David and Goliath

Stories from the Bible

  • The words 'David and Goliath' are often used to describe a seemingly unfair competition between somebody who has everything and somebody who has nothing.

    The phrase is based on a story found in the Old Testament. David - who went on to become King David - was an Israelite. At the time, the Israelites were fighting battles against their sworn enemies, the Philistines. The Philistines' prize fighter was a giant named Goliath.

    You can find their story here, or read it in full in 1 Samuel 17. As you read it, think about why this story might be so special to Christians today.

    DG1

    A Time of War

     

    The Philistines got ready to attack the Israelites. Each army set up camp on either side of the river. The Philistines had a secret weapon - a giant called Goliath from Gath. He was very tall. His spear was so big the iron spearhead alone weighed over 15 pounds.

    DG2

    Goliath challenges the Israelites

     

    Every day, Goliath shouted to the Israelites: 'Come and fight! If one of you can kill me, we Philistines will surrender. But if I win, you will all be our slaves!' But the Israelites were too scared to accept.

  • DG4

    David the shepherd boy

     

    David was a shepherd. He was the youngest of 8 sons. His brothers were away fighting in the Israelite army. David's father often sent him to the Israelite camp with food for the men.

    DG5

    David hears the challenge

     

    One day as David visited the camp, he heard Goliath shouting at the Israelites. He asked the men what was going on and they explained. David was angry. 'Who does that worthless Philistine think he is?' he asked. 'He's making fun of the army of the living God!'

    DG6

    David offers to fight Goliath

     

    David went to the King of Israel, Saul. He told Saul he wanted to fight Goliath. 'You don't have a chance,' said Saul. 'You're just a boy!'

    But David wouldn't listen. 'I fight bears and lions. I can kill Goliath,' said David. 'God will keep me safe.'

  • DG7

    David turns down weapons

     

    Saul gave David his armour to wear. But it was too big and heavy. David couldn't move. He laid down the armour and weapons, grabbed his shepherd's stick and collected five small smooth stones from the stream.

    DG8

    David meets Goliath

     

    David went straight over to where Goliath was waiting. Goliath could not believe his eyes. David was just a boy - no soldier! 'Am I a dog?' mocked Goliath. 'Is that why you've come up here with a stick?!'

    DG9

    David's answer

     

    'You come at me with a sword!' yelled David. 'But I come at you in the name of God Almighty, the God of this army. He will help me beat you!' And David took out a small stone, put it in his sling and swung it round his head.

  • DG10

    Goliath dies

     

    David let go of the sling. The stone flew towards Goliath and struck him in the middle of the forehead. He was killed instantly.

    DG11

    Victory!

     

    When the Philistines saw what had happened to their hero, they ran away. The Israelites had won. From that day on, David became the peoples' hero.

    Why is this story so special to Christians?

    It is not David's skill that stands out in the story. It is his faith in God. He trusts that God will help him to stand up for what is right - even when it's scary or the odds seem impossible. Christians are reminded that, even if they don't feel they are particularly special or able to challenge the things which are wrong in the world, God is always with them and will be all the help they need.

  • Capture

    Acknowledgments

     

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