1Samuel 16

 

1Samuel 16:1–23

Samuel Anoints David the Next King of Israel

 

Paul, speaking in Antioch on his first missionary tour, said: “And after these things, God gave Israel judges until Samuel the prophet. And then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And after He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David ben Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’ From the offspring of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus.” (Acts 13:20–23).


Outline of Chapter 16:

 

       vv.    1–5        God Sends Samuel to the House of Jesse

       vv.    6–10      Jesse Brings Seven Sons to Stand Before Samuel

       vv.   11–13      Jesse Brings David out Before Samuel

       vv.   14–18      Saul Is Terrorized by an Evil Spirit/A Servant Suggests Music-Therapy

       vv.   19–23      Saul Sends for David


Charts and Maps:

 

       v.      2           Where Have Sacrifices To God Been Offered?

       v.      2           Parallels Between the Sacrifice of Samuel and Our Lord to Come

       v.      2           Is this Modus Operandi of Samuel Legitimate?

       v.      2           Examples of Normal Situations Where Not Everything is Revealed or Where Lying is Appropriate

       v.      5           A Brief Look at Sanctification in the Old Testament

       v.     11           Contrast the Jacob and Jesse’s Treatment of their Youngest Sons

       v.     11           How Do We Account for the Missing Son of Jesse?

       v.     13           Old Testament Saints Who Received the Spirit of God

       v.     18           Which Old Testament Saints Are Said to Have God with Them?

       v.     22           Joseph and David

       v.     23           Why Did God Not Immediately Install David as King Over Israel?

       v.     23           Why God Places David in the Palace of Saul


Doctrines Covered/Psalms Inserted

Doctrines Alluded To

Psalm 15

Psalm 23

The City of Bethlehem

The Movement of the Ark and the Tent of God

 

Psalm 103

The Doctrine of Sanctification

 


I ntroduction: Although I have broken 1Sam. 16 into 5 parts, this chapter actually presents us with two parallel situations: in the first, God sends Samuel to David (vv. 1–13); in the second, Saul send his own servant to David (vv. 14–23). Let’s cover the first half of the chapter first: God sends Samuel to the house of Jesse, who has eight sons, one of whom will become the next king. Samuel will meet Jesse’s first seven sons, none of whom prompts Samuel by the Holy Spirit to recognize him as Israel’s next king. Then Jesse recalls that he does have one more son, although the implication is that he can’t see this young boy as a king. He brings David in before Samuel and Samuel anoints David as the next king of Israel, and God the Holy Spirit rests upon David.


The second half of 1Sam. 16 appears to be simultaneous to this. The Holy Spirit is withdrawn from King Saul, and he is plagued by an evil spirit instead. Saul’s servants suggest music-therapy as a solution, and one of them knows about a young man named David who plays a harp or lyre quite well. Saul sends his servants to fetch David to serve him. So David is called upon by God to serve Israel and by Saul’s servants to serve Saul.


In more detail, we have God coming to Samuel, who is grieving over Saul, and God tells Samuel not to grieve over Saul, as He has rejected him from being king. End of story (v. 1). Samuel is somewhat concerned, realizing that his trip to anoint another king could rouse deadly anger and retribution from Saul. God tells Samuel to take a heifer with him, with the explanation that the heifer is to be sacrificed, should anyone inquire about Samuel’s trip (vv. 2–3). As we will see, there is apparently a fair amount of rumors circulating, so that when Samuel arrives in Bethlehem, the home of Jesse, David’s father, he is asked if he comes in peace (v. 4). Jesse and his sons are invited to this sacrifice, and Jesse is asked to bring his sons out before Samuel. Son after son passes before Samuel, and all seven are rejected (vv. 5–10). When it appears as though the last son has come before Samuel, he asks Jesse, “Don’t you have any more sons?” Jesse also has his youngest son, David, who he did not bring before Samuel. So David is brought out, and Samuel anoints him (vv. 11–13). The Holy Spirit comes upon David, and leaves Saul (vv. 13–14).


Then God sends an evil spirit to terrorize Saul; his behavior is such that this becomes a discussion between Saul and his servants. One suggests that a musician be brought in to soothe Saul during his affliction, and another suggests that this man be David (vv. 15–18). Saul dispatches a servant to fetch David from his family, and Jesse sends David along with a gift (vv. 19–20). David tries out before Saul, and Saul likes David tremendously. He asks his father to allow David to go into full-time service to the palace (vv. 21–22). It came about that when David played, the evil spirit would depart from Saul (v. 23). Also, we find out that Saul makes (or will make) David his armor bearer (v. 21).


As McGee points out, this chapter will show us a contrast between David, who is God’s chosen; and Saul, a man who looks like a king, but who disobeys God at every turn.


There are detractors from this text who suggest that these chapters are the product of Davidic apologists who want to make his rise to power along with the execution of Saul’s relatives more palatable. Footnote This is nothing more than an attempt to imply that this is not God’s Word, but simply a collection of fables. Like all of Scripture, it either is God’s Word or it is not. However, there is no indication that these chapters were collected and inserted simply to make David look good and Saul look bad. A full portrait of David will be given us—warts and all.


Gnana Robinson seems to go out of his way to buck tradition by acting as an apologist for Saul and accusing Samuel of staging a coup by anointing David. Footnote As we will see, David, although crowned king, will do nothing to usurp Saul’s rulership, as Saul is God’s anointed one. He knows at an early age that he has been chosen by God to rule Israel; however, David is very patient in that regard. However, it is true, as Robinson points out, that David will not have to start from scratch, as Saul did. Saul did not begin as a great military leader; he was called upon to do that. Saul did not assume control of an organized kingdom, but had the chore of organizing Israel into a cohesive whole. However, the key to Saul’s failure and David’s success was obedience to God.


Let me draw an analogy here: if you choose, in your life, to exercise and to eat natural, whole foods, then physically, you will develop differently from one whose lifestyle is wholly sedentary and who eats nothing but high fat, fast foods. Of course, genetics plays a part here, but assuming a similar genetic makeup, then the first, by simple, natural law, will develop a healthier body. Our success in life is also a matter of our free will. God has made it fairly clear what is right and what is wrong, and our obedience to God is going to naturally result in a better life. Therefore, we can expect that Saul, in his rationalized disobedience (e.g., 1Sam. 15:15, 20, 24), will fair worse in life than David, who was generally obedient, and, when he wasn’t, quickly owned up to his mistakes.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart Index


God Sends Samuel to the House of Jesse


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so says Yehowah unto Samuel, “Until when you, you mourning unto Saul (and I, I rejected him from being king over Israel)? Fill your horn [with] oil and go; I send you unto Jesse the Bethlehemite [lit., a house of the Lachemîy] for I have seen from his sons for Me a king.”

1Samuel

16:1

Then Yehowah said to Samuel, “How long will you [behave as though you] are [in] mourning regarding Saul ([as] I have rejected him from being king over Israel)? Fill your horn [with] oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite for I have seen a king for Me from his sons.”

Then Jehovah said to Samuel, “How long will you continue to act as though you are mourning for Saul, seeing as I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Now fill your horn with oil and go to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for there is a king for Me among his sons.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so says Yehowah unto Samuel, “Until when you, you mourning unto Saul (and I, I rejected him from being king over Israel)? Fill your horn [with] oil and go; I send you unto Jesse the Bethlehemite [lit., a house of the Lachemîy] for I have seen from his sons for Me a king.”

Septuagint                             And the Lord said to Samuel, “How long do you mourn for Saul, whereas I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and come, I will send you to Jessæ, to Bethleem; for I have seen among his sons a king for me.”

 

Significant differences:          No significant difference.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       [The Lord was sorry he had made Saul the king of Israel.] One day he said, “Samuel, I’ve rejected Saul, and I refuse to let him be king any longer. Stop feeling sad about him. Put some olive oil in a small container and go visit a man named Jesse, who lives in Bethlehem “I’ve chosen one of his sons to be my king.” [the CEV places the last portion of 1Sam. 15:35 with 1Sam. 16:1]

NLT                                Finally, the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel. Now fill your horn with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my new king.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The Lord asked Samuel, “How long are you going to mourn for Saul now that I have rejected him as king of Israel? Fill a flask with olive oil and go. I’m sending you to Jesse in Bethlehem because I’ve selected one of his sons to be king.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        [Samuel never saw Saul again to the day of his death. But Samuel grieved over Saul, because the Lord regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.] and the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and set out; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have decided on one of his sons to be king.” [The last verse of the previous chapter was a part of this paragraph in the JPS, so I have included it for context]


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Now the Lord said to Samuel, “Howlong will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.”

Young's Updated LT              Jehovah says unto Samuel, “Till when are you mourning for Saul, and I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go, I send you unto Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have seen among his sons for Myself a king.”


What is the gist of this verse? Samuel had been mourning for Saul, and Jehovah God asks him how long he would keep that up, seeing as how He had rejected Saul as king. God tells Samuel to fill his horn with oil and go to the house of Jesse, who lives in Bethlehem, because God has chosen one of his sons as the next king over Israel.


To give us a chronological handle on this time period, the NIV Study Bible places this incident around 1025 b.c.


1Samuel 16:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, directional preposition to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028

׳ad (דַע) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

mâthay (י-תָמ) [pronounced maw-THAH-ee]

when?

Interrogative adverb

Strong’s #4970 BDB #607

Together, ׳ad mâthay mean until when, how long?

attâh (הָ-א) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

âbal (ל ַב ָא) [pronounced aw-BVAHL]

mourn, lament, go through the motions and ceremonies of mourning

Hithpael participle

Strong’s #56 BDB #5

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: Then Yehowah said to Samuel, “How long will you [behave as though you] are [in] mourning regarding Saul... Even though Samuel completely cut his ties with Saul in the previous chapter, this did not mean that Samuel was without feeling. Certainly, Saul had failed and failed badly, to a point where God chose not to use him anymore. However, Samuel certainly was affected by Saul’s situation, and he mourned for him as though he were a friend who had died (1Sam. 15:35). It is interesting that the Hithpael can also mean that Samuel was going through the motions and ceremony of mourning, which implies that he had reached a point where it was not necessarily heartfelt (although it certainly began that way). In my opinion, Samuel probably mourned out of genuine affection for Saul and that none of this was an act. However, his mourning for Saul and the circumstances behind it apparently are well-known throughout the kingdom (as we will see when we come to v. 4).


Application: There are times where situations affect us profoundly and that our behavior falls into certain patterns which continue and sometimes continue past the time that they are necessary. A more concrete example: we are dumped by a potential loved-one and we go through a set of behaviors which are a form of grieving. However, it is possible that we continue these behaviors past a point where they are no longer therapeutic, but have become ceremonial instead. This describes where Samuel was; perhaps he wore black, perhaps he was offering sacrifices; it is not clear exactly what it was that he was doing; however, God tells him here to stop mourning and to get back to his responsibilities. There are times when we have to get over our grieving and return to our own God-give responsibilities.


In the previous chapter, I pointed out why Samuel grieved so. We may be a bit more cavalier, thinking, Saul made his bed—so let him lie in it. However, there was a mutual respect between Saul and Samuel, if not an enduring friendship. Is Saul flawed? Certainly; very much so. However, aren’t your friends flawed? Don’t they have their weaknesses and foibles? By the way, if you are thinking no, then you obviously do not know your friends very well. As we know from the kings of surrounding nations, Saul will be removed from his throne either by death and/or revolution. Furthermore, Saul, while he is alive, is cut off from God, and therefore, cut off from Samuel. Therefore, even though there is this bond between them, there is no more contact between them. So, to Samuel, it is as though his friend has died. On top of this, as long as Saul is alive and functioning in disobedience to God, the nation Israel suffers. Therefore, Samuel is going to grieve for his old friend Saul and he will simultaneously grieve for the nation Israel, as their destinies are intertwined. In this verse, God tells Samuel, “It is time to stop your grieving. What’s done is done. It’s time to move on. Saul is responsible for his own actions and I have taken care of the nation Israel.”


Application: There are a myriad of reasons in this life to feel sad, to grieve, to stop and take a moment. However, regardless of the circumstances, whether they appear to impact negatively upon you or a loved one, there is a time to pick up, wipe the tears from your eyes, and to function within the realm of God’s plan. God does not deny us our sadness. To everything there is an appointed time; a time for every event under heaven...a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance (Eccles. 3:1, 4). However, there is a time during which we need to return to His plan for our lives, despite the heartaches that we have suffered.


1Samuel 16:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ânîy (י.נָא) [pronounced aw-NEE]

I, me; in answer to a question, it means I am, it is I

1st person singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #589 BDB #58

mâaç (ס ַא ָמ) [pronounced maw-AHS]

to reject, to despise, to lightly esteem, to refuse

1st person singular, Qal perfect with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3988 BDB #549

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

mâlake ( ַל ָמ) [pronounced maw-LAHKe]

to reign, to become king or queen

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #4427 BDB #573

A Qal infinitive construct with a preposition can introduce a purpose clause, a result clause or a temporal clause. Here we have a temporal clause (we often use the helping verb being).

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

Yiserâêl (ל ֵא ָר  ׃  ̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation: ...([as] I have rejected him from being king over Israel)? The key here is that God had rejected Saul as king. He was a lame-duck president, if you will. His power and authority was more symbolic than actual. As far as God was concerned, He was done with Saul. The first major offense which Saul committed was to assume the priestly authority which belonged to Samuel in 1Sam. 13:8–10. Saul arrived almost immediately afterward and, rather than outright admitting his sin, Saul danced around the issue (vv. 11–12). Samuel told him, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of Jehovah your God, which He commanded you; for now Jehovah would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom will not endure. Jehovah has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart and Jehovah has appointed him as ruler of His people, because you have not kept what Jehovah commanded you.” (1Sam. 13:13b–14). Who redeemed Saul was his son Jonathan. Because of Jonathan’s bravery and faith in God (1Sam. 14), Israel defeated the Philistines, thus extending Saul’s rule. However, in the previous chapter, Saul was given a simple and clear task from God to complete and he not only does not do what God instructs him to do, but, as in 1Sam. 13, he dances around his personal responsibility in the matter (1Sam. 15:13, 15, 20–21). Finally, Samuel told him, “Rebellion is as the sin of divination and insubordination is iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of Jehovah, He has also rejected you from ruling.” (1Sam. 15:23). He continues in vv. 28b–29: “Jehovah has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to your friend who is better than you. Furthermore, the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind, for He is not a man that He should change His mind.” The point that Samuel was making was that there were no more appeals; Saul was finished as king. There was nothing that he could say or do. This apparently his Samuel as hard as it did Saul, and Samuel went through a grieving process. After all, if Saul does not voluntarily step down (which kings rarely do), then the only way that he will be removed from the throne is by death. Perhaps an analogy would help—if a very close, loved one of yours was diagnosed with terminal cancer, you would begin the grieving process as soon as you found out. That is where Samuel was. Saul had essentially been given a death sentence by God, Who does not change His mind.


1Samuel 16:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

mâlê (א ̤ל ָמ) [pronounced maw-LAY]

to fill, to make full, to be full

2nd person masculine singular, Piel imperative

Strong's #4390 BDB #569

qeren (ן∵ר∵ק) [pronounced KEH-ren]

horn

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7161 BDB #901

shemen (ן∵מ∵ש) [pronounced SHEH-men]

fat, oil

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #8081 BDB #1032

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

go, come, depart, walk; advance

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229


Translation: “Fill your horn [with] oil and go... Animal horns were often hollowed out and then used as containers. Footnote Filling the horn with oil meant that Samuel was going to anoint another person king over Israel. He had done the same when Saul was selected by God (1Sam. 9:16 10:1). It was time, insofar as God was concerned. So here we have to imperatives, meaning that it was time to get off his mourning ass and do what needed to be done.


1Samuel 16:1d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for, to send forth, to send away, to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth

1st person singular, Qal imperfect with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Yîshay (י ָש̣י) [pronounced yee-SHAH-ee]

transliterated Jesse

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3448 BDB #445

bêyth hallachemîy

 .מח- -הֿתי̤) [pronounced bayth-hahl-lahkhe-MEE]

place of food, place of bread and is transliterated Bethlehemite

adjective gentis, referring to a city

Strong’s #1022 BDB #112

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because, when

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

rââh (ה ָא ָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

1st person singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with a 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572


Translation: ...I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite for I have seen a king for Me from his sons.” God knew who was going to be the next king; and there was not going to be an election, a committee or some sort of representative government who would choose this king—God had chosen him, and that was all that mattered. Had you or I gone to Jesse’s to pick from his sons a king, we would have chosen the wrong son. Even Jesse, the father who knew his sons better than anyone, will choose the wrong son—several times.


We’ve already examined the linage of Jesse (and David) in Ruth 4:17–22 and 1Chron. 2:9–16 and it will come up again in Matt. 1:3–6.


Jesse is called a Bethlehemite so that Samuel knows where to go to find this family. This city is about five or six miles south of Jerusalem and was previously known as Ephrath (Gen. 48:7). Interestingly enough, Bethlehem was not mentioned in the distribution of cities in the book of Joshua, indicating that it was possibly too small at that time to be considered a city that would be conveyed (either that, or it was dropped out of the text). This city would be looked back upon in Luke 2:4 as the town of David (Jerusalem will also be called the city of David in 2Sam. 5:7, 9 6:12). Micah later tells us, “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah—from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His advents are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” (Micah 5:2). What Micah was prophesying was that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, which was fulfilled in Matt. 2:1 Luke 2:4–7. Since most of the book of Ruth took place in Bethlehem, we covered the City of Bethlehem in more detail in Ruth 2:4.


And so says Samuel, “How [do] I go and has heard Saul and he has killed me.” And so says Yehowah, “A heifer of a herd you take in your hand and you have said, ‘To slaughter to Yehowah I have come.’

1Samuel 16:2

Then Samuel said, “How do I proceed? [If] Saul hears, he will kill me.” Yehowah answered, “You will take a heifer of the herd in your hand and you will say, ‘I have come to slaughter [this animal] to Yehowah.’

The Samuel asked, “Just how would I proceed? If Saul hears about this, he will have me executed.” Jehovah answered, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to slaughter this animal before Jehovah.’


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so says Samuel, “How [do] I go and has heard Saul and he has killed me.” And so says Yehowah, “A heifer of a herd you take in your hand and you have said, ‘To slaughter to Yehowah I have come.’

Septuagint                             And Samuel said, “How can I go? Whereas Saul will hear of it and slay me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer in your hand and you will say, ‘I am come to sacrifice to the Lord.’

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                              Samuel answered, “If I do that, Saul will find out and have me killed.”

“Take a calf with you,” the Lord replied. “Tell everyone that you’ve come to offer it as a sacrifice to me,...

NLT                                       But Samuel asked, “How can I do that? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

“Take a heifer with you,” the Lord replied, “and say that you have come to make a sacrifice to the Lord.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

JPS (Tanakh)                        Samuel replied, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” The Lord answered, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     But Samuel said, “How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’

Young's Updated LT              And Samuel says, “How do I go? When Saul has heard, then he has slain me.” And Jehovah says, “A heifer of the herd you do take in your hand, and you have said, ‘To sacrifice to Jehovah I have come;’


What is the gist of this verse? Samuel apparently realizes that Saul is a dangerous man and that going out to anoint another king would be enough to cause Saul to execute him. Jehovah tells Samuel to take a sacrificial animal with him (a heifer) and, if asked, say that the animal is to be sacrificed to Jehovah.


