Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 7th, 2023
the First Week of Advent
For 10¢ a day you can enjoy StudyLight.org ads
free while helping to build churches and support pastors in Uganda.
Click here to learn more!

Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 16

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Verses 1-13

1 Samuel 16:1-13 . Samuel Anoints David (E 2 ) or (R).— A better division would be in the middle of 1 Samuel 15:35, so as to begin the new section with “ And Yahweh repented. etc.” Many authorities regard this section as a late, possibly post-exilic, addition; but it seems the natural sequel to the preceding chapter, and may probably be referred to the same document.

By the direction of Yahweh Samuel goes to Bethlehem, ostensibly to sacrifice, but really to anoint a son of Jesse to the kingship. He sanctified Jesse and his sons, i.e. he made them perform certain ritual acts, such as washings. At the sacrifice, seven sons of Jesse passed before Samuel, but Yahweh gave no sign, then David was sent for, and came, “ and he was ruddy [or perhaps, red-haired], a youth with beautiful eyes and comely,” as we should probably read and translate. At the bidding of Yahweh, Samuel anointed him, and the Spirit of Yahweh leaped upon him.

1 Samuel 16:13 . David: the only Biblical character bearing this name; the etymology is uncertain; the name may be a contraction of Dodavahu, “ Beloved of Yahweh,” or “ Yahweh is beloved” ( 2 Chronicles 20:37); or it may be connected with a deity: an Israelite sanctuary of DVDH, E. of Jordan, is mentioned on the Moabite Stone.

Verses 14-23

1 Samuel 16:14-23 . David, Saul’ s Minstrel.— (J), the ancient narrative, continues 1 Samuel 14:52. The earlier and more authentic of the two accounts of David’ s introduction to Saul ( cf. 1 Samuel 17:55 ff.).

Saul became possessed with some form of recurrent mania, which the primitive combination of pathology and theology explained by saying that the Spirit of Yahweh had departed from him, and that Yahweh had sent an evil spirit to torment him; so, according to Micaiah, 1 Kings 22:23, Yahweh put a lying spirit in the mouth of Ahab’ s prophets. For us such statements connect themselves with the problem of the relation between the Divine Omnipotence and the origin of evil, but here they show that the Israelites did not yet fully understand the ethical perfection of God. At the suggestion of his courtiers, Saul seeks relief from music, and sends for David, a skilful musician, a brave and experienced warrior, an orator, a man of fine presence, and happy in the favour of Yahweh. Saul is greatly taken with David, and makes him his armourbearer. When his spirit is troubled, he obtains relief from David’ s music.

1 Samuel 16:18 . a mighty man of valour and a man of war: HK and Cent.B propose to omit these words as irrelevant in an enumeration of the qualifications of a minstrel, and because the post of armourbearer would have been beneath the dignity of a “ man of war.” Neither consideration is cogent; the clause is a general panegyric, and to be the royal armourbearer would be a post of importance. The omission would lessen the discrepancy with 1 Samuel 17:33 ff., and so far it is tempting; but this kind of temptation should be resisted.

1 Samuel 16:20 . an ass laden with bread: read “ ten loaves of bread.”

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/1-samuel-16.html. 1919.
adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile