1 Samuel 17:40
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in the shepherd's bag that he had, into the pocket; and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.

World English Bible
He took his staff in his hand, and chose for himself five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in the shepherd's bag which he had, even in his wallet. His sling was in his hand; and he drew near to the Philistine.

Young's Literal Translation
And he taketh his staff in his hand, and chooseth for him five smooth stones from the brook, and putteth them in the shepherds' habiliments that he hath, even in the scrip, and his sling is in his hand, and he draweth nigh unto the Philistine.

1 Samuel 17:40 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

He took his staff - What we would call his crook.

Five smooth stones -

1. Had they been rough or angular, they would not have passed easily through the air, and their asperities would, in the course of their passage, have given them a false direction.

2. Had they not been smooth, they could not have been readily despatched from the sling.

A shepherd's bag - That in which he generally carried his provisions while keeping the sheep in the open country.

And his sling - The sling, both among the Greeks and Hebrews, has been a powerful offensive weapon. See what has been said on Judges 20:16 (note). It is composed of two strings and a leathern strap; the strap is in the middle, and is the place where the stone or bullet lies. The string on the right end of the strap is firmly fastened to the hand; that on the left is held between the thumb and middle joint of the fore finger. It is then whirled two or three times round the head; and when discharged, the finger and thumb let go their hold of the left end string. The velocity and force of the sling are in proportion to the distance of the strap, where the bullet lies, from the shoulder joint. Hence the ancient Baleares, or inhabitants of Majorca and Minorca, are said to have had three slings of different lengths, the longest they used when the enemy was at the greatest distance; the middle one, on their nearer approach; and the shortest, when they came into the ordinary fighting distance in the field. The shortest is the most certain, though not the most powerful. The Balearians are said to have had one of their slings constantly bound about their head, to have used the second as a girdle, and to have carried the third always in their hand. See Diod. Sic. lib. v., c. 18, p. 286, edit. Bipont.

In the use of the sling it requires much practice to hit the mark; but when once this dexterity is acquired, the sling is nearly as fatal as the musket or bow; see on 1 Samuel 17:49 (note). David was evidently an expert marksman; and his sling gave him greatly the advantage over Goliath; an advantage of which the giant does not seem to have been aware. He could hit him within any speaking distance, if he missed once, he had as many chances as he had stones; and after all, being unencumbered with armor, young, and athletic, he could have saved his life by flight. Against him the Philistine could do but little, except in close fight; it is true he appears to have had a javelin or missile spear, (see on 1 Samuel 17:6 (note)), but David took care to prevent the use of all such weapons, by giving him the first blow.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

staff

Judges 3:31 And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad...

Judges 7:16-20 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers...

Judges 15:15,16 And he found a new jawbone of an donkey, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith...

Judges 20:16 Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men left handed; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise...

brook. or, valley
bag. [heb] vessel

Matthew 10:10 Nor money for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

Library
The victory of Unarmed Faith
'And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. 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. 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; 35. And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Call of David.
"So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone."--1 Samuel xvii. 50. These words, which are taken from the chapter which you heard read just now in the course of the Service[1], declare the victory which David, the man after God's own heart, gained over Goliath, who came out of the army of the Philistines to defy the Living God; and they declare the manner of his gaining it. He gained it with a sling and with a stone; that is, by means, which to man might seem weak and
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VIII

The Blessing of Jacob Upon Judah. (Gen. Xlix. 8-10. )
Ver. 8. "Judah, thou, thy brethren shall praise thee; thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; before thee shall bow down the sons of thy father. Ver. 9. A lion's whelp is Judah; from the prey, my son, thou goest up; he stoopeth down, he coucheth as a lion, and as a full-grown lion, who shall rouse him up? Ver. 10. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto Him the people shall adhere." Thus does dying Jacob, in announcing
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners:
A BRIEF AND FAITHFUL RELATION OF THE EXCEEDING MERCY OF GOD IN CHRIST TO HIS POOR SERVANT, JOHN BUNYAN; WHEREIN IS PARTICULARLY SHOWED THE MANNER OF HIS CONVERSION, HIS SIGHT AND TROUBLE FOR SIN, HIS DREADFUL TEMPTATIONS, ALSO HOW HE DESPAIRED OF GOD'S MERCY, AND HOW THE LORD AT LENGTH THROUGH CHRIST DID DELIVER HIM FROM ALL THE GUILT AND TERROR THAT LAY UPON HIM. Whereunto is added a brief relation of his call to the work of the ministry, of his temptations therein, as also what he hath met with
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Cross References
Matthew 10:10
no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.

Judges 20:16
Among all these soldiers there were seven hundred select troops who were left-handed, each of whom could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.

1 Samuel 17:39
David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. "I cannot go in these," he said to Saul, "because I am not used to them." So he took them off.

1 Samuel 17:41
Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David.

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