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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Samuel 17:42-43. He disdained him — He had looked about, expecting to meet some tall, strong man; but when he saw what a mean figure he made with whom he was to engage, he despised him, and thought it below him to enter the lists with him, fearing that the contemptibleness of the champion with whom he contended would lessen the glory of the victory. For he was a youth of a fair countenance — Not having so much as the countenance of a martial person. Am I a dog? — Dost thou think to beat me as easily as thou wouldst thy dog? The Philistine cursed David by his gods — Imprecating the impotent vengeance of his idols against him, wishing that Dagon, Ashtaroth, and the rest of his gods would confound and destroy David. Thus the Romans used to curse their enemies, saying, “All the gods and goddesses destroy thee.”

17:40-47 The security and presumption of fools destroy them. Nothing can excel the humility, faith, and piety which appear in David's words. He expressed his assured expectation of success; he gloried in his mean appearance and arms, that the victory might be ascribed to the Lord alone.His beard - Put here for his throat, or under jaw; neither lion nor bear has a beard properly speaking. 42-47. the Philistine said … said David to the Philistine—When the two champions met, they generally made each of them a speech, and sometimes recited some verses, filled with allusions and epithets of the most opprobrious kind, hurling contempt and defiance at one another. This kind of abusive dialogue is common among the Arab combatants still. David's speech, however, presents a striking contrast to the usual strain of these invectives. It was full of pious trust, and to God he ascribed all the glory of the triumph he anticipated. Not having so much as the countenance of a martial person.

And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him,.... He looked about for his antagonist, to take a view of him, what sort of a man he was, expecting to see one much like himself; but observing a puny young man, he despised him in his heart, and perhaps looked upon it as an affront to him to send such a man to fight with him:

for he was but a youth; his age was one reason why he despised him, being, as before observed, about twenty years of age, and not come to his full strength, a stripling, as he is called, 1 Samuel 17:56, another reason follows:

and ruddy, and of a fair countenance; looked effeminate, had not the appearance of a soldier, of a weather beaten veteran, exposed to heat and cold, and inured to hardships.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
42. he disdained him] See Proverbs 16:18.

1 Samuel 17:42When he saw David, "he looked at him, and despised him," i.e., he looked at him contemptuously, because he was a youth (as in 1 Samuel 16:12); "and then said to him, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with sticks?" (the plural מקלות is used in contemptuous exaggeration of the armour of David, which appeared so thoroughly unfit for the occasion); "and cursed David by his God (i.e., making use of the name of Jehovah in his cursing, and thus defying not David only, but the God of Israel also), and finished with the challenge, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh to the birds of heaven and the beasts of the field" (to eat). It was with such threats as these that Homer's heroes used to defy one another (vid., Hector's threat, for example, in Il. xiii. 831-2).
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