David vs. Goliath: The original

The young Hebrew David hoists the head of the ...
David triumphant

For tomorrow, Lent 4th Sunday, we have David on the harp, in 1 Samuel, soothing the troubled King Saul:

[23] And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

And then Goliath challenging the Israelites, wearing a coat of mail that weighed 5,000 shekels of brass and carrying a spear with a head “like a weaver’s beam.”

“Choose a man. . . . Give me a man,” he says, standing in the field alone (with nights off for sleeping back in camp, we presume) for 40 days (one of many 40-day periods in the Bible).

[5] And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
[6] And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
[7] And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.
[8] And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.
[9] If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.
[10] And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.

Meanwhile, the Israelites fight Goliath’s Philistines, none of them willing to have a go at Goliath mano a mano, and David remains back home with the sheep, where he had apparently returned, armor-bearer job or not.

[19] Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.

David’s father Jesse sends him back to Saul, David hears Goliath’s challenge.

[22] And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.
[23] And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.
. . . .
[26] And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

David has to talk Saul into letting him take on Goliath. He recounts his exploits as a shepherd.

[34] And David said unto Saul, Thy servant [himself] kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
[35] And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
[36] Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.

Moreover:

[37] David said . . . The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

Saul fits him for the fray, but David won’t have it.

[38] And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.
[39] . . . . And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.
[40] And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

Goliath is insulted.

[43] And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
[44] And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.

David responds with a confession of faith.

[45] Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
[46] This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls 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 all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands.

Of his five smooth stones, he needs only one.

[48] And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
[49] And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.

And finishs him off with the man’s own sword.

[50] So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
[51] Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

The Philistines ran. The battle was won.

[54] And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.
[55] [W]hen Saul [had seen] David go forth against the Philistine, he [had] said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner [had] said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.
[56] And the king [had] said, Inquire thou whose son the stripling is.
[57] And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.
[58] And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.

He was the Israelites’ hero and later their king — and Jesus’ ancestor.

[Yes, Saul had listened to David on the harp.  But apparently had forgot who he was.]