How David Became Known to the People

Now the Philistines came to fight the Israelites again. And the Israelites went out to meet them. Every day they would line up to fight, with the Philistines on one hill and the Israelites on another. But they never fought, because every morning a philistine man who was over nine feet tall would come forward and cry out, "Choose one of your men to fight me. If he wins and kills me, we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves. I dare you to pick someone to fight me!" When they heard this King Saul and all the Israelites were afraid.

Now Jesse had eight sons. His oldest were with Saul and his youngest, David, was taking care of the sheep. So he called David and told him, "Go to visit your brothers and see how they are doing. And take them this food." So David left the sheep with someone else and went to the camp of the Israelite army. While he was talking to his brothers, the giant Goliath came out and called for the Israelites to send someone to fight him. When David heard him, he said, "What will the man get who kills the philistine who says such things against God's army?" A man told him, "The king will give him a big reward and let him marry his daughter." Everyone he asked gave him the same answer.

When King Saul heard that David was asking such a question, he sent for him. David told Saul, "No one should be afraid of this Philistine! I will go and fight him." Saul said, "No! How could you? You are just a boy." David answered, "I take care of my father's sheep. When a bear or a lion comes for a lamb, I kill it with my hands. I have killed both bears and lions, and I will do the same to this Philistine. God has saved me from bears and lions. He will save me from this Philistine."

"All right," Saul said. "Go, and may God be with you." Then he gave David his armor to wear. But David was not used to it and couldn't walk with it on, so he took his shepherd stick and a slingshot, went down to a stream, picked up five smooth stones, and then went out to meet Goliath.

When Goliath saw him coming he went out to meet him. When he got close enough to see that David was just a boy, he was angry. "What is that stick for?" He called out. "Do you think that I am a dog?" And he began to curse David using the name of his god. "Come on," he said. "I will give your body to the birds and animals to eat." David answered, "You come against me with sword and spear, but I come against you in the name of the Lord. He will give you into my power; I will give the bodies of the Philistines to the birds and animals to eat. Then everyone here will know that God does not need swords and spears to save his people." Then David ran toward Goliath. He reached into his bag and pulled out a stone, put it in his slingshot and slung it toward the giant. It hit him on the forehead and he fell forward face down on the ground. David ran up to him took Goliath's sword, and cut off his head.

When the Philistines saw what had happened, they left their supplies and ran away. The Israelite army chased them and killed many of them.

After this David was brought before King Saul. Saul's son Jonathan became good friends with David and gave him his robe, armor, sword, bow, and belt. And Saul made him an officer in his army. But then Saul heard the Israelite women singing a song that said: "Saul has killed thousands, and David tens of thousands." This made Saul jealous and the next day he tried to throw his spear at David. But David moved and he missed. Then Saul became afraid of David, and so he sent him out to fight the Philistines hoping that David would be killed. But David only won more battles and received more honor from the people. When Saul learned that his daughter Michal loved David, he decided to use her to get David killed. So he told David, "If you will bring me proof that you have killed one hundred Philistines, I will let you marry my daughter." So David went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought proof to Saul. So Saul had to let him marry his daughter Michal, and he became more afraid of David. All this was happening because God was with David, but no longer with Saul.

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