1Samuel 16:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028

êyk (י̤א) [pronounced ayche]

how

interrogative adverb

Strong’s #349 BDB #32

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâma׳ (ע ַמ ָש) [pronounced shaw-MAHĢ]

to listen, to hear, to listen intently, to listen and obey, to listen and act upon, to listen and give heed to, to hearken to, to be attentive to, to listen and take note of, to listen and be cognizant of

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #8085 BDB #1033

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hârag (ג ַר ָה) [pronounced haw-RAHG]

to kill, to slay, to execute; to destroy, to ruin

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #2026 BDB #246


Translation: Then Samuel said, “How do I proceed? [If] Saul hears, he will kill me.” Later on in this book, we will see some of the psychotic behavior which Saul exhibits. He will, on several occasions, try to kill David. However, this did not just come out of the blue or simply manifest itself when David came on the scene. Samuel here apparently has good reason to fear for his own life if Saul discovers that he is going to anoint another king in Saul’s stead. We do not know what Saul has done to warrant Samuel’s concern, but apparently he has done some things to cause Samuel distress.

 

The comments of Keil and Delitzsch: This fear on the part of the prophet, who did not generally show himself either hesitating or timid, can only be explained, as we may see from v. 14, on the supposition that Saul was already given up to the power of the evil spirit, so that the very worst might be dreaded from his madness, if he discovered that Samuel had anointed another king. That there was some foundation for Samuel’s anxiety, we may infer from the fact that the Lord did not blame him for his fear, but pointed out the way by which he might anoint David without attracting attention. Footnote


1Samuel 16:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

׳egelâh (הָלג∵ע) [pronounced ģege-LAW]

heifer

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #5697 BDB #722

bâqâr (ר ָק ָ) [pronounced baw-KAWR]

ox, herd, cattle

masculine singular collective noun

Strong’s #1241 BDB #133

lâqach (ח ַק ָל) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take from, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize, to take possession of; to send after, to fetch, to bring; to receive

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

hand

feminine singular noun with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

zâbach (חַבָז) [pronounced zawb-VAHKH]

to slaughter [usually an animal for sacrifice]

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #2076 BDB #256

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

1st person singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97


Translation: Yehowah answered, “You will take a heifer of the herd in your hand and you will say, ‘I have come to slaughter [this animal] to Yehowah.’ It is interesting that God does not expect Samuel to lay everything on the table. He does not put out a bulletin indicating that he is going out to anoint a new king; and God even provides him with a cover story (which is accurate) in case anyone inquires as to what he is doing. Note what God does not do—God does not announce this to all and provide a wall of fire about Samuel to protect him. For those who think that we ought to be witnessing weekly or daily miracles, there are no miracles to be had here.


One of the things which I have never completely gotten straight is the where of sacrificial offerings. We may reasonably infer from this verse that Samuel had occasion to go to various cities and offer sacrifices and (probably) teaching. That there was one unique altar which was to be used to sacrifice is found in both the Law and in the events of Joshua 22:10–34, where a civil war almost broke out because the eastern tribes set up a second altar. However, what we also seem to have is sacrifices being offered from a number of different locations. Here, it will be Bethlehem (1Sam. 16:1–2, 5). Keil and Delitzsch offer the short explanation The reason why sacrifices were offered at different places was, that since the removal of the ark from the tabernacle, this sanctuary had ceased to be the only place of the nation’s worship. Footnote However, sacrifices have been offered throughout Israel and at many different times. Therefore, after Israel had become a nation and after the location of the Tent of God had been established,...

Where Have Sacrifices To God Been Offered?

Location

Scripture

Details

The one place designated by God

Deut. 12:11, 13–15

“It will be that the place in which Yehowah your God will choose for His name to live, there you will bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to Yehowah. Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every place you see, but in the place which Yehowah chooses in one of your tribes, there you will offer your burnt offerings, and there you will do all that I command you. However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your gates, whatever you desire, according to the blessing of Yehowah your God which He has given you—the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and the deer.”

At the Tent of God.

Joshua 18:1 19:51

Shiloh appears to be the first permanent location of the Tent and Ark of God (they appear to have remained temporarily at Gilgal until the land was subdued before Israel). Footnote This is where the final seven tribes received their inheritance. Surprisingly enough, nothing is said about offering a sacrifice during this distribution of land.

On the west bank of the Jordan River

Joshua 22:10–34

Actually, no sacrifices were offered at this altar, which was erected by the eastern tribes of Israel. For them, it was a visible monument which stood as a witness of their connection to the land of Israel. Had sacrificial offerings been made by the eastern tribes, the result would have been a civil war.

Ophrah in Manasseh

Judges 6:11, 19–24

Jesus Christ, as the Angel of God, came to Gideon, to choose him to deliver Israel. The offering was a kid and some unleavened bread, and the offering was initiated by Jesus Christ. As He is the Lamb of God, the Lamb to be Slaughtered, there should be no problem with sacrifices occurring in His Presence.

Shiloh

1Sam. 1

The book of Samuel opens with Eli making offerings at the Altar of God for a yearly sacrifice which Hannah and Elkanah attended. This, of course, is the proper place for sacrifices to be offered.

Beth Shemesh

1Sam. 6:13–19

When the Philistines returned the Ark of God to Israel, it arrived, more or less, on its own (that is, without human guidance). The cows who brought the Ark were sacrificed to God right then and there, as well as other offerings. These were spontaneous, not necessarily directed by God. Given the circumstances, I don’t know that Israel should be faulted for this. In any case, many of the men of Beth Shemesh subsequently died for treating the Ark irreverently (1Sam. 6:19).

At this point, the Ark was temporarily moved to Kiriath Jearim (where it remained until the reign of David) and it is unclear as to the location of the Tent of God. Shiloh was destroyed around this period of time (see The Movement of the Ark and the Tent of God studied while we were in 1Sam. 10) and we may reasonably assume that the Tent of God was moved prior to this destruction. Footnote We might even theorize that there was an extended period of time during which the Tent of God was not operational, since it is not mentioned and the Ark was not kept there.

Mizpah

1Sam. 7:5–11

Samuel offers up a lamb to God prior to a battle between Israel and the Philistines. As above, it appears as though the Tent of God is no longer functioning as a central place of worship.

Ramah

1Sam. 7:17

Samuel builds an altar to God in Ramah, which would be where sacrifices are offered.

Ramah

1Sam. 9:12–14

Samuel organizes a sacrifice and a meal to honor Saul, the next king of Israel. Although Ramah is not mentioned by name in this chapter, that would be the most reasonable assumption (see my exegesis of 1Sam. 9).

Gilgal

1Sam. 10:8 11:14–15

This sacrifice occurs after the people recognize that Saul is the man who should be king over Israel. Again, there is no clear indication that the Tent of God was set up and functioning during this time period.

Gilgal

1Sam. 13:8–10

Apparently, there was an agreement between Saul and Samuel to meet up in Gilgal during times of crisis when Saul needed Samuel for guidance. Part of ceremony would involve animal sacrifices.

I have previously postulated that Samuel set up altars in Gilgal, Bethel, Mizpah and Ramah. Although it is only clearly stated that an altar was set up in Ramah (1Sam. 7:17), as we see above, sacrifices were offered from the cities of Gilgal, Ramah and Mizpah by Samuel.

Samuel’s exact position is difficult to ascertain. He was not descended from Aaron; therefore, he was not exactly a priest by birth, although he did succeed Eli, who was the High Priest of Israel. Samuel was undeniably a judge and a prophet. Allow me to theorize that Samuel, by virtue of his succession to the priesthood, although not a Levite, was a picture of Jesus Christ, Who is our High Priest, constantly making intercession for us. Therefore, wherever Samuel went, it was legitimate to offer sacrifice, as he was a picture of Messiah to come. Samuel became the focus, rather than the Ark, during this time of change (Israel changed from a theocracy to a monarchy during the life of Samuel); much the same as Jesus would be our focus in His first advent, instead of the shadows that point to Him.

Although not necessarily connected to the Tent of God, the Ephod of God was entrusted to the High Priest, who apparently used it to help guide Saul during one of his wars against the Philistines (1Sam. 14:3, 18, 37). Footnote Here’s the deal: the Ephod of God is generally associated with the High Priest, who is generally associated with the Tent of God. However, we seem to have the High Priest (or a priest) traveling with Saul during his war with the Philistines (1Sam. 14:3).

Where Have Sacrifices To God Been Offered?

Location

Scripture

Details

Gilgal

1Sam. 15:12, 30–31

Although it is specifically not stated that sacrificial offerings were made, that is the implication of this passage. Saul confessed his sin to Samuel, and Samuel accepted this confession as genuine.

Bethlehem

1Sam. 16:2–3, 5

God directs Samuel to take a heifer to Bethlehem and to sacrifice it at a ceremony in which Jesse and his sons are invited.

Nob

1Sam. 21–22

Although nothing is said here about sacrificial animals, this appears to be where the priests of God had set up the Tent of God. The implication is that is was now more or less functioning publically. That would suggest that sacrifices were probably offered from time to time. Saul came to Nob after David and killed all of the priests but one, Abiathar, who escaped.

What could reasonably be suggested is that, since the capture of the Ark by the Philistine in 1Sam. 4, Israel has been someone out of kilter with the plan of God. That is, the Ark and the Tent and the Priest of God (Samuel was probably considered to be the High Priest) are all in separate places. Only Samuel appeared to function in a manner commensurate with his title. Samuel would have also been a judge and a prophet, so there is not a problem with his only partially fulfilling what we would see as priestly duties. Samuel has routinely offered sacrifices in at least 3 different cities, and probably in 4. The people have requested a king, although God and Samuel have told them this is a bad idea. And, as we have studied, King Saul only seemed to be a good choice at first, but he lacked the character and faith in God to remain the king of Israel. Given all of these factors, and given the fact that Samuel was not strictly a High Priest, we would reasonably presume that nothing was done exactly as the Law of God prescribed.

What makes most sense, however, is that Samuel was a type of Christ, the High Priest who was not descended from Aaron. Furthermore, it is reasonable to assume that Samuel, in a way, supplanted the Ark or took the place of the Ark. That is, as a shadow of Jesus to come, he offered sacrifices wherever he went, as he was a picture of the sacrificial Lamb to come. This is why there is not a verse in Scripture which criticizes or takes Samuel to task for offering sacrifices in 4–5 different places (his circuit of 4 cities and Bethlehem).

We need to realize that much of the Old Testament points toward our coming Lord. Therefore, where we have the High Priest, who is not descended from Aaron; and the new king of Israel, not yet crowned, both in Bethlehem, the birthplace of our Lord, a sacrifice would be apropos. In fact, this sacrifice makes more sense than any offered at the Tent of God (which, again, is probably not in operation at this time).

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It is important to recognize all of the foreshadowing which is actually occurring here.

Parallels Between the Sacrifice of Samuel and Our Lord to Come

Jesus Christ

The Sacrifice Offered in Bethlehem

Jesus Christ is our High Priest, who paid for our sins which He did once for all when He offered up Himself (Heb. 7:27b). Jesus is a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 5:6b Psalm 110:4). The purpose of Heb. 3–10 is to explain how Jesus is our High Priest, and a replacement of the ceremonial High Priest who was just a shadow of good things to come (Col. 2:17 Heb. 8:5 9:11).

Samuel has assumed the office of High Priest, even though he was not descended from Eli, the former High Priest, and therefore not descended from Aaron (although we do not know for certain; see the exegesis for 1Sam. 1).

Jesus was from the tribe of Judah, not from the tribe of Levi (Luke 3:23–33). Therefore, He was not a blood descendant of Aaron, making His assumption of the office of High Priest similar to Samuel’s.

Although Samuel was possibly a Levite (he was probably had a mixed background of Ephraimite and Levite blood), his family had no Levitical traditions, and therefore he was not properly in line for priesthood (see the exegesis of 1Sam. 1). Furthermore, we have no reason to assume that he was descended from Aaron in any way, which is the true ascendency of the priesthood.

Jesus was dedicated wholly to God from birth. Footnote

Samuel, as a Nazarite, was dedicated wholly to God (1Sam. 1:28). Even if he were not a Nazarite, he was still dedicated wholly to God from birth.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1 Luke 2:4–7).

This sacrificial offering will take place in Bethlehem, which is apparently David’s birthplace.

There was some secrecy involved with the birth of our Lord (Matt. 2:7–14).

There was some secrecy involved in this event (1Sam. 16:2).

There was, however, some limited public participation to celebrate the birth of our Lord (the Magi and the shepherds).

There was, however, some limited public participation to celebrate the anointing of David as king (the family of Jesse and the elders of Bethlehem). The elders apparently did not know that would be the thrust of this sacrifice (apparently, neither did Jesse’s family at first).

The ruler over Israel, Herod, would have killed the Christ-child, had he been given the chance (Matt. 2:16).

Given that Saul on several occasions attacked David, we may assume that, had he known that Samuel was going to Bethlehem to anoint the new king, that he would have killed David and probably Samuel as well.

Jesus supplanted a priesthood which had become corrupt (Luke 19:45–47 22:52).

Samuel replaced a priesthood which had become corrupt (1Sam. 2:12–17).

The point of Heb. 3–10 was that Jesus was the High Priest, our Sacrifice, that previous High Priests and sacrifices pointed to. Jesus Therefore supplanted the Aaronic priesthood.

Samuel supplanted, for a time, the Aaronic priesthood, following the death of Eli. Since the Ark was in storage, sacrifices were offered wherever Samuel went (the sacrifices were certainly offered to God by Samuel; they weren’t offered to Samuel).

Jesus was the True King of Israel (Isa. 9:6–7 Matt. 25:34 Luke 1:32 19:38).

David was God’s true choice to be king over Israel (1Sam. 16:1, 12).

Jesus was worshipped as a child and given gifts, which included myrrh, which is a component part of the anointing oil (Ex. 30:23–25 Matt. 2:9–11).

There was a sacrificial offering made to God and an anointing of David, a youth, as king over Israel (1Sam. 16:2–3, 12–13).

The point of all this is to show that a careful parallel and foreshadowing was occurring when Samuel went to Bethlehem to offer a sacrifice and to anoint David as the future king. Therefore, God had already suspended the rites of His Tent and He had temporarily put His Ark into storage. Since Israel could not look to the Tent or to the Ark for meaning, they therefore had to look to Samuel. This act of Samuel’s, like hundreds of events in the Old Testament, pointed toward the coming and anointing (i.e., the recognition) of the Eternal King.


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Just as important a concern is that Samuel is about to anoint the new king of Israel, and God has allowed him the cover story of offering a sacrifice. Now, is God coaching Samuel to lie? Keil and Delitzsch answer this with: There was no untruth in this, for Samuel was really about to conduct a sacrificial festival and was to invite Jesse’s family to it, and then anoint the one whom Jehovah should point out to him as the chosen one. It was simply a concealment of the principal object of his mission fro any who might make inquiry about it, because they themselves had not been invited. Calvin’s comments: There was no dissimulation or falsehood in this, since God really wished His prophet to find safety under the pretext of the sacrifice. A sacrifice was therefore really offered, and the prophet was protected thereby, so that he was not exposed to any danger until the time of full revelation arrived. Footnote


Let’s examine this in greater detail. Point by point, is Samuel being duplicitous? And more importantly, is God encouraging Samuel to be duplicitous?

Is this Modus Operandi of Samuel Legitimate?

1.    God is not encouraging Samuel to engage in revolutionary activity.

2.    Samuel is not going to do anything to foment a civil war.

3.    Even though David will be selected as God’s anointed, David will do nothing which could be construed as disloyal to King Saul. In fact, David would actually be one the Saul’s most loyal subjects (1Sam. 24 is an example of this).

4.    King Saul has begun to manifest his mental illness (1Sam. 16:14–15).

5.    We will see that if King Saul perceives, even incorrectly, that his reign is threatened, he will act with deadly force (1Sam. 19, 22, 23).

6.    Even though God intends for David to become the next king (and God also needs for David to realize that he will be the next king), God will not do this in such a way as to threaten Saul’s reign.

7.    Therefore, Samuel’s activity in anointing David is legitimate and does not threaten the present king.

8.    Therefore, it is okay, even with respect to Saul, for Samuel to locate the new king and anoint him.

9.    Saul already knows that God has replaced him as king and that there is another waiting in the wings (1Sam. 15:26, 28).

10.  Saul, if he knew exactly what was going on, would possibly attempt to kill both Samuel and David, even only because he had fallen into a rage that he would later regret.

11.  It is not God’s plan for Saul to kill David or Samuel. In fact, had Saul attempted such a thing, he would have endangered his own life. Therefore, the fact that the complete purpose for Samuel’s trip is not revealed to Saul actually protects Saul.

12.  What God tells Samuel to do is not a lie nor is it a cover for what he is actually going to do. Samuel will have a sacrificial ceremony to which Jesse and his family would be invited. The animal sacrifice is not a last minute coverup which God thought up, but part and parcel to the ceremony. Therefore, should anyone ask Samuel what he is doing, he will simply tell them that he is having a sacrificial ceremony in Bethlehem, and that answer is completely legitimate.

13.  There is nothing in Scripture which indicates that we must tell everyone about everything we plan to do. There is nothing in the job description of a priest or a prophet which indicates that a priest or prophet must tell the head of state everything that they plan to do.

14.  Honesty does not require anyone to tell anyone else who asks everything that they are doing or plan to do. Even in the case of King Saul, who is directly impacted by the anointing of another king—there is nothing which requires Samuel to go to him and tell him everything that is going to go on in Bethlehem.

15.  A prophet or a priest works directly for God.

16.  Therefore, the prophet or priest is responsible directly to God.

17.  Therefore, even if Samuel is stopped and questioned by Saul’s servants, he need only tell them that he is going to Bethlehem to offer a sacrifice. That is an honest answer; it is not necessarily evasive; and it would probably satisfy any servant of Saul’s who asks.

18.  The only reason a servant of Saul’s would ask Samuel what he was doing is either under direct orders from Saul to protect his throne or one who acts on his own to protect Saul’s throne. As previously noted, what Samuel is about to do will not remove Saul from the throne. Saul will do that to himself.

19.  Barnes tells us Secrecy and concealment are not the same as duplicity and falsehood. Concealment of a good purpose, for a good purpose, is clearly justifiable. There is therefore nothing in the lest inconsistent with truth in the occurrence here related.1

20.  A good question is, why does David need to be anointed right now? Couldn’t God simply wait until 1Sam. 31 (when Saul is killed in battle)? David needs to know where he is headed; his family needs to be aware of this; and David needs to be both tested and trained for this position. For instance, God will give David the opportunity to kill Saul and take the throne and David will choose not to, as he will not raise his hand against God’s anointed. That is testing and training. Also, Samuel will be dead by the time that David assumes office. Therefore, David must be anointed now and not 5–10 years down the road. We will deal with this question In more detail at the end of this chapter.

21.  Finally, what God expects Samuel to do here is often compared to Abraham’s half-truth back in Gen. 20. The differences between the two events are substantial.2

       a.    First of all, in Gen. 20, Abraham tried to pass off his wife as his sister. The idea was that he did not want to be killed for his wife. Abimelech took her as a wife, which would have been a great honor in most instances. However, God came to Abimelech in a dream and straightened him out.

       b.    Here are the key differences: Even though Sarah was a relative of Abraham’s, she was also his wife. He deliberately lied about her being his wife or withheld that information so that the impression was that she was simply his sister.

       c.     God had promised Abraham a son by Sarah, who would fulfill the first part of Abraham’s destiny. Therefore, there cannot be any possibility that Sarah bears a child by another man.

       d.    Samuel, on the other hand, has come to Bethlehem to offer a sacrifice and that he would be summoning some specific guests (Jesse and his family). None of this information is withheld.

       e.    Samuel also publically anoints David before his brothers and the elders.

       f.     No one had ever asked Samuel why he was offering a sacrifice or whether there was anything more to his trip to Bethlehem apart from this sacrifice. Samuel was not under any obligation to reveal anything more. Had Samuel been pressed for more information, then an evasive answer could have been construed as lying.

       g.    Therefore, Abraham was castigated for his deliberate distortion of the truth, that Sarah was his wife; and Samuel, on the other hand, was ordered not to reveal the entire purpose of his visit.

1 Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes; 1Samuel to Esther; F. C. Cook, editor; reprinted 1996 by Baker Books; p. 40..

2 From When Critics Ask; Geisler and Howe, ©1992, Victor Books, p. 162.

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Let me append this doctrine with some examples where not revealing all the information or where even deception might be valid:1

Examples of Normal Situations Where Not Everything is Revealed or Where Lying is Appropriate

1.    When a very young child asks a question along the lines of, where to babies come from?, we are not as parents required to tell this child everything that we know about sex. In fact, if the child is very young, then we might leave out the information about sex altogether.

2.    In sports, sometimes a football play calls for a player to fake out the other team. Someone might hunch over as though he has the football and run left, while the actual play is going to the right. The player required to run this play shouldn’t stop the coach, and complain, “But I am an evangelical Christian—I can’t participate in actions which deliberately deceive others!” That would be silly.

3.    In war, it is legitimate for spies to lie (we will have actual occurrences of this in Scripture) and it is not unusual for troops to be sent one way, although the actual bulk of force is traveling in a different direction. We are under no obligation to reveal our every move in advance to the enemy.

4.    John Murray offers the idea that some people forfeit the right to know. That is, Saul, through his disobedience to God, was no longer entitled to know the plan and intentions of God. God had revealed such things to him, for instance, when he was supposed to destroy the Amalekites, and Saul ignored God’s directives and did whatever he wanted to do.

5.    Let me now give you an application which is much closer to home: there are some believers who agonize over God’s guidance and direction. In most cases, there problem is that they do not pursue divine truth through His Word. The second problem is, like Saul, when it comes to obedience, they only obey what they feel like obeying; therefore, God is not obligated to reveal what they should do. If a believer does not obey what he already knows, what is the point of giving him more responsibilities to shirk?

1 The first three points are from Hard Sayings of the Bible; Walter Kaiser Jr., Peter Davids, F.F. Bruce, Manfred Brauch; InterVarsity Press; ©1996; pp. 210–211; some of their points came from John Murray, Principles of Conduct: Aspects of Biblical Ethics (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1957), pp. 139–141.


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And you have called to Jesse in the sacrifice and I [even] I will make you know what you will do and you have anointed for Me whom I say unto you.”

1Samuel

16:3

You will also call Jesse to this [lit., the] sacrifice and I [even] I will make you know what you will do; then you will anoint whom I say to you on My behalf.”

You will also summon Jesse to this sacrifice and, at that time, I will make it clear to you what you will do. At that time, you will anoint the person that I indicate.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And you have called to Jesse in the sacrifice and I [even] I will make you know what you will do and you have anointed for Me whom I say unto you.”

Septuagint                             “And you will call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will make known to you what you will do; and you will anoint him whom I mention to you.”

 

Significant differences:          None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

REB                                       ...and invite Jesse to the sacrifice [to the sacrifice: so Latin; Hebrew with the sacrifice]; then I shall show you what you must do. You are to anoint for me the man whom I indicate to you.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):


 

JPS (Tanakh)                        Invite Jesse to the sacrificial feast, and then I will make known to you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I point out to you.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me him I name to you.

NASB                                     “And you shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate [lit., say to you] to you.”

Young's Updated LT              ...and you have called for Jesse in the sacrifice, and I cause you to know that which you do, and you have anointed to Me him of whom I speak unto you.”


What is the gist of this verse? Samuel will actually sacrifice this animal and he will call for Jesse to join him. Again, God tells Samuel that he will anoint the one that God chooses.


1Samuel 16:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

qârâ (א ָר ָק) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Yîshay (י ָש̣י) [pronounced yee-SHAH-ee]

transliterated Jesse

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3448 BDB #445

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

The Latin (according to the REB) reads to the sacrifice. Although there is no reason to assume that the Latin is a more accurate source than the MT, it may convey a more accurate sense than the Hebrew does (i.e., Latin is going to be closer to the English language in form and nuance than the Hebrew is).

zebach (ח ַב ז) [pronounced ZEHB-vakh]

slaughtered animal [used in a sacrificial offering], slaughter, sacrifice, sacrificial animal

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #2077 BDB #257

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ânôkîy (י.כֹנָא) [pronounced awn-oh-KEE]

I, me

1st person singular personal pronoun

Strong’s #595 BDB #59

yâda׳ (ע ַדָי) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to cause to know, to make one know, to instruct, to teach

1st person singular, Hiphil imperfect (with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix)

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

together, they mean how, that which, what, whatever; whom, whomever

untranslated mark of a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

׳âsâh (ה ָ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793


Translation: You will also call Jesse to this [lit., the] sacrifice and I [even] I will make you know what you will do;... Interestingly enough, God does not reveal the entire plan to Samuel. All Samuel knows is that he will carry this heifer, which acts as his cover, so to speak, although it will have a real function. The offering will be done before Jesse, the father of David. However, at this point, Samuel is not told who the king will be.


Interestingly enough, God often has His servants function on a need-to-know basis. He does not tell Samuel to ask for Jesse to bring out his son David. All Samuel knows is that he will invite Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice (v. 5), and Samuel is smart enough to figure out that one of Jesse’s sons will be Israel’s next king (also, we may not have the entirety of God’s marching orders to Samuel).


God actually told Moses a lot about what was going to happen with Pharaoh of Egypt, but He didn’t tell Moses everything. In fact, Moses balked so much at the public speaking aspect of his meeting with Pharaoh, that God said, “Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently. Furthermore, listen, he is coming out to meet you. when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. And you are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do.” (Ex. 4:14b–15).


When Saul saw Jesus as he approach Damascus, he was struck by a blinding light, and given the following instructions, “Rise and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” (Acts 9:6).


Application: The point is, sometimes we function on a need-to-know basis. In fact, as a believer, we almost always function on a need-to-know basis. After 23 years at the same job, I suddenly found myself without a job. After 29 years in the same profession, I found myself possibly not returning to that profession. I had no clue what lie ahead. However, I do know that God controls these things. I gag at a lot of Christian sayings, but one in particular is accurate and apt: I do not know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future. There are going to be times when God takes you along a path where you have never been before. Sometimes it won’t be a pleasant experience. However, we simply need to trust Him and His guidance. Just recognize that three of the most famous saints—Moses, Samuel and Paul—walked that unknown path before you.


1Samuel 16:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

mâshach (ח  ָמ) [pronounced maw-SHAHKH]

to smear, to anoint

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #4886 BDB #602

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

together, they mean how, that which, what, whatever; whom, whomever

untranslated mark of a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

preposition with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39


Translation: ...then you will anoint whom I say to you on My behalf.” God has chosen to be a bit more mysterious with Samuel; Samuel will show up, make an offering before Jesse; and then God will reveal who the next king will be. The obvious implication is that, during this ceremony and during the meeting of Samuel with Jesse and his family, God will somehow be in contact with Samuel.


And so does Samuel that which spoke Yehowah. And so he comes [to] Bethlehem and so trembled elders of the city to meet him. And so he says, “Peace your coming.”

1Samuel

16:4

So Samuel did that which Yehowah commanded [lit., said] and went to Bethlehem. The elders of the city trembled [with fright] to meet him. Then one said, “Peace; your arrival.”

So Samuel did that which Jehovah had commanded and went to Bethlehem. The elders were a bit shaken up with fright when they met him; finally one said, “You have come in peace?”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so does Samuel that which spoke Yehowah. And so he comes [to] Bethlehem and so trembled elders of the city to meet him. And so he says, “Peace your coming.”

Septuagint                             And Samuel did all that the Lord told him; and he came to Bethleem;; and the elders of the city were amazed at meeting him, and said, “Do you come peaceably, Seer?”

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Samuel did what the Lord told him and went to Bethlehem. The town leaders went to meet him, but they were terribly afraid and asked, “Is this a friendly visit?”

NAB                                       Samuel did as the Lord had commanded him. When he entered Bethlehem, the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and inquired, “Is your visit peaceful, O seer?”

NJB                                        Samuel did what Yahwe ordered and went to Bethlehem. The elders of the town came trembling to meet him and asked, ‘Seer, is your coming favourable for us.’

NLT                                So Samuel did as the Lord instructed him. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the leaders of the town became afraid. “What’s wrong?” they asked. “Do you come in peace?”

REB                                       Samuel did as the Lord had told him, and went to Bethlehem, where the elders came in haste to meet him, saying, ‘Why have you come? Is all well?’

TEV                                       Samuel did what the Lord told him to do and went to Bethlehem, where the city leaders came trembling to meet him and asked, “Is this a peaceful visit, seer?”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Samuel did what the Lord told him. When he came to Bethlehem, the leaders of the city, trembling with fear, greeted him and said, “May peace be with you.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        Samuel did what the Lord commanded. When he came to Bethlehem, the elders of the city went out in alarm to meet him and said, “Do you come on a peaceful errand?”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     So Samuel did what the Lord said, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, “Do you come in peace?”

Young's Updated LT              And Samuel does that which Jehovah has said, and comes in to Bethlehem, and the elders of the city tremble to meet him, and one says, “Is your coming peace?”


This is one of those verses where you cannot simply go with the translation which got the most votes. One would expect a question of average length, given the 7 word question in the JPS (the last quote is typically a 5–6 word question). However, that is not what we find in the Hebrew (it is, however, what we find in the Greek).


What is the gist of this verse? Unlike Saul, Samuel simply goes ahead and does what God has told him to do. He goes to Bethlehem (with the heifer) and the elders of the city are frightened when they meet him. If it is not a question, then one of them at least makes the statement, “In peace you have come.” If a statement, it is possibly one made in hope.


1Samuel 16:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âsâh (ה ָ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

together, they mean how, that which, what, whatever; whom, whomever

untranslated mark of a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

bvar (ר ַב ָד) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

3rd person masculine singular, Piel perfect

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: So Samuel did that which Yehowah commanded [lit., said]... Saul and Samuel acted much differently. Saul half-followed God’s commands or not at all sometimes. Samuel, despite the fact that he could be putting himself in serious danger, goes ahead and does what God tells him to do. This is by far the easiest approach to Christian living—believer God and do what He commands.


1Samuel 16:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

bêyth lechem (ם∵ח∵ל תי̤) [pronounced bayth-LEH-khem]

house of bread and is transliterated Bethlehem

proper noun, location

Strong’s #1035 BDB #111


Translation: ...and went to Bethlehem. Although the heifer is not mentioned in this verse, Samuel takes the heifer and travels to Bethlehem.


1Samuel 16:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

chârad (ד ַר ָח) [pronounced chaw-rahd]

to tremble, to be terrified, to be frightened

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #2729 BDB #353

zâkên (ן ֵק ָז) [pronounced zaw-KANE]

elders

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #2205 BDB #278

׳îyr (רי ̣ע) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #5892 BDB #746

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

qârâ (א ָר ָק) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon

Qal infinitive construct with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

A Qal infinitive construct with a preposition can introduce a purpose clause, a result clause or a temporal clause. We generally associate the temporal use with the preposition bêyth, however.


Translation: The elders of the city trembled [with fright] to meet him. Oft times, what is occurring is lost in a translation. Apparently much of Israel knows that Samuel no longer supports Saul as king (although the general population does not appear to be as disenchanted with him yet). It is known that Samuel will possibly name a different king, which, like any other country, could result in a civil war. Most really do not want a part in this. They don’t want to get stuck in the middle of a civil war. When Samuel shows up, they don’t know if he is going to be recruiting men to fight against Saul or if he will designate a king from their city, placing them in danger. In any case, they know that Samuel is at odds with King Saul, so his actions could potentially affect Bethlehem.

 

Keil and Delitzsch offer a different explanation: The anxious inquiry of the elders presupposes that even in the time of Saul the prophet Samuel was frequently in the habit of coming unexpectedly to one place and another, for the purpose of reproving and punishing wrong-doing and sin. Footnote I do not believe that this is the case but that the riff between Saul and Samuel, as well as there possibly being a new king, was public knowledge.


1Samuel 16:4d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Although I did not exactly grasp Rotherham’s note here, apparently 2 early printed editions, the Aramaic, Septuagint, Syriac and Vulgate all have this in the 3rd person masculine plural.

shâlôm (םֹלָש) [pronounced shaw-LOHM]

completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safe, secure, tranquil, undisturbed, unagitated

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7965 BDB #1022

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

Qal infinitive construct with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

The Greek translates these final 2 words with a 7 word question, including the addition of the words O Seer.


As I mentioned earlier, the typical translation of these last two Hebrew words (or three, if you count the suffix as a 3rd word), generally runs 5–7 words and is phrased as a question. This is the approach that the Greek took as well. Only one translation rendered these last two words as a statement—God’s Word™—which translated these last couple words as, “May peace be with you.” The problem is, it doesn’t say that. Nor is this a question in the Hebrew. Although many translations did a very good job of translating the Greek version, not a single one of them footnotes the fact that they were following the Greek and not the Hebrew; and, therefore, not one of them gives an alternate translation of the reading found in the Masoretic text (or indicated MT unintelligible).


Let me go off-topic here for just a moment—now I realize that Today’s English Version and the Contemporary English Version are not necessarily designed for scholars of the original languages; and I would not necessarily expect them to fill their footnotes with alternate readings (although both of these translations do frequently allude to alternate readings). However, there should be at least one translation—the NKJV, the NASB or the NRSV—which footnotes all the variant readings. Rotherham’s The Emphasized Bible actually does an excellent job of this, except (1) this version is linguistically way out of date; (2) the translator translated this prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls; and (3) Rotherham does not footnote every significant alternate reading (although he does footnote a lot of insignificant alternate readings). There needs to be a scholarly translation which informs us of all significant alternate readings—especially in passages like this where the variant is followed rather than the MT. I realize that incorporating the Dead Sea Scrolls is a monumental task; however, a passage like this one is well-known (to the translators) to lack agreement between the MT and the LXX. Therefore, at a minimum, it should be footnoted.


Translation: Then one said, “Peace; your arrival.” Like all the other translators, I would have expected a question here. However, there is no grammatical indication that a question is being asked. For instance, the passage often cross-referenced here—1Kings 2:13—is actually a question. At David’s death, one of David’s sons, Adonijah, went to visit one of David’s wives (Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother). Here, the concern immediately would be, “Have you come to me in peace?”, as portions of royal families were often wiped out completely during power struggles subsequent to the death of a king. In that instance, the sentence begins with the interrogative hê, which is like the upside down question mark in Spanish that begins an inquiry in that language. So, in that passage, the words definitely make up a question. It appears, however, that our passage is simply a statement in the Hebrew. “Peace, your arrival.” (which is a very accurate rendering) or “Peace you have come.” or “Peace—you have arrived.” It might be more currently rendered, “Oh, hi; you arrived.” or “Hi, you’re here.” Shâlôm became a typical greeting between Jews. This was clearly used at this time as a greeting, much as it is today (see 1Sam. 25:5–6). So these men are not asking a question—at least, not in the Masoretic text—but it is possible that this short statement was an attempt to begin and maintain a peaceful visit. Not to forget that these men are trembling.


And so he says, “Peace; to slaughter to Yehowah I have come. Consecrate yourselves and you have come with me to the slaughter.” And so he consecrates Jesse and his sons and so he calls to them to the slaughter.

1Samuel

16:5

And he answered, “Peace; I have come to sacrifice to Yehowah. [Now] consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he declared Jesse and his sons holy [or, sanctified Jesse and his sons] and summoned them to the sacrifice.

And he answered, “Peace; I have come to perform sacrifices to Jehovah. Now, make yourselves holy and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he declared Jesse and his sons to be holy and summoned them to the sacrificial rites.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so he says, “Peace; to slaughter to Yehowah I have come. Consecrate yourselves and you have come with me to the slaughter.” And so he consecrates Jesse and his sons and so he calls to them to the slaughter.

Septuagint                             And he said, “Peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Sanctify yourselves and rejoice with me this day.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and he called them to the sacrifice.

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       “Yes, it is!” Samuel answered. “I’ve come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Get yourselves ready to take part in the sacrifice and come with me.” Samuel also invited Jesse and his sons to come to the sacrifice, and he got them ready to take part.

NLT                                “Yes,” Samuel replied. “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then Samuel performed the purification rite for Jesse and his sons and invited them, too.

REB                                       ‘All is well,’ said Samuel; ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice [me to the sacrifice: so Latin; Hebrew me with the sacrifice].’ He himself purified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         “Greetings,” he replied, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Perform the ceremonies to make yourselves holy, and come with me to the sacrifice.” He performed the ceremonies for Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

JPS (Tanakh)                        “Yes,” he replied, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and join me in the sacrificial feast.” He also instructed Jesse and his sons to purify themselves and invited them to the sacrificial feast.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     And he said, “In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” He also consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice.

Young's Updated LT              And he says, “Peace; to sacrifice to Jehovah I have come. Sanctify yourselves and you [all] have come in with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctifies Jesse and his sons, and calls them to the sacrifice.


What is the gist of this verse? Saul answers the concerned elders of Bethlehem that he has come in peace and for them to sanctify themselves for the sacrifice which he offers. Samuel also sanctifies Jesse and his sons and invites them to the sacrifice as well.


1Samuel 16:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

shâlôwm (םל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LOHM]

completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safe, secure, tranquil, undisturbed, unagitated

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7965 BDB #1022

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

zâbach (חַבָז) [pronounced zawb-VAHKH]

to slaughter [usually an animal for sacrifice]

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #2076 BDB #256

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

1st person singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97


If you have the same 20 or so translations which I have, you will find that over a third of them begin this verse with the word yes (CEV, JPS, Moffatt’s Translation, NAB, NJB, NLT, TEV), in answer to the question of the previous verse. But, there was no question in the MT in the previous verse. Therefore, there is no answer yes in this verse—not in the Hebrew and not in the Septuagint. The literal translations—which account for about half of my translations—use the word peaceably or peace to begin this verse (The Amplified Bible, The Complete Jewish Bible, Footnote The Emphasized Bible, KJV, NASB, NIV, NKJV, NRSV, Young’s Literal Translation). One translation uses the word Greetings instead (God’s Word™), which colloquially might better convey what is here (the NEB and REB go with All is well). In the Greek, this reads peace.


Translation: And he answered, “Peace; I have come to sacrifice to Yehowah. What appears to be the case is that was no question put to Samuel—“Have you come in peace?” It appears more as this was a greeting and that Samuel here returns the greeting (and, again, this sort of greeting was not out of the ordinary for that time period—1Sam. 25:5–6). Then he states his purpose, which was predetermined by God as somewhat of a cover. The offering of a sacrifice was an actual event and it was not without significance. It was not a cover for an insidious rebellion against Saul; it was the proper approach to God in this circumstance, and had been authorized in advance by God.


1Samuel 16:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

qâdash (שַד ָק) [pronounced kaw-DAHSH]

cause yourselves to be cleansed, purify yourselves, cause yourselves to become consecrated

2nd person masculine plural, Hithpael imperative

Strong's #6942 BDB #872

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object) with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #854 BDB #85

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

zebach (ח ַב ז) [pronounced ZEHB-vakh]

slaughtered animal [used in a sacrificial offering], slaughter, sacrifice, sacrificial animal

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #2077 BDB #257

Again, according to the REB, this reads to the sacrifice in the Latin. I do have a copy of the Latin Vulgate and I was unable to make a one-to-one correspondence with these words here and in v. 3.


Translation: [Now] consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” It is not clear what the elders had to do by way of personal consecration. I would think that it would simply involve a naming of their sins to God and the cleaning of their clothes and possibly themselves (only the latter action is specifically named in the Law—Ex. 19:10, 14 Lev. 15 Num. 19:11–22). The sacrificial rites were to be public and attended by the elders of the city of Bethlehem.


Now would be the time to refer back to the Doctrine of Sanctification, which we began in Gen. 2:3 and completed in Ex. 29:1.




A Brief Look at Sanctification in the Old Testament

1.    Sanctification from the standpoint of man:

       a.    Eternal Sanctification: When we believe in Jesus Christ (or Jehovah of the Old Testament), we are eternally set apart to God.

       b.    Temporal Sanctification: After salvation, when we fall out of fellowship, we get back into fellowship by naming our sins to God. As we grow spiritually, we are sanctified in our spiritual growth.

       c.     Ultimate Sanctification: When we receive our resurrection body in the end time.

