The Agora
Bible Commentary
1 Samuel

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

1 Samuel 16

1Sa 16:1

David as a type of the Messiah:
* a. The shepherd boy who laid down his life for his sheep.
* b. The young man anointed king by a great prophet.
* c. The brave warrior who went down into the "valley of death" and slew the great giant who enslaved his people –- when all Israel cowered in their tents.
* d. The man who, because of his great deeds and sterling character, was envied and hated by the reigning king.
* e. The "criminal" who was chased and persecuted, and his life threatened, because he was God's Anointed.
* f. The man who at last emerged in triumph from a cave to be crowned head over all Israel.
* g. The man who gathered many faithful Gentiles, and later gave them positions of great authority in Israel.
* h. The king who expanded his kingdom in all directions, until it won the allegiance of all surrounding nations and became a great empire.
* i. And the king who received the promise of a "Son" [not Solomon!] who would sit on his throne forever.

1Sa 16: "It is time for the king of God's appointment to be revealed to Israel. Unlike the king the people selected, this one would come from the tribe of Judah, to whom was committed the lawgiving. He was not found seeking for donkeys, as was Saul (1Sa 9:3-5), but as a keeper of sheep. Again, unlike Saul, he was not tall (v 7), not in the appearance that they sought (cp Isa 53:2). He was golden-haired, bright-eyes, and graceful in appearance (1Sa 16:12), strong (Psa 18:33,34), staff in hand (1Sa 17:40), gifted in music (1Sa 16:18), possessor of the Holy Spirit (v 18). He was a man after God's own heart (1Sa 13:14), not because he is without fault, but because he bows to God in faith. He is not perfect, but he is not lawless, not a rebel, like his predecessor. He submits in truth of heart to the divine chastening Hand upon his life. He 'despised not' Yahweh's discipline (Heb 12:5-13). With David before us, there is no time for mourning for Saul (1Sa 16:1); the past must be forgotten, and there must be a pressing on to the glory ahead. As a type of Christ, David was made perfect through suffering, whereas Christ was shown to be perfect through trial (Heb 5:8). Both pursued after God (Psa 42:1)" (GEM).

"I have found David my servant; with my sacred oil I have anointed him" (Psa 89:20). "He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them" (Psa 78:70-72).

3 anointings in the OT: Typical of Christ in his 3 capacities: Lev 8:12, as priest; 1Ki 19:16, as prophet; and 1Sa 16:1, as king.

1Sa 16:2

SAUL WILL HEAR ABOUT IT AND KILL ME: Samuel's fear of Saul. Cp Jeremiah's fear (Jer 1:6), Moses' fear (Exo 4:1).

1Sa 16:4

THE ELDERS OF THE TOWN TREMBLED WHEN THEY MET HIM: Cp the shepherds, also of Bethlehem, who feared at the appearance of the great light (Mat 2).

1Sa 16:5

Like the messengers who appeared to the shepherds of Bethlehem, Samuel reassures them: a mission of peace, a special son, a king, a sacrifice!

THE SACRIFICE: Sacrifice was still offered in various places in Israel, before the centralization of worship in temple of Solomon.

1Sa 16:7

OR HIS HEIGHT: Cp 1Sa 17:4.

MAN LOOKS AT THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT THE LORD LOOKS AT THE HEART: "Have you checked the labels on your grocery items lately? You may be getting less than you thought. According to USNWR, some manufacturers are selling us the same size packages we are accustomed to, but they are putting less of the product in the box. For example, a box of well-known detergent that once held 61 ounces now contains only 55. Same size box, less soap.

How something is wrapped doesn't always show us what's on the inside. That's true with people as well. We can wrap ourselves up in the same packaging every day -- nice clothes, big smile, friendly demeanor -- yet still be less than what we appear to be."

1Sa 16:10

SEVEN OF HIS SONS: Thus David is the 8th son (cp 1Sa 17:12). 8 = a new beginning. His genealogy in Rth 4:18-22. (David is also refd to as 7th son: 1Ch 2:15.)

1Sa 16:11

HE IS TENDING THE SHEEP: Even before his name is revealed, David is described as a shepherd! "Unlike many occupations of the twentieth century, that of being a shepherd in the chosen land gave scope for the mind which wished to worship God and to keep itself unsullied by the world without. Even so, the will of God brought David from the pastoral peace of the sheepfold into the world of men. This was essential for that development of character which has endeared David to generations of followers of the call of God. It is impossible for most of us to spend our days in the hills around some quiet village. Our lot is cast in meeting people and situations, in making the daily choice between this world and the next, in living a whole life in a fragmented world. The fact that David passed from quiet pastures and still waters into the tumult of wars and fightings has rendered him the companion of all of us" (TMD 24). Like Moses, David was another shepherd hidden in the wilderness, unknown to the public eye, until the time for his work to begin. Other shepherds: Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. "Feed my sheep" (Joh 21; cp 1Pe 5:2).

1Sa 16:12

"My lover is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand... His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem" (Song 5:10,16). Typical of Christ.

1Sa 16:13

3 anointings of David: privately, at Bethlehem; next, by men of Judah (2Sa 2:4); and finally, by elders of Israel (2Sa 5:3).

1Sa 16:14

While David received the Spirit (v 13), Saul lost the Spirit.

AN EVIL SPIRIT FROM THE LORD TORMENTED HIM: "No man needs a heavier chastisement from God than the letting loose of his own passions upon him." God gives men over to their own sins and lusts (Rom 1:28; 2Th 2:11).

1Sa 16:22

"He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend" (Pro 22:11).

1Sa 16:23

DAVID WOULD TAKE HIS HARP AND PLAY: Prob also singing sacred pss he had composed. David grows in favor with God and man (cp Luk 2:52). From sheepfold to throne room (Psa 23) -- the providence of God. The anointed king, David, came as a servant (cp Phi 2:5-10). In capacity of servant, David may observe royal court, see its corruption, and learn its needs.

Previous Index Next