1Samuel (NAB) 11

Saul Defeats the Ammonites

11 1 About a month later, Nahash the Ammonite went up and laid siege to Jabesh-gilead. All the men of Jabesh begged Nahash, "Make a treaty with us, and we will be your subjects." 2 But Nahash the Ammonite replied, "This is my condition for a treaty with you: I must gouge out every man's right eye, that I may thus bring ignominy on all Israel."3 The elders of Jabesh said to him: "Give us seven days to send messengers throughout the territory of Israel. If no one rescues us, we will surrender to you."4 When the messengers arrived at Gibeah of Saul, they related the news to the people, all of whom wept aloud.
Just then Saul came in from the field, behind his oxen. "Why are the people weeping?" he asked. The message of the inhabitants of Jabesh was repeated to him.6 As he listened to this report, the spirit of God rushed upon him and he became very angry.7 Taking a yoke of oxen, he cut them into pieces, which he sent throughout the territory of Israel by couriers with the message, "If anyone does not come out to follow Saul (and Samuel), the same as this will be done to his oxen!" In dread of the LORD, the people turned out to a man.8 When he reviewed them in Bezek, there were three hundred thousand Israelites and seventy thousand Judahites.9 To the messengers who had come he said, "Tell the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead that tomorrow, while the sun is hot, they will be rescued." The messengers came and reported this to the inhabitants of Jabesh, who were jubilant,10 and said to Nahash, "Tomorrow we will surrender to you, and you may do whatever you please with us."11 On the appointed day, Saul arranged his troops in three companies and invaded the camp during the dawn watch. They slaughtered Ammonites until the heat of the day; by then the survivors were so scattered that no two were left together.
The people then said to Samuel: "Who questioned whether Saul should rule over us? Hand over the men and we will put them to death." 13 But Saul broke in to say, "No man is to be put to death this day, for today the LORD has saved Israel."14 Samuel said to the people, "Come, let us go to Gilgal to inaugurate the kingdom there."15 So all the people went to Gilgal, where, in the presence of the LORD, they made Saul king. They also sacrificed peace offerings there before the LORD, and Saul and all the Israelites celebrated the occasion with great joy.

Samuel's Farewell Address

12 1 Samuel addressed all Israel: "I have granted your request in every respect," he said. "I have set a king over you2 and now the king is your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and have sons among you. I have lived with you from my youth to the present day.3 Here I stand! Answer me in the presence of the LORD and of his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose ass have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whom have I accepted a bribe and overlooked his guilt? I will make restitution to you."4 They replied, "You have neither cheated us, nor oppressed us, nor accepted anything from anyone."5 So he said to them, "The LORD is witness against you this day, and his anointed as well, that you have found nothing in my possession." "He is witness," they agreed.
Continuing, Samuel said to the people: "The LORD is witness, who appointed Moses and Aaron, and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt.7 Now, therefore, take your stand, and I shall arraign you before the LORD, and shall recount for you all the acts of mercy the LORD has done for you and your fathers.8 When Jacob and his sons went to Egypt and the Egyptians oppressed them, your fathers appealed to the LORD, who sent Moses and Aaron to bring them out of Egypt, and he gave them this place to live in.9 But they forgot the LORD their God; and he allowed them to fall into the clutches of Sisera, the captain of the army of Jabin, king of Hazor, into the grasp of the Philistines, and into the grip of the king of Moab, who made war against them.10 Each time they appealed to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned in forsaking the LORD and worshiping Baals and Ashtaroth; but deliver us now from the power of our enemies, and we will worship you.'11 Accordingly, the LORD sent Jerubbaal, Barak, Jephthah, and Samuel; he delivered you from the power of your enemies on every side, so that you were able to live in security.12 Yet, when you saw Nahash, king of the Ammonites, advancing against you, you said to me, 'Not so, but a king must rule us,' even though the LORD your God is your king.13 "Now you have the king you want, a king the LORD has given you.14 If you fear the LORD and worship him, if you are obedient to him and do not rebel against the LORD'S command, if both you and the king who rules you follow the LORD your God-- well and good.15 But if you do not obey the LORD and if you rebel against his command, the LORD will deal severely with you and your king, and destroy you.
Now then, stand ready to witness the great marvel the LORD is about to accomplish before your eyes.17 Are we not in the harvest time for wheat? Yet I shall call to the LORD, and he will send thunder and rain. Thus you will see and understand how greatly the LORD is displeased that you have asked for a king."18 Samuel then called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day. As a result, all the people dreaded the LORD and Samuel.19 They said to Samuel, "Pray to the LORD your God for us, your servants, that we may not die for having added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king."20 "Do not fear," Samuel answered them. "It is true you have committed all this evil; still, you must not turn from the LORD, but must worship him with your whole heart.21 Do not turn to meaningless idols which can neither profit nor save; they are nothing.22 For the sake of his own great name the LORD will not abandon his people, since the LORD himself chose to make you his people.23 As for me, far be it from me to sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you and to teach you the good and right way.24 But you must fear the LORD and worship him faithfully with your whole heart; keep in mind the great things he has done among you.25 If instead you continue to do evil, both you and your king shall perish."

