Intro: These verses tell us of the classic match up between the Israelites and the Philistines. These two peoples were long-standing enemies who showed up often on History tells us that battles such as this were often decided by having each side choose their bravest and strongest warrior. These two men would then meet between the opposing forces and fight to the death. When the contest was ended, the side that lost would become the servants to the victor. This seems to be what was happening here in the Valley of Elah, 17:8-9.
The only problem with this situation was the fact that Philistine champion was no ordinary soldier! In fact, the Bible tells us that he was quiet an impressive piece of humanity! 1 Sam. 17:4-7 tells us something of this man's stats. He was about 9', 9" tall, v. 4. He wore armor that weighed approximately 175 lbs., v. 5. He carried a spear that was like a long, heavy weaver's beam that weighed 17 lbs, with a spearhead that weighed in at 15 lbs., v. 7. This was no ordinary soldier! Verses 5-6 tell us that this man was covered from head to toe in armor that was made of solid brass. Imagine this 10 foot tall dude stepping down the mountain across the Valley of Elah just as the sun began to climb high against the Palestinian sky. This man came down the eastern face of a mountain and as the sun hit that brass, he must have looked like some kind of solid gold monster. No wonder he struck fear into the hearts of God's people!
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