ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Poem: David and Goliath

Updated on December 2, 2010
By James Tissot, from
By James Tissot, from


The story of David and Goliath is found in 1 Samuel chapter 17.

The champion from the camp of the Philistines was Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He was fully armed, with a bronze helmet on his head, a coat of mail on his body, bronze greaves on his legs, a bronze javelin on his shoulders and a huge spear in his hand. He defied the armies of Israel to give him a man to fight with. Saul and all Israel were greatly afraid when they saw him and heard his challenge over a period of 40 days.

David was the youngest of Jesse's eight sons. David used to look after his father's sheep in Bethlehem. Jesse told his youngest son to take some dried grain, ten loaves and ten cheeses to the camp of Israel and find out how his three oldest sons were doing in Saul's army.

David obeyed his father and left for the camp, which was located in the Valley of Elah. He heard the challenge of Goliath, as he defied the army of Israel. David's heart was stirred when he heard the challenge. He said, 'Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?'

Eliab, the oldest son of Jesse, saw David as he spoke to the men of Israel and he rebuked him sharply for leaving the sheep in the wilderness and coming down to witness the battle. How David was misunderstood by his brothers!

David meets Saul and tells him, 'Let no man's heart fail because of him (Goliath); your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.' Saul tells David that he is but an untrained youth, whereas Goliath has been a 'man of war' from a young age. David gives Saul his testimony of how he slew a lion and a bear which came to kill the sheep in his flock. He says, 'The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.'

Saul clothes David with his own armour, but David is uncomfortable, and says, 'I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them'.

Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.

Goliath came near and saw David, and disdained him, for he was but a youth. He cursed David by his gods. He tells David, 'I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!' David replies, 'You come to me with a sword and a spear and 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. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD'S, and He will give you into our hands.'

And it was so, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hastened and ran forward toward the army to meet the Philistine. Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.

So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.

From the NKJV

Introduction: Stones from the Brook

The focus in the poem below is upon the stones picked up from the brook. It was these smooth stones that David used in his sling.

The number 'five' speaks of God's grace. Remember the five porches in the John 5:2 - Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. This is where the Lord Jesus healed the paralytic man, who had been paralysed for 38 years.

Like the arrows hidden in God's quiver,/ (They were stones baptized in the river.) The reference to the arrows is found in Isaiah 49:3 'He has made me a select arrow, He has hidden me in His quiver.' The phrase 'stones baptized' carries two thoughts - i. We are living stones, 1 Peter 2:5. ii. We are baptized. It is the baptized stone that carries 'the power'. We have to go through the process of baptism - go into death and burial, just like the stones lay in the brook for a long, long time. But one day David picked them up and with one stone he slew Goliath. The power is the power of resurrection.

David picked up five stones from the brook. Why five? There is a reference to the brothers of Goliath in 2 Samuel 21:15-22. In verse 22 it says: 'These four were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.' Now, in those eight verses we are told how David's mighty men slew four giants, viz. Ishbi-benob, Saph, Goliath, and a nameless giant who had 24 digits. The Goliath in this account is different from the Goliath slain by David in 1 Samuel 17.

'Like Caleb of old who had delivered Hebron.' The reference is to Joshua 14, where Caleb requested the hill country of Hebron, even as an old man aged 85. In Joshua 15:13-14, we are told that Joshua gave Kiriath-Arba (Hebron) to Caleb as his inheritance; and Arba was the greatest among the Anakim (giants), Josh 14:15. What is heartening for us who are determined to follow the Lord fully is that 'Caleb drove out the three sons of Anak', i.e. the giants who had occupied Hebron. So Hebron is forever associated with Caleb, the mighty warrior of God.

- Pratonix

The Poem

David and Goliath

Just five smooth stones from the brook
Was what he chose and took.
‘Whirr’ and ‘whing’
Went the shepherd’s sling,

And the stone flew in a straight path
Into the forehead of Goliath of Gath.
Like a cedar struck by lightning
The giant fell with sounds, heavy and frightening.

Then with the champion’s own sword,
In the mighty Name of the Lord
Of Hosts, he severed his head;
And, seeing their hero smitten, the Philistines fled.

Oh, it was a great victory in Elah; what slaughter!
All because of a pebble picked up from the water!
(These are no promises picked up from the Book.)
Those five stones, buried in the brook,

Like the arrows hidden in God’s quiver,
(They were stones baptized in the river.)
That day, in a stripling’s skilful hand,
Fulfilled God’s unique command!

Five smooth stones from the stream
Speak of his faith (and God’s grace) . It seems
David was prepared for Goliath’s brethren
Like Caleb of old who had delivered Hebron.

© Tom Prato/Pratonix


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Corey Hable 

      7 years ago

      Truly an amazing poem. Such a unique way to look at this story by focussing on the stones. With your permission, I would love to use this poem as text to set to a choral piece, credit going to you of course. Please reply, since I would greatly appreciate your permission.

    • profile image

      Teresa Spingola 

      9 years ago

      Great poem! Thank you.

    • fred allen profile image

      fred allen 

      9 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      Awesome! Don't know how I missed this. I'm voting up and awesome!

    • Loves To Read profile image

      Loves To Read 

      9 years ago

      Fabulous poem Pratonix. A beautifully written verse from one of our most famous of Bible stories.


    • Pratonix profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Asia

      Thank you, Kalto. You were my first friend, and encourager, on HubPages. I won't forget that!

    • kaltopsyd profile image


      9 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      NICE! Way to tell an awesome Bible story in rhyme! I thoroughly enjoyed that. Thanks!

    • Pratonix profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Asia

      Thank you, Tina, Samson and Darlene. Blessings.

    • profile image

      Tina Truelove 

      9 years ago

      Great poem! I enjoyed reading it.

    • samsons1 profile image


      9 years ago from Tennessee

      voted up and beautiful! well written and meaningful-

      glad you used it...

    • profile image

      Darlene Turpin 

      9 years ago

      This was an awesome poem! Like the arrows hidden in God’s quiver, (They were stones baptized in the river.) You have such a way with words!...I could see the picture so very clearly!..

      Great, loved it..

      Thanks for posting this!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)