2.    Sanctification from the standpoint of God:

       a.    God sets something aside for Himself. We might reasonably say, God sets something aside to be in service to Him or to glorify Him.

3.    The primary Hebrew word rendered sanctification is qâdash (שַד ָק) [pronounced kaw-DAHSH], which means consecrate, sanctify, dedicate, hallow, set apart. These are its Qal meanings. It is also spelled qâdêsh (ש̤ד ָק) [pronounced kaw-DAYSH]. Strong's #6942 BDB #872.

4.    To consecrate is the opposite of to make unclean, to defile. The word for making unclean is ţâmê (א ֵמ ָט) [pronounced taw-MAY], which means to make unclean, to be unclean, to defile. In the Piel, it generally means to declare or to pronounce unclean. Strong's #2930 BDB #379.

5.    Sanctification (or consecration) is the opposite of defilement and profaning. Lev. 21:1–15

6.    Gen. 2:3–4 is the first occurrence of qâdash. Here, God sets the Sabbath (Saturday) apart as something special, something different; it will stand as a memorial for all time as a testimony to God’s creation. Even the most resolute heathen follow a seven-day work week pattern. Nothing is said about man resting from his work at this point in time, as Adam doesn’t work. God provided everything necessary for Adam in six days. In any case, it is interesting to note that, even under perfect environment, apart from sin, the Sabbath was established as set apart (or sanctified) to God.

7.    In Israel, God took the Levites as His own, instead of to the firstborn of Israel. This taught the Israelites that there is substitution involved in sanctification. Num. 3:12–13 8:17

8.    Things which were sanctified in the Old Testament:

       a.    The people of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai; their clothes were to be clean and they were not to have intimate relations with women. Ex. 19:14–15

       b.    Apparently Mount Sinai was consecrated, which means that the Israelites could not go up onto the mountain (Ex. 19:23). This is because this is where Moses communed with God. Even though the people were ceremonially clean, they were not truly clean, and could not have direct contact with God (this also foreshadows Jesus Christ, as the only man Who could have direct contact with God the Father).

       c.     The Sabbath Day and the Sabbath year were to be consecrated or sanctified. Ex. 20:8–11 31:13–17 Lev. 25:10

       d.    The priests, the Tabernacle and the furniture of the Tabernacle were all sanctified.

       e.    The people of God were sanctified.

9.    The biggest mistake of Moses was striking the rock twice rather than speaking to it, in order to produce water (Num. 20:2–11). God would not allow Moses to go into the land because he did not treat God as sanctified. Num. 20:12 27:14 Deut. 32:51

10.  When Israel was about to cross the Jordan, Joshua told the people to sanctify themselves the day before. Joshua 3:5

11.  In conclusion, sanctification, in the Old Testament, is presented as something which is set apart; something which is different from all else; something which is different from this natural life. Our sanctification identifies us with God, who is separate from this world.




1Samuel 16:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qâdash (שַד ָק) [pronounced kaw-DAHSH]

to regard as holy, to declare holy or sacred; to consecrate, to sanctify, to inaugurate with holy rites

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong's #6942 BDB #872

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Yîshay (י ָש̣י) [pronounced yee-SHAH-ee]

transliterated Jesse

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3448 BDB #445

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qârâ (א ָר ָק) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

zebach (ח ַב ז) [pronounced ZEHB-vakh]

slaughtered animal [used in a sacrificial offering], slaughter, sacrifice, sacrificial animal

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #2077 BDB #257


Translation: Then he declared Jesse and his sons holy [or, sanctified Jesse and his sons] and summoned them to the sacrifice. Just as the elders were to be set aside to God, so Samuel declared the same with respect to Jesse. Again, other than a physical cleansing, we do not know what else was actually involved in the sanctification of Jesse and his sons. And again, I would assume a naming of their sins to God. Samuel clearly knew that one of Jesse’s sons would be selected by God as the next king over Israel. However, it will not be made clear to Samuel which son God has chosen beforehand. In fact, it may not be clear at all to anyone, except Samuel, just exactly what is happening. Samuel is going to be told which son of Jesse’s will become the next king of Israel.


Gnana Robinson asserts that there are inconsistencies in this account. His first complaint is that the elders appear to be invited to this sacrifice, but then it does not appear as though they are here. Footnote He also cites the problem that, although they have gathered for a sacrifice, the sacrifice is not mentioned. Robinson tends to manufacture inconsistencies where none exist. We do not have to be told three or four times that the elders are invited to the sacrifice; we are told this in v. 5 and, after that point, they are not really a part of the narrative. This is not a contradiction—it is simply that they no longer played an important part in this narrative. Historical accounts do not always include each and every detail, nor is there any inconsistency when a particular detail is not repeated or later confirmed. Furthermore, the sacrifice is mentioned a couple of times, however, the act of sacrificing heifer is not. Again—not pertinent to the story. We already know that it’s going to happen. There are a number of men here; we would expect that they are going to enjoy a meal together (as a part of the sacrifice). Just because that meal is not recorded in Scripture does not mean that it did not occur. I wanted to have some commentaries with which I disagreed; however, there are times when this particular commentary (G. Robinson’s) becomes irritating. When there is a real problem with the text or with consistency; I want to know about that. However, when a writer simply manufactures problems simply because they do not believe in the verbal-plenary inspiration of Scripture, then their writing becomes infuriating to me. Footnote


When one rejects the inspiration of Scripture, then that allows that author or exegete a great deal of latitude. They can reject whatever they find in Scripture that they do not like, which is not simply confined to historical events, but the moral laws as well. I write this during a time when homosexuality is accepted by a great many people and that homosexuals are often compared to African-Americans; the homosexuals are now struggling for their rights, as Blacks have in the past for theirs (this comparison is done is by the homosexuals themselves and by many liberals; not by African Americans). Therefore, those who call themselves Christians and believe in the Bible (but only in the parts that they choose) can now ignore the passages where homosexual behavior is clearly presented as sin. This selective approach to the Bible allows a person to adopt whatever mores he likes; usually, they are in agreement with the mores of his day. The Bible becomes much more fluid in this way, being adapted to whatever beliefs are currently popular.


Furthermore, one who takes such a cavalier position on Biblical authority and inspiration is required to offer a lot less explanation. If their theories and approaches don’t quite fit under careful examination, then they can simply say, “These are just stories made up by several old guys centuries ago; we don’t really know what happened.” However, the exegete who believe Scripture is held to a much higher standard. We cannot simply shrug off contradictions and historical inaccuracies. For us, the Bible has to fit together as a cohesive whole. It is very much like a mathematical system. Various mathematical systems can be at odds with one another (e.g., hyperbolic geometry and Euclidian geometry); however, they cannot sport an internal contradiction. If there is an internal contradiction, the mathematical system is flawed or poorly constructed and is not considered by other mathematicians. The Bible must agree with itself internally. We cannot have contradictions within Scripture. It is possible that Scripture can contradict the morality of the day (our illustration of homosexuality); it is possible for our historical understanding and Scripture to be at odds (Biblical history vs. recorded Egyptian history); and it is even possible for contemporary science to be at odds with Scripture (illustration: evolution vs. creation). But, what Scripture cannot contradict is itself. Therefore, we who hold to the verbal plenary inspiration of Scripture hold ourselves to a much higher standard of exegesis. We must attempt to gain an understanding of God’s Word in this passage or that which is not contradicted elsewhere in Scripture.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


Jesse Brings Seven Sons to Stand Before Samuel


And so he is in their coming and so he sees Eliab and so he says, “Surely in the sight of Yehowah His anointed.”

1Samuel

16:6

And it was when they came that [lit., and] he saw Eliab and thought, “Surely in the sight of Yehowah [this man is] His anointed.”

When the sons of Jesse arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely this man is Jehovah’s anointed.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so he is in their coming and so he sees Eliab and so he says, “Surely in the sight of Yehowah His anointed.”

Septuagint                             And it came to pass when they came in, that he saw Eliab, and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed [is] before him.

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       When Jesse and his sons arrived, Samuel noticed Jesse’s oldest son, Eliab. “He has to be the one the Lord has chosen,” Samuel said to himself.

NLT                                When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         When they came, he saw Eliab and thought, “Certainly, here in the Lord’s presence is his anointed king.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        When they arrived and he saw Eliab, he thought: “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands before Him.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                When they had come, he looked on Eliab [the eldest son], and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.

NASB                                     Then it came about when they entered, that he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.”

Young's Updated LT              And it comes to pass, in their coming in, that he sees Eliab, and says, “Surely, before Jehovah is His anointed.”


What is the gist of this verse? Jesse and his sons are invited to the sacrifice of the heifer. As soon as Samuel sees Eliab, the eldest son of Jesse, he immediately thinks that this must be God’s anointed.


1Samuel 16:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

The infinitive construct, when combined with the bêyth preposition, can often take on a temporal meaning and may be rendered when [such and such happens]. It can serve as a temporal marker that denotes an event which occurs simultaneously with the action of the main verb.

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

rââh (ה ָא ָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ělîyâbv (ב ָאי.ל ֱא) [pronounced el-ee-AWBV]

God is father; transliterated Eliab

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #446 BDB #45


Translation: And it was when they came that [lit., and] he saw Eliab... Samuel was a great spiritual man of his day. However, this in now way qualifies him to choose the next king. He looks at Eliab, Jesse’s eldest.


This verse does not actually identify who it is who sees Eliab. However, Samuel is mentioned in v. 4; he speaks in v. 5 (his name is not used, but the 3rd masculine singular of the verb); and in this verse he will be found in the morphology of the verb, but not mentioned directly by name. One might think that this could be Jesse, but it makes little sense for Jesse to see Eliab as Jesse, the father, would be presenting his son, Eliab.


1Samuel 16:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ake ( ַא) [pronounced ahke]

surely, certainly, no doubt, only, only this once

adverb of restriction, contrast, time, limitation, and exception. Also used as an affirmative particle

Strong’s #389 BDB #36

neged (דגנ) [pronounced NEH-ged]

what is conspicuous when it is a substantive and, as a preposition, in front of, in the sight of, opposite to, before (in the sense of being in front of)

preposition

Strong’s #5048 BDB #617

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

mâshîyach (-חי.שָמ) [pronounced maw--SHEE-ahkh]

anointed, anointed one, messiah

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4899 BDB #603


Translation: ...and thought, “Surely in the sight of Yehowah [this man is] His anointed.” When Samuel sees Eliab, he does not speak aloud, but he says to himself, “This man must be Jehovah’s anointed. Apparently, this particular son of Jesse had a strong, virile look to him. We will find out a lot more about Eliab in the next chapter. We will find that he is a petty, criticizing older brother, who apparently has spent much of his life picking away at his youngest brother, David. He will show no natural protectiveness toward David, but he will reveal jealousy and vindictiveness towards him (1Sam. 17:28). He has known David all of his life and does not have the first clue as to what David is all about.


Application: This is a short and simple application: if you harbor mental attitude sins towards another person, then you will never understand or appreciate who that person is, because everything you perceive about that person will be colored by your mental attitude sins. I’m sure you have just thought of someone that you cannot stand and you’re thinking, “So what if I don’t like him; he’s a jerk anyway.” Even though Eliab knew the greatest man in Israel at that time, he thought the same thing.


And so says Yehowah unto Samuel, “You will not look intently unto his appearance and unto a height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For not that sees the man, for the man sees to the eyes and Yehowah sees to the heart.”

1Samuel

16:7

Then Yehowah said to Samuel, “Do not look intently upon his appearance or at his height [lit., a height of his stature], for I have rejected him. For not as man sees [does God see], for man sees [only] with the eyes; but Yehowah looks upon the heart [and mind of a man].”

Then Jehovah said to Samuel, “Do not give him your approval based upon his appearance or height, for I have rejected Eliab. I do not want you to examine these prospects as others would, looking at them only with your eyes, because I am able to see the inner man.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         And the Lord said to Samuel: Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature: because I have rejected him, nor do I judge according to the look of man: for man sees those things that appear, but the Lord beholds the heart.

Masoretic Text                       And so says Yehowah unto Samuel, “You will not look intently unto his appearance and unto a height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For not that sees the man, for the man sees to the eyes and Yehowah sees to the heart.”

Septuagint                             But the Lord said to Samuel, “Look not on his appearance, nor on his stature, for I have rejected him; for God sees not as a man looks; for man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.”

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       But the Lord told him, “Samuel, don’t tink Eliab is the one just because he’s tall and handsome. He isn’t the one I’ve chosen. People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts.”

NLT                                But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.”

REB                                       But the Lord said to him, ‘Pay no attention to his outward appearance and stature, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not see as a mortal sees [The Lord...mortal sees: so Greek; Hebrew For not what a mortal sees]; mortals see only appearances but the Lord sees into the heart.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         But the Lord told Samuel, “Don’t look at his appearance or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. God does not see as humans see [Greek; Masoretic Text And so says Yehowah unto Samuel, “You will not look intently unto his appearance and unto a height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For not that sees the man, for the man sees to the eyes and Yehowah sees to the heart.” see.’]. Humans look at outward appearances, but the Lord looks into the heart.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        But the Lord said to Samuel, “Pay no attention to his appearance or his stature, for I have rejected him. For not as man sees [does the Lord see]; man sees only what is visible, but the Lord sees into the heart.” [the words in brackets are preserved in the Septuagint]


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Emphasized Bible           But Yahweh said unto Samuel—

Do not regard his countenance or the heigh of his stature, for I have rejected him, —for it is not what man looketh to but what God looketh to. [as per Sep., MT omits “but what God looketh to.”]

For ║man║ looketh to the outward appearance [lit., eyes], but ║Yahweh║ looketh to the heart.

NASB                                     But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

NKJV                                     But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused [rejected] him. For [LXX For God does not see as man sees; Tg. It is not by the appearance of a man; Vg. Nor do I judge according to the looks of a man] the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Young's Updated LT              And Jehovah says to Samuel, “Look not to his appearance, and unto the height of his stature, for I have rejected him; for not as a man sees—for a man looks at the eyes, and Jehovah looks at the heart.”


What is the gist of this verse? Samuel has given his unsaid approval to Eliab, because Eliab looks like a king should look. God tells Samuel not to make judgments based upon the outward appearance of a man, as that is how most men judge others. God tells Samuel that He looks upon the inner man, and for that reason, God rejected Eliab as a candidate for king.


1Samuel 16:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

preposition with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028

al (ל-א) [pronounced al]

not; nothing; none

adverb of negation; conjunction of prohibiting, dehorting, deprecating, desire that something not be done

Strong’s #408 BDB #39.

nâbaţ (ט ַבָנ) [pronounced nawb-VAHT

to look intently at, to examine carefully; to regard, to consider

2nd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #5027 BDB #613

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

mareeh (ה∵אר-מ) [pronounced mahr-EH]

the act of seeing, sight, vision; appearance, that which is seen

masculine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4758 BDB #909

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

bvahh (-בֹ) [pronounced GOHb-VAH]

height

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1363 BDB #147

qôwmâh (הָמק) [pronounced koh-MAW]

stature of a man, tallness, height

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6967 BDB #879

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because, when

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

mâaç (ס ַא ָמ) [pronounced maw-AHS]

to reject, to despise, to lightly esteem, to refuse

1st person singular, Qal perfect with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3988 BDB #549


Translation: Then Yehowah said to Samuel, “Do not look intently upon his appearance or at his height [lit., a height of his stature], for I have rejected him. Samuel, upon meeting Jesse’s first son, is quite impressed, and thinks to himself that this young man is truly king material. In fact, his physique was probably very similar to Saul’s. Footnote However, God warns Samuel not to look at this man’s outer appearance or his height, because God has already rejected this man.


You may recall that what was impressive about Saul was his outward appearance (1Sam. 9:2 10:23–24). It did turn out that Saul had great courage as well. However, apart from his bravery in war, there was little to recommend Saul. Since that was all under the surface, and since some aspects of his mental illness had not even begun to manifest, this was known to God, but not to man. Israel, once Saul had defeated the Ammonites, accepted Saul and rejoiced in his kingship (1Sam. 11).


God the Holy Spirit, by recording these words, is telling us in another way that God has rejected Saul. Eliab, although he appears at first glance to be of a noble nature—he is tall and physically attractive like Saul—God rejects him, as He rejected Saul.


1Samuel 16:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because, when

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

rââh (ה ָא ָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

âdâm (ם ָד ָא) [pronounced aw-DAWM]

a man, a human being, mankind, Adam

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #120 BDB #9

The Septuagint here inserts does God see. This is the reading preferred by Rotherham.

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because, when

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

âdâm (ם ָד ָא) [pronounced aw-DAWM]

a man, a human being, mankind, Adam

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #120 BDB #9

rââh (ה ָא ָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳ayin (ן.י ַע) [pronounced ĢAH-yin]

spring, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes, spring

feminine dual construct with the definite article

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

rââh (ה ָא ָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lêbab (ב ַב ֵל) [pronounced layb-VBAHV]

mind, inner man, inner being, heart

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3824 BDB #523


Translation: For not as man sees [does God see], for man sees [only] with the eyes; but Yehowah looks upon the heart [and mind of a man].” God reminds Samuel that He can look upon the inner being of a person, to determine his value. Man is only able to look on the outward appearance and make judgments based upon that. As God said through Isaiah, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares Yehowah. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:8–9). As Solomon said to God in prayer, “For You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men.” (1Kings 9:39b).


This is one of the reasons that we are not to judge other believers outside of our responsibilities. God knows what man is like on the inside; we do not. We cannot see motivation, mental attitude sins, virtue, character, etc. We can only see the actions and hear the words, which, if colored by our own mental attitude sins, can be misleading. God knows man from the inside out. “Yehowah searches all hearts and He understand every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject your forever.” (1Chron. 28:9b). Jesus, speaking to the pharisees, said, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed by men is detestable to sight of God.” (Luke 16:15; see also John 2:25 Acts 1:24). We only know man from the outside in, which is not always accurate.

 

McGee’s comments: When God looks at us, friend, He looks at us from the inside. He is an interior decorator. He always check the interior. Samuel looks at this well-built, handsome young man and feels this must be God’s choice for the next king of Israel. But God says to Samuel, “I don’t want you to look at his outward appearance. Don’t just a man by his looks. Let me select the man this time. I will choose the king.” God sees the heart, and thank God for that. We are so apt to judge fol, even in Christian circles, by their looks, by their pocketbook, by their status symbol—the Cadillac they drive, by the home they live in, or by the position they occupy. God never judges anyone on that basis. He is telling Samuel not to pay any attention to the outward appearance. God is going to look at the heart. Footnote


And so calls Jesse unto Abinadab and so he causes him to pass to faces of Samuel and so he says, “Also in this one has not chosen Yehowah.”

1Samuel

16:8

Then Jesse summoned Abinadab and caused him to pass before Samuel. However, He [or, he] said, “Neither has Yehowah chosen this one.”

Then Jesse summoned his son Abinadab and put him before Samuel. Samuel rejected him, saying, “Neither has Jehovah chosen him.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so calls Jesse unto Abinadab and so he causes him to pass to faces of Samuel and so he says, “Also in this one has not chosen Yehowah.”

Septuagint                             And Jesse called Abinadab and he passed before Samuel; and he said, “Neither has God chosen this one.

 

Significant differences:          No significant difference.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Jesse told his son Abinadab to go over to Samuel, but Samuel said, “No, the Lord hasn’t chosen him.”

NLT                                Then Jesse told his son Abinadab to step forward and walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “This is not the one the Lord has chosen.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

JPS (Tanakh)                        Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass before Samuel; but he said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.”

Young's Updated LT              And Jesse calls unto Abinadab, and causes him to pass by before Samuel; and he says, “Also on this Jehovah has not fixed.”


