Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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1 Samuel 17

1 - Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle; and they were gathered together at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim.

2 - Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and encamped in the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines.

3 - The Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.

4 - A champion out of the camp of the Philistines named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span went out.

5 - He had a helmet of brass on his head, and he wore a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.

6 - He had brass shin armor on his legs, and a brass javelin between his shoulders.

7 - The staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. His shield bearer went before him.

8 - He stood and cried to the armies of Israel, and said to them, "Why have you come out to set your battle in array? Am I not a Philistine, and you servants to Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me.

9 - If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then will we be your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you will be our servants and serve us."

10 - The Philistine said, "I defy the armies of Israel today! Give me a man, that we may fight together!"

11 - When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

12 - Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons. The man was an elderly old man in the days of Saul.

13 - The three oldest sons of Jesse had gone after Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.

14 - David was the youngest; and the three oldest followed Saul.

15 - Now David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.

16 - The Philistine came near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.

17 - Jesse said to David his son, "Now take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers;

18 - and bring these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers are doing, and bring back news."

19 - Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.

20 - David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took and went, as Jesse had commanded him. He came to the place of the wagons, as the army which was going out to the fight shouted for the battle.

21 - Israel and the Philistines put the battle in array, army against army.

22 - David left his baggage in the hand of the keeper of the baggage, and ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers.

23 - As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines, and said the same words; and David heard them.

24 - All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were terrified.

25 - The men of Israel said, "Have you seen this man who has come up? He has surely come up to defy Israel. The king will give great riches to the man who kills him, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel."

26 - David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, "What shall be done to the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"

27 - The people answered him in this way, saying, "So shall it be done to the man who kills him."

28 - Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger burned against David, and he said, "Why have you come down? With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride, and the naughtiness of your heart; for you have come down that you might see the battle."

29 - David said, "What have I now done? Is there not a cause?"

30 - He turned away from him toward another, and spoke like that again; and the people answered him again the same way.

31 - When the words were heard which David spoke, they rehearsed them before Saul; and he sent for him.

32 - David said to Saul, "Let no man's heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine."

33 - Saul said to David, "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth."

34 - David said to Saul, "Your servant was keeping his father's sheep; and when a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb out of the flock,

35 - I went out after him, and struck him, and rescued it out of his mouth. When he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and struck him, and killed him.

36 - Your servant struck both the lion and the bear. This uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God."

37 - David said, "The LORD who 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."Saul said to David, "Go! the LORD will be with you."

38 - Saul dressed David with his clothing. He put a helmet of brass on his head, and he clad him with a coat of mail.

39 - David strapped his sword on his clothing, and he tried to move; for he had not tested it. David said to Saul, "I can't go with these; for I have not tested them." Then David took them off.

40 - He took his staff in his hand, and chose for himself five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag which he had. His sling was in his hand; and he came near to the Philistine.

41 - The Philistine walked and came near to David; and the man who bore the shield went before him.

42 - When the Philistine looked around, and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and had a good looking face.

43 - The Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?" The Philistine cursed David by his gods.

44 - The Philistine said to David, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky, and to the animals of the field."

45 - Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin; but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

46 - Today, the LORD will deliver you into my hand. I will strike you, and take your head from off you. I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines today to the birds of the sky, and to the wild animals of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,

47 - and that all this assembly may know that the LORD doesn't save with sword and spear; for the battle is The LORD's, and he will give you into our hand."

48 - When the Philistine arose, and walked and came near to meet David, David hurried, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.

49 - David put his hand in his bag, took a stone, and slung it, and struck the Philistine in his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.

50 - So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine, and killed him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.

51 - Then David ran, stood over the Philistine, took his sword, drew it out of its sheath, killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.

52 - The men of Israel and of Judah arose and shouted, and pursued the Philistines as far as Gai and to the gates of Ekron. The wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath and to Ekron.

53 - The children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines and they plundered their camp.

54 - David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armor in his tent.

55 - When Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of the army, "Abner, whose son is this youth?"Abner said, "As your soul lives, O king, I can't tell."

56 - The king said, "Inquire whose son the young man is!"

57 - 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.

58 - Saul said to him, "Whose son are you, you young man?"David answered, "I am the son of your servantJesse the Bethlehemite."

1 Samuel Images and Notes

The Books of Samuel

1 Samuel 8:19 - Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
1 Samuel 8:20 - That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
1 Samuel 8:21 - And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.
1 Samuel 8:22 - And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Samuel
Hebrew Name - Shemuel "asked of God"
Greek Name - Samoeul (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Samuel (According to Tradition)
Date - From 1171-1015 BC Approximately
Theme of 1 Samuel - The beginning of the kingdom
Theme of 2 Samuel - David, God's chosen king
Types and Shadows - In Samuel Jesus is God's anointed King

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Kingdom of Saul
Map of the Kingdom of Saul (Click to Enlarge)

Summary of The Books of Samuel

The original ancient Hebrew manuscripts recorded the books of Samuel as only one book. The first time these books were divided was in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures, and they were referred to as the First and Second Books of Kingdoms. 1 and 2 Kings were referred to as the Third and  Fourth Books of Kingdoms. When looking closely at the King James version of the Bible the titles are still arranged in this way.

Samuel is the name of the books in the ancient Hebrew text, because he was the author and the main character in the early portions in the first book, and because of his role as a prophet of God known from Dan to Beersheba, who had anointed and had the biggest influence on the lives of  King Saul and King David. The Lord raised up the prophet Samuel at a time in the history of Israel when they were disunited as a people and very determined to have a king reign over them. God made Samuel a great man, he was a Judge (1 Samuel 7:6, 15-17), and a Prophet (1 Samuel 3:20) and became  God's chosen link between the periods of the Judges and the United Kingdom.

According to Jewish tradition the books were written by Samuel himself. They deal with the period in Jewish history from the time of  Othniel the Judge through the reign of King David in the 11th and 10th centuries BC. This is of course one of the most important and significant times in the history of Israel, because their government changed from a system of tribes and judges to a kingdom by which the king would rule according to God's laws.

ARCHAEOLOGY

Ark Relief at Capernaum Synagogue

Close up of the Sculptured Block of the Ark at Capernaum

The ancient Ark of the covenant of Israel is one the most famous items in all of antiquity. There is no trace of the Ark of the covenant, yet it is memorialized by this Scripture block at the synagogue of Capernaum, created in Greco-Roman style. In the Bible the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines, and later returned because of sudden plagues that happened upon their lands. Through the valley of sorek it was taken back to Israel to Beth-shemesh.

Although there are a few repetitive content and accounts a clear outline is difficult, the contents of the two books may be outlined as follows:

Outline of the Books of Samuel

I. The Life of Samuel (1 Samuel 1-15)

1) The prayer of Hannah for a son, the granting of the request and the subsequent dedication of the child Samuel to the service of the Lord (1 Samuel 1:1-2: 10).
2) The sin of the sons of Eli which resulted in their death and the loss of the priesthood to the descendants of Eli (1 Samuel 2:12-36).
3) Samuel's vision concerning the house of Eli (1 Samuel 3).
4) The defeat of the Israelites and capture of the Ark by the Philistines and the death of Eli (1 Samuel 4).
5) The Ark in Philistine territory (1 Samuel 5:1-7 :4).
6) The return of the Ark and the establishment of Samuel as a judge over Israel (1 Samuel 7).
7) The appointment of Samuel's sons as judges and the consequent request for a king. Samuel warns the Israelites of the perils of being ruled over by a king (1 Samuel 8).
8) Saul's meeting with Samuel (1 Samuel 9).
9) The anointing and election of Saul as king (1 Samuel 10-11).
10) Samuel's address to the people, in which he defends his own record and exhorts them to walk in the way of the Lord (1 Samuel 12). From this time forward, he serves as an adviser to the king.

II. The Reign of Saul (1 Samuel 13 - 2 Samuel 1)

1) The offering of sacrifice by Saul in Samuel's absence. This constituted disobedience and resulted in God's disfavor toward Saul (1 Samuel 13).
2) Jonathan's rout of the Philistine army and his innocent breaking of Saul's foolish vow (1 Samuel 14).
3) Saul's disobedience in sparing some of the Amalekites and their cattle (1 Samuel 15). Samuel's reply to Saul's feeble excuse was the familiar "to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams" (1 Samuel 15:22 ).
4) The anointing of David to be Saul's successor (1 Samuel 16).
5) David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17).
6) The love of Jonathan and David and the marriage of the latter to the daughter of Saul (1 Samuel 18). Also included in this chapter is the first attempt of the jealous Saul to kill David.
7) Saul's second attempt on David's life (1 Samuel 19).
8) The parting of Jonathan and David (1 Samuel 20).
9) David's exile (1 Samuel 20-24).
10) The death of Samuel and the marriage of David to Abigail after the death of her churlish husband, Nabal (1 Samuel 25).
11) The gradual eclipse of Saul's power as he futilely sought to destroy David and protect his kingdom at the same time (1 Samuel 26-30).

III. The Reign of David (2 Samuel 2-25)

1) The proclamation of David as king at Hebron and his reign over Judah from that place.
2) The removal of the capital to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5).
3) The bringing of the ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6).
4) David's victories (2 Samuel 7-11:1).
5) David's sin with Bathsheba and the rebuke by Nathan the prophet (2 Samuel 11-12).
6) The rape of Tamar by Amnon, the revenge of Absalom and Amnon's murder; the flight of Absalom (2 Samuel 13).
7) Absalom's return, his efforts to usurp the throne of David and his death (2 Samuel 14-18).
8) David's return and Sheba's revolt (2 Samuel 19-20 ).
9) The famine and the victory over the Philistines (2 Samuel 21).
10) David's thanksgiving and last words (2 Samuel 22-23:7).
11) The names and exploits of David's "mighty men" (2 Samuel 23:8-39).
12) The census and the resultant plague (2 Samuel 24).

Quick Reference Maps - 1 Samuel

The Kingdom of Saul

Shiloh

Kirjath Jearim

Jabesh Gilead

Michmash

Judah in the Time of David

The City of Nob and David's Flight

Mount Gilboa

The Kingdom of David and Solomon

 

The First Day. Light.

1 Samuel Resources

The Judges
Samuel the Prophet
Saul, Israel's First King
King David

More About the Book of 1 Samuel
More About the Book of 2 Samuel
1 Samuel in the Picture Study Bible
2 Samuel in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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