Summary: The story of David and Goliath from a modern perspective of sibling rivalry. Key words : David, Goliath, rivalry.
Style: Humorous. Duration: 10min
Actors: 2M, 1VO
Scripture: 1 Samuel 17
Three onstage characters (in order of appearance): Eliab, Abinadab, and David. There is also the voice of Goliath offstage.
Setting: The valley of Elah
(Eliab is onstage. Goliath begins to rant. It is like a World Wrestling Federation challenge. )
G: The Hebrews are shakin’ in their tunics.
E: Oh, no. There he goes again. All night long, all day. The guy doesn’t sleep.
G: They’re gonna sit there, like the total girlie men they are. And, if they do have the guts to send someone out to me, I’m going to crush his head like a melon, and feed his flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the ground.
E: Oy, great. The “birds of the air” shtik again. Would it kill ya to get a new spiel you…you… you Philistine! (Pause) Yeah, that oughta keep him quiet.
(Abinadab and David enter from left.)
E: So, what did Saul say?
A: The king said, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
A: The king said, “Go…”
E: I heard what you said! I just can’t believe it that Saul would let him do it.
A: Apparently so.
E: I can’t believe it. But, you know what? It makes sense. With the little conceited jerk out of the way, he has no one threatening him.
A: What are you talking about?
E: I’m talking about when that doddering old fool came around and soaked his head in oil.
D: I don’t think you should talk about Samuel that way. He’s a respected prophet.
E: Oh, I’m sorry. When that doddering old respected prophet soaked your head in oil.
D: Why do you guys find it so hard to believe that I’ve been anointed?
E: Anointed as what? “Judah’s Most Conceited Shepherd?”
A: That’s right, Eli. He’s the next king. Samuel said so.
E: You know, you’re right, Dab. I had forgotten. My little, weakling, conceited kid brother, who’s never done anything but chase sheep around is the next king of Israel. Makes perfect sense to me.
D: Come on, you guys.
E: A kid who has spent his entire life talking to sheep and playing the harp, the king of all the Israelites? The one who leads them into battle? Makes perfect sense.
D: I don’t know why you think I’m so incompetent.
A: He never said that.
D: Not in so many words. But you take every opportunity to tell me how worthless I am.
E: I don’t think you’re incompetent, Dave. I just don’t think you’re very good at doing stuff, that’s all.
(David throws up his arms, as if to say “I rest my case.”)
E: But it’s not your fault. You’re the youngest. You’ve always been protected. Shielded. You’ve always had things done for you. Never had to learn to do things on your own. It’s always been “Help David strap his sandals.” “Make sure he takes a good lunch with him.” “Get him an extra tunic. He’s going to catch his death in cold.”
A: Eli, I think you’re exaggerating.
D: I’m a good shepherd.
E: Well, sure you are, Dave. And that’s a very difficult job. Sitting in the field, watching the sheep eat grass. Maybe having to cut short your nap when one of them bleats too loud.
D: Keeping them safe.
E: Oh, look out, Dab. Here comes the story of the “lions and bears” again. He didn’t tell “lions and bears” to the king, did he?
E: Oh, great. Embarrass the whole family in front of the king, why don’t you? (Eliab reaches to slap David in the back of the head, but David avoids him.)
D: But, it’s true. I have killed lions. And I have killed bears.
E: Look, Dave. I think it’s completely understandable that you’ve wanted to impress Dad with your kakamaymie lion-and-bear-slaying stories. But I ain’t buyin’ it.
D: Then why have the sheep always been so safe? Why is it that we’ve lost so few of them?
E: Luck. Same as getting your head soaked in oil by the respected prophet.
A: You gotta admit, Davey. You are the lucky one.
G: Come out, come out, wherever you are. I know you Hebie-Jeebies are nearby. I can smell you. I can smell the stink of fear, you gutless wimps!
E: And you’re going to need it.
D: I don’t need luck, I’ve got the living God on my side.
(They are silent for a moment.)
E: (To David) Where’s your armor? (To Abinadab) Where’s his armor? Didn’t the king give him any armor?
A: He refused it.
E: (To David) What do you mean, you refused it?
A: He declined it.
E: (To Abinadab) Do you mind? I’m talking to my idiot brother here. (To David) You declined it?
D: It didn’t feel comfortable.
E: It’s not supposed to feel comfortable. It’s armor, moron!
D: That’s not the way I do battle.
E: Oh, that’s not the way you do… When did you ever… You don’t “do battle.” You’re not a soldier! You’re not even a water boy! I can’t believe you!
D: I’ve battled wild animals.
E: That’s right. Sure you have. You see, I keep forgetting about the lions and the bears. Maybe you should remind me more often. But have you ever battled a nine-foot Philistine monster whose fist is bigger than your head? Whose sword weighs more than your whole body?
A: Eli, take it easy.