What is the gist of this verse? Jesse then causes his second oldest son, Abinadab, to pass before Samuel, and Samuel also rejects him as a candidate for king of Israel.


1Samuel 16:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qârâ (א ָר ָק) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

Yîshay (י ָש̣י) [pronounced yee-SHAH-ee]

transliterated Jesse

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3448 BDB #445

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ăbîynâdâb (בָדָני.בֲא) [pronounced ub-vee-naw-DAWB]

my father is noble and is transliterated Abinadab

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #41 BDB #4

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âbar (ר ַב ָע) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR]

to cause to pass over, to cause to pass through, to transmit, to send over; to pass by sin, to remit, to forgive

3rd person singular, Hiphil perfect, with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5674 BDB #716

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (םי̣נ ָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM

face, faces

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean upon the face of, before, before the face of, in the presence of, in the sight of, in front of. When used with God, it can take on the more figurative meaning in the judgment of.

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028


Translation: Then Jesse summoned Abinadab and caused him to pass before Samuel. Although Jesse was rather surprised that Samuel did not pick his oldest son, his next in line was also a very impressive individual. Jesse apparently raised some good-looking, intelligent and hard-working sons (although they did have certain character flaws, which will become apparently later on in this book).


1Samuel 16:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

gam (ם ַ) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

zeh (ה ז) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, thus

masculine singular, demonstrative adjective

Strong’s #2063, 2088, 2090 BDB #260

Together, be zeh mean in this [place], here, with this, on these conditions, herewith, thus provided, by this, through this, for this cause, in this manner, on this one.

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

I am thinking that the gist of gam and lô together (even though they are separated in this verse) is neither. The idea, of course, is that Jesse is causing another son to pass before Samuel, and Samuel indicates that he is not the right person also (or, either).

bâchar (ר ַח ָ) [pronounced baw-KHAHR]

to choose

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #977 BDB #103.

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


You may have noticed that there appears to be a possible seamless change in this verse. Samuel had invited Jesse and his sons to this sacrifice, although it is not clear that anyone in Jesse’s family is really aware of what is going on. In v. 6, it does not appear as though Jesse marches Eliab before Samuel as a candidate for king; it sounds more like Samuel sees Eliab first (perhaps introduced as Jesse’s firstborn son) and that God communicates silently to Samuel that this is not the one. By most translations, it sounds as though Samuel is saying aloud to those around him that, “Nope, this is not the guy either.” However, I do not believe that is exactly what is occurring. There is not any indication that Jesse or his sons are even aware at this time what is occurring. It appears more as though Samuel is meeting these young men and that God is communicating silently to Samuel that each succeeding young man is not the one.


Translation: However, He [or, he] said, “Neither has Yehowah chosen this one.” Now, it will be clear in v. 10 that Samuel is speaking to Jesse. It just is not clear at what point does Jesse know that his sons are being chosen by God (and it is not clear exactly why Samuel is there choosing someone). At some point in time, as Jesse introduces all of his sons to Samuel, it will be clear that there is more going on here than Samuel simply meeting all of Jesse’s sons. By the time we meet David, it is clear what is going on.


And so causes to pass by Jesse Shammah and so he says, “Also in this one has not chosen Yehowah.”

1Samuel

16:9

Then Jesse caused Shammah to pass by and he said, “Neither has Yehowah chosen this one.”

When Jesse caused Shammah to pass by, he said, “Neither has Jehovah chosen this one.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so causes to pass by Jesse Shammah and so he says, “Also in this one has not chosen Yehowah.”

Septuagint                             And Jesse caused Sama to pass by; and he said, “Neither has God chosen in this one.”

 

Significant differences:          None


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Next, Jesse sent his son Shammah to him, and Samuel said, “The Lord hasn’t chosen him either.”

NLT                                Next Jesse summoned Shammah, but Samuel said, “Neither is this the one the Lord has chosen.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Then Jesse had Shammah come to Samuel. “The Lord has not chosen this one either,” Samuel said.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Next Jesse presented Shammah; and again he said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Next Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.”

Young's Updated LT              And Jesse causes Shammah to pass by, and he says, “Also on this Jehovah has not fixed.”


What is the gist of this verse? Jesse’s third oldest son walks before Samuel, but Samuel recognizes that he is not God’s anointed (or, Jehovah God so informs him).


1Samuel 16:9

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âbar (ר ַב ָע) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR]

to cause to pass over, to cause to pass through, to transmit, to send over; to pass by sin, to remit, to forgive

3rd person singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong’s #5674 BDB #716

Yîshay (י ָש̣י) [pronounced yee-SHAH-ee]

transliterated Jesse

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3448 BDB #445

shammâh (הָ-ש) [pronounced shahm-MAW]

waste, devastation, appalment and is transliterated Shammah

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #8048 BDB #1031

I guess there are times that you simply give a name to a kid that sounds good without regard for the meaning.

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

gam (ם ַ) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

zeh (ה ז) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, thus

masculine singular, demonstrative adjective

Strong’s #2063, 2088, 2090 BDB #260

Together, be zeh mean in this [place], here, with this, on these conditions, herewith, thus provided, by this, through this, for this cause, in this manner, on this one.

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

I am thinking that the gist of gam and lô together (even though they are separated in this verse) is neither. The idea, of course, is that Jesse is causing another son to pass before Samuel, and Samuel indicates that he is not the right person also (or, either).

bâchar (ר ַח ָ) [pronounced baw-KHAHR]

to choose

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #977 BDB #103.

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: Then Jesse caused Shammah to pass by and he said, “Neither has Yehowah chosen this one.” It’s sort of an odd thing here. In vv. 6–7, it is fairly clear that God is communicating with Samuel, and He rejects the first son of Jesse that he meets. In the next verse, it will be clear that Samuel is verbally rejecting these various sons. However, in between, it is not clear exactly what is occurring—do these sons know that they are being considered as potential kings of the kingdom of Israel? Does Jesse know that? At what point does Samuel stop saying, “Pleased to meet you” and says, “Nope, not this one either.” In the eyes of the writer, this was a very fluid transition; however, it is not clear to us, the readers of this passage.


And so causes to pass Jesse seven of his sons to faces of Samuel. And so says Samuel unto Jesse, “Has not chosen Yehowah in these ones.”

1Samuel

16:10

Then Jesse made his seven sons to pass before Samuel. Samuel said to Jesse, “Yehowah has not chosen these ones.”

After Jesse paraded seven of his sons before Samuel, Samuel remarked to Jesse, “Yehowah has not chosen any of these men.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so causes to pass Jesse seven of his sons to faces of Samuel. And so says Samuel unto Jesse, “Has not chosen Yehowah in these ones.”

Septuagint                             And Jesse caused his seven sons to pass before Samuel; and Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen these.”

 

Significant differences:          None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Jesse had all seven of his sons go over to Samuel. Finally, Samuel said, “Jesse, the Lord hasn’t chosen any of these young men. Do you have any more sons?” [The CEV continued the quote from v. 10 to v. 11; although this is not altogether accurate, still, it flows much better that way. Therefore, I added their v. 11a here].


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         So Jesse brought seven └more┘ of his sons to Samuel, but Samuel told Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen └any of┘ these. Are these all the sons you have?” [God’s Word™ also continues the quote into v. 11, so I also added their v. 11a here].

JPS (Tanakh)                        Thus Jesse presented seven of his sons before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.”

Young's Updated LT              And Jesse causes seven of his sons to pass by before Samuel, and Samuel says to Jesse, “Jehovah has not fixed on these.”


What is the gist of this verse? Jesse brings his seven oldest children before Samuel, and Samuel tells him that God has not chosen any of these.


1Samuel 16:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âbar (ר ַב ָע) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR]

to cause to pass over, to cause to pass through, to transmit, to send over; to pass by sin, to remit, to forgive

3rd person singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong’s #5674 BDB #716

Yîshay (י ָש̣י) [pronounced yee-SHAH-ee]

transliterated Jesse

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3448 BDB #445

shibe׳âh (הָעב̣ש) [pronounced shibve-ĢAW]

seven

numeral feminine construct

Strong's #7651 BDB #987

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (םי̣נ ָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM

face, faces

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean upon the face of, before, before the face of, in the presence of, in the sight of, in front of. When used with God, it can take on the more figurative meaning in the judgment of.

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028


Translation: Then Jesse made his seven sons to pass before Samuel. At some point, Samuel was no longer simply introducing each of his sons to Samuel; it was clear that they were being presented to Samuel for a Godly purpose (although it is not necessarily clear what that purpose was).


1Samuel 16:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Yîshay (י ָש̣י) [pronounced yee-SHAH-ee]

transliterated Jesse

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3448 BDB #445

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

bâchar (ר ַח ָ) [pronounced baw-KHAHR]

to choose

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #977 BDB #103.

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

êlleh (ה  ֵא) [pronunced EEHL-leh]

these, these things

demonstrative adjective with the definite article

Strong's #428 BDB #41


Translation: Samuel said to Jesse, “Yehowah has not chosen these ones.” It is not clear how Samuel received his information. He simply met each son and recognized that none of them had been chosen by God. Whether God whispered in his ear, his soul, or what, it is not told to us.


There are some aspects to this scenario that we do not completely grasp. It is clear to Jesse that one of his sons is being chosen for something and there is the rumor going around Israel that God has rejected Saul (see back in v. 4). What appears to be the case is that Jesse began by introducing his sons to Samuel; Samuel knew what was going on—he was choosing Israel’s next king, via the guidance of God the Holy Spirit. At the second son, Samuel says aloud, “Neither has Jehovah chosen this one.” (or it is possible that these are the words of God the Holy Spirit to Samuel). In any case, by son #2 or #3, Jesse has an idea that one of his sons if being chosen by Samuel for some Godly purpose, although it is not clear what that purpose is. Given the rumors, Jesse may even know or suspect that one of his sons may be Israel’s next king. Footnote


Have you ever had a momentous occasion or event sort of sneak up on you and you recognize in retrospect its importance? Men are often this way with their future wives; in retrospect, they can look back upon certain events in their courtship which were momentous and profound; however, at the time, they just were going along with whatever. They could look back, from the perspective of the informed, and recognize these momentous moments; however, at the time, they more or less just walked through the events, not completely cognizant of their importance. This is probably Jesse. He is not necessarily analyzing each and every thing that is occurring. He is introducing his sons to Samuel, he recognizes that there is more going on besides introductions as Samuel speaks, although he may not consciously delve into what is occurring. He is simply introducing his sons to the greatest man in Israel, at that time, and there is this inkling that something else is going on. This is where I think Jesse’s head is at. So Samuel knows completely what is going on, and is led by God the Holy Spirit; Jesse has an inkling of what is occurring, but, given the short time that he has to introduce his sons, he does not necessarily ponder what is going on in great depth. And his sons are probably a little more out of the loop than Jesse is. This way, you have a better grasp of what is going on.


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Jesse Brings David out Before Samuel


And so says Samuel unto Jesse, “Have been completed the young men?”


And so he says, “Still [there] has remained the youth; and behold, [he is] shepherding in the sheep.”


And so says Samuel unto Jesse, “Send forth and take him, for we will not turn around until his coming here.”

1Samuel

16:11

Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Does [this] exhaust [or, complete] [all] the young men?”


He answered, “[There] still remains the youngest, but listen, [he is] shepherding the sheep.”


So Samuel said to Jesse, “Send for [him] and bring him, for we will not turn around until he comes here.”

Then Samuel aid to Jesse, “Is this all of your sons?” He answered, “There is still the youngest, who is out shepherding the sheep right now.”


So Samuel ordered Jesse, “Send your servants to fetch this young man, because we will not do a thing until he comes here.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so says Samuel unto Jesse, “Have been completed the young men?”

 

And so he says, “Still [there] has remained the youth; and behold, [he is] shepherding in the sheep.”

 

And so says Samuel unto Jesse, “Send forth and take him, for we will not turn around until his coming here.”

Septuagint                             And Samuel said to Jesse, “Have you no more sons?” And Jesse said, “Yet a little one; behold, he tends the flock. And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and fetch him, for we may not sit down till he comes.”

 

Significant differences:          There is a slight difference in verb meaning at the end of this verse.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                               Finally, Samuel said, “Jesse, the Lord hasn’t chosen any of these young men. Do you have any more sons?”

“Yes,” Jesse answered. “My youngest son David is out taking care of the sheep.”

“Send for him!” Samuel said. “We won’t start the ceremony until he gets here.” [I have included v. 10b for context].

NLT                                       Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep.”

“Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.”

TEV                                       Then he asked him, “Do you have any more sons?”

Jesse answered, “There is still the youngest, but he is out taking care of the sheep.”

“Tell him to come here,” Samuel said. “We won’t offer the sacrifice until he comes.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                                 ...but Samuel told Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen └any of┘ these. Are these all the sons you have?”

“There’s still the youngest one,” Jesse answered. “He’s tending the sheep.”

Samuel told Jesse, “Send someone to get him. We won’t continue until he gets here.” [I’ve included v. 10b for context].

JPS (Tanakh)                        Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the boys you have?” He replied, “There is still the youngest; he is tending the flock” and Samuel said to Jesse, “Send someone to bring him, for we will not sit down to eat until he gets here.”

NIV                                 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “But he is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down [Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew not gather around] until he arrives.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Then [he] said to Jesse, Are all your sons here? [Jesse] said, There is yet the youngest; he is tending the sheep. Samuel said to Jesse, Send for him, for we will not sit down to eat until he is here.

NASB                                     And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the children?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.”

NKJV                                     And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down [So with LXX, Vg.; MT turn around; Tg., Syr. Turn away] till he comes here.”

Young's Updated LT              And Samuel says unto Jesse, “Are the young men finished?” And he says, “Yet has been left the youngest; and lo, he delights himself among the flock.” And Samuel said unto Jesse, “Send and take him, for we do not turn round till his coming in here.”


You will note how the final sentence of Young’s translation has a significant difference from almost every other translation. However, only my NKJV actually gave me any textual information. When the Masoretic text is not followed, then I would expect a footnote. Obviously, in the freer translations, where imagination plays a part in the translation (e.g., the CEV and the TEV), a footnote would make little sense, as they did not choose any of the ancient versions as the basis of their translation in this particular example.


What is the gist of this verse? Because God has chosen none of Jesse’s sons, Samuel asks Jesse if there is anyone who was left out. Jesse says that there is the youngest son (who is not even named here), but he is out in the field tending the sheep. Samuel orders Jesse to fetch this young man, as they would do nothing until the boy arrived.


1Samuel 16:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Yîshay (י ָש̣י) [pronounced yee-SHAH-ee]

transliterated Jesse

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3448 BDB #445

hă ( ֲה) [pronounced heh]

interrogative particle which acts almost like a piece of punctuation, like the upside-down question mark which begins a Spanish sentence. The verb to be may be implied.

Strong’s #none BDB #209

tâmam (ם ַמ ָ) [pronounced taw-MAHM]

to complete, to finish, to consume, to completely use up, to exhaust, to accomplish, to spend; to be (spiritually) mature

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #8552 BDB #1070

na׳ar (ר-ע-נ) [pronounced NAH-ģahr]

boy, youth, young man, personal attendant

masculine plural noun (with a definite article)

Strong’s #5288 & #5289 BDB #654

This is an elliptical phrase; Samuel is simply asking, “Is this the completion of the young men?” or “Are the young men finished passing by?”  Footnote


Translation: Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Does [this] exhaust [or, complete] [all] the young men?” Samuel had been sent by God to anoint the new king. However, in whatever way that God communicated with Samuel, there was not one of the sons that God chose. Samuel recognizes that something is amiss, so he asks Jesse if he has any more sons.


As noted, the expression is elliptical or it could be idiomatic. “Is [this] the completion of the young men?” or “Are the young men finished [walking by].” or “Am I finished meeting your sons?” The second quotation is the most accurate. The idea is easy to grasp, but a strict literal rendering of the Hebrew could be confusing.


1Samuel 16:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

׳ôwd (דע) [pronounced ģohd]

still, yet, again, besides, in addition to, even yet

adverb

Strong’s #5750 BDB #728

shâar (ר ַא ָש) [pronounced shaw-AHR]

to be left, to remain

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #7604 BDB #983

qâţôn (ןֹט ָק) [pronounced kaw-TOHN]

small, insignificant; a word particularly used for youth, younger

masculine singular adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #6995 & #6996 BDB #882

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hên (ן̤ה) [pronounced hayn]

lo!, behold, observe, look, look here, get this, listen, listen up

interjection

Strong’s #2005 BDB #243

râ׳âh (ה ָעָר) [pronounced raw-ĢAWH]

shepherding, tending [a flock]; a shepherd, one who tends sheep

Qal active participle

Strong’s #7462 BDB #944

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

tsôn (ןאֹצ) [pronounced tzohn]

small cattle, sheep and goats, flock, flocks

feminine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6629 BDB #838


Translation: He answered, “[There] still remains the youngest, but listen, [he is] shepherding the sheep.” Jesse, like most men, operated on human viewpoint. Why he was to bring his sons may or may not have been clear to him. However, someone had to watch the sheep, and that job was given to his least significant son, who was out in the field right then with the flock.


What we should notice here is that, God’s chosen one is a shepherd. Throughout his life, David will be a shadow of the Lord to come.


Many suppose that David is about 16 years old, if not younger. First of all, he is old enough to shepherd the sheep on his own, which would put him at least in his early teens. Secondly, in the next chapter, only his three eldest brothers will be drafted, putting them in their 20's or 30's. If there are four brothers who are not yet of an age to be drafted in that chapter, then putting David at 16 or younger is reasonable.


I want you to notice this family dynamic for a moment. Samuel asks to meet Jesse’s sons, and Jesse parades out all of his boys except for David. Samuel has to specifically ask Jesse if there is another son. Jesse reluctantly calls for David to be brought in. So, what’s up with that? Most of us know that David is an artistic young man. He plays a stringed instrument (a guitar, if you will) and sings and writes music. Let me suggest to you that Jesse really had no appreciation for this. If anything, David seemed like a sissy to him and he put David out to shepherd the family flock, perhaps to toughen him up, and perhaps just to get him out of the house.


We will later see a family dynamic between David and his oldest brother Eliab, well Eliab will berate David for his questions about Goliath (1Sam. 17:28). This indicates that there was some long-standing friction between David, the baby of the family, and his eldest brother. It would not be surprising if this normal sibling rivalry was encouraged rather than suppressed by Jesse the father.


Now, of course, I am reading a little into this, but two things are clear: (1) Jesse did not see David as a son to parade out before Samuel; and (2) there was apparently a history of friction between David and his oldest brother (if not all of his older brothers).


1Samuel 16:11c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Yîshay (י ָש̣י) [pronounced yee-SHAH-ee]

transliterated Jesse

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3448 BDB #445

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for, to send forth, to send away, to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative (with the voluntative hê)

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâqach (ח ַק ָל) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take from, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize, to take possession of; to send after, to fetch, to bring; to receive

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because, when

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

çâbab (ב ַב ָס) [pronounced sawb-VAHBV]

to turn oneself, to go around, to surround, to encompass

1st person plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5437 BDB #685

The LXX and Vulgate read sit down (which makes more sense); the Aramaic and Syriac paraphrases read turn away. Footnote For some reason, I wrote down could this be Strong’s #5186. I don’t know why, as the Hebrew is radically different; but that is nâţâh (ה ָט ָנ) [pronounced naw-TAWH], which means to stretch out, to spread out, to bow, to extend. Strong’s #5186 BDB #639.

׳ad (דַע) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

pôh (הֹ) [pronounced poe]

here

adverb

Strong’s #6311 BDB #805


Translation: So Samuel said to Jesse, “Send for [him] and bring him, for we will not turn around until he comes here.” Samuel informs Jesse that they would do nothing until this youngest son was brought before them. I want you to think of the impact that this had on Jesse and the other seven sons. Jesse has seven strapping boys who are probably hungry; David is seen as somewhat of an outcast, the runt of the litter. And now the meal and the sacrifice and the ceremony is stopped for someone to go fetch David. These seven sons see no imperative reason why David needs to be brought there. They have some sort of a clue as to what is going on, but to differing degrees. But, no matter how well they perceive the situation, none of them likes the idea that they have to wait for the runt of the litter. He simply is not that important to the family. That everything comes to a standstill so that David can be gotten is a slight irritant to those who do not particularly care for David in the first place.


