New Defender's Study Bible Notes
17:4 height. Goliath was well over nine feet tall, one of the last of the Anakim race of giants, still residing in Gath. Note Joshua 11:22.
17:6 greaves. These were brass armor pieces for the lower leg.
17:7 six hundred shekels. The head of Goliath’s spear weighed about seventeen pounds.
17:10 give me a man. Of all the men in Israel, it would have seemed that Saul himself would be the obvious one to fight Goliath, since “from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people” (I Samuel 9:2). Yet “Saul and all Israel...were dismayed” (I Samuel 17:11).
17:22 carriage. The word for “carriage” is translated many ways. Its basic meaning is “something carried.” It is the same word translated “bag” in I Samuel 17:40,49. I Samuel 17:22 probably refers to the supplies David had carried to his brothers.
17:38 his armour. Saul, fearing Goliath himself, tried to put his own armor on David. However, he was much larger than David, and David could not use it.
17:40 five smooth stones. David only used one stone to slay Goliath (I Samuel 17:49). Possibly he knew that Goliath had four brothers who were also giants (II Samuel 21:22). These also were eventually slain, not by David, but by his men.
17:40 his sling. Slings were common and effective weapons at the time. Note Judges 20:16.
17:50 slew him. Superficially there seems to be a contradiction with II Samuel 21:19, where it says that a man named Elhanan killed Goliath. However, the translators quite properly inserted the fact that Elhanan killed “the brother of Goliath the Gittite,” based on the fact that this is explicitly so stated in I Chronicles 20:5, even naming the giant slain by Elhanan as “Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite.” Most likely an early copyist somehow omitted the words “the brother of” from II Samuel 21:19.
17:54 brought it to Jerusalem. At this time, Jerusalem was still in the hands of the Jebusites. It must have been much later, after David defeated the Jebusites and made Jerusalem his capital, that he finally took the ark there.
17:58 Whose son art thou. Saul had somehow not realized that this young man, who had killed the mighty Goliath, was the same one who had been his armor-bearer some time previously (I Samuel 16:18-21).