Saul's Unlawful Sacrifice

13 1 (Saul was... years old when he became king and he reigned... (two) years over Israel.) 2 Saul chose three thousand men of Israel, of whom two thousand remained with him in Michmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and one thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. He sent the rest of the people back to their tents.3 Now Jonathan overcame the Philistine garrison which was in Gibeah, and the Philistines got word of it. Then Saul sounded the horn throughout the land, with a proclamation, "Let the Hebrews hear!" 4 Thus all Israel learned that Saul had overcome the garrison of the Philistines and that Israel had brought disgrace upon the Philistines; and the soldiers were called up to Saul in Gilgal.5 The Philistines also assembled for battle, with three thousand chariots, six thousand horsemen, and foot soldiers as numerous as the sands of the seashore. Moving up against Israel, they encamped in Michmash, east of Beth-aven.6 Some Israelites, aware of the danger and of the difficult situation, hid themselves in caves, in thickets, among rocks, in caverns, and in cisterns,7 and other Hebrews passed over the Jordan into the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul, however, held out at Gilgal, although all his followers were seized with fear.
He waited seven days-- the time Samuel had determined. When Samuel did not arrive at Gilgal, the men began to slip away from Saul.9 He then said, "Bring me the holocaust and peace offerings," and he offered up the holocaust.10 He had just finished this offering when Samuel arrived. Saul went out to greet him,11 and Samuel asked him, "What have you done?" Saul replied: "When I saw that the men were slipping away from me, since you had not come by the specified time, and with the Philistines assembled at Michmash,12 I said to myself, 'Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not yet sought the LORD'S blessing.' So in my anxiety I offered up the holocaust."13 Samuel's response was: "You have been foolish! Had you kept the command the LORD your God gave you, the LORD would now establish your kingship in Israel as lasting;14 but as things are, your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and has appointed him commander of his people, because you broke the LORD'S command."

Preparations for Battle

15 Then Samuel set out from Gilgal and went his own way; but the rest of the people went up after Saul to meet the soldiers, going from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. Saul then numbered the soldiers he had with him, who were about six hundred.16 Saul, his son Jonathan, and the soldiers they had with them were now occupying Geba of Benjamin, and the Philistines were encamped at Michmash.17 Meanwhile, raiders left the camp of the Philistines in three bands. One band took the Ophrah road toward the district of Shual;18 another turned in the direction of Beth-horon; and the third took the road for Geba that overlooks the Valley of the Hyenas toward the desert.19 Not a single smith was to be found in the whole land of Israel, for the Philistines had said, "Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears."20 All Israel, therefore, had to go down to the Philistines to sharpen their plowshares, mattocks, axes, and sickles.21 The price for the plowshares and mattocks was two-thirds of a shekel, and a third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the ox-goads.22 And so on the day of battle neither sword nor spear could be found in the possession of any of the soldiers with Saul or Jonathan. Only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.

