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1 Samuel 17:12-31

Context

17:12 1 Now David was the son of this Ephrathite named Jesse from Bethlehem 2  in Judah. He had eight sons, and in Saul’s days he was old and well advanced in years. 3  17:13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to war. The names of the 4  three sons who went to war were Eliab, his firstborn, Abinadab, the second oldest, and Shammah, the third oldest. 17:14 Now David was the youngest. While the three oldest sons followed Saul, 17:15 David was going back and forth 5  from Saul in order to care for his father’s sheep in Bethlehem.

17:16 Meanwhile for forty days the Philistine approached every morning and evening and took his position. 17:17 Jesse said to his son David, “Take your brothers this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread; go quickly 6  to the camp to your brothers. 17:18 Also take these ten portions of cheese to their commanding officer. 7  Find out how your brothers are doing 8  and bring back their pledge that they received the goods. 9  17:19 They are with Saul and the whole Israelite army 10  in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.”

17:20 So David got up early in the morning and entrusted the flock to someone else who would watch over it. 11  After loading up, he went just as Jesse had instructed him. He arrived at the camp 12  as the army was going out to the battle lines shouting its battle cry. 17:21 Israel and the Philistines drew up their battle lines opposite one another. 17:22 After David had entrusted his cargo to the care of the supply officer, 13  he ran to the battlefront. When he arrived, he asked his brothers how they were doing. 17:23 As he was speaking with them, the champion named Goliath, the Philistine from Gath, was coming up from the battle lines of the Philistines. He spoke the way he usually did, 14  and David heard it. 17:24 When all the men of Israel saw this man, they retreated 15  from his presence and were very afraid.

17:25 The men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who is coming up? He does so 16  to defy Israel. But the king will make the man who can strike him down very wealthy! He will give him his daughter in marriage, and he will make his father’s house exempt from tax obligations in Israel.”

17:26 David asked the men who were standing near him, “What will be done for the man who strikes down this Philistine and frees Israel from this humiliation? 17  For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he defies the armies of the living God?” 17:27 The soldiers 18  told him what had been promised, saying, 19  “This is what will be done for the man who can strike him down.”

17:28 When David’s 20  oldest brother Eliab heard him speaking to the men, he became angry 21  with David and said, “Why have you come down here? To whom did you entrust those few sheep in the desert? I am familiar with your pride and deceit! 22  You have come down here to watch the battle!”

17:29 David replied, “What have I done now? Can’t I say anything?” 23  17:30 Then he turned from those who were nearby to someone else and asked the same question, 24  but they 25  gave him the same answer as before. 17:31 When David’s words were overheard and reported to Saul, he called for him. 26 

1 tc Some mss of the LXX lack vv. 12-31.

2 map For location see Map5 B1; Map7 E2; Map8 E2; Map10 B4.

3 tc The translation follows the Lucianic recension of the LXX and the Syriac Peshitta in reading “in years,” rather than MT “among men.”

4 tn Heb “his.”

5 tn Heb “was going and returning.”

6 tn Heb “run.”

7 tn Heb “officer of the thousand.”

8 tn Heb “and your brothers, observe with respect to welfare.”

9 tn Heb “and their pledge take.” This probably refers to some type of confirmation that the goods arrived safely. See R. W. Klein, 1 Samuel (WBC), 177. Cf. NIV “bring back some assurance”; NCV “some proof to show me they are all right”; NLT “bring me back a letter from them.”

10 tn Heb “all the men of Israel.”

11 tn Heb “to a guard”; KJV, NASB, NRSV “with a keeper”; NIV “with a shepherd.” Since in contemporary English “guard” sounds like someone at a military installation or a prison, the present translation uses “to someone else who would watch over it.”

12 tn Or “entrenchment.”

13 tn Heb “the guard of the equipment.”

14 tn Heb “according to these words.”

15 tn Or “fled.”

16 tn Heb “he is coming up.”

17 tn Heb “and turns aside humiliation from upon Israel.”

18 tn Heb “people.”

19 tn Heb “according to this word, saying.”

20 tn Heb “his”; the referent (David) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

21 tn Heb “the anger of Eliab became hot.”

22 tn Heb “the wickedness of your heart.”

23 tn Heb “Is it not [just] a word?”

24 tn Heb “and spoke according to this word.”

25 tn Heb “the people.”

26 tn Heb “he took him.”



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