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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Samuel 17

 

 

Verse 1

1 Samuel 17:1 Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which [belongeth] to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim.

Ver. 1. Now the Philistines gathered together.] They hearing of the breach between Saul and Samuel, whose piety and prayers had been dreadful and baneful to them, as also of Saul’s frantic fits, rendering him unfit to lead an army; but especially being stirred up by God to undertake this expedition for the accomplishment of his ends, they again invade the land of Israel:

Atque Philisthaeis redit in praecordia virtus.


Verse 2

1 Samuel 17:2 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.

Ver. 2. By the valley of Elah.] So called from the store of oaks that grew there. Ad convallem querceti. (a)


Verse 3

1 Samuel 17:3 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.

Ver. 3. And the Philistines stood on a mountain, &c.] Thus the two armies stood long facing one another; expecting who should begin, and waiting for advantages. In like sort when the Caliph of Egypt came against Baldwin II, king of Jerusalem, both the armies lay the one facing the other for three months’ time, and then rose, - the Christians fearing the multitude of the Turks, and the Turks the valour of the Christians, - and so returned without any notable thing done. (a) And so they might have done here, had not David undertaken the giant.


Verse 4

1 Samuel 17:4 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.

Ver. 4. And there went out a champion.] (a) Intermedius, sequester, duellio. The Vulgate calleth him a bastard: and it is held by some that those old giants were the devil’s brats, (b) and that there was none of them good, no not one, but all αντιθεοι, and θεομαχοι, fighters against God. This man was of the race of the Rephaims. See Joshua 11:22.

Whose height was six cubits and a span.] Hence his presumption, which is the presage and cause of ruin -

Magna repente ruunt, summa cadunt subito.


Verse 5

1 Samuel 17:5 And [he had] an 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.

Ver. 5. And he had an helmet of brass (or steel) upon his head.] Which yet could not save his head. No armour is of proof against the Almighty. If he set himself against a man, no other helps can relieve him. Brass and steel cannot fence one against fire and water. "Now God is a consuming fire," and his "breath a stream of brimstone." [Isaiah 30:33]

And he was armed with a coat of mail.] Lorica squamata, like fish scales, one lying over another, to ward off deadly darts, or other weapons of war, leviathan like.

Five thousand shekels of brass.] That is, One hundred and fifty-six pounds, and more, besides all the weight of his other arms; which yet he could well wield and make use of in fight.


Verse 6

1 Samuel 17:6 And [he had] greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.

Ver. 6. And he had greaves (or leg-harness) of brass.] So that he was substantially armed cap-a-pie, {head to foot} as they say, and might seem to be a walking armory.


Verse 7

1 Samuel 17:7 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.

Ver. 7. And one bearing a shield.] For state’s sake. He came into the field like thunder and lightning, but went out like a snuff.


Verse 8

1 Samuel 17:8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set [your] battle in array? [am] not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.

Ver. 8. Am not I a Philistine?] Palesthinas ille; that famous Philistine, on whom all my nation leaneth and layeth their weight; who also have done for them so many exploits?

And ye servants to Saul?] Whom you look upon as a tall fellow, but to me he is a very dwarf, a Zany; of no prowess or power to look me in the face.

Choose you a man for you.] A champion, a dueller.


Verse 9

1 Samuel 17:9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.

Ver. 9. If he be able, … then will we be your servants.] Thus of old the Romans and Albans put the trial of the common cause upon the hazard of three champions on each side. Our ordinary duellers who, like those youngsters of Helkath Hazzurim, [2 Samuel 2:14-16] sheath their swords in their fellows’ bowels, are doubtless set on by that old manslayer, that he may feed upon them both at once, as the cock-pit-masters do upon their cocks of the game. What David did in this monomachy {duel}, was by a singular instinct of God.


Verse 10

1 Samuel 17:10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.

Ver. 10. I defy the armies of Israel.] This man’s insolence and self-confidence do plainly prove his heart to be nothing else but a piece of proud flesh. But God will shortly cut off those arrogant lips, and the "tongue that speaketh proud things." [Psalms 12:3-4]


Verse 11

1 Samuel 17:11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

Ver. 11. They were dismayed, and greatly afraid.] Even valiant Jonathan also, who both knew the promises, and had lately found the performance in that glorious conquest he had over these Philistines. [1 Samuel 14:13-15] But it is the Lord who strengtheneth and weakeneth the arm of either party, [Ezekiel 30:24] and he had decreed that David should have the glory of the day.


