1 Samuel 17
Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
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.
Ch. 1 Samuel 17:1-3. The Philistine invasion

1. at Shochoh] The scene of David’s memorable combat is fixed with great exactness. The Philistine army marched up the wide valley of Elah to their rendezvous at Sochoh, and pitched their camp in Ephes-dammim (cp. 1 Chronicles 11:13). The valley of Elah is almost certainly the present Wady-es-Sunt, which runs in a N. W. direction from the hills of Judah near Hebron past the probable site of Gath (see note on ch. 1 Samuel 5:8) to the sea near Ashdod. “It took its name Elah of old from the Terebinth, of which the largest specimen we saw in Palestine still stands in the vicinity; just as it now takes its name es-Sunt from the acacias which are scattered in it.” Robinson, Bibl, Res. II. 21. Sochoh is the modern Shuweikeh, about 16 miles S.W. of Jerusalem on the road to Gaza. Azekah is mentioned in Joshua 10:10 in connexion with the rout of the Philistines in the battle of Beth-horon, but the site is uncertain. “Of the name Ephes-dammim we have perhaps a trace In the modern Beit Fased, or ‘House of Bleeding,’ near Sochoh.” Conder’s Tent Work, II. 160. The name, which signifies “boundary of blood,” was probably due to its being the scene of frequent skirmishes with the Philistines.

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.
2. by the valley of Elah] Rather, “in the valley of Elah.”

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.
3. on a mountain, &c.] Rather, upon the mountain … upon the mountain … and the ravine was between them. The E. V. obliterates the features of the scene. The ravine (Heb. gâî) was the stream-bed at the bottom of the valley (Heb. êmek). The Israelites encamped on the eastern, the Philistines on the western slopes of the valley. “In the middle of the broad open valley we found a deep trench with vertical sides, impassable except at certain places—a valley in a valley, and a natural barrier between the two hosts.… Here then we may picture to ourselves the two hosts, covering the low rocky hills opposite to each other, and half hidden among the lentisk bushes; between them was the rich expanse of ripening barley and the red banks of the torrent with its white shingly bed; behind all were the distant blue hill-walls of Judah, whence Saul had just come down.” Conder, Tent Work, 11. 161.

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.
4–11. Goliath’s Challenge

4. a champion] Lit. “The (well-known) man of the interspaces,” or “interval between two camps” (Gr. μεταίχμιον: see Eur. Phoen. 1361, in the account of the combat between Eteocles and Polynices), in which single combats took place: so E. V. rightly “champion.”

Goliath of Gath] A survivor probably of the ancient race of Anakim, a remnant of which found refuge in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod, when they were exterminated by Joshua from the mountains of Judah (Joshua 11:21-22).

six cubits and a span] The cubit, or distance from the elbow to the extremity of the middle finger, is variously estimated at from eighteen to twenty-one inches: the span, or distance between the extremities of the thumb and little finger in the outstretched hand, is reckoned as half a cubit: so that Goliath’s height was between nine feet nine inches and eleven feet four inches. The most probable estimate is about ten feet three inches. Among parallel instances of gigantic stature may be quoted Pusio and Secundilla, who lived in the reign of Augustus, and are said by Pliny (Nat. Hist. VII. 16) to have been over ten feet high. Josephus says that a certain Eleazar the giant who was sent to the emperor Tiberius, was seven cubits high.

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.
5. a coat of mail] “A corselet of scales,” made of overlapping plates of metal, and protecting the body almost down to the knees. Armour of this kind is represented in the Assyrian sculptures. See Layard’s Nineveh II. 335. Cp. Virg. Aen. XI. 487, “Turnus … thoraca indutus aenis Horrebat squamis.”

five thousand shekels] Estimated at about 157 pounds avoirdupois.

And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
6. greaves] Armour for the legs and feet: from Fr. grève, ‘the shin.’ “Greaves” from the Assyrian monuments are figured in Layard’s Nineveh II. 337. The following passage from Philemon Holland’s translation of Pliny’s Nat. Hist. VII. 20, quoted in the Bible Word-Book, illustrates both the matter and the language:

“My selfe haue seene one named Athanatus do wonderful strange matters in the open shew and face of the world, namely to walke his stations vpon the stage with a cuirace of lead weighing 500 pound [= 360 lbs. avoirdupois], booted besides with a pair of buskins or greiues (cothurni) about his legges that came to as much in weight.”

brass] The word translated brass means copper in such passages as Deuteronomy 8:9, where a natural metal is spoken of. In some instances the compound metal bronze (copper and tin) may be meant, but brass (copper and zinc) was unknown to the ancients.

a target] Rather, a javelin, which was slung across his shoulders, as the Greeks sometimes carried their swords (Hom. Il. II. 45).Roman soldiers were often similarly armed with both pilum (javelin) and hasta (spear). The E. V. follows the Sept. and Vulg. in rendering “target,” i.e. a kind of small shield. The marginal rendering “gorget,” = “a piece of armour for the throat,” from Fr. gorge, has nothing in its favour.

