The Philistine came on and drew near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. (1 Sam. 17:41 NRSV)
We come to the high point of the story of David and Goliath. They stand, facing one another, prepared to do battle. Goliath is participating in the usual theatrics, calling out jeers and taunting the young shepherd who stands before him. Dressed in the finest armor of the day, it’s believed that Goliath had relationships with foreign countries, as the description of his gear would indicate. Not only was he a skilled warrior, but he was armed with mass weaponry and defenses.
Part of Goliath’s defensive armor was his shield-bearer. This man provided an extra layer of defense as he provided a barrier between Goliath and the one he would fight. This would leave Goliath free to use his arms in battle.
This is the vision of the enemy who stood before the simple shepherd. David appeared to have no weaponry, nor defensive armor. He had no shield-bearer and instead, ca…