1. The Philistines prepared their forces for battle and gathered together at Socoh, a territory of Judah. They encamped between Socoh and Azekah in Ephesdammim.

2. Saul and the Israelites, meantime, assembled and pitched camp in the valley of Elah, ready for their encounter with the Philistines.

3. The Philistines took their position on one hill while the Israelites took theirs on another hill, with a valley separating the two forces.

4. Then a champion named Goliath came out from the Philistine camp. He was from Gath and was about three meters tall.

5. He wore a helmet of bronze, and a coat covered with bronze scales. His armor weighed sixty kilos.

6. He had bronze greaves strapped on his legs and a bronze spear slung between his shoulders.

7. The shaft of his spear was the size of a weaver's rod; its head weighed seven kilos. His shield-bearer went before him.

8. He stood in front of the Israelite ranks and shouted, "Why have you come out in battle array? I am a Philistine and you are Saul's men! Choose a man from among yourselves who can challenge me.

9. If he fights better and kills me, we shall be subject to you; but if I overpower him and kill him, you shall be subject to us."

10. The Philistine added, "This is my challenge to the Israelite troops this day. Give me a man who can fight with me alone!"

11. When they heard this challenge of the Philistine, Saul and his men were afraid and greatly terrified.

12. Now, David was the son of Jesse, an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah who had eight sons. Jesse was already old during Saul's reign but he had sent men to the army.

13. Three of his eldest sons had joined Saul in battle: Eliab, the firstborn, Abinadab, the second and Shammah, the third.

14. David was Jesse's youngest and, while the three eldest followed Saul,

15. he would alternate his goings and comings to the army with the care of his father's flock in Bethlehem.

16. Every morning and again in the evening, the Philistine would come out to throw his challenge; this he did for forty days.

17. One day, Jesse told his son David, "Bring a measure of this roasted grain and these ten loaves to your brothers;

18. and take these ten cheeses to the field officer. Find out how your brothers are and bring me back some token from them."

19. David's brothers and the field officer were with Saul and the Israelites in the valley of Elah, facing the Philistines.

20. David woke up early the next morning and entrusted the sheep to a shepherd. Taking the food along with him, he left in obedience to Jesse's command and arrived at the encampment just when the army was leaving for the battleground, shouting out their battle cry.

21. Israel and the Philistine drew up facing one another.

22. On seeing this, David entrusted his load to the baggage keeper and rushed to the ranks to greet his brothers.

23. While he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion of Gath, came up from the ranks of the Philistines and shouted out the same challenge as before, this time reaching David's ears.

24. When the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him terrified

25. and one of them said, "Have you seen this man who comes up challenging Israel? Whoever succeeds in killing him will be richly rewarded by the king. He will give him his daughter in marriage and set his family free of every contribution."

26. David asked those who were around him, "What will be the reward for the person who kills this Philistine and lifts this disgrace from Israel? And who is this uncircumcised Philistine who defies the armies of the living God?"

27. The people answered him in the same way, "This will be the reward of whoever kills him."

28. When he saw David talking to the men, his eldest brother Eliab was angry and said, "Why did you come here? With whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know you are an insolent fellow. You have come only to see the battle."

29. David asked, "What have I done this time? I was merely asking something!"

30. Leaving his brother, David turned to another man and asked him the same question, and the people answered him the same way as before.

31. David's remarks spread around and reached Saul, who asked for him.

32. David said to Saul, "Let no one be discouraged on account of this Philistine, for your servant will engage him in battle."

33. Saul told David, "You cannot fight with this Philistine for you are still young, whereas this man has been a warrior from his youth."

34. But David said, "When I was tending my father's sheep, whenever a lion or bear came to snatch a lamb from the flock,

35. I would run after it, kill it and rescue the victim from its mouth. If it attacked me, I would hold it by its beard and slay it.

36. I have killed lions and bears and will do the same with this uncircumcised Philistine, for he has defied the armies of the living God."

37. David continued, "Yahweh, who delivered me from the paws of lions and bears, will deliver me from the hands of the Philistine." Saul then told David, "Go and may Yahweh be with you!"

38. Saul fitted his armor on David, put a bronze helmet on his head, clothed him with a coat of mail.

39. David secured his sword over the armor but could not walk because it was his first time. So he said to Saul, "I cannot move with all these trappings on me because I am not accustomed to wearing them." David got rid of all this armor,

40. took his staff, picked up five smooth stones from the brook and dropped them inside his shepherd's bag. And with his sling in hand, he drew near to the Philistine.

41. The Philistine moved forward, closing in on David, his shield-bearer in front of him.

42. When he saw that David was only a lad, (he was of fresh complexion and handsome) he despised him

43. and said, "Am I a dog that you should approach me with a stick?" Cursing David by his gods,

44. he continued, "Come and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field!"

45. David answered the Philistine, "You have come against me with sword, spear and javelin, but I come against you with Yahweh, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied.

46. Yahweh will deliver you this day into my hands and I will strike you down and cut off your head. I will give the corpses of the Philistine army today to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, and all the earth shall know that there is a God of Israel.

47. All the people gathered here shall know that Yahweh saves not by sword or spear; the battle belongs to Yahweh, and he will deliver you into our hands."

48. No sooner had the Philistine moved to attack him, than David rushed to the battleground.

49. Putting his hand into his bag, he took out a stone, slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead; it penetrated his forehead and he fell on his face to the ground.

50. David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, felling him without using a sword.

51. He rushed forward, stood over him, took the Philistine's sword and slew him by cutting off his head. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they scattered in all directions.

52. The men of Israel and Judah raised the battle cry and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron. Wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim to Gath and Ekron.

53. Returning from their pursuit of the Philistines, the Israelites plundered their camp.

54. David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem but left the armor in his tent.

55. When Saul saw David come out to oppose the Philistine, he asked his general, Abner, "Abner, whose son is that young man?" Abner answered, "I swear, O king, I do not know."

56. The king said, "Ask whose son that lad is."

57. So when David returned after killing the Philistine, Abner took him to Saul.

58. Saul asked David, who stood before him holding the head of the Philistine, "Whose son are you, young man?" David answered, "I am the son of your servant, Jesse the Bethlehemite."

Livros sugeridos

“Para que se preocupar com o caminho pelo qual Jesus quer que você chegue à pátria celeste – pelo deserto ou pelo campo – quando tanto por um como por outro se chegará da mesma forma à beatitude eterna?” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina


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