Jonathan Surprises and Routs the Philistines

23 An outpost of the Philistines had pushed forward to the pass of Michmash.

14 1 One day Jonathan, son of Saul, said to his armor-bearer, "Come let us go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side." But he did not inform his father.2 (Saul's command post was under the pomegranate tree near the threshing floor on the outskirts of Geba; those with him numbered about six hundred men.3 Ahijah, son of Ahitub, brother of Ichabod, who was the son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the LORD at Shiloh, was wearing the ephod.) Nor did the soldiers know that Jonathan had gone.4 Flanking the ravine through which Jonathan intended to get over to the Philistine outpost there was a rocky crag on each side, one called Bozez, the other Seneh.5 One crag was to the north, toward Michmash, the other to the south, toward Geba.6 Jonathan said to his armor-bearer: "Come let us go over to that outpost of the uncircumcised. Perhaps the LORD will help us, because it is no more difficult for the LORD to grant victory through a few than through many."7 His armor-bearer replied, "Do whatever you are inclined to do; I will match your resolve."8 Jonathan continued: "We shall go over to those men and show ourselves to them.9 If they say to us, 'Stay there until we can come to you,' we shall stop where we are; we shall not go up to them.10 But if they say, 'Come up to us,' we shall go up, because the LORD has delivered them into our grasp. That will be our sign."11 Accordingly, the two of them appeared before the outpost of the Philistines, who said, "Look, some Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have been hiding."12 The men of the outpost called to Jonathan and his armor-bearer. "Come up here," they said, "and we will teach you a lesson." So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, "Climb up after me, for the LORD has delivered them into the grasp of Israel."13 Jonathan clambered up with his armor-bearer behind him; as the Philistines turned to flee him, he cut them down, and his armor-bearer followed him and finished them off.14 In this first exploit Jonathan and his armor-bearer slew about twenty men within half a furlong.15 Then panic spread to the army and to the countryside, and all the soldiers, including the outpost and the raiding parties, were terror-stricken. The earth also shook, so that the panic was beyond human endurance.
The lookouts of Saul in Geba of Benjamin saw that the enemy camp had scattered and were running about in all directions.17 Saul said to those around him, "Count the troops and find out if any of us are missing." When they had investigated, they found Jonathan and his armor-bearer missing.18 Saul then said to Ahijah, "Bring the ephod here." (Ahijah was wearing the ephod in front of the Israelites at that time.) 19 While Saul was speaking to the priest, the tumult in the Philistine camp kept increasing. So he said to the priest, "Withdraw your hand."20 And Saul and all his men shouted and rushed into the fight, where the Philistines, wholly confused, were thrusting swords at one another.21 In addition, the Hebrews who had previously sided with the Philistines and had gone up with them to the camp, turned to join the Israelites under Saul and Jonathan.22 Likewise, all the Israelites who were hiding in the hill country of Ephraim, on hearing that the Philistines were fleeing, pursued them in the rout.23 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day. The battle continued past Beth-horon;

Saul's Rash Oath

24 the whole people, about ten thousand combatants, were with Saul, and there was scattered fighting in every town in the hill country of Ephraim. And Saul swore a very rash oath that day, putting the people under this ban: "Cursed be the man who takes food before evening, before I am able to avenge myself on my enemies." So none of the people tasted food.25 Indeed, there was a honeycomb lying on the ground,26 and when the soldiers came to the comb the swarm had left it; yet no one would raise a hand to his mouth from it, because the people feared the oath.27 Jonathan, who had not heard that his father had put the people under oath, thrust out the end of the staff he was holding and dipped in into the honey. Then he raised it to his mouth and his eyes lit up.28 At this one of the soldiers spoke up: "Your father put the people under a strict oath, saying, 'Cursed be the man who takes food this day!' As a result the people are weak."29 Jonathan replied: "My father brings trouble to the land. Look how bright my eyes are from this small taste of honey I have had.30 What is more, if the people had eaten freely today of their enemy's booty when they came across it, would not the slaughter of the Philistines by now have been the greater for it?"31 After the Philistines were routed that day from Michmash to Aijalon, the people were completely exhausted.32 So they pounced upon the spoil and took sheep, oxen and calves, slaughtering them on the ground and eating the flesh with blood.33 Informed that the people were sinning against the LORD by eating the flesh with blood, Saul said: "You have broken faith. Roll a large stone here for me."34 He continued: "Mingle with the people and tell each of them to bring his ox or his sheep to me. Slaughter it here and then eat, but you must not sin against the LORD by eating the flesh with blood." So everyone brought to the LORD whatever ox he had seized, and they slaughtered them there;35 and Saul built an altar to the LORD-- this was the first time he built an altar to the LORD.

