Literary Analysis 1 Samuel 17:1-28 Essay
1 SAMUEL 17:1-58
SUBMITTED TO DR. GUEST
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COMPLETION OF OBST 591
DECEMBER 12, 2011
The account of David and Goliath is one most often taught to children. Many adult believers heard the account while growing up. To move beyond the superficial aspect of the events, an in-depth analysis is needed. The narrative is a complex literary work with deep theological messages. The current paper will record a literary analysis of 1 Samuel 17:1-58 and then discuss the theology and applications that can be useful in the lives of the modern day believer. The nation of Israel had asked God for a king. God had allowed this and Saul was …show more content…
The account also contains only a few parallels. Goliath was tall, often considered a giant. Saul was a head taller than most Israelites (1 Samuel 9:2). Saul, the king and Abner, the commander of the army, two of the top officials in Israel were watching and conversing as David a shepherd boy goes out to meet the Philistine (1Samuel 17:55).
The author develops the narrative utilizing various dialogues. David arrives on the scene because of Jesse’s verbal instructions to take supplies to his brothers in Saul’s camp (v. 17-19). It is through the taunting of Goliath that we are introduced to the problem that the author is presenting (v. 8-11). The conversation David has with the men of Saul’s army reiterates the problem and indicates Saul’s solution was a reward (v. 25-27). Through the communications with Saul, we see David’s reliance on God to overcome the Philistine and an implied lack of reliance on the part of Saul (v. 32-40). The author records the interactions of David and Goliath as they meet each other for the conquest (v. 43-47). The final three conversations were between Saul and Abner, Abner and David, and finally between David and Saul. The name of David’s father was the topic of these conversations (v. 55-58).