E: I will not take it easy. Do you have any idea what that Golgo…Golio…
E:…Whatever… will do to you? Do you? Well, I’ll tell you this much: He won’t do it quickly. He’s gonna take his time. He’s gonna make you suffer.
D: I’m not afraid.
E: No, of course you’re not. You’ve killed lions and bears! (He storms away.)
A: Don’t pay any attention to him.
D: What have I ever done to him?
A: He’s just worried about you. That’s what we big brothers are supposed to do. We’ll worry about you. You worry about Goliath. Now, your not having any armor. That may actually turn out to be a good thing. You see, it won’t weigh you down. And one thing you’ve on this guy is your speed. He’s big, but he’s slow. And you’re quick. So, always keep moving. (He acts out what David should do.) Keep your feet moving. Circle around him, always keeping your feet moving. And always move to his shield side. Don’t go to his sword side, or you’re lost. Always the shield side. Always keeping your feet going… like this.
D: I’ll be OK, Dab. I’d just like to pray. (pause). And I want you to pray with me.
A: Yeah, sure. I guess I can do that.
(They bow their heads. We see Eliab off in the corner bowing his head.)
D: Lord.God Almighty, Ruler of the Universe. It is for your glory that I do this task that you have assigned to me. We trust completely in your goodness, your mercy, and your protection. Be with me, and be with your people this hour and always. For your name’s sake, deliver us from our enemy. Restore your righteousness to this land. Amen.
(They lift their heads. Eliab does the same.
D: Well, I’m off.
A: Aren’t you forgetting something?
D: What’s that?
A: Your sword.
D: Oh, I won’t need that. I’ve got this. (He holds up his slingshot.)
A: Oh, Dave. Man, I hate to sound like Eli, but that’s not any way to go into battle. What are you going to do with that?
D: Kill him…I mean, look, I’m not going to kill him with my sword, right?
A: I guess. (pause) God be with you.
D: And with you.
(Abinadab hugs him. David exits. As he leaves, Eliab comes over slowly to Abinadab.)
E: Well, I guess that’s that. I better get going.
A: Where are you going?
E: As the oldest son, I think it falls to me to break the bad news to our father. Make the necessary arrangements.
A: Aren’t you going to watch?
E: No. I can’t. (He crosses to a corner of the stage, staring away from the direction David left. He notices the sword that David left behind. He crosses in David’s direction and calls out…) David! Get back here! You left your sword. (To Abinadab) What has he got in his hand?
A: A slingshot.
E: A slingshot!?!? David, you fool! You’re just gonna make him mad with that thing! Put it down and come back here and get your sword. Oh, this is too horrible; I can’t look (He crosses again and averts his eyes.)
G: Well, look what the miserable Hebrews have sent me. A boy! What’s the matter, you run out of men? Go tell your king to send me someone with more meat on his bones, so at least I have a decent snack to feed my dogs.
(Long pause. Then sound cue of rock hitting Goliath. Followed a few second later by a thunderous THUD. Long, stunned silence. Then…)
A: Well, there’s something you don’t see every day.
E: (Turns back.) What’s that?
A: The giant’s down. Dave hit him right between the eyes with a rock, and he’s down!
E: (Looks closer.) No. Wait. It’s a trick. It’s a common Philistine trick. I know these lying snakes. He’s just pretending. Dave! Don’t go near him, he’s setting a trap for you. (He turns away again.) What’s happening now?
A: Dave is going over to him…He’s got the giant’s helmet off.
A: He’s lifting his head up by his hair. He’s picking up Goliath’s sword. Man, thing must weight 200 shekels.
(Eliab turns back just in time to see David behead Goliath.)
E: I don’t think I needed to see that.
A: Well, I guess it wasn’t a trick.
(Very long pause as they stare at each other.)
A: He did it!
E: He did it!
A: He killed the Philistine!
E: The little jerk killed the Philistine Gilooly.
E: Whatever. He did it!
(David rushes back in.)
D: Did you see that? I did it! I mean, God did it! He’s dead. Did you see that?
E: Sure. I saw the whole thing. Every move. I knew you could do it. (To Abinadab) Didn’t I? The better man won.
(Abinadab embraces him.)
A: You did it.
D: God did it.
A: Of course. God did it. But, he sure chose the right guy.
D: (He notices an offstage crowd gathering around – downstage). What are all these people doing here?
E: This is your public. You’re their liberator. They probably want to lift you up on their shoulders, carry you to Saul, and throw you a big celebration. Think you can handle that?
D: Well, I guess I could.
E: Of course you can. You can handle anything. (To the crowd). Hey. People. Let’s make some room here. Hero comin’ through.
(David and Abinadab stride off downstage, arms over each other’s shoulder. Eliab remains behind long enough to hold his arms up, look heavenward, and mouth the words “Thank You.”)
E: Come on, people, a little space here for my kid brother, David, slayer of lions, bears, and the giant Gilhatha.
Offstage voices: Goliath!
E: Whatever. (He exits.)
© Copyright Mark Scanlan, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.