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 defy1 the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.2"
On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
Now David was the son of an Ephrathite3 named Jesse,4 who was from Bethlehem5 in Judah. Jesse had eight6 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;7 the second, Abinadab;8 and the third, Shammah.914
David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul,
but David went back and forth from Saul to tend10 his father's sheep11 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 ephaha12 of roasted grain13 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 brothers14 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,15 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 usual16 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 daughter17 in marriage and will exempt his father's family from taxes18 in Israel."
David asked the men standing near him, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace19 from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised20 Philistine that he should defy21 the armies of the living22 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 anger23 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 heart24 on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him."
Saul replied,25 "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 lion26 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 seized27 it by its hair, struck it and killed it.
Your servant has killed both the lion28 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 delivered29 me from the paw of the lion30 and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with31 you."
Then Saul dressed David in his own32 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 bearer33 in front of him, kept coming closer to David.
He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome,34 and he despised35 him.
He said to David, "Am I a dog,36 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 air37 and the beasts of the field!38"
David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,39 but I come against you in the name40 of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.4146
This day the LORD will hand42 you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses43 of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world44 will know that there is a God in Israel.45