I also want you to see this as McGee presents it. It is as though Samuel is saying, This is important business, and I’m not about to sit down and eat until I have accomplished my mission. Footnote The purpose of the trip and the sacrifice was to anoint Israel’s next king. Therefore, offering a sacrifice before even meeting the next king would be premature.


I don’t know if you recall Jacob and his youngest son, Benjamin, but the way that these fathers treated the youngest son was very different. Therefore, let us quickly...

Contrast the Jacob and Jesse’s Treatment of their Youngest Sons

Jacob and his Youngest Son, Benjamin

Jesse and his Youngest Son, David

Jacob kept his son Benjamin away from his older brothers by keeping him at home.

Jesse isolated his youngest son David from the rest of the family by keeping him out with the sheep.

After losing Joseph, his second youngest son, Jacob was constantly concerned for Benjamin’s welfare, protecting him from all harm, real or imagined.

Jesse was much less concerned about David, allowing him to live out in the wilderness with the sheep, despite the fact that David faced many real dangers (such as a lion and a bear).

Both Joseph and Benjamin were sons of Jacob by the true love of his life, Rachel; therefore, he treated these sons differently than his others. He showed clear favoritism toward these two.

Jesse had seven or eight sons, and by the time that David came along, Jesse was less interested in raising him. He often took a hands off approach, leaving David to fend for himself (although, it will be the case that when Jesse did speak to David one-on-one, he did teach—something we will note in the chapter to come).

It was clear that Jacob favored his youngest son Benjamin.

It was clear that Jesse was not enthralled with his youngest son. It is possible that David was the runt of the litter (which appears to be the case) and that Jesse simply was not interested in the runt.

Jacob only loved one of his 4 wives and mistresses, and that was Rachel. Everything that came through here, to him, was to be prized above all else. Therefore, he favored his sons Joseph and Benjamin.

We do not know the circumstances of David’s birth. Perhaps he was the unplanned for child; perhaps Jesse was tired of raising children by that time. Perhaps he did not resemble Jesse enough. We can only speculate; however, it is clear that Jesse does not have a lot of feeling for his youngest son.

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One minor issue is, just how many sons did Jesse have? Here, in 1Sam. 16:10, it appears as though Jesse parading either 7 or 10 sons before Samuel. What first appears to be most likely is that there were seven sons in all, three named specifically; however, one might interpret this as Jesse brough 3 named sons before Samuel and then brought out 7 more. However, in 1Chron. 2:13–16, there are only seven sons named in all (including David), and two daughters. And, 1Sam. 17:12 clearly states that Jesse had eight sons (we know about the two daughters from 1Chron. 2).

We have three sons named here and in 1Chronicles: Eliab, Abinadab, and Shammah (Shimea). Then we have the sons, Nethanel, the fourth son; Raddai, the fifth; Ozem, the sixth; and David, the seventh son (they are numbered, as we find in 1Chron. 2:16). The two daughters are Zeruiah and Abigail. However, we have the problem of this 8th son, who is not named in the 1Chronicles passage, but appears to exist, as per 1Sam. 16:10 and 17:12.

How Do We Account for the Missing Son of Jesse?

Theory

Arguments For and Against

Jesse only had seven sons. Even though we have that Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel in this passage, seven stands for the total number of sons and only six actually passed before Samuel when David was called for.

The biggest problem with this theory is that it tells us that seven of Jesse’s sons passed before Samuel. Furthermore, he is said to have eight sons in 1Sam. 17:12.

One possibility is that the eighth son was genealogically unimportant or that he died at an early age, childless and possibly a child himself at death. Let me theorize that the 7th son brought before Samuel was David’s younger brother, who was very young when brought before Samuel (“Surely, you don’t mean little Jerry, who is 5?”); and who died shortly thereafter.

Had a son of Jesse’s died childless, that would not preclude his mention in 1Chron. 2. However, had a son of Jesse’s died as a child, then that would explain why the later reference to Jesse’s sons in Chronicles lists only seven sons total. This would give us 8 sons total and explain how such a son could disappear from David’s brothers, not to be found in Chronicles. It also explains why David would be numbered as Jesse’s seventh son.

This eighth son could have been the son of a mistress, and therefore, improperly placed in David’s line.

This is not out of the question; it would mean that Jesse brought in a son of a mistress before bringing in David.

What initially seemed to be the most likely explanation to me is that, this additional son’s name was dropped out of the Massoretic text of 1Chron. 2. The Syriac targum adds Elihu as the seventh son, and David is named as the eighth, which would bring these several passages into harmony, including 1Chron. 27:18, where David is said to have a brother, Elihu (the Septuagint, at this point, has Eliab instead). Footnote

It is my opinion that this is the most reasonable explanation for the missing son/brother in the 1Chronicles genealogy. If the missing brother were not mentioned in 1Chron. 27:18, then I would have sided with the camp that sees the missing brother as having died as a child. If the oldest son of Jesse, Eliab, is the person who is actually named in the Chronicles passage, then our second theory would seem to be the most appropriate one.


Here’s the biggest problem: we only have seven sons in the MT and in the Greek. To find one targum with eight sons could indicate that the translator simply chose to try to adjust the passage to eliminate any apparent contradiction with our present passage.

How Do We Account for the Missing Son of Jesse?

Conclusion: Quite frankly, I am on the fence as to David having a brother (probably a younger brother) who died as a child or that there was an eighth son of Jesse which a copyist left out early on in the Hebrew text. Obviously, this would have to be an early mistake for it to be perpetuated in the Septuagint. I lean more toward the death of one of David’s brothers, as the Syriac targum (also known as the Peshitta) was a translation made in the 5th century a.d., whereas the Septuagint was translated between 300–100 b.c. The text of the Peshitta seems like too convenient a fix. One of our laws of textual criticism is that, if we can provide a reasonable explanation as to why a text was altered, then that takes from the changed passage’s credibility.

I should add that, there is no great contradiction here; nor is it necessary that anyone provide a universally acceptd solution. All we need to do is provide 1 or more reasonable options to explain why 1Chron. 2 is missing a son of Jesse.


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At this point, things are going to change, both for the history of Israel and in our exegesis. With the introduction of David into the picture, we will suddenly introduce a lot of other material from elsewhere in Scripture, chiefly from the psalms. David was a very prolific writer, writing perhaps as many as half the psalms in our Bible, as well as, possibly, portions of the book of Samuel (possibly even all of it, based upon documents in his possession). Being a literate man, and being the king, means that David would have access to whatever writings he requested, which would have included the Scriptures as they existed, and the writings and records of men, such as Samuel. Therefore, it is not a stretch to think that David composed most of Samuel, using documents which he had in his possession; or that he appended the book of Samuel sometime around now.


There are several ways a book of Scripture can be examined; we can simply go through each chapter, verse by verse, and then go to the next chapter. However, given that David composed 70 or so psalms during his life, and given that he composed them at a variety of times under varying circumstances, we might find it more instructive to stop every now and again and examine the psalms that David wrote within the historical context of writing them. Now, some of these psalms can be placed into a definite historical context; and others we will simply place into a reasonable historical context. Therefore, from this point on until the end of 2Samuel, we will make detours into the book of Psalms in order to examine material which will enrich our understanding of David, his life and his thoughts.


Also, both David and Saul are mentioned in the book of Chronicles; David more extensively. There are portions of Chronicles which are almost identical to the Samuel record (e.g., 1Sam. 31 and 1Chron. 10); and there are portions of Chronicles which refer to the same time period, the same set of circumstances, but look at it from an entirely different perspective (e.g., 1Sam. 29:11 and 1Chron. 12:19–21). When it is appropriate, I will suggest that we momentarily discontinue the exegesis of Samuel and examine its parallel passage in Chronicles. In all of these instances, I will have done a complete and thorough exegesis on any parallel passage that I suggest we examine.


And so he sends and so he brings him and he [was] ruddy [or, red] with beauty of eyes and pleasing of sight. And so says Yehowah, “Arise, anoint him, for this [one is] he.”

1Samuel

16:12

So he send for and brought him, and he [was] reddish with beautiful eyes and pleasant to look at [lit., pleasant of sight]. Then Yehowah said, “Arise [and] anoint him, for this one [is] he.”

So Jesse sent for David and brought him to Samuel. David had a reddish skin color, along with beautiful eyes and he was pleasant to look at. Then Jehovah said, “Arise and anoint this one, for he is the My anointed.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so he sends and so he brings him and he [was] ruddy [or, red] with beauty of eyes and pleasing of sight. And so says Yehowah, “Arise, anoint him, for this [one is] he.”

Septuagint                             And he sent and fetched him; and he was ruddy, with beauty of eyes, and very goodly to behold. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Arise and anoint David, for he is good.”

 

Significant differences:          We have the Lord speaking to Samuel in the Greek and Syriac; these words are not found in the Latin or Hebrew. David is named specifically only in the Greek text. We find the adjective good at the very end only in the Greek text. None of these differences are significant.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Jesse sent for David. He was a healthy, good-looking boy with a sparkle in his eyes. As soon as David came, the Lord told Samuel, “He’s the one! Get up and pour the olive oil on his head.”

REB                                       So he sent and fetched him. He was handsome, with ruddy cheeks and bright eyes [and bright eyes: probable reading; Hebrew obscure]. The Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him; this is the man.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         So Jesse sent for him. He had a healthy complexion, attractive eyes, and a handsome appearance. The Lord said, “Go ahead, anoint him. He is the one.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        So they sent and brought him. He was ruddy cheeked, bright-eyed, and handsome. And the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him, for this is the one.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Jesse sent and brought him. David had reddish hair and fair skin, beautiful eyes, and was fine looking. The Lord said [to Samuel], Arise, anoint him; this is he.

The Emphasized Bible           So he sent and brought him in. Now ║he║ was ruddy, a stripling [so it should be; compare 1Sam. 17:56] Footnote with handsome eyes and noble mien. Then said Yahweh— Rise—anoint him for ║this║ is │he│. Yes, it reads noble mien.

NASB                                     So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.”

Young's Updated LT              And he sends and brings him in, and he is ruddy, with beauty of eyes, and of good appearance; and Jehovah says, “Rise, anoint him, for this is he.”


What is the gist of this verse? Jesse then calls for David. When David arrives, Samuel observes that his skin is a reddish color, but that David is a handsome man with striking eyes. God tells Samuel that this is the man, and that Samuel is to anoint him.


1Samuel 16:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for, to send forth, to send away, to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth

3rd person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to take in, to bring, to come in with, to carry

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

he, it

masculine personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

ademôwnîy (י.נמד-א) [pronounced ade-moh-NEE]

red, ruddy

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #132 BDB #10

׳îm (ם ̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near

preposition of nearness and vicinity

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

yâpheh (ה∵פָי) [pronounced yaw-FEH]

fair, beautiful

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #3303 BDB #421

׳ayin (ן̣יַע) [pronounced ĢAH-yin]

spring, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes, spring

feminine dual noun

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ţôwb (בט) [pronounced toebv]

pleasant, pleasing, agreeable, good, better

masculine singular adjective construct

Strong’s #2896 BDB #373

rôîy (י .אֹר) [pronounced row-EE]

looking, seeing, sight

masculine singular noun, pausal form

Strong’s #7210 BDB #909


Translation: So he send for and brought him, and he [was] reddish with beautiful eyes and pleasant to look at [lit., pleasant of sight]. David was out in the sun most of the time. People react differently. Some darken in color and others redden, which is what David’s skin did. In any case, David had striking eyes and he was a handsome man.


David was apparently a very handsome young man, although he was probably short. Think of him as a well-built, sun-burnt Tom Cruise. Footnote Interestingly enough, the Bible has commented very occasionally on the attractive appearance of some men: we have Joseph, in Gen. 39:6 (which description is necessary to the narrative); Moses in Ex. 2:2 Acts 7:20 (aren’t all babies beautiful?); David again in 1Sam. 17:42; and the shepherd-lover in SOS 5:10. Nothing is ever said about the physical attractiveness of our Lord (in fact, anything that we glean about His physical appearance is by deduction; and most of what we can deduce is that Jesus was very average looking and difficult to distinguish from His Apostles Footnote ).


The Amplified Bible offers an interesting perspective, a perspective which McGee and Keil and Delitzsch offer as well, and one which I had not really considered before. Perhaps David had red hair, rather than a reddish skin. This might explain, to some degree, Jesse’s attitude toward David, if neither Jesse nor his wife had red hair, but if they both had the recessive gene, David could have had been born with red hair, causing a rift in their marriage, and making David difficult to love as his other sons. Being the only redheaded one in the family, and given Jesse’s negative attitude, it would be easy to see how he was ostracized by his brothers (the recessive gene could have been carried for centuries by the ancestors of Jesse and his wife, without there being any red hair in either line for a long period of time). This is all theoretical, but it would potentially explain a great deal. It would explain why Jesse’s wife is never mentioned; it would explain why David is given the sheep to tend to, which would keep him away from the house most of the time. It would also explain his brothers’ negative attitude toward him. A father in this situation, even though there is no indication of infidelity, could unintentionally color the attitudes of his other sons toward this redheaded son. I recall watching some fluff on television where a strong friendship between four people was dissolved because infidelity was suspected (even though no infidelity took place). This suspected infidelity ruined the relationship of these four people, who otherwise had a marvelous bond and friendship.


Now let’s take this theory one step further. Recall Joseph’s reaction when Mary was with child. She was a virgin, insofar as he knew. They were engaged and possibly married, and suddenly she was pregnant. Joseph was no doubt conflicted about this situation, and had decided to quietly end their marriage or engagement (it appears as though they had been married, but had not yet consummated their marriage). When the truth of her pregnancy came to light, he of course did not dissolve their marriage (Matt. 1:19–25). What we have is another possible parallel between David and Jesus. God does not have to point out each and every shadowing of our Lord in the New Testament. This is one of the reasons that He gave the gift of pastor-teacher. I am hoping that you can see how, when this book of Samuel, which at first appears to be a simple narrative, is put under the microscope, that a myriad of doctrines, principles and applications naturally spring forth.


1Samuel 16:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

qûwm (םק) [pronounced koom]

to stand, to rise up, to establish, to establish a vow, to cause a vow to stand, to confirm or to fulfill a vow

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong’s #6965 BDB #877

mâshach (ח  ָמ) [pronounced maw-SHAHKH]

to smear, to anoint

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4886 BDB #602

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because, when

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

zeh (ה ז) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, thus

masculine singular, demonstrative adjective

Strong’s #2063, 2088, 2090 BDB #260

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

he, it

masculine singular pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214


Translation: Then Yehowah said, “Arise [and] anoint him, for this one [is] he.” Again, we do not know the mechanics of how God spoke to Samuel; my guess would be a voice from within. Samuel apparently was sitting down when David arrive. God tells Samuel to arise and anoint David, for he is the one God has chosen.


Here is the first place that we meet David, one of the most significant men of the Old Testament. The Jews generally understood that the Messiah would come from the line of David (John 7:42). Jesus was called the Son of David throughout His ministry (Matt. 9:27 12:23 15:22). Finally, many of the promises made by God to David that David recorded in Scripture would be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, David’s greater Son (2Sam. 7:8–17 Matt. 22:41–45 Luke 1:32, 69). Footnote


There is something you should realize: although David is great person, given his age and experience, we could not really classify him as ready to rule over Israel. One of the things which we do not realize, in our impatience, is there is a time and a place; David must mature for some time before God will make him king over Israel. In fact, the worst thing in the world right now would be for David to become king over Israel right now. He is not ready. However, God, Who is omniscient and not bound by time, can see David’s potential. God can see what David will become. God not only knows the right time to make David king, but He also knows what experiences David needs to go through in order to equip him to become king over Israel.


Application: God has a right time to promote you and if you are never promoted, then there is a reason for that. Do not think that God is going to shower you will a million dollars tomorrow, or that new promotion, or that great house or car. God functions under a particular time frame and we must be willing to allow for this. It is not because God is slow, but it is because God is getting us ready.


And so takes Samuel a horn of the oil and so he anoints him in a midst of his brothers. And so comes upon a Spirit of Yehowah into David from the day the that and upward. And so stands Samuel and so he goes the Ramah-ward.

1Samuel

16:13

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. [Suddenly] the Spirit of Yehowah came into David from that day forward. Then Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

Then Samuel took the horn filled with oil and he anointed David while he was among his brothers. Suddenly, the Spirit of Jehovah came upon him and remained with David from that day forward. Afterwards, Samuel got up and returned to Ramah.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so takes Samuel a horn of the oil and so he anoints him in a midst of his brothers. And so comes upon a Spirit of Yehowah into David from the day the that and upward. And so stands Samuel and so he goes the Ramah-ward.

Septuagint                             And Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. Samuel then arose and departed to Armathaim.

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                              Samuel poured the oil on David’s head while his brothers watched. At that moment, the Spirit of the Lord took control of David and stayed with him from then on.

Samuel returned home to Ramah.

NLT                                So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the olive oil he had brought and poured it on David’s head. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.

TEV                                       Samuel took the olive oil and anointed David in front of his brothers. Immediately the spirit of the Lord took control of David and was with him from that day on. Then Samuel returned to ramah.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Samuel took the flask of olive oil and anointed David in the presence of his brothers. The Lord’s Spirit came over David and stayed with him from that day on. Then Samuel left for Ramah.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord gripped David from that day on. Samuel then set out for Ramah.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

Young's Updated LT              And Samuel takes the horn of oil and anoints him in the midst of his brothers, and prosper over David does the Spirit of Jehovah from that day and onward. And Samuel rises and goes to Ramath.


What is the gist of this verse? Samuel, known to all as a prophet of God, then anointed David using the oil from his horn while his brothers and father looked on. At that time, the Holy Spirit came into David and remained with him for the remainder of his life. Once Samuel was finished, he returned to his home in Ramah.


1Samuel 16:13a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (ח ַק ָל) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take from, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize, to take possession of; to send after, to fetch, to bring; to receive

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

qeren (ן∵ר∵ק) [pronounced KEH-ren]

horn

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #7161 BDB #901

shemen (ן∵מ∵ש) [pronounced SHEH-men]

fat, oil

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8081 BDB #1032

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mâshach (ח  ָמ) [pronounced maw-SHAHKH]

to smear, to anoint

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #4886 BDB #602

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

sign of the direct object with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #853 BDB #84

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

qereb (ברק) [pronounced KEH-rebv]

midst, inward part

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #7130 BDB #899

With the bêyth preposition, it means in the midst of, among, into the midst of (after a verb of motion).

âch (ח ָא) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26


Translation: Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. Gnana Robinson again tends to makes something out of nothing. Because David is here anointed in the midst of his brothers, Robinson asserts that the elders are not a part of this particular tradition, indicating that the writer of this verse and v. 5 were different writers. Footnote Again, this is pure unadulterated hogwash. Jesse is not mentioned here either—does that mean that there are actually three original writers, all of whom have different sets of people attending this anointing? The point is that Samuel came to anoint one of the sons of Jesse; therefore, when David is anointed, he is anointed in the midst of his brothers. Jesse has just brought out his other 7 sons first to meet Samuel. There is no indication that Jesse then sent them outside when David came in. That David will be anointed on two other occasions (2Sam. 2:4 5:3) contradicts nothing. In the anointing of 2Sam. 2:4, David is anointed as acting king over the southern kingdom (rather than here, as a king-in-waiting) and in 5:3, he will be anointed acting king over the northern kingdom as well.