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.
7. the staff of his spear, &c.] The shaft of Goliath’s spear, short, but extraordinarily stout and heavy, is compared to the “beam” to which the web is fastened in a loom (cp. 2 Samuel 21:19). The iron spear head weighed nearly nineteen pounds avoirdupois.

one bearing a shield] A large shield to protect the whole body. Comp. Layard’s Nineveh II. 346, “The archers, whether on foot or in chariots, were accompanied by shield-bearers, whose office it was to protect them from the shafts of the enemy. The king was always attended in his wars by this officer; and even in peace, one of his eunuchs usually carried a circular shield for his use. This shield-bearer was probably a person of high rank as in Egypt.” Ajax protects Teucer with his shield while he is shooting (Hom. Il. VIII. 266–272).

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.
8. am not I a Philistine] Rather, the Philistine; the representative of the nation. The Targum puts a long speech into Goliath’s month. “l am Goliath the Philistine of Gath, who slew the two sons of Eli the priest, Hophni and Phinehas, and carried away captive the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and brought it into the house of Dagon my error [i.e. idol], and it was there in the cities of the Philistines seven months. Moreover in all the wan of the Philistines I go forth at the head of the army, and we have been victorious in war, and have cast down the slain as the dust of the earth, and hitherto the Philistines have not honoured me, to make me captain of a thousand over them. But as for you children of Israel, what valiant deed has Saul the son of Kish of Gibeah wrought for you, that ye have made him king over you? If he be a valiant man, let him come down and do battle with me; but if he be a coward, choose you, &c.”

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.
9. then will we be your servants] Compare the agreement between the Romans and Albans about the combat of the Horatii and Curiatii, “that the nation whose citizens conquered in the combat should rule the other in peace” (Livy I. 24). Paris challenged Menelaus to decide the Trojan war by single combat (Hom. Il. III. 86 ff.).

And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.
When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
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.
12. that Ephrathite] “That” signifies “who has been mentioned before,” and is inserted to connect the narrative with ch. 16 “Ephrathite” = “of Ephrath,” the old name of Bethlehem, which is here called in full Beth-lehem-judah, i.e. Bethlehem in Judah.

the man went among men, &c.] By the introduction of a slight emendation the sentence may be rendered: Now in the days of Saul the man was old and well stricken in years. Jesse’s age is mentioned to account for his absence from the army.

12–31. David’s errand to the camp

12–31. This section is not found in the Vatican MS. of the Sept. On the difficulties it presents, and the question of its genuineness see Note VI. p. 241.

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.
And David was the youngest: and the three eldest followed Saul.
But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.
15. David went and returned from Saul] From 1 Samuel 16:21-23 it might have been supposed that David was already permanently resident at Saul’s court. This verse however states that he returned home when his services were not required at court, and at the time of the Philistine war was with his father at Bethlehem. We must assume either that 1 Samuel 16:21 describes by anticipation what happened eventually after the Philistine war; or that the appointment as armour-bearer was a nominal commission, and that, as he was young and inexperienced, his attendance in camp was not yet required. Joab had ten armour-bearers (2 Samuel 18:15), and Saul probably many more.

And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.
16. And the Philistine, &c.] This remark resumes the narrative of vv, 4–11, with the additional information that Goliath’s defiance was repeated for a considerable time, and so prepares the way for what follows.

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;
17. parched corn] Still a common article of food in Palestine. “In the season of harvest the grains of wheat, not yet dry and hard, are roasted in a pan or an iron plate, and constitute a very palatable article of food; this is eaten along with bread or instead of it.” Robinson, Bibl. Res. II. 50. Cp. Ruth 2:14; 1 Samuel 25:18; 2 Samuel 17:18.

run] Rather, carry them quickly.

And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge.
18. look how thy brethren fare] Visit thy brethren and enquire after their welfare. Cp. Genesis 37:14.

take their pledge] Bring home some token from them that they are well: the equivalent of a letter.

Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.
19. Now Saul, &c.] Probably, “Now Saul and they … are,” &c., i.e. it is Jesse’s direction to David where to find his brothers, not a remark of the historian.

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.
20. the trench] The word may mean either, (a) the circular rampart round the camp; or (b) a barrier formed by the baggage waggons round the camp; or (c) the place where the baggage waggons of the army were kept. It occurs again in 1 Samuel 26:5; 1 Samuel 26:7.

shouted for the battle] Raised the ‘slogan’ or war-cry, like Gideon’s “For the Lord and for Gideon” (Jdg 7:18). Cp. Joshua 6:5 ff.

For Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array, army against army.
21. For Israel … had put] And Israel … put, &c.

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.
22. his carriage … the keeper of the carriage] “Carriage” in the E. V. always signifies “that which is carried,” “baggage.” See Jdg 18:21; Isaiah 10:28; Acts 21:15. The Heb. word is the same as that translated “stuff” in 1 Samuel 10:22.

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.
And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.
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.
25. will give him his daughter] Compare Caleb’s offer, Joshua 15:16. Saul procrastinated about fulfilling the promise, and imposed further conditions (1 Samuel 18:17 ff.).

make his father’s house free] Probably exemption from taxes and personal services to the king is meant. Cp. 1 Samuel 8:11 ff.

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?
26. the living God] Jehovah as the one “living and true God” is contrasted with the idols of the heathen “which have no breath in their mouths.” Cp. Deuteronomy 5:26, and esp. 2 Kings 19:4.

And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.
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.
28. the wilderness] The Heb. word for “wilderness” does not necessarily mean a barren district; but a wide open tract used for pasture, as distinguished from arable land. Cp. Psalm 65:12; Joel 1:19-20; Joel 2:22.

naughtiness] i.e. wickedness. David’s advancement seems to have roused Eliab’s jealousy. He imputes the worst motives to him and taunts him with (1) neglect of duty; (2) arrogance and discontent with his humble occupation; (3) unseemly eagerness for the sight of bloodshed. Eliab was unable to enter into the nature of David’s lofty indignation. Compare the hatred of Joseph’s brethren (Genesis 37:4).

And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
29. Is there not a cause] A sufficient cause for his coming, namely, his father’s command. But probably the words mean, “Is it not a [mere] word?” i.e. “May I not ask a harmless question?”

And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.
And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him.
And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
32–40. David volunteers to fight Goliath

32. And David said unto Saul] According to the Sept. text this stands in close and appropriate connexion with 1 Samuel 17:11 : in the Heb. text David’s offer certainly follows very abruptly on his introduction to Saul.

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.
33. thou art but a youth] Compared with the giant David was but a youth, though he had already shown sufficient promise to be called “a man of war” by Saul’s servant (1 Samuel 16:18).

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:
34. and there came a lion, &c.] And when a lion came or even a bear (or, and that too with a bear) … I went out after him, &c. “In those early days, when the forests of Southern Palestine had not been cleared, it was the habit of the wild animals which usually frequented the heights of Lebanon or the thickets of the Jordan, to make incursions into the pastures of Judaea. From the Lebanon at times descended the bears. From the Jordan ascended the lion, at that time infesting the whole of Western Asia.” Stanley, Lect. II. 43. The Syrian bear is said to be especially ferocious, and appears to have been more dreaded than the lion. See Amos 5:19. Lions are not now found in Palestine, but the traveller Thevenot says that the Arabs are not afraid of them, and will attack and kill them, with no better arms than a stick. Cp. Amos 3:12.

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.
35. by his bard] Cp. the Homeric epithet of the lion, “well-bearded;” (λὶς ἠϋγένειος: Il. XV. 275); and the Latin proverb “to pluck the beard of a dead lion” (barbam vellere mortuo leoni).

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.
36. seeing he hath defied, &c.] “The trusting heart of God’s servant could see no ground for fearing one who came forth to defy Jehovah.” Wilberforce’s Heroes, p. 242.

The Sept. reads: “Shall I not go and smite him, and take away the reproach from Israel this day? for who is this uncircumcised, who hath reproached the army of the living God?”

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.
37. the paw] Lit. “the hand,” i.e. the power: the very same word as he uses in reference to the Philistine.

the Lord be with thee] Jehovah shall be with thee: an assurance, not a prayer.

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.
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.

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.
39. assayed] i.e. endeavoured. The word is derived from Old Fr. asaier, “to try, put to the proof,” and this from Lat. exigere, “to weigh.”

for he had not proved it] He made the effort in ignorance, because he had never tried a suit of armour, and did not know what an encumbrance it would be to one unaccustomed to the use of it.

David put them off him] “Expeditissimus ille ad prœlium procedere cupiebat; fortis non in se sed in Domino; armatus non tam ferro quam fide.” “He desired to go forth to the battle in the lightest possible armour: strong in the Lord not in himself: armed not with steel but with faith.” Augustine, Serm. XXXII. God would show, as in the case of Gideon (Jdg 7:2), that the victory was His alone. Compare Maurice, Prophets and Kings, p. 46.

