Everyone is familiar with the Bible story of David and his confrontation with Goliath (1Samuel 17). What is often overlooked, however, is that prior to his fight Samuel 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 he shows up to ultimately battle 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.
Goliath 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 Goliath heard 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!
"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 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). The future ruler, 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 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).
A link to threes
King David attracted a unique group of thirty-seven fighters known collectively as "the mighty men" (1Chronicles 11:11). These elite combat troops were divided into three groups. The greatest of these heroic warriors were three individuals whose brave acts on the battlefield earned them the title "the three mighties" (1Chronicles 11:12, KJV)!
The king is the 33rd person in Jesus' physical lineage. The numeric value of the Star of David, a symbol used in modern times to denote someone who is Jewish, is also 33.
Israel's greatest enemy
The king 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).