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.