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.
40. five smooth stones out of the brook] “The sides and bed of this trench [see above on 1 Samuel 17:3] are strewn with rounded and water-worn pebbles, which would have been well fitted for David’s sling.” Conder, II. 161.

scrip] A small bag, especially a traveller’s wallet. Cp. Matthew 10:10; and Milton, Comus, 1. 626,

“And in requital ope his leathern scrip.”

his sling] “The sling has been in ail ages the favourite weapon of the shepherds of Syria. The Benjamites were especially expert In their use of it: even the left-handed could sling stones at an hair and not miss (Jdg 20:16).”

And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him.
41–54. The victory of faith. The flight of the Philistines

41. This verse is not found in the Sept. (B).

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.
42. he disdained him] See Proverbs 16:18.

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.
43. Am I a dog] The Sept. (B) reads: “Am I a dog that thou comest to me with a staff and stones? And David said, Nay but worse than a dog.”

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.
44. I will give thy flesh, &c.] Compare Hector’s defiance of Ajax in Hom. Il. XIII. 831:

“The flesh

Shall glut the dogs and carrion birds of Troy.”

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.
45. a shield] A javelin, as in 1 Samuel 17:6. Clearly an offensive weapon is meant.

in the name of the Lord of hosts] Resting absolutely upon Him Who has revealed Himself as the Covenant-God of Israel, and the Almighty Ruler of heaven and earth, Whom thou defiest when thou defiest the armies of His people. See Note I. p. 235.

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.
46. deliver thee into mine hand] Lit. “shut thee up.” Cp. Psalm 31:8. “David did not rashly and vainly boast beforehand of the victory, as Goliath had done; but being full of faith praised the divine omnipotence and prophesied of an assured victory.” Patrick.

that there is a God in Israel] That Israel hath a God who is worthy of the name. For the thought cp. 1 Samuel 12:22; 1 Kings 18:36; 2 Kings 19:19.

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.
47. the Lord saveth not with sword and spear, &c.] A lesson which is needed at all times, when men are tempted to fall down and worship brute force. It is a leading thought in Hannah’s song (1 Samuel 2:1-10); cp. also 1 Samuel 14:6; Psalm 44:6-7; Hosea 1:7; Zechariah 4:6; 1 Corinthians 1:27-28.

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.
48. ran toward the army] The battle array of the Philistines. He showed his courage by not waiting for Goliath to approach. The Sept. however has simply: “And the Philistine arose and went to meet David.”

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.
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.
50. This verse is not found in the Sept. (B).

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.
51. their champion] Their mighty man: a different word from that in 1 Samuel 17:4; 1 Samuel 17:23.

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.
52. until thou come to the valley] Heb. gai, “the ravine,” as in 1 Samuel 17:3. But the ravine which separated the armies could not tie the terminus of the Philistine flight, and it seems most probable that gai is a copyist’s error for Gath, which is the reading of the Sept. (B). Shaaraim is mentioned in Joshua 15:35-36 in connexion with Sochoh and Azekah among the towns of Judah. It is perhaps to be placed at Tell-Zakarîya, a conspicuous hill on the southern side of the main valley, between Shuweikeh (Sochoh) and Tell-es-Sâfi (Gath), exactly in the line which the Philistine flight would naturally take. It must originally have been an important outpost for Judah against Gath, but was now no doubt in the hands of the Philistines.

And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents.
And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.
54. to Jerusalem] There are no indications that Jerusalem had yet attained any importance either as a political or religious centre. The citadel still remained in the hands of the Jebusites, though the lower city had been captured (Joshua 15:63). It seems best therefore to suppose that David deposited the head as a votive offering in the Tabernacle at Nob which was close to Jerusalem. We know that he afterwards placed Goliath’s sword there, and possibly the rest of his armour along with it. This is preferable to the conjecture that the historian here relates by anticipation what David did eventually when he occupied Jerusalem.

in his tent] So long as the army remained in the field he kept it as a trophy of his victory.

We might naturally expect that David would celebrate his victory by a Psalm of thanksgiving. No extant Psalm however can with certainty be referred to this occasion. The Sept. adds “against Goliath” to the title of Psalms 144 (Sept. 143), but without any sufficient probability; and the Psalm appended to the Psalter in the Sept., which professes to belong to this period, is certainly not authentic. A translation of it may be found in Smith’s Dict. of the Bible, I. 403.

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.
55–58. Saul’s inquiry concerning David’s parentage

55. he said unto Abner] This section is not found in the Septuagint (B). On the difficulty of reconciling it with ch. 16 see Note VI. P. 241.

And the king said, Inquire thou whose son the stripling is.
56. the stripling] This word is the diminutive of strip, and like slip, scion, &c. means a youth, as it were a strip from the parent stem. The Heb. word, which is found again only in 1 Samuel 20:22, signifies “a full grown youth.”

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.
And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.
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