Only with the Bible do we get these weird authorship theories. Here, we seem to have one detail mentioned early in the narrative; however, that detail is not followed up on later in the narrative—in this case, the elders of the city from vv. 5–6 are not mentioned again—and so, one must conclude, therefore, that this chapter was written by 2 different authors? Do you see how ridiculous that is? If you saw a movie, and there were a half-dozen extras in the first scene; and then you never saw those extras again, would you conclude the movie had been casted by two different casting companies? Would you conclude that there was a different director in the opening scene than in the rest of the movie? Of course not!! If Guy Noir walks into a bar and makes conversation with the bartender, and then the bartender is not in the rest of the story, would you conclude that Garrison Keilor wrote one portion of the program, and someone else wrote another portion of the program? Of course not!! So, why on earth would people, who might even have a shred of common sense, make such an assertion based upon such flimsy evidence? It is simple—this is the Bible; this is the Word of God. It is going to be attacked in every way possible. It will be discredited in every way possible. This is the way that Satan works. This is how man’s negative volition functions. And don’t expect the attacks on Scripture to occur from devil’s worshipers and from atheists; the greatest attack on Scripture are going to come from churches and from pastors and from denominations and from seminaries. This is not some tiny skirmish that we are involved in. We are in the angelic conflict, the great conflict of all history. Our enemy will do anything and use anything. Do you think that it is simple coincidence that the Catholic church, for instance, spend hundreds of years making a concerted effort to keep a Bible written in the language of the people out of their parishioners’ hands? The Catholic church, which first sponsors an excellent translation into the language of the people (Latin), morphed to an organization which does everything in their power to keep such a translation out of the hands of man—including executions. Don’t ever think that we are not at war; don’t ever think that our adversary plays fair.


Back to the narrative:

 

Gordon asks: David is anointed, but to what task? It is a quasi-private appointment, the significance of which, as far as the narrative is concerned, is known only to Samuel. Since more than kings were anointed in ancient Israel, the onlookers may, or may not, have drawn the appropriate conclusion. Footnote Several commentators comment on the same question: Samuel is anointing David, and Samuel knows why, but who else has figured that out? How much has Samuel revealed?


It is my opinion that what was occurring was slowly revealed to Jesse and his sons. At first, they were all invited to this sacrifice overseen by Samuel, the great prophet of that time. Certainly, Jesse introduced his sons to Samuel from the oldest to the youngest. Samuel began to shake their hands and remark, “It’s not you.” Jesse realized after a bit that he was more than just simply a guest, but that he had been called there for a very specific reason, which involved his sons. After Samuel met each son, he would then inquire, “Do you have another son?” Although it is possible that Jesse may realize that Samuel was there to anoint the next king of Israel; he is probably more in shock, confused as to why Samuel is anointing David rather than any of his other sons. I think that it is more likely that Jesse does not know exactly what Samuel is there, except to anoint one of his sons; but the reason why escapes him. Recall that the elders who met Samuel at the city gate were concerned about his visit (v. 4) and that doubtless the rift between Samuel and Saul was well-publicized throughout the land. So, Samuel was there, in Jesse’s perception, to anoint a son of his for a reason greater than to simply say, “That’s a good boy that you’ve got there, Jesse.” Whether Jesse had a clue as to what this greater reason is, is unknown to us.


This is very much in keeping with God’s plan. God does not reveal Himself all at once, nor does He reveal His plan all at once. The Old and New Testaments present which is often called progressive revelation. Men could be saved in the Old Testament by believing in Jehovah God, and somehow this had something to do with the sacrifices offered at the Tent of God, which information was revealed in a very limited way to individuals prior to and as they believed. In our own dispensation, we are saved by believing in Jesus Christ, although how many of us at salvation could elucidate the doctrines of Christology or Soteriology? We placed our trust in Christ Jesus, even though we did not fully grasp the theological implications of our act of faith. In fact, probably 90% of Christians would have a difficult time explaining even a small portion of Christology and Soteriology.


Look at the Old Testament—man was on this earth for 2000 years (give or take) before God even gave man the Law. Furthermore, God gave the Law to the Jews, and not to man in general. Prior to the giving of the Law, there were only a couple of clearly defined principals (observing the Sabbath day and the prohibition of murder). Obviously, more was revealed to those of the antediluvian civilization (Gen. 2–6), but we are not given that information, and it is clear that nothing along the lines of the Mosaic Law was given. The point is, God does not reveal everything to everyone all at the same time. Therefore, that a limited number of participants (the elders the sons of Jesse, Jesse and Samuel) had varying and limited understanding of the sacrifice that they participated in, is to be expected.


By the way, progressive revelation is not confined to simply our relationship to God. Our education is a matter of progressive revelation. We do not walk into kindergarten and get exposed to the complete concept of mathematics from addition and subtraction to advanced calculus. We are progressively exposed to addition and we work our way to Calculus in about 12 years (well, some of us do). Our entire education system is one of progressive revelation. Your job—if you can learn your entire job in an hour, then you might have an extremely boring job. However, for most people, you learn a little about your job every day. In teaching, there were still things for me to learn, ideas for me in implement, even after having taught for 29 years.


In this verse, after meeting David, Samuel knows that this is the man, and he anoints David before his father and brothers. Herein, he has bestowed an exceptional honor upon David, even if most of them do not fully grasp what is happening. Let’s see if I can explain that: we’re dealing with a group of men, and men tend to stumble through their lives without overly examining each and every detail. They don’t tend to become introspective and ask, what does this mean? As far as the sons are concerned, they are simply being introduced to Samuel, who makes this remark, “Jehovah has not chosen this one.” They might say, “Glad to meet you, Mr. Samuel,” and think, “Huh?” However, after hearing this, “Jehovah has not chosen this man” several times, and knowing the rumors of the kingdom (or, if you would rather, the news of the kingdom), Jesse probably has an idea that this is somehow related to the throne of Israel. We don’t know all that was said, nor do we know what went on in the minds of Jesse and his sons. Samuel knew exactly what was occurring, but we are never told whether Jesse or his sons fully understood.

 

Keil and Delitzsch offer this: There is nothing recorded concerning any words of Samuel to David at the time of the anointing and in explanation of its meaning, as in the case of Saul’s anointing (ch. 10:1). In all probability Samuel said nothing at the time, since, according to v. 2, he had good reason for keeping the matter secret, not only on his own account, but still more for David’s sake; so that even the brothers of David who were present knew nothing about the meaning and object of the anointing, but may have imagined that Samuel merely intended to consecrate David as a pupil of the prophets. At the same time, we can hardly suppose that Samuel left Jesse, and even David, in uncertainty as to the object of his mission, and of the anointing which he had performed. He may have communicated all this to both of them, without letting the other sons know. It by no means follows, that because David remained with his father and kept the sheep as before, therefore his calling to be king must have been unknown to him; but only that in the anointing which he had received he did not discern either the necessity or obligation to appear openly as the anointed of the Lord, and that after receiving the Spirit of the Lord in consequence of the anointing, he left the further development of the matter to the Lord in childlike submission, assured that He would prepare and show him the way to the throne in His own good time. Footnote In other words, if anyone understood what was going on, it would be David (David will be given the Spirit of God I the next phrase).


1Samuel 16:13b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

tsâlach (חַל ָצ) [pronounced tsaw-LAHCH]

to come upon, to rush upon, to prosper, to be prosperous

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6743 BDB #852

rûwach (ח ַחר) [pronounced ROO-ahkh]

wind, breath, spirit, apparition

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #7307 BDB #924

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

yôwm (םי) [pronounced yohm]

day, today (with a definite article)

masculine singular noun with a definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

that

masculine singular, demonstrative pronoun (with a definite article)

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

mâ׳elâh (הָלע ָמ) [pronounced mawģe-LAW]

higher, higher part, above, upon, forward

adverb

Strong’s #4605 BDB #751


Translation: [Suddenly] the Spirit of Yehowah came into David from that day forward. The Holy Spirit had a different ministry during that time period. He did not indwell each and every believer, but acted through specific believers. Obviously, personal character and dedication to the Word of God was an essential part of their nature; however, all that they did could be done only in the Spirit of God.


The fact that it says here the Spirit of Jehovah came into David from that day forward does not mean that David never lost God’s Spirit. It simply means that, for the most part, the Spirit indwelt him, as God’s Spirit indwells any believer today who is in fellowship. When we get out of fellowship via sin, we lose the Spirit; when we name our sins to God, the Holy Spirit empowers us once again.


In the Old Testament, relatively few believers received the Holy Spirit. In the Church Age, we all are potentially filled with the Holy Spirit (all believers are indwelt by God the Holy Spirit from their spiritual birth). You may wonder, why are there not more David’s? Actually, there are a great many believers whose lives and work are exemplary. Right at this very moment, I am surrounded by texts written by men driven by God the Holy Spirit. However, having the Holy Spirit does not guarantee that your life will have any spiritual impact. We all possess free will and an old sin nature. Saul had the Holy Spirit (1Sam. 10:6, 9, 11), but became a failed king (which necessitates the advent of David).

Old Testament Saints Who Received the Spirit of God

Saint

Scripture

Additional Information

Although the Spirit of God is mentioned in creation (Gen. 1:2), no one is specifically said to be filled with, indwelt with, or given the Spirit until...

Joseph

Gen. 41:38

It is actually implied the Joseph is filled with the Divine Spirit by the pharaoh of Egypt.

Elihu

Job 33:4

Elihu claims that the Spirit of God made him and gave him life (which is true of all mankind). However, in the book of Job, Elihu presented true divine viewpoint.

Moses

Isa. 63:11

Although many Bibles read that the Holy Spirit was put into the midst of them, it really reads in the midst of him (him being a reference to Moses). I don’t believe that there is anywhere in the Law which speaks of Moses being empowered by the Spirit.

Bezalel and Oholiab

Ex. 35:31 36:1

Those who oversaw the construction of the Tent of God and its furnishings were filled with the Holy Spirit.

The 70 elders

Num. 11:16–17, 25–26, 29

Moses simply had too many responsibilities. God allowed him a counsel of 70 men to whom he could delegate various responsibilities. God the Holy Spirit would be given to these men. There were two additional men who were prophets in the camp who had been given God’s Spirit.

Balaam

Num. 24:2

Although Balaam had been paid to prophecy against Israel, the Spirit of God came upon him and he blessed Israel instead.

Joshua

Num. 27:18

Joshua was filled with the Holy Spirit as a soldier under Moses.

Othniel

Judges 3:10

Othniel was a judge in Israel and a nephew of Caleb’s.

Gideon

Judges 6:34

Gideon was not easily convinced that God had chosen him. He asked for several signs before he believed that he had been chosen by God.

Jephthah

Judges 11:29

Jephthah was the 9th judge of Israel and one of the relatively unknown great men of the Old Testament.

Samson

Judges 13:25 14:6, 19 15:14

The primary affect the Holy Spirit had upon Samson was that he had almost super-human strength.

Interestingly enough, Eli and Samuel are never said to be filled or indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. However, we may reasonably deduce that Samuel was.

Saul

1Sam. 10:6, 9, 10

The Holy Spirit was given to Saul after being anointed king. The Holy Spirit will be taken from Saul in 1Sam. 16:14. However, interestingly enough, Saul was pretty much overpowered by the Holy Spirit in 1Sam. 19:20, 23 to keep him from killing David.

David

1Sam. 16:13

The Holy Spirit was not given necessarily for good in the Old Testament. David did pray, “Take not Your Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11).

Elijah

1Kings 18:12 2Kings 2:9

It is implied by a 3rd party that Elijah was moved by the Spirit of God. The second passage implies that Elijah had the Spirit of God (which we can reasonably assume is true).

Azariah ben Obed

2Chron. 15:1

Azariah was a prophet during the time of Asa.

Zedekiah and Micaiah

1Kings 22:24 2Chron. 18:23

This passage is going to require some more study. It seems out of order.

Elisha

2Kings 2:9–10, 15–16

Elisha asked for a double-portion of God’s Spirit, which was with Elijah. Elijah said it would be given him.

Micah

Micah 3:8

This passage refers both to Micah and to Messiah.

Isaiah

Isa. 61:1

This passage actually has a double-fulfillment; it is Isaiah speaking to the people, and it is Messiah to come, being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Jahaziel ben Zechariah

2Chron. 20:14

The Spirit of God came upon Jahaziel to give an inspiring speech to King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah when facing a coalition of Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites.

Zechariah ben Jehoiada

2Chron. 24:20

The Holy Spirit came upon him to tell the people that God had forsaken them because they forsook God.

Ezekiel

Ezek. 2:2 3:12, 14 11:1, 5, 24 37:1 43:5

The first passage refers both to Ezekiel and to the coming Messiah. Ezekiel probably mentions the Spirit of God more than any other prophet (not all passages were noted).

Jesus Christ

Isa. 11:1–2 61:1 Zech. 12:10

Isaiah prophesied that the Spirit of God would rest upon the coming Messiah.

Israel in the future

Ezek. 18:31 36:26 37:14 39:29

Israel will be given a new Spirit. This would reasonably have a double-fulfillment: the saints during the Tribulation and Israeli believers in the Millennium. The latter passages refer to the Millennium specifically.

Believers in the Millennium

Isa. 32:15 44:3 Joel 2:28–29

Isaiah also prophesies about the Holy Spirit being poured upon man in the Millennium. In the second passage, one could argue that this was also a prophesy of Pentecost.

Even though there are many passages in the Old Testament which speak of God the Holy Spirit, all of them speak of the Spirit as having a very specialized ministry (until the Millennium, of course). Paul, on the other hand, tells us that By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit (I Cor. 12:13). And, so that the holy rollers don’t mistakenly think that only a few believers have the Spirit, Paul later adds Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it (I Cor. 12:27; see also I Cor. 3:16 II Cor. 13:14 Philistine. 2:18 I Thess. 5:19).


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1Samuel 16:13c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qûwm (םק) [pronounced koom]

to stand, to rise up, to establish, to establish a vow, to cause a vow to stand, to confirm or to fulfill a vow

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6965 BDB #877

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

Râmâh (הָמָר) [pronounced raw-MAW]

height, high place; transliterated Ramah

feminine noun used primarily as a proper noun; with the definite article and the directional hê here

Strong’s #7413 BDB #928


Translation: Then Samuel arose and went to Ramah. It was not Samuel’s place to remove Saul from the throne of Israel, nor was it his responsibility to put David forth as an alternate, but God-recognized king. At that point in time, Samuel was simply to anoint David as king over Israel. God would take care of the rest, demonstrating (and honing, if you will) David’s integrity in the meantime.


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Saul Is Terrorized by an Evil Spirit/A Servant Suggests Music-Therapy


And a Spirit of Yehowah departed from with Saul and fallen upon him a spirit of evil from with Yehowah.

1Samuel

16:14

Also the Spirit of Yehowah depart from being with Saul and an evil spirit directly from Yehowah fell upon him.

Simultaneously, the Spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul and an evil spirit directly from Jehovah fell upon him.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And a Spirit of Yehowah departed from with Saul and fallen upon him a spirit of evil from with Yehowah.

Septuagint                             And the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.

 

Significant differences:          None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

NLT                                Now the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and the Lord sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Now, the Lord’s Spirit had left Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Now the spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord began to terrify him.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him.

Young's Updated LT              And the Spirit of Jehovah turned aside from Saul, and a spirit of sadness from Jehovah terrified him;...


What is the gist of this verse? God had given Saul His Spirit, which he apparently quenched on several occasions of disobedience (Saul also named his sins to God after these occasions—see 1Sam. 15:30). However, God took this Spirit from Saul and sent a spirit of evil to him instead; which spirit terrorized Saul.


1Samuel 16:14a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

rûwach (ח ַחר) [pronounced ROO-ahkh]

wind, breath, spirit, apparition

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #7307 BDB #924

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

çûwr (רס) [pronounced soor]

to turn aside, to depart, to go away

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #5493 (and #5494) BDB #693

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

׳îm (ם ̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near

preposition of nearness and vicinity (with the 1st person plural suffix)

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

Together, these prepositions mean: from with, beside, from being with, away from, far from, from among, from the possession of, from the custody of, from the house of, from the vicinity of, out of the power of, from the mind of.

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: Also the Spirit of Yehowah depart from being with Saul... The Holy Spirit departed from Saul, not unlike His departure from Samson (Judges 14:20). This part is fairly easy to grasp—God the Holy Spirit did not indwell each and every believer in the Old Testament. In fact, He indwelt less than 1% of all Old Testament believers, as we studied in the previous verse. However, God the Holy Spirit did indwell many of the kings, all of the true prophets, of course, and some of the priests. Those who actually did His work were indwelt by His Spirit.

 

Kaiser, et. al. present to us what God the Holy Spirit did on behalf of Saul: Exactly what the Spirit’s presence with Saul entailed is not explained, but it seems to have included the gift of government, the gift of wisdom and prudence in civil matters, and a spirit of fortitude and courage. These gifts can be extrapolated from the evidence that after Saul was anointed king, he immediately shed his previous shyness and reticence to be in the public eye. It is obvious that Saul did not have a natural aptitude for governing, for if he had, why did he hide among the baggage when he knew already what the outcome would be? But when the Spirit of God came upon him in connection with the threatened mutilation of the citizens of Jabesh Gilead (1Sam. 11), and Saul sent out word that all able-bodied men were to report immediately for battle, the citizens of Israel were so startled that this had come from the likes of Saul that they showed up in force. God had suddenly gifted him with the “Spirit of God” (1Sam. 11:6), and Saul was a great leader for twenty years (1Sam. 14:47–38).

 

But all of this was lost as suddenly as it had been gained—the Spirit had removed his gift of government. Footnote In other words, it is clear that, via the Spirit of God, Saul revealed leadership strengths which he obviously did not possess before. As an application, when you believe in Jesus Christ, you may receive a spiritual gift by the Holy Spirit which is completely different than your natural talents would seem to dictate.


1Samuel 16:14b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bâ׳ath (ת ַע ָ) [pronounced baw-ĢAHTH

to fall upon, to fall upon suddenly and therefore to startle, to terrify due to the surprise

3rd person feminine singular, Piel perfect with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1204 BDB #129

rûwach (ח ַחר) [pronounced ROO-ahkh]

wind, breath, spirit, apparition

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #7307 BDB #924

râ׳âh (הָעָר) [pronounced raw-ĢAW]

evil, misery, distress, disaster, injury, iniquity, aberration, that which is morally reprehensible

feminine singular adjective

Strong’s #7451 BDB #949

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object)

Strong's #854 BDB #85

Together, min êth mean from proximity with, from with, from close proximity to, to proceed from someone. A good up-to-date rendering might be directly from.

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...and an evil spirit directly from Yehowah fell upon him. This bit of information is a bit tougher to swallow. God not only allowed for but apparently sent an evil spirit to torment Saul. Since Saul had the Holy Spirit, we may infer that he was a believer. However, this does not mean that Saul could not be tormented by an evil spirit, which would reasonably be a demonic spirit. God allowed Saul to be tormented by demonic spirits. We find a similar passage in Judges 9:23 and the book of Job is God allowing Satan to affect the life of Job. This evil spirit definitely affected the behavior of Saul (see 1Sam. 18:10).


In this verse, Saul is almost an illustration of the parable of Luke 11:24–26—this is the parable where an unclean spirit leaves a man, he cleans up his insides, and then the unclean spirit brings back 7 more spirits to inhabit his soul. This does not match Saul’s situation exactly, however. Saul has lost the Holy Spirit through disobedience to God; he will not be indwelt by demonic spirits, but he will certainly be harangued by same.


This does open up a new topic—demonic spirits and mental illness; or, what is the relationship between mental illness and an evil spirit? I am not ready to launch into a full-fledged doctrine at this point. Although I lean toward the evil spirit here and elsewhere as God allowing demons to affect our lives more than normal; I am not quite ready to subscribe to a full-fledged doctrine of demonic terrorism dogmatically. However, this seems to be the most logical stance to take, given certain narratives of the gospels. If it is not the result of tormenting by a demon, then I don’t know exactly how to understand these sorts of passages (which obviously have application to certain mental patients even today).