Jonathan in Danger of Death

36 Then Saul said, "Let us go down in pursuit of the Philistines by night, to plunder among them until daybreak and to kill them all off." They replied, "Do what you think best." But the priest said, "Let us consult God."37 So Saul inquired of God: "Shall I go down in pursuit of the Philistines? Will you deliver them into the power of Israel?" But he received no answer on this occasion.38 Saul then said, "Come here, all officers of the army. We must investigate and find out how this sin was committed today.39 As the LORD lives who has given victory to Israel, even if my son Jonathan has committed it, he shall surely die!" But none of the people answered him.40 So he said to all Israel, "Stand on one side, and I and my son Jonathan will stand on the other." The people responded, "Do what you think best."41 And Saul said to the LORD, the God of Israel: "Why did you not answer your servant this time? If the blame for this resides in me or my son Jonathan, LORD, God of Israel, respond with Urim; but if this guilt is in your people Israel, respond with Thummim." Jonathan and Saul were designated, and the people went free. 42 Saul then said, "Cast lots between me and my son Jonathan." And Jonathan was designated.43 Saul said to Jonathan, "Tell me what you have done." Jonathan replied, "I only tasted a little honey from the end of the staff I was holding. Am I to die for this?"44 Saul said, "May God do thus and so to me if you do not indeed die, Jonathan!"45 But the army said to Saul: "Is Jonathan to die, though it was he who brought Israel this great victory? This must not be! As the LORD lives, not a single hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for God was with him in what he did today!" Thus the soldiers were able to rescue Jonathan from death. 46 After that Saul gave up the pursuit of the Philistines, who returned to their own territory.

Saul's Continuing Wars

47 After taking over the kingship of Israel, Saul waged war on all their surrounding enemies-- Moab, the Ammonites, Aram, Beth-rehob, the king of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he was successful48 and fought bravely. He defeated Amalek and delivered Israel from the hands of those who were plundering them.49 The sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchishua; his two daughters were named, the elder, Merob, and the younger, Michal. 50 Saul's wife, who was named Ahinoam, was the daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of his general was Abner, son of Saul's uncle, Ner;51 Kish, Saul's father, and Ner, Abner's father, were sons of Abiel.52 An unremitting war was waged against the Philistines during Saul's lifetime. When Saul saw any strong or brave man, he took him into his service.

Saul Defeats the Amalekites but Spares Their King

15 1 Samuel said to Saul: "It was I the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel. Now, therefore, listen to the message of the LORD.2 This is what the LORD of hosts has to say: 'I will punish what Amalek did to Israel when he barred his way as he was coming up from Egypt.3 Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses.'" 4 Saul alerted the soldiers, and at Telaim reviewed two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah. 5 Saul went to the city of Amalek, and after setting an ambush in the wadi,6 warned the Kenites: "Come! Leave Amalek and withdraw, that I may not have to destroy you with them, for you were kind to the Israelites when they came up from Egypt." After the Kenites left,7 Saul routed Amalek from Havilah to the approaches of Shur, on the frontier of Egypt.8 He took Agag, king of Amalek, alive, but on the rest of the people he put into effect the ban of destruction by the sword.9 He and his troops spared Agag and the best of the fat sheep and oxen, and the lambs. They refused to carry out the doom on anything that was worthwhile, dooming only what was worthless and of no account.

Saul Rejected as King

10 Then the LORD spoke to Samuel:11 "I regret having made Saul king, for he has turned from me and has not kept my command." At this Samuel grew angry and cried out to the LORD all night. 12 Early in the morning he went to meet Saul, but was informed that Saul had gone to Carmel, where he erected a trophy in his own honor, and that on his return he had passed on and gone down to Gilgal.13 When Samuel came to him, Saul greeted him: "The LORD bless you! I have kept the command of the LORD."14 But Samuel asked, "What, then, is the meaning of this bleating of sheep that comes to my ears, and the lowing of oxen that I hear?"15 Saul replied: "They were brought from Amalek. The men spared the best sheep and oxen to sacrifice to the LORD, your God; but we have carried out the ban on the rest."16 Samuel said to Saul: "Stop! Let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night." "Speak!" he replied.17 Samuel then said: "Though little in your own esteem, are you not leader of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king of Israel18 and sent you on a mission, saying, 'Go and put the sinful Amalekites under a ban of destruction. Fight against them until you have exterminated them.'19 Why then have you disobeyed the LORD? You have pounced on the spoil, thus displeasing the LORD."20 Saul answered Samuel: "I did indeed obey the LORD and fulfill the mission on which the LORD sent me. I have brought back Agag, and I have destroyed Amalek under the ban.21 But from the spoil the men took sheep and oxen, the best of what had been banned, to sacrifice to the LORD their God in Gilgal."22 But Samuel said: "Does the LORD so delight in holocausts and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the LORD? Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission than the fat of rams. 23 For a sin like divination is rebellion, and presumption is the crime of idolatry. Because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he, too, has rejected you as ruler."
Saul replied to Samuel: "I have sinned, for I have disobeyed the command of the LORD and your instructions. In my fear of the people, I did what they said.25 Now forgive my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD."26 But Samuel said to Saul, "I will not return with you, because you rejected the command of the LORD and the LORD rejects you as king of Israel."27 As Samuel turned to go, Saul seized a loose end of his mantle, and it tore off.28 So Samuel said to him: "The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you.29 The Glory of Israel neither retracts nor repents, for he is not man that he should repent."30 But he answered: "I have sinned, yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel. Return with me that I may worship the LORD your God."31 And so Samuel returned with him, and Saul worshiped the LORD.
Afterward Samuel commanded, "Bring Agag, king of Amalek, to me." Agag came to him struggling and saying, "So it is bitter death!"33 And Samuel said, "As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women." Then he cut Agag down before the LORD in Gilgal.34 Samuel departed for Ramah, while Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul.35 Never again, as long as he lived, did Samuel see Saul. Yet he grieved over Saul, because the LORD regretted having made him king of Israel.

