David’s grip on his staff tightened as he made his way through the soldiers to the frontline; word has gone round camp that a plucky teenager was taking up the giant’s challenge after forty days of taunting and verbal humiliation from the enemy’s camp – a boy decided it was time to step up and fight. The men of war parted for him, he could feel the stares of astonishment burning deep on the back of his neck as he made way forward. The silence was deafening, his brothers were nowhere in sight. David walked on boldly, undeterred by the palpable cloud of doubt around him.
The men drew back as David got to the battle frontline. He continued moving till he was separated from the army of Israel and then paused; he raised his staff to the giant, signaling acceptance of the challenge. The giant started walking towards David in great lumbering steps, with his shield bearer half-running ahead of him to keep up with his pace.
The giant roared when he got close enough to see David.
“Agbabiaka oh! Shey na me be dog wey you wan come use stick kill?” The giant couldn’t believe his eyes as he stared at the reddish, fair faced adolescent from afar. “Amadioha go fire you today, the gods of my forefathers go make the earth high pass you, ground go reject your dead body and the sea go return am.”
The Philistine continued cursing at David in the name of his gods.
“Today na today, waka near and I go make birds chop your flesh like say na buffet, and the beast wey dey bush go chop the remaining like suya after I mud you!” The giant added.
David was unfazed by the intimidating roar and words of the Philistine. He raised his voice and yelled back.
“You don come now, you dey carry sword and spear, you even add javelin join on top am sef. But no be only me dey face you today, I waka come on top Baba God name, the God wey dey command angels wey dey arrange things for heaven na Him tanda gidigba for my side today. Na this same God you dey take mouth misyarn about.”
“Look up and down, na your last day for this world be this. Jehovah go deliver you to me today, I go kpeme you and I go comot your head for your body. Fact! After that, I go come serve your dead body join with that of una army to the birds wey wan chop and animals wey dey parole for bush. Because the world go recognize today say baba God dey with Israel.”
The young man paused for breath.
“And all man wey gather here today go sabi say no be by sword and spear God dey save person, because say na God get battle and Him go give us upperhand today on top una.”
On hearing those words, the Philistine giant resumed cursing out loud at David and started moving quickly towards David, leaving his shield bearer behind in rage. He drew his spear with his right hand and steadied the javelin on the other in one swift motion as he charged on.
David tossed his staff aside and started jogging towards the giant in a zig-zag manner, wary of the casting weapon in the hands of the opponent for he was almost within throwing range.
He crossed the battle line after a couple of long leaps, but didn’t break speed a bit. The giant grew bigger in his eyes as he got closer.
The Philistine giant made no move to throw the javelin after David crossed the battle line; his roar grew louder with each step of murderous intent. He lifted the hand which held the spear.
David dipped his hand into the shepherd bag across his shoulder bringing out a stone; he wrapped it deftly into the pouch of the catapult sling and swung it round his head furiously.
The stone was released from the sling on the third swing with David still in forward motion, even before he had time to perfect his aim. Time seemed to move slowly in his eyes as the stone travelled, directly aimed at the charging giant’s head.
A loud thud was heard which reverberated around the mountainside as the Philistine giant hit the ground. He fell face down on the ground.
David quickened his sprint towards the fallen warrior and was about to put another stone in the sling to aim at the shield bearer when he realized the smaller Philistine had dropped the shield and was dashing furiously back towards their camp.
David got to the giant and stood over him for some seconds; he then drew the heavy sword from the dead man’s sheath and cut his head off with a single slash. He lifted the giant’s head up and waved it towards the army of Israel and shouted.
“God don kpeff dem giant today for us, wetin una dey wait for? Make una rush dem and finish dem up faaassst!”
What happened next was a story that was told for generations to come in addition to the slaying of the Philistine giant by David. The army of Israel pursued the Philistines who started running after the fall of their giant.
They chased the Philistines all the way to Gath and the gates of Ekron. Dead Philistines littered along the Shaarim road all the way to Gath and Ekron. When the Israelites came back from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp; enriching themselves in the spoils of war left behind by their defeated enemy.
Adrenaline still coursing through his body after the battle, David carried the giant’s head and his weapons towards Israel’s camp. He dropped the weapons in his brothers’ tent and made for the king’s tent with the giant’s head.
As he walked towards the king’s place, the soldiers cheered him on; some of them half bowed towards him while others saluted the teenager who delivered them from the Philistines.
The king was waiting for him inside his tent. Unable to disguise his joy, he stood in the presence of David to receive him and asked.
“O’ boy, whose pikin you be sef?”
David answered and said:
“I be the pikin of your servant Jesse, Jesse wey dey stay for Bethlehem.”
To be concluded