strapped on his sword over his fighting attire and tried to walk around, but he was not used to them. 47 David said to Saul, “I can’t walk in these things, for I’m not used to them.” So David removed them. 40 He took his staff in his hand, picked out five smooth stones from the stream, placed them in the pouch 48 of his shepherd’s bag, took his sling in hand, and approached the Philistine. 41 49
The Philistine kept coming closer to David, with his shield bearer walking in front of him. 42 When the Philistine looked carefully at David, he despised him, for he was only a ruddy and handsome boy. 43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you are coming after me with sticks?” 50 Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come here to me, so I can give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the field!” 51
45 But David replied to the Philistine, “You are coming against me with sword and spear and javelin. But I am coming against you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel’s armies, whom you have defied! 46 This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand! I will strike you down and cut off your head. This day I will give the corpses of the Philistine army to the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the land. Then all the land will realize that Israel has a God 47 and all this assembly will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves! For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will deliver you into our hand.”
48 The Philistine drew steadily closer to David to attack him, while David quickly ran toward the battle line to attack the Philistine. 52 49 David reached his hand into the bag and took out a stone. He slung it, striking the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank deeply into his forehead, and he fell down with his face to the ground. 50 53
David prevailed over the Philistine with just the sling and the stone. He struck down the Philistine and killed him. David did not even have a sword in his hand. 54 51 David ran and stood over the Philistine. He grabbed Goliath’s 55 sword, drew it from its sheath, 56 killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they ran away.
52 Then the men of Israel and Judah charged forward, shouting a battle cry. 57 They chased the Philistines to the valley 58 and to the very gates of Ekron. The Philistine corpses lay fallen along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. 53 When the Israelites returned from their hot pursuit of the Philistines, they looted their camp. 54 David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, 59 and he put Goliath’s 60 weapons in his tent. 55 61
Now as Saul watched David going out to fight the Philistine, he asked Abner, the general in command of the army, “Whose son is this young man, Abner?” Abner replied, “As surely as you live, O king, I don’t know.” 56 The king said, “Find out whose son this boy is!”
57 So when David returned from striking down the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul. He still had the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58 Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” David replied, “I am the son of your servant Jesse in Bethlehem.” 62
18 When David 1 had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan and David became bound together in close friendship. 2 Jonathan loved David as much as he did his own life. 3 2 Saul retained David 4 on that day and did not allow him to return to his father’s house. 3 Jonathan made a covenant with David, for he loved him as much as he did his own life. 5 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with the rest of his gear, including his sword, his bow, and even his belt.
5 On every mission on which Saul sent him, David achieved success. So Saul appointed him over the men of war. This pleased not only all the army, but also Saul’s servants. 6
6 When the men 7 arrived after David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women from all the cities of Israel came out singing and dancing to meet King Saul. They were happy as they played their tambourines and three-stringed instruments. 8 7 The women who were playing the music sang,
“Saul has struck down his thousands,
but David his tens of thousands!”
8 This made Saul very angry. The statement displeased him and he thought, 9 “They have attributed to David tens of thousands, but to me they have attributed only thousands. What does he lack, except the kingdom?” 9 So Saul was keeping an eye on David from that day onward.
10 The next day an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul and he prophesied within his house. Now David was playing the lyre 10 that day. There was a spear in Saul’s hand, 11 and Saul threw the spear, thinking, “I’ll nail David to the wall!” But David escaped from him on two different occasions.
12 So Saul feared David, because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 13 Saul removed David 11 from his presence and made him a commanding officer. 12 David led the army out to battle and back. 13 14 Now David achieved success in all he did, 14 for the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw how very successful he was, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he was the one leading them out to battle and back. 17 15
Then Saul said to David, “Here’s my oldest daughter, Merab. I want to give her to you in marriage. Only be a brave warrior 16 for me and fight the battles of the Lord.” For Saul thought, “There’s no need for me to raise my hand against him. Let it be the hand of the Philistines!”
18 David said to Saul, “Who am I? Who are my relatives or the clan of my father 17 in Israel that I should become the king’s son-in-law?” 19 When the time came for Merab, Saul’s daughter, to be given to David, she instead was given in marriage to Adriel, who was from Meholah.