David Anointed as King

16 1 The LORD said to Samuel: "How long will you grieve for Saul, whom I have rejected as king of Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen my king from among his sons." 2 But Samuel replied: "How can I go? Saul will hear of it and kill me." To this the LORD answered: "Take a heifer along and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.'3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I myself will tell you what to do; you are to anoint for me the one I point out to you."4 Samuel did as the LORD had commanded him. When he entered Bethlehem, the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and inquired, "Is your visit peaceful, O seer?"5 He replied: "Yes! I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. So cleanse yourselves and join me today for the banquet." He also had Jesse and his sons cleanse themselves and invited them to the sacrifice.
As they came, he looked at Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD'S anointed is here before him."7 But the LORD said to Samuel: "Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart."8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him before Samuel, who said, "The Lord has not chosen him."9 Next Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said, "The LORD has not chosen this one either."10 In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, "The LORD has not chosen any one of these."11 Then Samuel asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" Jesse replied, "There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep." Samuel said to Jesse, "Send for him; we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here."12 Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance. The LORD said, "There-anoint him, for this is he!"13 Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and from that day on, the spirit of the LORD rushed upon David. When Samuel took his leave, he went to Ramah.

David Plays the Lyre for Saul

14 The spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and he was tormented by an evil spirit sent by the LORD. 15 So the servants of Saul said to him: "Please! An evil spirit from God is tormenting you.16 If your lordship will order it, we, your servants here in attendance on you, will look for a man skilled in playing the harp. When the evil spirit from God comes over you, he will play and you will feel better."17 Saul then told his servants, "Find me a skillful harpist and bring him to me."18 A servant spoke up to say: "I have observed that one of the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem is a skillful harpist. He is also a stalwart soldier, besides being an able speaker, and handsome. Moreover, the LORD is with him." 19 Accordingly, Saul dispatched messengers to ask Jesse to send him his son David, who was with the flock.20 Then Jesse took five loaves of bread, a skin of wine, and a kid, and sent them to Saul by his son David.21 Thus David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul became very fond of him, made him his armor-bearer,22 and sent Jesse the message, "Allow David to remain in my service, for he meets with my approval."23 Whenever the spirit from God seized Saul, David would take the harp and play, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, for the evil spirit would leave him.

