1 Samuel 17: David and Goliath

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 96–97


The story of David and Goliath is one of the most well-known of any in the Bible. As you read the story in 1 Samuel this time, look for what David considered his source of strength and courage. Also ask yourself questions like these: What effect could the events in chapter 16 have on the events in chapter 17? Why was it significant that David defeated Goliath after he had been “anointed” by the Lord’s prophet?Chapter 17 of 1 Samuel may help you think of answers to these questions as well: What “Goliaths” are there in your life? What covenants have you entered into with the Lord that can give you strength to overcome your “Goliaths”? How can what David did to show his faith in the Lord’s promises apply to situations in your life?

Understanding the Scriptures

1 Samuel 17

Set the battle in array (vv. 2, 8, 21)Put the soldiers in their places for battle 
Champion (vv. 4, 51)A man who represents the whole army and fights a representative from the other army to decide the winner of a battle 
Six cubits and a span (v. 4)Measurements of length (see Bible Dictionary, “weights and measures,” pp. 788–89) 
Coat of mail (vv. 5, 38)Armor made of small metal pieces hooked together 
Shekels (vv. 5, 7)A measurement of weight (see Bible Dictionary, “weights and measures,” p. 789) 
Bearing (v. 7)Carrying 
Defy (vv. 10, 25–26)Challenge, make fun of 
The man went among men for an old man (v. 12)He was considered old. 
Ephah (v. 17)A little over a bushel (see Bible Dictionary, “weights and measures,” p. 789) 
Look how far thy brethren fare (v. 18)See how your brethren are doing. 
Take their pledge (v. 18)Bring back a report of how they are doing. 
Trench (v. 20)Battle lines 
Reproach (v. 26)Shame 
After the former manner (v. 30)Like before 
Assayed to go (v. 39)Tried to see if it would work 
Proved (v. 39)Used 
Scrip (v. 40)Bag 
Disdained (v. 42)Insulted him as being unworthy to stand up against him 
Staves (v. 43)Sticks 
Hasted (v. 48)Hurried 

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study 1 Samuel 17.

Activity A iconWhat Did They Say?

  1. 1.

    Write down one thing each of the following people said in 1 Samuel 17: Goliath, Jesse, Eliab, David, and the men of Israel.

  2. 2.

    Write what you think are the two significant things David said or did in 1 Samuel 17, and explain why.

Activity B iconDraw a Picture

Use information in 1 Samuel 17 to draw some part of the David and Goliath story.

Activity C iconMake a List

  1. 1.

    List what you think are the three biggest temptations facing people your age in the Church in your area.

  2. 2.

    Make a list of five ideas or quotations from 1 Samuel 17 that you would use in a talk entitled “Overcoming Our Personal Challenges.”