Bible: I Samuel Chapter 17 – Headline “Giant vs Transformer”

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Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

I Samuel 17

What should I learn from this chapter?

  • Archeology of the battle site
  • Historical Year
  • Biblical Giants
  • Spiritual implications
  • Bronze symbolism
  • How scripture uses weaknesses
  • David’s similarities with Joseph and Jesus
  • Personal applications
  • Symbolic meaning of the number 40
  • Symbolic meaning of the number 10
  • Symbolic meaning of the number 5
  • Abner
  • Meanings of the towns

The battle of David and Goliath occurred in 1030 BC during King Saul’s reign from Gibeah (3 miles north of Jerusalem). David, who was a lad had not yet become king and had not yet purchased Jerusalem.

Science News: Earliest Known Hebrew Text In Proto-Canaanite Script Discovered In Area Where ‘David Slew Goliath’. Nov. 3, 2008 — The earliest known Hebrew text written in a Proto-Canaanite script has been discovered by Hebrew University archaeologists in an ancient city in the area where David slew Goliath – the earliest Judean city found to date. The 3,000 year old finding is thought to be the most significant archaeological discovery in Israel since the Dead Sea Scrolls – predating them by 1,000 years. The biblical narrative located the battle between David and Goliath between Socho and Azeka where David selected five stones from the nearby Elah Creek with which to slay Goliath. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103091035.htm

David and Goliath

I Samuel 17:1 Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim.
  • Hebrew Meanings:
    • Philistine h6430 = “immigrants”
      • an inhabitant of Philistia; descendants of Mizraim who immigrated from Caphtor (Crete?) to the western seacoast of Canaan
    • Sochol h7755 =”bushy”
    • Judah h3063 = “praised”
    • Azekah h5825 = “dug over”
    • Ephes Dammim h658 = “edge of blood” approximately 16 miles southwest of Jerusalem

I Samuel 17:And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines.
I Samuel 17:The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them.

Has the Battleground of David and Goliath Finally Been Unearthed?

