In the days of the Exodus, most of the Israelites had been afraid to enter the Promised Land because of the giants living there. King OG of Bashan needed a bed over 13 feet long. Now the Philistines had gathered their forces for war and assembled at Socoh in Judah. They pitched their tents and set up camp at a place called Ephes Dammim and Saul with the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah. There they drew the battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites occupied another, with the valley between them.
A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shat was like a weaverâ€™s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.
Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, â€œWhy do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subject; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.â€ Goliath continued to mock the Israelite army and demand that they send someone to fight him. For forty days the giant Philistine came forward every morning and every evening, took his stand, and demanded that someone come and fight him. Saul and all of the Israelites were terrified and dismayed because there was no one who could defeat this giant. It was inevitable that the Israelites were to become the slaves of the Philistines.
Now David was from Bethlehem in Judah. Davidâ€™s three older brothers had joined the Israelite army and had followed Saul to the war. The youngest of eight children, David had stayed at home to tend his fatherâ€™s sheep at Bethlehem. David would go back and forth between the army and his fatherâ€™s house and take food and provisions to his brothers and report back to his father that his brothers were safe.
Saul offered a reward of great wealth to the man who would step forward and fight the giant. He also offered his daughter in marriage and manâ€™s entire family would be exempt from paying taxes in Israel. David went to Saul and volunteered to go fight the Philistine but Saul did not want to send David out because he was just a boy and had no experience fighting at all while Goliath, the giant, had been fighting men since he was a boy. David argued back that he had experience fighting lions and bears with his bare hands in order to save the flock of sheep he watched over back home. David believed that fighting Goliath would be no different than fighting a wild animal because Goliath had defied the armies of the living God. David believed that God would protect him and deliver him from the hand of the Philistine giant.
Saul agreed to let David go fight Goliath. He dressed David in his own uniform and coat of armor and helmet but David was not used to wearing those things and could hardly walk. David took off Saulâ€™s clothing and took his staff in his hand. He chose five smooth stones from the stream and put them in the pouch of his shepherdâ€™s bag and with his sling in his hand he approached the Philistine. Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front o him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy and he despised him. The Philistine cursed David and his God. As the giant moved closer to attack David, the boy ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he stung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he ell facedown onto the ground. So, David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, without a sword in his had he struck down the giant and killed him. David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistineâ€™s sword and drew it from his belt. David then cut off Goliathâ€™s head with the sword.
The Israelite army was then able to advance and overtake the Philistine army and move into the Promised Land that they had been looking to move into for so long.
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