David and Goliath
The Philistines gathered their armies together to do battle to the people of Israel., The Philistines were on a mountain on one side of the valley and the people of Israel stood on a mountain on the other side of the valley.
There was a giant out of the camp of the Philistines whose name was Goliath. He was very tall and fierce and strong. He wore a helmet of brass upon his head and was armed with a coat of mail. The staff of his spear was as large as a beam and a man went before him carrying his shield.
He came before the armies of Israel and said in a loud voice: "Why do you come to give battle to the Philistines? Choose a man from among you and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me then we will be your servants, but if I kill him you shall be our servants and shall serve us. I defy the armies of Israel today. Give me a man that we may fight together,"
DAVID MEETS THE BOASTFUL GOLIATH.
When Saul and all Israel heard the words of the Philistine giant, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
In this way the giant came out before the people every morning and every evening and defied them for forty days, but there was no man strong enough to give him battle.
Now three of David's brethren were among the soldiers of Israel and followed Saul to battle, but David had returned from Saul and gone back to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem, while Israel was engaged in war with the Philistines.
One day Jesse sent David to the camp of Israel to take food to his brothers. When he came to them and was talking to them, Goliath marched out in front of the armies and again defied Saul and his soldiers. David saw the men of Israel fleeing from the giant and saw how greatly they were afraid.
The men of Israel said: "Have you seen this man who has come up against us and defies us to battle? It shall be that the man who kills him will receive great riches from the king and the king will give him his daughter and make his father's house free in Israel." David spoke to the men that stood near him and said: "Why does not some one kill this Philistine and who is he that he should defy the armies of God?"
David's brethren turned upon him in anger and told him that he could go back to his sheep in the wilderness, but David kept right on talking and wondering why some one did not go out and fight the giant.
At last Saul heard that David was in the camp and sent for him. Then David said to Saul: "I am not afraid of the Philistine giant; I will go and fight with him myself."
"You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him," replied Saul, "for you are but a youth and he has been a man of war for many years."
Then David said to Saul: "I keep my father's sheep and once there came a lion and took a lamb out of the flock and I went after him and smote him and took the lamb out of his mouth. When the lion rose against me I caught him by his beard and slew him. I slew a bear in the same way and I shall do the same thing to this Philistine who defies the armies of God."
"The Lord that delivered you out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear will also deliver you out of the hand of this giant," said
Saul to the young David;" Go, and the Lord be with you."
Then Saul offered David his own armor, and his helmet to put upon his head, but David said: "I cannot fight with these for I have never tried them." Then he laid aside the armor and the helmet and the sword and went out with his staff in his hand.
He went out by a brook and chose five smooth stones and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had. He carried his sling in his hand and in this way drew near Goliath who was again in front of the armies of Israel, defying any man to come out to combat.
When the Philistine looked about and saw David he scorned him, because David was only a youth and was ruddy and of a fair countenance. "Am I a dog that you come to fight me with stones?" said the Philistine to David, in disdain.
"Come to me and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field," cried Goliath again to the youth before him.
But David answered: "You come with a sword and with a spear and with a shield but I come in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand. I will smite you and cut off your head and give the dead bodies of many of the Philistines to the fowls of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth that all the world may know that there is a God in Israel."
Goliath roared with a mighty voice when he heard these words of David and started towards the youth to slay him. David did not run from the giant but hastened to run towards him to meet him. As he ran he put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and put it in the sling. When he came near the Philistine, he stopped and hurled the sling about his head and let the stone go. It went straight as an arrow and smote the Philistine in his forehead.
The stone sank deep into the head of the giant and he fell dead upon his face to the earth and all the people of Israel and the armies of the Philistines looked on in amazement.
There was no sword in David's hand, therefore, he ran and stood upon the dead Philistine and took his sword and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead and that David had cut off his head they fled in great dismay and the men of Israel shouted and pursued them for a long way. They slew many of them and spoiled their tents of all the goods they had. David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem but he put the mighty armor of the giant in his own tent.