Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled1 at Socoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Socoh2 and Azekah.32
Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah4 and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines.
The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.
A champion named Goliath,5 who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feeta tall.
He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekelsb;
on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin6 was slung on his back.
His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod,7 and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.c His shield bearer8 went ahead of him.
Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose9 a man and have him come down to me.
If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us."
Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy10 the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.11"
On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
Now David was the son of an Ephrathite12 named Jesse,13 who was from Bethlehem14 in Judah. Jesse had eight15 sons, and in Saul's time he was old and well advanced in years.
Jesse's three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab;16 the second, Abinadab;17 and the third, Shammah.1814
David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul,
but David went back and forth from Saul to tend19 his father's sheep20 at Bethlehem.
For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.
Now Jesse said to his son David, "Take this ephahd21 of roasted grain22 and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp.
Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit.e See how your brothers23 are and bring back some assurancef from them.
They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines."
Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry.
Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other.
David left his things with the keeper of supplies,24 ran to the battle lines and greeted his brothers.
As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual25 defiance, and David heard it.
When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.
Now the Israelites had been saying, "Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter26 in marriage and will exempt his father's family from taxes27 in Israel."
David asked the men standing near him, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace28 from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised29 Philistine that he should defy30 the armies of the living31 God?"
They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, "This is what will be done for the man who kills him."
When Eliab, David's oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger32 at him and asked, "Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle."
"Now what have I done?" said David. "Can't I even speak?"
He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before.