Chapter 8

  1. Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongs to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephes-Dammim. And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, and there was a valley between them.
  2. And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. And he had a 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. And he had greaves of brass upon his legs and a spear of brass between his shoulders. 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.
  3. And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are you come out to set your battle in array? Am not I a Philistine, and you servants to Saul? Choose a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and to kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then shall you be our servants and serve us. And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day, give me a man, that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
  4. Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem-Judah whose name was Jesse, and he had eight sons. And the man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul. And the three eldest sons of Jesse went and followed Saul to the battle. And the names of his three sons that went to the battle were Eliab the first born, and next unto him Abinadab, and the third, Shammah. And David was the youngest. And the three eldest followed Saul, but David went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.
  5. And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for your brethren an ephah of this parched grain and these ten loaves, and run to the camp, to your brethren. And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how your brethren fare, and take their pledge. Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.
  6. And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the trench as the host was going forth to the fight and shouted for the battle, for Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array, army against army. And David left his things in the hand of the keeper of the supplies and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren. 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 spoke according to the same words. And David heard them.
  7. And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were sorely afraid. And the men of Israel said, Have you seen this man that has come up? Surely to defy Israel has he come up. And it shall be that the man who kills him, the king will enrich him with great riches and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel.
  8. And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that 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? And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that kills him.
  9. And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled 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 wickedness of your heart, for you have come down that you might see the battle. And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? And he turned from him toward another and spoke after the same manner. And the people answered him again after the former manner.
  10. And when the words were heard which David spoke, they rehearsed them before Saul, and he sent for him. And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
  11. And David said unto Saul, Your servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock. 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. Your servant slew both the lion and the bear, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, 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.
  12. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with you. And Saul armed David with his armor, and he put a helmet of brass upon his head. Also, he armed him with a coat of mail, and David girded his sword upon his armor and he attempted to go, for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these, for I have not proved them. And David put them off him. 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.
  13. And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David, and the man that bore the shield went before him. And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog that you come to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give your flesh unto the fowls of the air and to the beasts of the field.
  14. Then said David to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day will the Lord deliver you into my hand, and I will smite you and take your head from you. And I will give the carcasses 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. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.
  15. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose and came, and drew near to meet David, that David hastened and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag and took from there a stone, and slung it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead. And he fell upon his face to the earth.
  16. 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; 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 with it.
  17. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until you come to the valley and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath and unto Ekron. And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines and they spoiled their tents. And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent.
  18. And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As your soul lives, O king, I cannot tell. And the king said, Inquire whose son the stripling is. 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. And Saul said to him, Whose son are you, young man? And David answered, I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.
  19. And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his belt.
  20. And David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely. And Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants. And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing to meet king Saul with tambourines, with joy, and with instruments of music. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
  21. And Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him. And he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands. And what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
  22. And it came to pass on the next day, that the evil spirit which was not of God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house. And David played with his hand as at other times. And there was a javelin in Saul’s hand, and Saul cast the javelin — for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David escaped out of his presence twice. And Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him and was departed from Saul.
  23. Therefore, Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand, and he went out and came in before the people. And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him. Wherefore, when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David because he went out and came in before them.
  24. And Saul said to David, Behold, my elder daughter Merab, her will I give you to wife; only be valiant for me and fight the Lord’s battles. (For Saul said, Let not my hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.) And David said unto Saul, Who am I? And what is my life, or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king? But it came to pass at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife.
  25. And Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore, Saul said to David, You shall this day be my son-in-law in the one of the two. And Saul commanded his servants, saying, Speak with David secretly and say, Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you; now therefore be the king’s son-in-law. And Saul’s servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, Does it seem to you a light thing to be a king’s son-in-law, seeing that I am a poor man and lightly esteemed? And the servants of Saul told him, saying, On this manner spoke David.
  26. And Saul said, Thus shall you say to David: The king desires not any dowry but a hundred foreskins of the Philistines to be avenged of the king’s enemies. But Saul intended to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law, and the days were not expired.
  27. Wherefore, David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men. And David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full number to the king, that he might be the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife. And Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him. And Saul was yet the more afraid of David. And Saul became David’s enemy continually.
  28. Then the princes of the Philistines went forth. And it came to pass, after they went forth, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was much esteemed.
  29. And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David; and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul, my father, seeks to kill you. Now therefore, I pray you, take heed to yourself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide yourself. And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father of you. And what I see, that I will tell you.
  30. And Jonathan spoke good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works toward you have been very good; for he did put his life in his hand and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it and did rejoice. Why then will you sin against innocent blood to slay David without a cause?
  31. And Saul listened unto the voice of Jonathan; and Saul swore, As the Lord lives, he shall not be slain. And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan showed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as in times past.