David’s quiet life did not last long.
There was a great war between the people of Israel
and men called the
All the strong men in David’s town went to join the army of Israel.
David could not go, as he had to tend the sheep, but his three older brothers went to the war.
For a long time David’s father heard nothing from his three oldest boys.
At length he called David to him and said, “Take to your brothers a bag of this corn and these ten loaves of bread. Find out how your brothers are, and bring word to me.”
The next morning David rose very early, and taking the bag of corn and the loaves of bread, he went to the camp where his brothers were.
The camp of Israel was on the side of a high mountain.
Across the valley from this mountain and on the side of another mountain was the camp of the Philistines.
After David had come to the camp and had found his brothers, shouts of anger and fear came from the soldiers.
David looked across the valley to the camp of the Philistines.
There he saw a huge soldier dressed in shining armor.
This giant soldier carried a great spear and shield.
“Who is that man?” asked David.
“Do you not know? That is Goliath,” said the soldiers. “Every day he comes out and dares any man on our side to meet him in battle.”
“Does no one of our soldiers dare to meet him?” asked David.
“We have no man so strong as he in our whole army,” said the soldiers.
The giant from the opposite hillside shouted with a loud voice, and again dared the army of Israel to choose a man to meet him.
David was a brave boy; he was stirred to anger at the sight of this great giant.
“Is not God on the side of our people?” he asked. “I will fight with this man, even though he kill me.”
The king of Israel heard of these brave words and sent for David to come before him.
When he saw that David was only a boy, he said, “You are not able to go against this Philistine. You are only a boy, while he has fought in many battles.”
Then David said to the king, “Once, when I was guarding my father’s sheep, I killed a lion and a bear without help from any one but the Lord. He will help me fight this man.”
Then the king said, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
The king fitted David with heavy armor and gave to him his own sword, but David said, “I am not used to this heavy armor; it will only hinder me.”
So he threw it off.
Then David went to a brook near by and chose five smooth stones.
Armed with these five stones and his sling; he went bravely out to meet the giant.
When the giant saw that David was only a boy, he was angry and cried out: