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1 Samuel 17:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle; and they were gathered together at Socoh, which belongeth to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which [belongeth] to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle; and they were gathered at Socoh which belongs to Judah, and they camped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Now the Philistines collected their armies to battle, and were assembled at Shochoh, which [belongeth] to Judah, and encamped between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And the Philistines assembled their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And the Philistines gathered together their hosts, unto battle, and they were gathered together unto Socoh, which belongeth unto Judah,—and they encamped between Socoh and Azekah in Ephes-dammim;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And the Philistines gather their camps to battle, and are gathered to Shochoh, which [is] to Judah, and encamp between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephes-Dammim;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Now the Philistines gathering together their troops to battle, assembled at Socho of Juda: and camped between Socho and Azeca, in the borders of Dommim.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battell, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which [belongeth] to Iudah, and pitched betweene Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephes-Dammim.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the Philistines gather their armies to battle, and gather themselves to Succoth{gr.Socchoth} of Judah{gr.Judaea}, and encamp between Succoth{gr.Socchoth} and Azeca Ephermen.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Now the Pelishtim gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Sokhoh, which [belongeth] to Yehudah, and pitched between Sokhoh and Azeqah, in Efes Dammim.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Now the Plitm פְּלִשׁתִּים 6430
{6430} Prime
Patrial from H6429; a Pelishtite or inhabitant of Pelesheth.
gathered together 622
{0622} Prime
A primitive root; to gather for any purpose; hence to receive, take away, that is, remove (destroy, leave behind, put up, restore, etc.).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
their armies 4264
{4264} Prime
From H2583; an encampment (of travellers or troops); hence an army, whether literally (of soldiers) or figuratively (of dancers, angels, cattle, locusts, stars; or even the sacred courts).
to battle, 4421
{4421} Prime
From H3898 (in the sense of fighting); a battle (that is, the engagement); generally war (that is, warfare).
and were gathered together 622
{0622} Prime
A primitive root; to gather for any purpose; hence to receive, take away, that is, remove (destroy, leave behind, put up, restore, etc.).
<8735> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 1602
at שׂוֹכֹה, 7755
{7755} Prime
From H7753; Sokoh or Soko, the name of two places in Palestine.
which x834
(0834) Complement
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
[belongeth] to Yh יְהוּדָה, 3063
{3063} Prime
From H3034; celebrated; Jehudah (or Judah), the name of five Israelites; also of the tribe descended from the first, and of its territory.
and pitched 2583
{2583} Prime
A primitive root (compare H2603); properly to incline; by implication to decline (of the slanting rays of evening); specifically to pitch a tent; generally to encamp (for abode or siege).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
between x996
(0996) Complement
(Sometimes in the plural masculine or feminine); properly the constructively contracted form of an otherwise unused noun from H0995; a distinction; but used only as a preposition, between (repeated before each noun, often with other particles); also as a conjugation, either... or.
שׂוֹכֹה 7755
{7755} Prime
From H7753; Sokoh or Soko, the name of two places in Palestine.
and `zk עֲזֵקָה, 5825
{5825} Prime
From H5823; tilled; Azekah, a place in Palestine.
in Efes Dammm אֶפֶס־דַּמִּים. 658
{0658} Prime
אֶפֶס דַמִּים
'Ephec Dammiym
{eh'-fes dam-meem'}
From H0657 and the plural of H1818; boundary of blood drops; Ephes-Dammim, a place in Palestine.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Samuel 17:1

_ _ 1 Samuel 17:1-3. The Israelites and Philistines being ready to battle.

_ _ the Philistines gathered together their armies — twenty-seven years after their overthrow at Michmash. Having now recovered their spirits and strength, they sought an opportunity of wiping out the infamy of that national disaster, as well as to regain their lost ascendency over Israel.

_ _ Shocoh — now Shuweikeh, a town in the western plains of Judah (Joshua 15:35), nine Roman miles from Eleutheropolis, toward Jerusalem [Robinson].

_ _ Azekah — a small place in the neighborhood.

_ _ Ephes-dammim — or, “Pas-dammim” (1 Chronicles 11:13), “the portion” or “effusion of blood,” situated between the other two.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Samuel 17:1-11

_ _ It was not long ago that the Philistines were soundly beaten, and put to the worse, before Israel, and they would have been totally routed if Saul's rashness had not prevented; but here we have them making head again. Observe,

_ _ I. How they defied Israel with their armies, 1 Samuel 17:1. They made a descent upon the Israelites' country, and possessed themselves, as it should seem, of some part of it, for they encamped in a place which belonged to Judah. Israel's ground would never have been footing for Philistine-armies if Israel had been faithful to their God. The Philistines (it is probable) had heard that Samuel had fallen out with Saul and forsaken him, and no longer assisted and advised him, and that Saul had grown melancholy and unfit for business, and this news encouraged them to make this attempt for the retrieving of the credit they had lately lost. The enemies of the church are watchful to take all advantages, and they never have greater advantages than when her protectors have provoked God's Spirit and prophets to leave them. Saul mustered his forces, and faced them, 1 Samuel 17:2, 1 Samuel 17:3. And here we must take notice, 1. That the evil spirit, for the present, had left Saul, 1 Samuel 16:23. David's harp having given him some relief, perhaps the alarms and affairs of the war prevented the return of the distemper. Business is a good antidote against melancholy. Let the mind have something without to fasten on and employ itself about, and it will be the less in danger of preying upon itself. God, in mercy to Israel, suspended the judgment for a while; for how distracted must the affairs of the public have been if at this juncture the prince had been distracted! 2. That David for the present had returned to Bethlehem, and had left the court, 1 Samuel 17:15. When Saul had no further occasion to use him for the relief of his distemper, though, being anointed, he had a very good private reason, and, having a grant of the place of Saul's armour-bearer, he had a very plausible pretence to have continued his attendance, as a retainer to the court, yet he went home to Bethlehem, and returned to keep his father's sheep; this was a rare instance, in a young man that stood so fair for preferment, of humility and affection to his parents. He knew better than most do how to come down again after he had begun to rise, and strangely preferred the retirements of the pastoral life before all the pleasures and gaieties of the court. None more fit for honour than he, nor that deserved it better, and yet none more dead to it.

_ _ II. How they defied Israel with their champion Goliath, whom they were almost as proud of as he was of himself, hoping by him to recover their reputation and dominion. Perhaps the army of the Israelites was superior in number and strength to that of the Philistines, which made the Philistines decline a battle, and stand at bay with them, desiring rather to put the issue upon a single combat, in which, having such a champion, they hoped to gain the victory. Now concerning this champion observe,

_ _ 1. His prodigious size. He was of the sons of Anak, who at Gath kept their ground in Joshua's time (Joshua 11:22), and kept up a race of giants there, of which Goliath was one, and, it is probable, one of the largest. He was in height six cubits and a span, v. 4. They learned bishop Cumberland has made it out that the scripture-cubit was above twenty-one inches (above three inches more than our half-yard) and a span was half a cubit, by which computation Goliath wanted but eight inches of four yard in height, eleven feet and four inches, a monstrous stature, and which made him very formidable, especially if he had strength and spirit proportionable.

_ _ 2. His armour. Art, as well as nature, made him terrible. He was well furnished with defensive armour (1 Samuel 17:5, 1 Samuel 17:6): A helmet of brass on his head, a coat of mail, made of brass plates laid over one another, like the scales of a fish; and, because his legs would lie most within the reach of an ordinary man, he wore brass boots, and had a large corselet of brass about his neck. The coat is said to weigh 5000 shekels, and a shekel was half an ounce avoirdupois, a vast weight for a man to carry, all the other parts of his armour being proportionable. But some think it should be translated, not the weight of the coat, but the value of it, was 5000 shekels; so much it cost. His offensive weapons were extraordinary, of which his spear only is here described, 1 Samuel 17:7. It was like a weaver's beam. His arm could manage that which an ordinary man could scarcely heave. His shield only, which was the lightest of all his accoutrements, was carried before him by his esquire, probably for state; for he that was clad in brass little needed a shield.

_ _ 3. His challenge. The Philistines having chosen him for their champion, to save themselves from the hazard of battle, he here throws down the gauntlet, and bids defiance to the armies of Israel, 1 Samuel 17:8-10. He came into the valley that lay between the camps, and, his voice probably being as much stronger than other people's as his arm was, he cried so as to make them all hear him, Give me a man, that we may fight together. He looked upon himself with admiration, because he was so much taller and stronger than all about him; his heart (says bishop Hall) nothing but a lump of proud flesh. He looked upon Israel with disdain, because they had none among them of such a monstrous bulk, and defies them to find a man among them bold enough to enter the list with him. (1.) He upbraids them with their folly in drawing an army together: “Why have you come to set the battle in array? How dare you oppose the mighty Philistines?” Or, “Why should the two armies engage, when the controversy may be sooner decided, with only the expense of one life and the hazard of another?” (2.) He offers to put the war entirely upon the issue of the duel he proposes: “If your champion kill me, we will be your servants; if I kill him, you shall be ours.” This, says bishop Patrick, was only a bravado, for no nation would be willing thus to venture its all upon the success of one man, nor is it justifiable; notwithstanding Goliath's stipulation here, when he was killed the Philistines did not stand to his word, nor submit themselves as servants to Israel. When he boasts, I am a Philistine, and you are servants to Saul, he would have it thought a great piece of condescension in him, who was a chief ruler, to enter the lists with an Israelite; for he looked on them as no better than slaves. The Chaldee paraphrase brings him in boasting that he was the man that had killed Hophni and Phinehas and taken the ark prisoner, but that the Philistines had never given him so much as the command of a regiment in recompence of his services, whereas Saul had been made king for his services: “Let him therefore take up the challenge.”

_ _ 4. The terror this struck upon Israel: Saul and his army were greatly afraid, 1 Samuel 17:11. The people would not have been dismayed but that they observed Saul's courage failed him; and it is not to be expected that, if the leader be a coward, the followers should be bold. We found before, when the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul (1 Samuel 11:6), none could be more daring nor forward to answer the challenge of Nahash the Ammonite, but now that the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him even the big looks and big words of a single Philistine make him change colour. But where was Jonathan all this while? Why did not he accept the challenge, who, in the last war, had so bravely engaged a whole army of Philistines? Doubtless he did not feel himself stirred up of God to it, as he did in the former case. As the best, so the bravest men, are no more than what God makes them. Jonathan must now sit still, because the honour of engaging Goliath is reserved for David. In great and good actions, the wind of the Spirit blows when and where he listeth. Now the pious Israelites lament their king's breach with Samuel.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Samuel 17:1

Gathered, &c. — Probably they had heard, that Samuel had forsaken Saul, and that Saul himself was unfit for business. The enemies of the church are watchful to take all advantages, and they never have greater advantage, than when her protectors have provoked God's Spirit and prophets to leave them.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

[[no comment]]

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

1 Samuel 7:7 And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard [it], they were afraid of the Philistines.
1 Samuel 13:5 And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which [is] on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Bethaven.
1 Samuel 14:46 Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place.
1 Samuel 14:52 And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him.
Judges 3:3 [Namely], five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath.


Joshua 15:35 Jarmuth, and Adullam, Socoh, and Azekah,
, Socoh,
2 Chronicles 11:7 And Bethzur, and Shoco, and Adullam,
, Shoco,
2 Chronicles 28:18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and had taken Bethshemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho with the villages thereof, and Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also and the villages thereof: and they dwelt there.
, Shocho


Joshua 10:10-11 And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah. ... And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, [and] were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: [they were] more which died with hailstones than [they] whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.
Joshua 15:35 Jarmuth, and Adullam, Socoh, and Azekah,
Jeremiah 34:7 When the king of Babylon's army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these defenced cities remained of the cities of Judah.

or, the coast of Dammim,
1 Chronicles 11:13 He was with David at Pasdammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines.
, Pas-dammim
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Jsh 10:10; 15:35. Jg 3:3. 1S 7:7; 13:5; 14:46, 52. 1Ch 11:13. 2Ch 11:7; 28:18. Jr 34:7.

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