Now David was the son of an Ephrathite1 named Jesse,2 who was from Bethlehem3 in Judah. Jesse had eight4 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;5 the second, Abinadab;6 and the third, Shammah.714
David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul,
but David went back and forth from Saul to tend8 his father's sheep9 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 ephaha10 of roasted grain11 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.b See how your brothers12 are and bring back some assurancec 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,13 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 usual14 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 daughter15 in marriage and will exempt his father's family from taxes16 in Israel."
David asked the men standing near him, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace17 from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised18 Philistine that he should defy19 the armies of the living20 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 anger21 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.
What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.
David said to Saul, "Let no one lose heart22 on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him."
Saul replied,23 "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth."
But David said to Saul, "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion24 or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock,
I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized25 it by its hair, struck it and killed it.
Your servant has killed both the lion26 and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.
The LORD who delivered27 me from the paw of the lion28 and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with29 you."
Then Saul dressed David in his own30 tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.
David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. "I cannot go in these," he said to Saul, "because I am not used to them." So he took them off.
Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer31 in front of him, kept coming closer to David.
He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome,32 and he despised33 him.
He said to David, "Am I a dog,34 that you come at me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
"Come here," he said, "and I'll give your flesh to the birds of the air35 and the beasts of the field!36"
David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,37 but I come against you in the name38 of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.3946
This day the LORD will hand40 you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses41 of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world42 will know that there is a God in Israel.4347
All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword44 or spear that the LORD saves;45 for the battle46 is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.
Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling47 and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut48 off his head with the sword.49 When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.
Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gathd and to the gates of Ekron.50 Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim51 road to Gath and Ekron.
When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp.
David took the Philistine's head and brought it to Jerusalem, and he put the Philistine's weapons in his own tent.
As Saul watched David52 going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, "Abner,53 whose son is that young man?" Abner replied, "As surely as you live, O king, I don't know."
The king said, "Find out whose son this young man is."
As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine's head.
"Whose son are you, young man?" Saul asked him. David said, "I am the son of your servant Jesse54 of Bethlehem."