Goliath had challenged the Israelites to send a man to do battle with him, the result to decide which array should have the fruits of victory. No Israelite had dared to take up the challenge. But David persuaded Saul to let him fight Goliath, saying the giant was no more dangerous an adversary than the lion and bear he had slain while protecting his father's sheep.
The two contestants rushed to meet each other, the giant in full armour with sword, spear and shield, the boy with only a sling and five smooth stones from the river. David took a stone in his sling and aimed at Goliath. The giant was hit on the forehead and stunned. David then killed him with his own sword. The Philistines fled, pursued by the victorious Israelites.