 

Let me give you the NIV Study Bible’s take on this: This statement and similar ones in Scripture indicate that evil spirits are subject to God’s control and operate only within divinely determined boundaries (see Jdg 9:23; 1Ki 22:19–23; Job 1:12; 2:6; compare 2Sa 24:1 with 1Ch 21:1). Saul’s disobedience continued to be punished by the assaults of an evil spirit (vv. 15–16, 23; 18:10; 19:9). Footnote

 

Keil and Delitzsch: With the rejection of Saul on the part of God, the Spirit of Jehovah had departed from him, and an evil spirit from Jehovah had come upon him, who filled him with fear and anguish. The “evil spirit from Jehovah” which came into Saul in place of the Spirit of Jehovah, was not merely an inward feeling of depression at the rejection announced to him, which grew into melancholy, and occasionally broke out in passing fits of insanity, but a higher evil power, which took possession of him, and not only deprived him of his peace of mind, but stirred up the feelings, ideas, imagination, and thoughts of his soul to such an extent that at times it drove him even into madness. This demon is called “an evil spirit (coming) from Jehovah,” because Jehovah had sent it as a punishment, or “an evil spirit of God” (Elohim: v. 15), or briefly “a spirit of God” (Elohim), or “the evil spirit” (v. 23), compare ch. 18:10), as being a supernatural, spiritual, evil power; but never “the Spirit of Jehovah,” because this is the Spirit proceeding from the holy God, which works upon men as the spirit of strength, wisdom, and knowledge, and generates and fosters the spiritual or divine life. Footnote They add (and I am translating the Hebrew of their quotation): The expression “a spirit of Jehovah evil” (ch. 19:9) is an abbreviated form for “a spirit of evil from the ultimate source of Jehovah,” and is to be interpreted accordingly. Footnote


Let me see if I can express this as plainly as possible: I believe that God allowed a demonic spirit to trouble Saul. I assume that Saul was a believer, so that this spirit could not indwell him; however, it could trigger Saul’s inherent instability, resulting in dramatic psychotic episodes (so dramatic as to involve the suggestions of his own staff, who possibly risked death to try to mitigate or to minimize these episodes). We do not fully understand how demonic activity triggers psychotic episodes, as modern psychology repudiates demons as a matter of science, despite evidence of some behaviors so bizarre as to defy human understanding (I am thinking of a homicidal maniac in Sacramento who, in his younger years, bit the heads of birds and drank their blood; and later graduated to dismembering people and eating either portions of their bodies and/or drinking their blood, who apparently utilized a blender for some of these meals). The most frightening aspect of this is, a demon-controlled or influenced psychotic could be sentenced to psychiatric confinement (which is certainly apropos; who could deny that they are insane); the demon could leave them, and they would demonstrate rational behavior again, and be eligible for release (or the demon could choose to cool his jets for a few months). But I digress. My point is, we do not fully understand the relationship between demon influence and psychotic behavior. However, what should be clear is that a demon can influence a person to attempt murder (1Sam. 18:10–12 19:9–10).


There is a whole unseen conflict of which we are a part, which is the angelic conflict. Although we have an idea as to some of God’s purposes in relation to the elect and fallen angels, we do not necessarily know all that is at issue. Footnote However, what we do know is that there are fallen angels, who make up the demon population. These are invisible spirits who can influence or even indwell men under certain specific circumstances. In this case, we may reasonably assume that Saul is being disciplined. He was given the highest political honor and God had always made it easy for Saul to obey Him; however, Saul simply chose not to.


Application: The greater the responsibility that God gives you, the greater your potential for happiness and personal fulfillment; but also the greater the punishment. To whom much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:48b). Saul was given great riches and power; but with this came great responsibility. When you specifically choose not to follow God’s clear direction, then you can expect unhappiness and discipline (this is for believers only, of course).


Believe it or not, our laws seem to allow for demonic influence. There are crimes which a person can commit, but be declared innocent by reason of insanity. The basic idea is that, they did not have the ability to distinguish between right and wrong (even though ignorance of the law is never considered a proper defense, although logically, that would appear to be the epitome of being unable to distinguish between right and wrong). What it really boils down to is free will; if it is determined that the criminal had a lapse in their free will, then they can legally plead temporary insanity. If they aren’t in charge of their own free will, then who the hell is?


Sometimes, there is testimony in a temporary insanity plea of hearing voices and being told to do this or that. I certainly cannot reach into the brain of another and determine if such a thing occurred, but that people have suffered visual and auditory hallucinations is a fact, if only via a drugged state. If chemicals can trigger such things, then who can say if such things are completely and totally a product of one’s imagination? In any case, I am digressing. Suffice to say that Saul was influenced by one or more demons and that this either exasperated an existing mental defect or was the cause of a mental defect. The exact mechanics are unknown to us. The result was behavior peculiar enough for his staff to notice and determine that some sort of solution had to be sought.


And so say servants of Saul unto him, “Behold, please, a spirit of Elohim—evil—is falling upon you.

1Samuel

16:15

The servants of Saul said to him, “Listen, please—an evil spirit of Elohim has fallen upon you.

Then Saul’s servants observed, “Listen, if you will: an evil spirit from God has fallen upon you.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so say servants of Saul unto him, “Behold, please, a spirit of Elohim—evil—is falling upon you.

Peshitta                                 And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold, your servants are before you...”

Septuagint                             And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from the Lord torments you.

 

Significant differences:          The Hebrew and Greek differ on whether this spirit is from Elohim or from the Lord. The verbal difference is probably one of translation. No idea what is going on with the Syriac at this point; however, the other verses are in general agreement with the Hebrew text.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       “It’s an evil spirit from God that’s frightening you,” Saul’s officials told him.

NLT                                Some of Saul’s servants suggested a remedy. “It is clear that a spirit from God is tormenting you,” they said.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Saul’s officials told him, “An evil spirit from God is tormenting you.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Saul’s courtiers said to him, “An evil spirit of God is terrifying you.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Emphasized Bible           Then said the servants of Saul unto him,—

Lo! We pray thee ║a sad superhuman spirit║ doth terrify thee:

NASB                                     Saul’s servants then said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is terrorizing you.

Young's Updated LT              And the servants of Saul say unto him, “Lo, please, a spirit of sadness from God is terrifying you.


What is the gist of this verse? Saul’s behavior is such that his staff recognize that God is tormenting him with some sort of spirit.


1Samuel 16:15

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

׳ebed (ד ב ע) [pronounced ĢEB-ved]

slave, servant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #5650 BDB #713

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

hên (ן̤ה) [pronounced hayn]

lo!, behold, observe, look, look here, get this, listen, listen up

interjection

Strong’s #2005 BDB #243

nâ (אָנ) [pronounced naw]

please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

particle of entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

rûwach (ח ַחר) [pronounced ROO-ahkh]

wind, breath, spirit, apparition

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #7307 BDB #924

ělôhîym (מי ̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods or God; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun

Strong's #430 BDB #43

râ׳âh (הָעָר) [pronounced raw-ĢAW]

evil, misery, distress, disaster, injury, iniquity, aberration, that which is morally reprehensible

feminine singular adjective

Strong’s #7451 BDB #949

bâ׳ath (ת ַע ָ) [pronounced baw-ĢAHTH

to fall upon, to fall upon suddenly and therefore to startle, to terrify due to the surprise

Piel participle with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1204 BDB #129


Translation: The servants of Saul said to him, “Listen, please—an evil spirit of Elohim has fallen upon you. Now, this is an interesting thing to read. Did some black dove from heaven swoop down and land upon Saul, causing his servants to notice. Was there some sort of an apparition which some of the more spiritual could observe, and they pointed this out to Saul? No, what happened is fairly simple and easy to point out. These servants of Saul are with him constantly and they know his typical behavior. Saul is a man of great courage, although his concept of spiritual obedience is somewhat weak. However, his servants now observe an abrupt change in his behavior. They notice that he does not act as he did before. I have known people who were bi-polar (manic-depressive), and they can exhibit markedly different behavior from moment to moment. You know that something is amiss when you observe them behaving in a certain way. Saul’s servants have seen him behave in a particular fashion, and it was fairly predictable (which we could say about anyone). However, now, Saul’s behavior has become erratic and unpredictable, and not in a good way. Therefore, a man who once exhibited great courage and professionalism is suddenly behaving in a crazy way, and his servants have concluded that God has sent an evil spirit upon him.


We are never told exactly what sorts of things that Saul did to cause his staff to seek a solution. However, we will later see that he makes several attempts to kill David without provocation (besides that in his own paranoiac mind). Gordon calls it Kierkegaardian melancholia; Footnote however, we can simply chalk it up to demonic influence. Now, you may think that simply calling this demonic activity is a copout, but we simply do not really know exactly what demon influence entrails. A lot of people are so enthralled with science that they treat the research of science akin to pronouncements from God. However, in the realm of psychology, science has been able to classify certain mental states and conditions; and, in a few instances, have some affect over certain behaviors using psychotherapy and/or drugs (in usually a small percentage of cases); and, in many cases, the drugs which may control a person’s behavior significantly suppress that person’s drive, mental capacity and personality. That is, they seem to provide some sort of disconnect somewhere in the brain. We know that by doing various things to certain portions of the brain (using drugs, probes or surgery), we can immobilize certain behaviors and actions to the point where we can virtually shut down the physical activity of an individual. We quire frankly do not know how demon-activity is related to one’s brain function; and we are barely beginning to understand the relationship between the brain and physical activity.


Say, please, our lord, [to] your servants to your faces, they seek a man knowing playing the lyre and he is in is upon you a spirit of Elohim—evil—and he has played in his hand and pleasant to you.”

1Samuel

16:16

Our lord please say to your servants before you, seek a man skillful [in] playing the lyre, so when the evil spirit from Elohim has come upon you, he will play with his hand and soothe you.”

We ask that our Lord order his servants to find a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, so that when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, he can play the lyre and soothe you.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       Say, please, our lord, [to] your servants to your faces, they seek a man knowing playing the lyre and he is in is upon you a spirit of Elohim—evil—and he has played in his hand and pleasant to you.”

Septuagint                             Let now your servants speak before you, and let them seek for our lord a man skilled to play on the harp; and it will come to pass when an evil spirit comes upon you and he will play on his harp, that you will be well, and he will refresh you.”

 

Significant differences:          The differences are minor and essentially insignificant. We do not find of Elohim in the Greek or Syriac texts; and it reads of the Lord in the Latin. The final verb in the Greek is probably the result of simply interpreting the Hebrew text.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       “Your Majesty, let us go and look for someone who is good at playing the harp. He can play for you whenever the evil spirit from God bothers you, and you’ll feel better.”

NLT                                “Let us find a good musician to play the harp for you whenever the tormenting spirit is bothering you. The harp music will quiet you, and you will soon be well again.”

TEV                                       So give us the order, sir, and we will look for a man who knows how to play the harp. Then when the evil spirit comes on you, the man can play his harp, and you will be all right again.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Your Majesty, why don’t you command us to look for a man who can play the lyre well? When the evil spirit from God comes to you, he’ll strumb a tune, and you’ll feel better.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        Let our lord give the order [and] the courtiers in attendance on you will look for someone who is skilled at playing the lyre; whenever the evil spirit of God comes over you, he will play it and you will feel better.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     “Let our lord now command your servants who are before you. Let them seek a man who is a skillful player on the harp; and it shall come about when the evil spirit from God is on you, that he shall play the harp with his hand, and you will be well.”

Young's Updated LT              Let our lord command, please, your servants before you, they seek a skillful man, playing on a harp, and it has come to pass, in the spirit of sadness from God being upon you, that he has played with his hand, and it is well with you.”


What is the gist of this verse? His men suggest that he send them out to find a person who can play soothing music, so that when an evil spirit comes upon Saul, the person can play and pacify him.


1Samuel 16:16a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

nâ (אָנ) [pronounced naw]

please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

particle of entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

âdôwn (ןד ָא) [pronounced aw-DOHN]

lord, master, owner, superior, sovereign

masculine singular noun with the 1st person plural suffix

Strong’s #113 BDB #10

׳ebed (ד ב ע) [pronounced ĢEB-ved]

slave, servant

masculine plural noun with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5650 BDB #713

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (םי̣נ ָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM

face, faces

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular) with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean upon the face of, before, before the face of, in the presence of, in the sight of, in front of. When used with God, it can take on the more figurative meaning in the judgment of.

bâqash (ש ַק ָ) [pronounced baw-KAHSH]

to seek, to search, to desire, to strive after, to attempt to get, to require, to demand, to ask, to seek with desire and diligence

3rd person masculine plural, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1245 BDB #134

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

man, each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun

Strong's #376 BDB #35

yâda׳ (ע ַדָי) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

seeing; knowing, knowing by experience [or practice]; skilled

Qal active participle

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

nâgan (ן -גָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHN]

to touch, to play a stringed instrument, to strike strings

Piel participle

Strong’s #5059 BDB #618

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

kînnôwr (ר ̣) [pronounced kin-NOHR]

hand-harp, lyre

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3658 BDB #490


Translation: Our lord please say to your servants before you, seek a man skillful [in] playing the lyre,... The construction here is quite interesting. Saul is not addressed in the second person, so that there is no confusion that he s being told what to do. As befitting a king, they speak of him in the 3rd person. Seeking a man who is skillful in playing the lyre is in the 3rd person as well; so that there is no confusion, they speak of Saul’s servants who are standing before him. In the next phrase, they explain why the suggestion.


1Samuel 16:16b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was

Qal infinitive construct

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

rûwach (ַחר) [pronounced ROO-ahkh]

wind, breath, spirit, apparition

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #7307 BDB #924

ělôhîym (מי ̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods or God; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun

Strong's #430 BDB #43

râ׳âh (הָעָר) [pronounced raw-ĢAW]

evil, misery, distress, disaster, injury, iniquity, aberration, that which is morally reprehensible

feminine singular adjective

Strong’s #7451 BDB #949


Translation: ...so when the evil spirit from Elohim has come upon you,... The construction of this sentence is also complex; the verb to be is used twice. The idea is that, in the event that Saul is again plagued by an evil spirit from God, then they will have made provision for this occurrence.


What is also interesting is that these men attribute the evil spirit as coming from God as well; Saul is not blamed by them for anything that he has done. Also, it is interesting that the occurrence of this spirit is something which is periodic and recognizable. Saul will not be under this spirit’s influence all of the time, but there will be specific times where its influence is apparent.


We will see in 1Sam. 18:10–12 and 19:9–10 that Saul will become homicidal when the evil spirit comes upon him. He will actually threaten David’s life. So, even though we are not privy to the type of behavior that Saul has demonstrated thus far, we can reasonably assume that it was overt, dangerous and unpredictable.


1Samuel 16:16c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâgan (ן -גָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHN]

to touch, to play a stringed instrument, to strike strings

3rd person masculine singular, Piel perfect

Strong’s #5059 BDB #618

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

hand

feminine singular noun with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ţôwb (בט) [pronounced toebv]

pleasant, pleasing, agreeable, good, better

masculine singular adjective construct

Strong’s #2896 BDB #373

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix, pausal form

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...he will play with his hand and soothe you.” Here is the end result that the servants of Saul hope for: they expect that the playing of the lyre will soothe Saul. The soothing effect of music will be mentioned once again in 2Kings 3:12.

 

Barnes comments: The medicinal effects of music on the mind and body, especially as appeasing anger, and soothing and pacifying a troubled spirit, are well known. It is deeply interesting to have the youthful David thus brought before us, as using music for its highest purpose, that of turning the soul to the harmony of peace and love. We may infer that some of his Psalms, such as Ps. xxiii., were already composed. Footnote

 

And, a similar note from the NIV Study Bible: The soothing effect of certain types of music on a troubled spirit is a generally recognized phenomenon (see 2Ki 3:15). Beyond this natural effect of music, however, it would appear that in this instance the Spirit of the Lord was active in David’s music to suppress the evil spirit temporarily (see v. 23). Footnote


I want you to realize that there were a dearth of CD players, DVD players, etc. in the ancient world. In fact, there were very few transistor radios. So the experience of music then was much more rare then than it is today. A child may be exposed to the singing of his mother. Families may sing, and groups which gather for worship might sing. However, music which is accompanied by instruments was a very rare commodity in the ancient world. Apart from the singing done within a family, it is reasonable that the average person could count on his fingers the number of times that he has heard music played. Therefore, because the ancient soul had not been assaulted on every side by music, it had a soothing effect which is almost unknown today (except perhaps in therapy for the very young). Whereas, much of the music that we experience today is incendiary, confrontational and often an assault, music of the ancient world was more of a celebration, and therefore had a soothing effect on those who heard it.


And so says Saul unto his servants, “See, please, for me, a man doing well to play and you [all] bring [him] to me.”

1Samuel

16:17

Then Saul said to his servants, “Please find [lit., see] for me a man [who] plays well [lit., doing well playing] and bring [him] to me.”

Then Saul said to his servants, “Please, then, locate such a man who can play the lyre well and bring him to me.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so says Saul unto his servants, “See, please, for me, a man doing well to play and you [all] bring [him] to me.”

Septuagint                             And Saul said to his servants, “Look now out for me a skillful player, and bring him to me.”

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       “All right,” Saul answered. “Find me someone who is good at playing the harp and bring him here.”

TEV                                       Saul ordered them, “Find me a man who plays well and bring him to me.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Saul told his officials, “Please find me a an who can play well and bring him to me.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        So Saul said to his courtiers, “Find me someone who can play well and bring him to me.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.”

NKJV                                     So Saul said to his servants, “Provide me now a man [Lit., Look now for a man for me] who can play well, and bring him to me.”

Young's Updated LT              And Saul said to his servants, “Provide, I pray you, for me a man playing well—then you [all] have brought him in unto me.”


What is the gist of this verse? Saul agrees to the suggestion of his servants and asks for such a man to be found and brought to him toot sweet.


1Samuel 16:17

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

׳ebed (ד ב ע) [pronounced ĢEB-ved]

slave, servant

masculine plural noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5650 BDB #713

rââh (ה ָא ָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperative

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

nâ (אָנ) [pronounced naw]

please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

particle of entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

man, each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun

Strong's #376 BDB #35

Either there is a mistake in the Masoretic text with the previous 4 words or this is an idiom for, “Please see to this matter for me.” As you will see in my literal translation, a number of words need to be added to make this into a reasonably intelligible sentence.

yâţabv (ב ַטָי) [pronounced yaw-TABV]

to do well, to cause to do well, to do rightly, to do good, to make merry, to make fit, to adjust

Hiphil participle

Strong’s #3190 BDB #405

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nâgan (ן -גָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHN]

to touch, to play a stringed instrument, to strike strings

Piel infinitive construct

Strong’s #5059 BDB #618

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to take in, to bring, to come in with, to carry

2nd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperative

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: Then Saul said to his servants, “Please find [lit., see] for me a man who plays well [lit., doing well playing] and bring [him] to me.” Saul is fairly self-centered. He asks for such a man to be found for Saul’s own benefit and for this man to be brought to him. One might understand this as, “Well, then, let’s please see to this matter of a man who can play well.” Saul, being king, can expect for this matter to be dealt with immediately.


And so answers one from the young men, and so he says, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse, a Bethlehemite, knowing to play [a stringed instrument], and a man of strength and a man of war and intelligent of word and a man of striking form and Yehowah [is] with him.”

1Samuel

16:18

Then one of the young men answered, saying, “Listen, I have seen the son of Jesse the Bethlehemite; [he is] skilled in playing, a man of strength and a man of war [or, battle]; [he is] intelligent of speech and a man of striking form; furthermore, Yehowah [is] with him.”

Then one of the men answered him, saying, “Listen, I know of such a man. I saw the son of Jesse, the Bethlehemite, and he is a man who is skilled in playing stringed instruments; he is both a man of strength and of war; he is both intelligent and he is a striking man; furthermore, Jehovah is with him.”