  • Archaeologists believe they have found the ancient city where David battled Goliath.
  • They found the 3,000-year-old city in Israel’s Elah Valley between the biblical cities of Sokho and Azekah, on the border between Philistia and Judah, according to Jewish News Service.
  • The site, referenced in 1 Samuel 17:1-2, is known by its modern name, Khirbet Qeiyafa.
Find of Ancient City Could Alter Notions of Biblical David - The New York  Times
  • It has undergone seven years of excavations, and now the public can study what archaeologists unearthed in a new Bible Lands Museum exhibition, “In the Valley of David and Goliath.” It opened in Jerusalem earlier this month.
  • Around 28 charred olive pits discovered during excavations underwent carbon-14 dating. That information shows the city existed in the time of Saul and David, from the end of the 11th century BC to the early 10th century.
  • Professor Yosef Garfinkel, the Yigal Yadin chair of archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, led the excavations, along with Sa’ar Ganor from the Israel Antiquities Authority and professor Michal Hazel of Southern Adventist University of Tennessee.
  • Archaeologists discovered at the site the city’s two gates — a western one, which faced Philistia, and a southern one, which faced Judah.
  • The gates prompted excavators to connect the site with the biblical city of Sha’arayim, which is Hebrew for “two gates.” The story of David and Goliath mentions that city in 1 Samuel 17:52, which reads “…And the wounded of the Philistines fell along the road to Shaaraim, even as far as Gath and Ekron.” The city is also referenced in Joshua 15:36 and 1 Chronicles 4:31.
  • Archaeologists also found evidence of Jewish activity at the site, which included thousands of sheep, goat, cow and fish bones, and the absence of non-kosher pig bones, according to Bible Lands curator Yehuda Kaplan.
  • In addition, excavators discovered casemate walls that reflect the urban planning implemented only by people who lived in Judah and Transjordan.
  • Garfinkel explained that prior to the rule of King David, residents dwelled in small farming communities. Those areas turned into urban centers around the 11th century BC.
  • “In this, the biblical tradition has historic memory,” Garfinkel said. “If we ask, ‘Where is archaeology starting to support biblical tradition?’ Khirbet Qeiyafa is the beginning.”
I Samuel 17:And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
  • Goliath was nine feet, eight and three quarter inches and considered a giant.
  • Goliath, the Gittite, ‘a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, whose height was six cubits (9 ft) and a span (8.75 in.)’ (Samuel 17:4). Og the giant’s bedstead was nine cubits in length (13.5 ft). Twenty cubits (30 ft) is about the length of a London bus.
I Samuel 17:He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail (clothed with scaled body armor), and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze.
  • His bronze armor weighed 125 pounds.
I Samuel 17:And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders.
I Samuel 17:Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels (15 lbs); and a shield-bearer went before him.
I Samuel 17:Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me.
I Samuel 17:If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.”
  • After the death of Goliath, the Philistines fled. They did not stay to become servants of the Hebrews.
I Samuel 17:10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.”
  • Goliath was a physical giant but David was a spiritual giant, transformed by the Spirit of God.
I Samuel 17:11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
I Samuel 17:12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse, and who had eight sons. And the man was old, advanced in years, in the days of Saul.
  • Symbolic Meaning of the number 8: New beginning.
    • The root meaning of eight literally means “to make fat” (prosperity)
    • šᵊmōnê H8083 Fat/oil is used to anoint kings and priests.
    • In the world to come there will be a new beginning of prosperity and fatness.
I Samuel 17:13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had gone to follow Saul to the battle. The names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.
I Samuel 17:14 David was the youngest. And the three oldest followed Saul.
I Samuel 17:15 But David occasionally went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.
  • Sometimes life does not use us in our full potential. God fills in the gap.
I Samuel 17:16 And the Philistine drew near and presented himself forty days, morning and evening.
  • Symbolic Meaning of the Number 40:
I Samuel 17:17 Then Jesse said to his son David, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this dried grain and these ten loaves, and run to your brothers at the camp. 18 And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them.”
  • The meaning of the number 10
I Samuel 17:19 Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.
I Samuel 17:20 So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the things and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the camp as the army was going out to the fight and shouting for the battle.
I Samuel 17:21 For Israel and the Philistines had drawn up in battle array, army against army. 22 And David left his supplies in the hand of the supply keeper, ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers. 23 Then as he talked with them, there was the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, coming up from the armies of the Philistines; and he spoke according to the same words. So David heard them.
I Samuel 17:24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid.
 I Samuel 17:25 So the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel; and it shall be that the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel.”
  • Will David receive these promises?
I Samuel 17:26 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
I Samuel 17:27 And the people answered him in this manner, saying, “So shall it be done for the man who kills him.”
I Samuel 17:28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”
  • What do Jesus, David, and Joseph have in common? Their brothers hated them.
I Samuel 17:29 And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause? (Lit. Is it not a word? or matter?)”
I Samuel 17:30 Then he turned from him toward another and said the same thing; and these people answered him as the first ones did.
I Samuel 17:31 Now when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul; and he sent for him. 32 Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
I Samuel 17:33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”
I Samuel 17:34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it.
I Samuel 17:36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.”
I Samuel 17:37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
I Samuel 17:38 So Saul clothed David with his armor (Lit. clothes), and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.
I Samuel 17:40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.
  • One stone for Goliath and four stones for Goliath’s four brothers if he should need them.
  • Symbolic meaning of the number 5:
I Samuel 17:41 So the Philistine came, and began drawing near to David, and the man who bore the shield went before him. 42 And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained (belittled) him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. 43 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
  • Gentiles (non-Jews) were called “dogs” and “heathens”. In truth, the Philistine was a scriptural “dog”.
I Samuel 17:44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”
I Samuel 17:45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
I Samuel 17:46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
 I Samuel 17:47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
  • The battle belongs to the LORD. What is your battle? Have you given it to the LORD?
  • The battle belongs to the LORD is like the Sabbath. God does your work for you.
  • The battle belongs to the LORD:
    • 2 Chronicles 20:15 And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
      • The enemy likes mob violence.
    • 2 Chronicles 20:17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the Salvation (Yeshua ie Jesus) of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.”
    • Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly place.
I Samuel 17:48 So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
I Samuel 17:49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.
  • Note: The stone that won the battle is the living Rock of the ages.
  • Jesus is the Rock. He is called the foundation stone, the stone of stumbling, the capstone, the cornerstone, and He is the rock that fell on Nebuchaznessar’s dream of the statue’s feet.
    See Jesus as a Rock and a Stone. When the pop-up appears click on the link at the top of the pop-up.
    • Salvation in Hebrew is “Yeshua”, in Greek “Jesus”.
  • David took five stones because Goliath had four relatives who could take blood revenge on him.
    • 2 Samuel 21:22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.
    • The sons of the giant in Gath: Goliath, Ishbi-Benob, Saph, and an unnamed man of great stature.
      • Technology now exists to extract DNA from giant skeletons 2, and if any new excavations in the Middle East unearth a skeleton suggestive of Goliath, or of Og or similar biblical giants, more proof may be obtained by careful DNA analysis and it may be possible in the future to delineate the exact relations between different giant lineages in the bible, and dissect them further.
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4113151/
    • Verses on Giants:
      • Lahmi = 2 Samuel 21:19, I Chronicles 20:5
      • Ishbi-Benob = I Samuel 21:16
      • Sippai (Sath) = I Chronicles 20:4
      • A man of Great Stature =I Chronicles 20:6-7
I Samuel 17:50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David.
  • Goliath’s weapon was a man made spear. David’s weapon was a God made stone.
I Samuel 17:51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it.
  • Goliath lost his head with his own sword.
And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
  • Don’t put all your baskets in one head.
I Samuel 17:52 Now the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted, and pursued the Philistines as far as the entrance of the valley and to the gates of Ekron.
  • The meaning of Ekron H6138: “Emigration”, “Torn up by the Roots”, “Eradication’It’s root is H6138 ʿāqar hough, pluck up, rooted up, digged down and hamstrung:
I Samuel 17:52 And the wounded of the Philistines fell along the road to Shaaraim,
  • Shaaraim H8189 – šaʿărayim Two Gates, Double Gates
I Samuel 17:52 even as far as Gath
  • Gath Strong’s H1661 – gaṯ “winepress”
    • Side Note: Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane: Geth (gat winepress) Semane (olive oil) –g1068 gethsēmani for the pressing of the olives in the olive garden.
      • Both David and Jesus, were involved in a place of “pressing” blood.
        • Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
I Samuel 17:52 and Ekron. 53 Then the children of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their tents. 54 And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his (Goliath’s) armor in his tent.
I Samuel 17:55 When Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner (cousin of Saul), the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?”
  • Abner meaning:
    • Ab is a shortened version of Abba or Father
    • Abner means “My father is Ner”
And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.”
I Samuel 17:56 So the king said, “Inquire whose son this young man is.
I Samuel 17:57 Then, 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.
I Samuel 17:58 And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?”
I Samuel 17:58 So David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”
  • Note: Jesus also was a Bethlehemite.
  • Personal Application: Satan is a giant. Believers are a David. When the giant is finally conquered, the Davids are promoted to Kings and Priests.
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