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David and Goliath

1 Samuel 17:49

And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.

Full bible text

​1 Samuël 17 verses 1 to 11 and 40 to 52.
Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle. And they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. 2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in line of battle against the Philistines. 3 And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. 4 And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. 7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him. 8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd's pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine. 41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, ‘Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?’ And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand. 48 When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52 And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron.

About this painting

In 1 Samuel 17 there is again mention of a Philistine advance against the Israelites. King Saul gathers his army to stop the raid. The armies of the Philistines and the Israelites are arrayed on either side of the valley of Elah; the ‘Valley of the Terebinths,’ which is about 15 miles (25 km) west of Bethlehem.
Because of his disobedience in the earlier battle against the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15), King Saul has forfeited the favor of God. The prophet Samuel must then secretly anoint young David, the son of Jesse, as king. 1 Samuel 16.
David's victory over Goliath draws the people's attention to David, and Saul's kingship again loses authority.

Goliath, a Philistine camp fighter about ten feet tall and wearing impressive armor, challenges the Israelites to send a man to fight him. Both men then fight alternately for their armies. However, Saul and the Israelites fear Goliath.
When David enters the Israelite camp, he says, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should dare to mock the ranks of the living God?", verse 26. These words can be understood against the background of the Deuteronomy commission in chapter 7, where Israel is commanded by God to 'banish' or exterminate the Canaanite peoples. These peoples are being driven out of the land of Canaan as a punishment for their sins. God promised the land Canaan to Israel. Israel, however, is no more than an instrument in God's hand, for He Himself leads the battle. As the battle against Jericho was led by the Commander of the Lord's army, so David knows that "the battle is of the Lord" even now. See verse 47. That gives him tremendous courage of faith.
He meets Goliath "in the name of the LORD of hosts," and kills Goliath.
God the LORD is the true King of Israel. David will later be “viceroy” under God.

The battle against Goliath, who wears scaly armor and is mortally wounded in the head, is reminiscent of Genesis 3:15, where it is promised that Eve's descendant would crush the (scaly) serpent’s head. That promise is fulfilled in Jesus, the Son of David, who crushed the head of Satan, the "old serpent" (Revelation 12:9) on Calvary, though His outward form was feeble.
David's fight against Goliath foreshadowed this. It was a spiritual battle for the honour of God's Name.
In the spiritual battle that still has to be waged, Christians can only overcome in God's power.

Philippians 4 vers 13: ‘I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.’

John 15 verse 5: ‘ for apart from Me you can do nothing.’

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