1 Samuel 17:40-47

40 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.
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David.
42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him.
43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.
47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

1 Samuel 17:40-47 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO FIRST SAMUEL 17

This chapter relates how the armies of Israel, and of the Philistines, prepared for battle, and where, 1Sa 17:1-3, describes a champion of the Philistines, who defied the armies of Israel, 1Sa 17:4-11, and while he was so doing, it informs us that David came into the camp, and he heard his words, and signified to one and another his inclination to fight with him, 1Sa 17:12-30, which being reported to Saul, David was sent for by him, and much discourse passed between them about it, 1Sa 17:31-37 when we are told the manner in which he engaged with the Philistine, and the victory he obtained over him, 1Sa 17:38-51 upon which the Philistines fled, and Israel pursued them; and on account of this action David was taken notice of by Saul, and brought to court again, as the following chapter shows, 1Sa 17:52-58.

1 Samuel 17:40-47 In-Context

38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.
39 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.
40 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.
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David.
42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him.
43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.
47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.
49 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.

Cross References 16

  • 1. ver 7
  • 2. 1 Samuel 16:12
  • 3. Psalms 123:3-4; Proverbs 16:18
  • 4. 1 Samuel 24:14; 2 Samuel 3:8; 2 Samuel 9:8; 2 Kings 8:13
  • 5. S Genesis 40:19; Revelation 19:17
  • 6. 2 Samuel 21:10; Jeremiah 34:20; 1 Kings 20:10-11
  • 7. S ver 6
  • 8. Deuteronomy 20:1; 2 Samuel 22:33,35; 2 Chronicles 13:12; 2 Chronicles 14:11; 2 Chronicles 32:8; Psalms 20:7-8; Psalms 124:8; Hebrews 11:32-34
  • 9. S ver 10
  • 10. S 1 Samuel 14:12
  • 11. S Deuteronomy 28:26
  • 12. S Joshua 4:24; 1 Kings 8:43; Isaiah 52:10; S Isaiah 11:9
  • 13. 1 Kings 18:36; 2 Kings 5:8; 2 Kings 19:19; Isaiah 37:20
  • 14. Hosea 1:7; Zechariah 4:6
  • 15. 1 Samuel 14:6; 2 Chronicles 14:11; Jeremiah 39:18
  • 16. S Exodus 14:14; S Numbers 21:14; S 1 Samuel 2:9; 2 Chronicles 20:15; Psalms 44:6-7
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.