1 Samuel 17:38
And Saul armed David with his armor, and he put an helmet of brass on his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(38) And Saul armed David with his armour.—But the king was determined to omit no earthly means of securing victory to his young champion, and we read how he made him try on his own various pieces of fighting array, doubtless the best-tempered and costliest that the camp of Israel possessed. The word rendered “his armour” literally signifies his garments, that is, the dress worn beneath the mail. Upon this was buckled on the heavy metal armour suit, with the great fighting sword and the royal helm. It is not necessary to suppose David was at all of the same proportions as Saul, for much of the dress could have been speedily adjusted to the requirements of one slighter and shorter than the king; besides, the result shows they were, in spite of alteration, far too heavy and cumbersome. I cannot go with these,” simply said the brave boy, his purpose, however, of meeting the Philistine giant quite unshaken, though he found his comparatively weak person unable to bear the weight of the king’s panoply or to wield his arms.

1 Samuel 17:38. Saul armed David with his armour — Not that which he was wont to wear himself, for he was so tall it would not have fitted David, but with armour taken out of his armory. The Hebrew word מדיו, madaiv, however, here rendered armour, more properly signifies his vestments, or his garments, and is so translated chap. 1 Samuel 18:4, and in most other places where it occurs. Indeed his armour is distinguished from this, and particularly described in the following words. He therefore, doubtless, speaks in this clause of some military vestments which were then used in war, and were contrived for defence, as buff coats now are.17:31-39 A shepherd lad, come the same morning from keeping sheep, had more courage than all the mighty men of Israel. Thus God often sends good words to his Israel, and does great things for them, by the weak and foolish things of the world. As he had answered his brother's passion with meekness, so David answered Saul's fear with faith. When David kept sheep, he proved himself very careful and tender of his flock. This reminds us of Christ, the good Shepherd, who not only ventured, but laid down his life for the sheep. Our experience ought to encourage us to trust in God, and be bold in the way of duty. He that has delivered, does and will continue to do so. David gained leave to fight the Philistine. Not being used to such armour as Saul put upon him, he was not satisfied to go in that manner; this was from the Lord, that it might more plainly appear he fought and conquered in faith, and that the victory was from Him who works by the feeblest and most despised means and instruments. It is not to be inquired how excellent any thing is, but how proper. Let Saul's coat be ever so rich, and his armour ever so strong, what is David the better if they fit him not? But faith, prayer, truth, and righteousness; the whole armour of God, and the mind that was in Christ; are equally needful for all the servants of the Lord, whatever may be their work.His beard - Put here for his throat, or under jaw; neither lion nor bear has a beard properly speaking. 38, 39. Saul armed David with his armour—The ancient Hebrews were particularly attentive to the personal safety of their warriors, and hence Saul equipped the youthful champion with his own defensive accoutrements, which would be of the best style. It is probable that Saul's coat of mail, or corslet, was a loose shirt, otherwise it could not have fitted both a stripling and a man of the colossal stature of the king. With his armour; either,

1. With Saul’s own armour which he used to wear in battle; which seems not to agree with the extraordinary height of Saul’s stature, 1 Samuel 10:23; nor is it like that Saul would disarm himself, when he was going forth to the battle, 1 Samuel 17:20,21. Or,

2. With armour taken out of his armoury. Not that the whole armory of Saul was brought into the field; but that some chosen arms were taken out thence, and brought for any emergent occasion. Or rather,

3. With his vestments, or garments. For,

1. So the Hebrew word properly and usually signifies; and so this same word is translated, 1 Samuel 18:4.

2. His armour is distinguished from this, and is particularly described in the following words. He seems therefore to speak of some military vestments which were then used in war, and were contrived for defence; such as buff-coats now are. And Saul armed David with his armour,.... Not with what he wore himself; for it cannot be thought he would strip himself of his armour in the field of battle, and when just going to it; and besides what suited the one would not be fit for the other, their bulk and stature being different i but this was some armour Saul had brought with him, besides what he himself wore, to furnish any with that might want it:

and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; such an one, though not so large as Goliath had, these being usually made of brass; See Gill on 1 Samuel 17:5,

also he armed him with a coat of mail; which probably was of brass also, and like that of Goliath's too, only lesser, 1 Samuel 17:5.

And Saul armed David with his armor, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
38. armed David with his armour] Clothed David with his dress: probably a special military dress adapted to be worn with armour. The sword was fastened to it (1 Samuel 17:39). Cp. 1 Samuel 18:4 (E. V. garments).

a coat of mail] A corselet. The fact that he could wear Saul’s armour at all shews that he must have been full grown, perhaps about twenty years old.Verses 38-40. - Saul armed David with his armour. Rather, "Saul clad David in his war dress." The word does not mean arms, either offensive or defensive; for in 1 Samuel 4:12, where it is rendered "clothes," we read of its being rent. It occurs again in 1 Samuel 18:4, and is there rendered "garments." Strictly it was the soldier's coat, worn under his armour, and girt close to the body by the sword belt. It does not follow that David was as tall as Saul because he thus put on his military coat; for it would be adjusted to the body by the belt, and its length was not a matter of much consequence. When, then, it is said that David girded his sword upon his armour, it means upon this coat, though the corselet of mail would also be worn over it. He assayed to go. I.e. he made an attempt at going, took a short walk thus arrayed, making trial all the while of his equipments; and he found them so cumbrous that he felt that he would have no chance against the Philistine except as a light-armed soldier. The agility of his movements would then make him a match for one so heavily overweighted as Goliath. Wearing, therefore, only his shepherd's dress, armed only with a sling, David descended into the ravine which separated the two armies, chose there five pebbles, and, clambering up the other side, advanced towards the Philistine. For brook the Hebrew has "torrent bed." Condor speaks of a torrent flowing through the ravine (see on ver. 2). COMBAT OF DAVID AND GOLIATH (vers. 41-54). David's resolution to fight with Goliath; and his equipment for the conflict. - 1 Samuel 17:32. When in the presence of Saul, David said, "Let no man's heart (i.e., courage) fail on his account (on account of the Philistine, about whom they had been speaking): thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine."
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