20 Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David. When they told Saul about this, it 18 pleased him. 21 Saul said, “I will give her to him so that she may become a snare to him and the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David, “Today is the second time for you to become my son-in-law.” 19
22 Then Saul instructed his servants, “Tell David secretly, ‘The king is pleased with you, and all his servants like you. So now become the king’s son-in-law.” 23 So Saul’s servants spoke these words privately 20 to David. David replied, “Is becoming the king’s son-in-law something insignificant to you? I’m just a poor and lightly-esteemed man!”
24 When Saul’s servants reported what David had said, 25 Saul replied, “Here is what you should say to David: ‘There is nothing that the king wants as a price for the bride except a hundred Philistine foreskins, so that he can be avenged of his 21 enemies.’” (Now Saul was thinking that he could kill David by the hand of the Philistines.)
26 So his servants told David these things and David agreed 22 to become the king’s son-in-law. Now the specified time had not yet expired 23 27 when David, along with his men, went out 24 and struck down two hundred Philistine men. David brought their foreskins and presented all of them to the king so he could become the king’s son-in-law. Saul then gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.
28 When Saul realized 25 that the Lord was with David and that his 26 daughter Michal loved David, 27 29 Saul became even more afraid of him. 28 Saul continued to be at odds with David from then on. 29 30 30 Then the leaders of the Philistines would march out, and as often as they did so, David achieved more success than all of Saul’s servants. His name was held in high esteem.
19 Then Saul told his son Jonathan and all his servants to kill David. But Saul’s son Jonathan liked David very much. 1 2 So Jonathan told David, “My father Saul is trying 2 to kill you. So be careful tomorrow morning. Find 3 a hiding place and stay in seclusion. 4 3 I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are. I will speak about you to my father. When I find out what the problem is, 5 I will let you know.”
4 So Jonathan spoke on David’s behalf 6 to his father Saul. He said to him, “The king should not sin against his servant David, for he has not sinned against you. On the contrary, his actions have been very beneficial 7 for you. 5 He risked his life 8 when he struck down the Philistine and the Lord gave all Israel a great victory. When you saw it, you were happy. So why would you sin against innocent blood by putting David to death for no reason?”
6 Saul accepted Jonathan’s advice 9 and took an oath, “As surely as the Lord lives, he will not be put to death.” 7 Then Jonathan called David and told him all these things. Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he served him as he had done formerly. 10
8 Now once again there was war. So David went out to fight the Philistines. He defeated them thoroughly 11 and they ran away from him. 9 Then an evil spirit from the Lord came upon 12 Saul. He was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, while David was playing the lyre. 13 10 Saul tried to nail David to the wall with the spear, but he escaped from Saul’s presence and the spear drove into the wall. 14 David escaped quickly 15 that night.
11 Saul sent messengers to David’s house to guard it and to kill him in the morning. Then David’s wife Michal told him, “If you do not save yourself 16 tonight, tomorrow you will be dead!” 12 So Michal lowered David through the window, and he ran away and escaped.
13 Then Michal took a household idol 17 and put it on the bed. She put a quilt 18 made of goat’s hair over its head 19 and then covered the idol with a garment. 14 When Saul sent messengers to arrest David, she said, “He’s sick.”
15 Then Saul sent the messengers back to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me on his bed so I can kill him.” 16 When the messengers came, they found only the idol on the bed and the quilt made of goat’s hair at its head.
17 Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me this way by sending my enemy away? Now he has escaped!” Michal replied to Saul, “He said to me, ‘Help me get away or else I will kill you!’” 20
18 Now David had run away and escaped. He went to Samuel in Ramah and told him everything that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went and stayed at Naioth. 19 It was reported to Saul saying, “David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20 So Saul sent messengers to capture David. When they saw a company of prophets prophesying with Samuel standing there as their leader, the spirit of God came upon Saul’s messengers, and they also prophesied. 21 When it was reported to Saul, he sent more messengers, but they prophesied too. So Saul sent messengers a third time, but they also prophesied. 22 Finally Saul 21 himself went to Ramah. When he arrived at the large cistern that is in Secu, he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” They said, “At Naioth in Ramah.”
23 So Saul went to Naioth in Ramah. The Spirit of God came upon him as well, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 He even stripped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel. He lay there 22 naked all that day and night. (For that reason it is asked, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”)