Verse 12

1 Samuel 17:12 Now David [was] the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehemjudah, whose name [was] Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among men [for] an old man in the days of Saul.

Ver. 12. And he had eight sons.] See on 1 Samuel 16:10.

And the man went among men for an old man.] Not fit to bear arms as his sons were. But what meant the Chaldee Paraphrast here to say that Jesse was numbered bebichirova, among the choice, or young men?


Verse 13

1 Samuel 17:13 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 firstborn, and next unto him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.

Ver. 13. And the three eldest sons of Jesse went.] These were sent by their old father, who held it

Dulce et decorum pro patria mori. ” - Horat.

Delightful and glorious to die for [your] country.


Verse 14

1 Samuel 17:14 And David [was] the youngest: and the three eldest followed Saul.

Ver. 14. And David was the youngest.] Yet second to none of them in valour; which yet he is not too forward to put forth, till fairly called to it. One would have thought that Jesse, who knew of David’s anointing, should have sent him above all the rest of his sons to the wars. But God had a holy hand in all.


Verse 15

1 Samuel 17:15 But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.

Ver. 15. But David went and returned from Saul.] Who had given him a dismiss, either as having now no further use of him, or as tendering the comfort of his aged father, to whom he had sent for him at his need, and who had now furnished him with three other of his sons for soldiers. (a)


Verse 16

1 Samuel 17:16 And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.

Ver. 16. And presented himself forty days.] Braving and daring any one of them to a duel, which none durst adventure on till David came, whose victory is hereby made the more famous.


Verse 17

1 Samuel 17:17 And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched [corn], and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren;

Ver. 17. And run to the camp.] This some think David did often, interpreting that going and returning from Saul, [1 Samuel 17:15] of his going to and fro from his father’s house to the camp. Though anointed king, yet he disdaineth not this low employment; wherein he was a type of Christ. [Philippians 2:7]


Verse 18

1 Samuel 17:18 And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of [their] thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge.

Ver. 18. Look how thy brethren fare.] Great is a parent’s care.

Omnis in Ascanio churi stat cura parentis.

And take their pledge.] Redeem what they have pawned, and bring me commendations from them.


Verse 19

1 Samuel 17:19 Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, [were] in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.

Ver. 19. Fighting,] i.e., Skirmishing, and ready to join battle.


Verse 20

1 Samuel 17:20 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.

Ver. 20. And left the sheep with a keeper.] A commendable care: neither was there cause that Eliab should so check and chide him for the contrary. [1 Samuel 17:28]

And shouted for the battle.] This was the old way of beginning the fight: so to show their courage, and to fright the enemy.


Verse 21

1 Samuel 17:21 For Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array, army against army.

Ver. 21. For Israel and the Philistines.] See on 1 Samuel 17:3.


Verse 22

1 Samuel 17:22 And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.

Ver. 22. And David left his carriage.] Bags and such like things, wherein he brought their supplies.


Verse 23

1 Samuel 17:23 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 spake according to the same words: and David heard [them].

Ver. 23. The Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name.] Which signifieth Captivity; a terrible name, (a) such as was that of Bellarmine ( Bellum, arma, minae), the Pope’s late great champion.

Cur Bellarminum te, Bellarmine, vocamus?

Nempe Malerminus rectius esse potes. ”{b}


Verse 24

1 Samuel 17:24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.

Ver. 24. Fled from him.] As from a bugbear. This was their want of faith in God’s power and promises; the property whereof is, to quell and kill distrustful fears.


Verse 25

1 Samuel 17:25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, [that] the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel.

Ver. 25. And it shall be, that the man who killeth him.] They talk of the reward, but dare not undertake the combat. So those that have not hearts to believe, yet can say there is glory laid up for the faithful.

The king will enrich him, &c.] But poor David found it otherwise.

Pollicitis dives quilibet esse potest.

And make his father’s house free.] Enfranchise and ennoble it, making them all gentlemen.