David and Goliath

17 1 The Philistines rallied their forces for battle at Socoh in Judah and camped between Socoh and Azekah at Ephes-dammim.2 Saul and the Israelites also gathered and camped in the Vale of the Terebinth, drawing up their battle line to meet the Philistines.3 The Philistines were stationed on one hill and the Israelites on an opposite hill, with a valley between them.4 A champion named Goliath of Gath came out from the Philistine camp; he was six and a half feet tall.5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a bronze corselet of scale armor weighing five thousand shekels,6 and bronze greaves, and had a bronze scimitar slung from a baldric. 7 The shaft of his javelin was like a weaver's heddle-bar, and its iron head weighed six hundred shekels. His shield-bearer went before him. 8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel: "Why come out in battle formation? I am a Philistine, and you are Saul's servants. Choose one of your men, and have him come down to me.9 If he beats me in combat and kills me, we will be your vassals; but if I beat him and kill him, you shall be our vassals and serve us."10 The Philistine continued: "I defy the ranks of Israel today. Give me a man and let us fight together."11 Saul and all the men of Israel, when they heard this challenge of the Philistine, were dismayed and terror-stricken.
(David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. He had eight sons, and in the days of Saul was old and well on in years. 13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to war; these three sons who had gone off to war were named, the first-born Eliab, the second son Abinadab, and the third Shammah.14 David was the youngest. While the three oldest had joined Saul,15 David would go and come from Saul to tend his father's sheep at Bethlehem.16 (Meanwhile the Philistine came forward and took his stand morning and evening for forty days.17 (Now Jesse said to his son David: "Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves for your brothers, and bring them quickly to your brothers in the camp.18 Also take these ten cheeses for the field officer. Greet your brothers and bring home some token from them.19 Saul, and they, and all Israel are fighting against the Philistines in the Vale of the Terebinth."20 Early the next morning, having left the flock with a shepherd, David set out on his errand, as Jesse had commanded him. He reached the barricade of the camp just as the army, on their way to the battleground, were shouting their battle cry.21 The Israelites and the Philistines drew up opposite each other in battle array.22 David entrusted what he had brought to the keeper of the baggage and hastened to the battle line, where he greeted his brothers.23 While he was talking with them, the Philistine champion, by name Goliath of Gath, came up from the ranks of the Philistines and spoke as before, and David listened.24 When the Israelites saw the man, they all retreated before him, very much afraid.25 The Israelites had been saying: "Do you see this man coming up? He comes up to insult Israel. If anyone should kill him, the king would give him great wealth, and his daughter as well, and would grant exemption to his father's family in Israel."26 David now said to the men standing by: "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and frees Israel of the disgrace? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine in any case, that he should insult the armies of the living God?"27 They repeated the same words to him and said, "That is how the man who kills him will be rewarded."28 When Eliab, his oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he grew angry with David and said: "Why did you come down? With whom have you left those sheep in the desert meanwhile? I know your arrogance and your evil intent. You came down to enjoy the battle!"29 David replied, "What have I done now?-- I was only talking."30 Yet he turned from him to another and asked the same question; and everyone gave him the same answer as before.
The words that David had spoken were overheard and reported to Saul, who sent for him.)32 Then David spoke to Saul: "Let your majesty not lose courage. I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine."33 But Saul answered David, "You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him, for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth."34 Then David told Saul: "Your servant used to tend his father's sheep, and whenever a lion or bear came to carry off a sheep from the flock,35 I would go after it and attack it and rescue the prey from its mouth. If it attacked me, I would seize it by the jaw, strike it, and kill it.36 Your servant has killed both a lion and a bear, and this uncircumcised Philistine will be as one of them, because he has insulted the armies of the living God."37 David continued: "The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear, will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine." Saul answered David, "Go! the LORD will be with you."38 Then Saul clothed David in his own tunic, putting a bronze helmet on his head and arming him with a coat of mail.39 David also girded himself with Saul's sword over the tunic. He walked with difficulty, however, since he had never tried armor before. He said to Saul, "I cannot go in these, because I have never tried them before." So he took them off.
Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from the wadi and put them in the pocket of his shepherd's bag. With his sling also ready to hand, he approached the Philistine.41 With his shield-bearer marching before him, the Philistine also advanced closer and closer to David.42 When he had sized David up, and seen that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance, he held him in contempt.43 The Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?" Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods44 and said to him, "Come here to me, and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field."45 David answered him: "You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted.46 Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will leave your corpse and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field; thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God.47 All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves. For the battle is the LORD'S, and he shall deliver you into our hands."
The Philistine then moved to meet David at close quarters, while David ran quickly toward the battle line in the direction of the Philistine.49 David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone, hurled it with the sling, and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone embedded itself in his brow, and he fell prostrate on the ground.50 (Thus David overcame the Philistine with sling and stone; he struck the Philistine mortally, and did it without a sword.)51 Then David ran and stood over him; with the Philistine's own sword (which he drew from its sheath) he dispatched him and cut off his head.When they saw that their hero was dead, the Philistines took to flight.52 Then the men of Israel and Judah, with loud shouts, went in pursuit of the Philistines to the approaches of Gath and to the gates of Ekron, and Philistines fell wounded along the road from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron.53 On their return from the pursuit of the Philistines, the Israelites looted their camp.54 David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem; but he kept Goliath's armor in his own tent. 55 (When Saul saw David go out to meet the Philistine, he asked his general Abner, "Abner, whose son is that youth?" Abner replied, "As truly as your majesty is alive, I have no idea."56 And the king said, "Find out whose son the lad is."57 So when David returned from slaying the Philistine, Abner took him and presented him to Saul. David was still holding the Philistine's head.58 Saul then asked him, "Whose son are you, young man?" David replied, "I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem."

1Samuel (NAB) 11