The Shepherd and the Giant

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#46: “The Shepherd and the Giant”
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1 Samuel 17:1-58

1Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Socoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah.

2Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them. 4A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. 5He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels ; 6on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him. 8Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us." 10Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other." 11On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. 12Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul's time he was old and well advanced in years. 13Jesse's three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. 14David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, 15but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father's sheep at Bethlehem. 16For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand. 17Now Jesse said to his son David, "Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them. 19They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines." 20Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and greeted his brothers. 23As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear. 25Now the Israelites had been saying, "Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his father's family from taxes in Israel." 26David asked the men standing near him, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?" 27They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, "This is what will be done for the man who kills him." 28When Eliab, David's oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, "Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle." 29"Now what have I done?" said David. "Can't I even speak?" 30He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him. 32David said to Saul, "Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him." 33Saul replied, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth." 34But David said to Saul, "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you." 38Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. "I cannot go in these," he said to Saul, "because I am not used to them." So he took them off. 40Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. 41Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him. 43He said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44"Come here," he said, "and I'll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!" 45David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands." 48As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. 50So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 51David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 52Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath and to the gates of Ekron. Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. 53When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp. 54David took the Philistine's head and brought it to Jerusalem, and he put the Philistine's weapons in his own tent. 55As Saul watched David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, "Abner, whose son is that young man?" Abner replied, "As surely as you live, O king, I don't know." 56The king said, "Find out whose son this young man is." 57As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine's head.

58"Whose son are you, young man?" Saul asked him. David said, "I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem."

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El pastor y el gigante
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November 16, 2013
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The Shepherd and the Giant

“The Shepherd and the Giant” is episode #46 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on October 29, 1988.


Connie experiences the story of the Shepherd and the Giant using 'The Environment Enhancer', a new creation by Whit.


The shepard giant.gif

Whit is in the Bible Room working on another invention designed to make the Scriptures come to life. Connie enters, and Whit shows her "The Environment Enhancer". It's a set of headphones hooked up to a machine that, through the imagination, places you inside a Biblical adventure. Connie is disappointed that the adventures are from the Bible, but Whit tells her not to knock it until she's tried it.

Connie puts on the headphones and is almost immediately transported to a pastoral setting where a young man is watching over a flock of sheep and playing a harp. The young man's name is David. He reads Connie one of his "poems." She watches as he fights a lion with nothing but his staff. Later, Connie witnesses this young shepherd being anointed king of Israel by an old prophet named Samuel.

Connie then accompanies David as he visits his brothers on the battlefield in their war against the Philistines. A giant bully named Goliath taunts the Israelites. Connie is stunned when David volunteers to go one-on-one against Goliath in battle, armed with only a sling and five smooth stones. Goliath ridicules David, but David calls upon the Lord. Connie watches as the giant falls to the ground, then David cuts off Goliath's head with his own sword. Spurred on by David's heroism, the Israelites surge forward and attack the Philistines, defeating them soundly.

Connie discovers that the Bible is anything but boring, moving her another step closer to a relationship with God.

Discussion Questions

  1. Connie thought there were much better stories to tell than those in the Bible. Why do you think she believed that?
  2. Why did God reject all of David’s brothers?
  3. Why did David pick up five stones to fight Goliath?
    • Why not one?
    • Or two?
    • Three?
    • Four?



VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] In the broadcast version of this episode, Chris talks to a "Mr. Pardon" at the Fashion Center at the Odyssey Mall. Mr. Pardon is searching for a fashionable outfit and thinks Chris's "ratty, old" T-shirt is a work of art.

  • This episode marked the first (and last) appearance of the Environment Enhancer, the predecessor of the Imagination Station.
  • Whit says "The story you're about to hear is true. None of the names have been changed, none of the facts altered." This is a reference to the opening narration of the popular police drama Dragnet: "The story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent."



John Whittaker: Before you knock it, why don't you try it?
Connie Kendall: You mean the machine?
John Whittaker: Sure. I need a guinea pig, and you'll do just fine.

Connie Kendall: Were you able to find out anything about my friend?
Samuel: No, but thanks for reminding me.

Connie Kendall: That's it? Sticks and stones?
King David: Of course not.
Connie Kendall: Well, that's good.
King David: I also have my sling.

Connie Kendall: You can't win against that giant with some sticks and stones and a leather strap! You need something more!
King David: But I do have something more. I have the Lord God of Israel on my side.