Verse 26

1 Samuel 17:26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who [is] this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

Ver. 26. What shall be done to the man?] This he inquireth, non quia victus his pollicitationibus, as Chrysostom saith; not because he was won by these promises, - for as he hardly credited them, so he never claimed them, - but moved with "a zeal of God," and for the honour of his nation, he is willing to enter the contest, and wisheth that the king knew as much. David is not so much encouraged, as enraged against that dead dog, that thus proudly barked against the God of Israel.


Verse 27

1 Samuel 17:27 And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.

Ver. 27. And the people.] Ever better at talking than at fighting, as Philip said of the Athenians.


Verse 28

1 Samuel 17:28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.

Ver. 28. Eliab’s anger was kindled.] But without cause; merely out of pride and envy: and such hard measure our Saviour met with among his brethren the Jews, to whom his Father sent him. Eliab envied him his former favour and preferment at court, and now feared his further advancement above himself and the other brethren: and hence this bitterness, and those evil surmises.

And with whom hast thou left, &c., ] q.d., Get thee home again to thy hook, and thy harp. See 1 Samuel 17:22.

I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart.] Here he taketh upon him that which belongeth to God alone, [Jeremiah 17:10] and judgeth of David’s heart by his own. Well might Augustine say that envy is vitium diabolicum, a devilish vice, such as wherein is found the venom of most other vices.

For thou art come down.] He knew that David came not till sent by his father: but malice careth not how true the charge is, but how cutting.


Verse 29

1 Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? [Is there] not a cause?

Ver. 29. What have I now done?] sc., Worthy of so great blame: thus he answereth his elder brother with "meekness of wisdom," and giving place to wrath, whilst he defendeth his own wronged innocency.

Is there not a cause?] Or, Have I not business here? and am I not equally concerned as another, in this common cause? "This day is a day of trouble, of rebuke, and of blasphemy," as Isaiah 37:3.


Verse 30

1 Samuel 17:30 And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.

Ver. 30. And he turned from him toward another.] When a man is provoked to wrath, and beginneth to kindle, it is wisdom to divert to some other company, place, and business: as did Jonathan, [1 Samuel 20:25] and Ahasuerus. [Esther 7:7] This is a cooler, and will slake the fire.


Verse 31

1 Samuel 17:31 And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed [them] before Saul: and he sent for him.

Ver. 31. They rehearsed them before Saul.] This was according to David’s desire: and for this it was that he so busied himself in all companies, by making those inquiries: for his fingers even itched to be taking off the head of that "dead dog," which so howled against heaven.


Verse 32

1 Samuel 17:32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.

Ver. 32. Let no man’s heart fail, &c.] This David spake with so much courage and confidence, as if he had already set his feet on the neck of that heathenish miscreant.


Verse 33

1 Samuel 17:33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou [art but] a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.

Ver. 33. For thou art but a youth.] And therefore impar congressus Achilli, no fit match for this monster.


Verse 34

1 Samuel 17:34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:

Ver. 34. There came a lion, and a bear.] Individually, and at various times.


Verse 35

1 Samuel 17:35 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.

Ver. 35. And delivered it out of his mouth.] So did Christ his darling, the Church, out of the mouth of the lion of hell. If the devil be leo ωρυομενος, [1 Peter 5:8] Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, is ο ρυομενος, he that delivereth his from the wrath to come. [1 Thessalonians 1:10]

I caught him by his beard.] I killed him cominus, fighting with him hand to hand as it were. This was an act of admirable courage in David: what could any Samson or Lysimachus have done more? Leo animalibus omnibus robore, animo et crudelitate antecellit: nec feras tantum, sed homines etiam devorat. Nonnulli quidem multis in locis, vel ducentos equites invidere audeant, (a) i.e., The lion exceedeth all other living creatures in strength, courage, and cruelty: he devoureth not only beasts but men. Some lions in some places have not feared to set upon two hundred horsemen at once, and have slain five or six of them.


Verse 36

1 Samuel 17:36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.

Ver. 36. This uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them.] Death sweepeth, and hell swalloweth all such as are out of the covenant: and although circumcision be nothing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature: yet as circumcision saved David, a believer, from Goliath; so doth baptism now shend and save us from Satan, yet "not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God." [1 Peter 3:21]


Verse 37

1 Samuel 17:37 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. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

Ver. 37. The Lord that delivered me, &c.] He who hath found God present in one extremity, may trust him in the next. Every sensible favour of the Almighty inviteth both his gifts and our trust.


Verse 38

1 Samuel 17:38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.

Ver. 38. And Saul armed David with his armour.] Not the same that himself used to wear, for there would have been no proportionableness; but with armour taken out of Saul’s armory or storehouse, and meet for David’s body.


Verse 39

1 Samuel 17:39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed 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.

Ver. 39. I cannot go with these.] If Saul’s coat be never so rich, and his armour never so strong, what is David the better if they fit him not? It is not to be inquired how excellent anything is, but how proper. If we could wish another man’s honour, when we feel the weight of his cares, we should be glad to be in our own coat. (a)

For I have not proved them.] Or, Been accustomed to them. He had been Saul’s armourbearer for a short while, but never in any battle with him; he had led a rural and pastoral life; and for arms he could not well wield them, and was therefore soon weary of them. Press some people to the exercise of prayer, or any other piece of the armour of God, and they must say, if they say truly, as here, I cannot do in addition, for I have not been accustomed to it. Or if they have taken up such a custom, it may well be said of them as Sidonius saith (b) of King Theodoricus, that he so served God as that any man might see, quod servet illam pro consuetudine potius quam pro religione reverentiam, that he did it more of course, and of custom, than of conscience, or any good affection to God’s work.


Verse 40

1 Samuel 17:40 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.

Ver. 40. And he took his staff in his hand.] His pedum pastorale sive agolum: so Festus calleth the shepherd’s crook, ab agendis pecoribus, a poor weapon against such an antagonist. Veritas etiam indefensa est invicta: et arma victorioe eius sunt inermis patientia, bona causa, et bona conscientia. (a)

Qua mens plena fide sit prece iuncta Deo.

Even in a scrip.] Such as shepherds use, ut in ea reculas suas recordant, to put their small doings in.


Verse 41

1 Samuel 17:41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield [went] before him.

Ver. 41. And the Philistine came on and drew near.] When he saw David, that τυτθος ανηρ, presuming to make his approach: he considered not that

A cane non magno saepe tenetur aper.


Verse 42

1 Samuel 17:42 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.

Ver. 42. For hewas but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.] No son of Mars, (a) hardened and habituated in feats of chivalry, but some effeminate Adonis he took him for, a knight of Venus rather than Bellona, fitter for a canopy than a camp, for language than a lance: cuius bella, labella; spicula, pocula; spolia, dolia; scutum, scortum; stratagemata, tragemata.


Verse 43

1 Samuel 17:43 And the Philistine said unto David, [Am] I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

Ver. 43. Am I a dog?] (a) No, not so good as a dog, said David, very stoutly and sternly, if Josephus may be believed; and this so maddened the Philistine, that he cursed him, saying, Dagon destroy thee, or, The devil take thee: but David knew that cursing men are cursed men. He remembered likely the promise made to Abraham, "I will bless them that bless thee, and I will curse him that curseth thee." Basil (b) of Selencia bringeth in David hereupon, saying, Maledicam inimici linguam victoriae pignus teneo, I take Goliath’s curse for a pledge of victory. "Let him curse, Lord, but do thou bless," &c. [Psalms 109:28]


Verse 44

1 Samuel 17:44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.

Ver. 44. I will give thy flesh.] This was to triumph before the victory, to sell the hide before he had taken the beast. The Goliath of Rome hath dealt no better by the bodies of various of God’s dear saints, than this captive here threateneth to do by David.


Verse 45

1 Samuel 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

Ver. 45. In the name of the Lord of hosts,] i.e., For his sake and service, in confidence of his power and promise to protect such as promote his glory.


Verse 46

1 Samuel 17:46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases 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.

Ver. 46. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand.] Quandoquidem mihi pro armatura Dens est, since God is my defence, even Jehovah the Conqueror, as Josephus bringeth in David saying. And surely by the force of his heroical faith, David letteth fly here at his adversary, no otherwise than as if he had wrapped up in his sling, not a stone, but the blessed God himself, if I may say so with reverence to his Majesty.


Verse 47

1 Samuel 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle [is] the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.

