Bible Trivia
King David

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David versus Goliath

Everyone is familiar with the Bible story of David and his confrontation with Goliath (1Samuel 17). What is easy to overlook, however, is that prior to this event Samuel the prophet anointed him as Israel's new king (chapter 16). Surprisingly, the news of this solemn act did not immediately spread among the people of Israel or even to King Saul. They seem oblivious to this anointing when David shows up on the Israelite side of the battlefield before he fights Goliath.

Last words before the battle

Goliath's last words, spoken as he walked toward a young King David, contain all the bravado and self-assurance of a man who never lost a fight. He was physically imposing at more than 9 feet (2.8 meters) tall. He was so strong that he could throw a 26 foot (7.9 meters) long spear whose head weighed in at a hefty 17 pounds (7.7. kilograms). He was also a battle-hardened warrior who was skilled at the art of killing. His defiant final words mocked David who was sent to fight him to the death (1Samuel 17:4, 8 - 10).

"Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks [David was a shepherd who had his staff with him]? . . . Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field" (1Samuel 17:43 - 44, HBFV throughout).

The last words of David to Goliath are full of faith in God. He does not foolishly declare trust in his own skill or proclaim he fights either for his own or Israel's honor. He, instead, is willing to risk his life to silence someone who dares defy the Lord of hosts!

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"You [Goliath] come to me with a sword and 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 . . . And all this multitude shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord's . . ." (1Samuel 17:45, 47).

The spoils of war

David and his relationship with Goliath did not end when he killed him in battle. After he was victorious he took the giant's armor, sword and spear and placed them in his tent (1Samuel 17:54). He also took Goliath's head, which he had chopped off to insure his death (verse 51), to Jerusalem. From the city, he took it with him when he was escorted to see King Saul (verses 55 - 57).

King David in Prayer
King David in Prayer
Pieter de Grebber, 1635 - 40

High cost bride for the king

King Saul offered David the opportunity to marry his daughter Michal on one condition. The condition was that he had to kill one hundred Philistine males and bring back their foreskins as proof (1Samuel 18:20 - 25). David, in his usual zealous fashion, not only accomplished this goal but also brought back an additional one hundred foreskins (verse 27). Michal then became his first wife.

How long did he rule?

David, after the death of King Saul and Jonathan, did not immediately rule over a united Israel. He first travelled, at the age of about thirty, to Hebron where the tribe of Judah made him their ruler. He reigned over them for seven and one-half years (2Samuel 2:4, 8 - 11, 5:4 - 5). It was only after the murder of Saul's son Ishbosheth (2Samuel 4) that the rest of Israel agreed to be ruled by him (2Samuel 5:3, 1Chronicles 11:1 - 3).

Israel's greatest enemy

King David fought against the Philistines, or with nations aligned with them, on at least EIGHT separate occasions (1Samuel 17:26, 19:8, 2Samuel 5:17 - 21, 8:1, 21:15, 18 - 20).

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