Ver. 47. That the Lord sayeth not with sword and spear.] Is not tied to means, but crosseth oft the likeliest projects. See Zechariah 4:6. {See Trapp on "Zechariah 4:6"}


Verse 48

1 Samuel 17:48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.

Ver. 48. David hasted.] That he might sling at Goliath before he came too near him, saith Lyra, because a distance is necessary in slinging of a stone, to make it the more forcible.


Verse 49

1 Samuel 17:49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang [it], and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.

Ver. 49. And smote the Philistine in his forehead.] That seat of pride and impudency; there being no other part of Goliath capable of danger; the rest of him was defenced with a brazen wall. This was the Lord’s own work, and it is justly marvellous in our eyes.

That the stone sunk into his forehead.] And, through that, into his brain, whereby he, being presently deprived of sense and motion, fell to the ground in the fulness of his stature, as it is afterwards said of Saul. [1 Samuel 28:20]

Dουπησεν δε πεσων, ” - Hom.

There lay the greatness af Goliath.


Verse 50

1 Samuel 17:50 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.

Ver. 50. So David prevailed over the Philistine.] By the help of his God, and by the force of his faith. [Hebrews 11:32]

Traiectamque cavo terebravit vnlnere frontem. ” - Prudentius.

With a sling and with a stone,] Unlikely means to prostrate such a bulk. So Shamgar with an oxgoad, and Samson with the jaw bone of an ass, made great slaughters. So Christ by his cross destroyed the devil, yea, by death he foiled him that had the power of death, [Hebrews 2:14] as David cut off Goliath’s head with his own sword.


Verse 51

1 Samuel 17:51 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 therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

Ver. 51. And cut off his head therewith.] Propriis pennis configimur, said Julian the apostate, when the Christians confuted the heathens by their own arts and authors. The Papists may say as much when we bring the canons, decrees, and testimonies of the Fathers against them. Learned Whitaker tells Campian - the Pope’s champion - very truly, Patres in maximis sunt nostri; in multis varii; in minimis, vestri. The Fathers are, mostly what, on our side.

And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.] Facti sunt a corde suo fugitivi. (a) God struck them with terror, as he did also the Guisians after that their duke was slain by the command of the French king, Henry III (b) and as, before that, the French army, at the battle of Terwin, being beaten by our Henry VIII, they fled away for fear of the English, that this conflict was called, The battle of Spurs. (c)


Verse 52

1 Samuel 17:52 And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou 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.

Ver. 52. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down.] Their fears betrayed them, as it commonly doth those that flee, into the hand of death. Semper in bello his maximum est periculum qui maxime timent; audacia est pro mare. (a)


Verse 53

1 Samuel 17:53 And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents.

Ver. 53. They spoiled their tents.] They plundered not till they had completed their victory.


Verse 54

1 Samuel 17:54 And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.

Ver. 54. And brought it to Jerusalem.] Setting it up for a trophy of his victory, and for a terror to those sturdy Jebusites there, which still held the fort.

But he put his armour in his tent.] Either at his father Jesse’s house, or that tent in the camp which he had in common with his brethren. Some think he made the 144th Psalm upon this occasion. That in the tenth verse, "Who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword," the Chaldee rendereth, From Goliath’s sword.


Verse 55

1 Samuel 17:55 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] thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.

Ver. 55. Whose son is this?] Saul being of a weak brain by reason of his frantic fits, and withal full of business, had, belike, forgotten David, who might be now much altered in his visage and habit, and never haply otherwise taken notice of by Saul than as princes use to do of musicians or servants.


Verse 56

1 Samuel 17:56 And the king said, Enquire thou whose son the stripling [is].

Ver. 56. Enquire thou.] It was fit that such a stripling should be noted and noticed, as durst grapple with such a daring giant.


Verse 57

1 Samuel 17:57 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.

Ver. 57. With the head of the Philistine in his hand.] This, among other things, knit Jonathan’s: heart to him; the Philistine’s head being a far better sight than the good admiral’s head presented at the Parisian massacre to that cruel queen mother of France, who presently embalming it, sent it to her holy father, for an assurance of the death of his most capital enemy. (a)

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 17:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-samuel-17.html. 1865-1868.

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