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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

1 Samuel 16



Verses 1-23

David is anointed King over Israel

From 1 Samuel 16 on, the interest centres in David rather than in Saul.

1. Oil] probably consecrated oil for anointing.

2. If Saul hear it] Saul's action, recorded in 1 Samuel 22:18-19, shows that Samuel's fears were far from baseless. Say, I am come to sacrifice] Samuel was not asked to prevaricate. God relieved him of his difficulty by giving him a definite command.

4. Beth-lehem] originally Ephrath (Genesis 48:7), 5 m. S. of Jerusalem. Trembled] For Samuel had been wont to move from one town to another to punish offences (1 Samuel 7:16).

5. Sanctify yourselves] This was done by washing themselves and removing all ceremonial defilement. He sanctified Jesse and his sons] This gave Samuel an opportunity for private conversation.

6. Said] to himself, thought.

10. Again, Jesse made seven] RV simply, 'And Jesse made seven.' The sons already named are included in the seven.

11. We will not sit down] probably to the feast which followed the sacrifice: cp. 1 Samuel 9.

12. Ruddy] This colouring is much admired in the East where most are dark-skinned. Of a beautiful countenance] lit. 'fair of eyes.' In those hot countries bordering on the desert, multitudes are disfigured by ophthalmia, as was Leah (Genesis 29:17 RV).

13. In the midst of his brethren] Probably they thought Samuel had anointed him as his follower, or to become in time a prophet like himself.

13, 14. The Spirit of the Lord came upon David.. departed from Saul] The special grace conferred by anointing passed from the rejected Saul to the new king: cp. 1 Samuel 10:6.

15. An evil spirit from God] apparently a gloomy, suspicious melancholy bordering on madness. To the Hebrew, every visitation, alike of good and evil, is directly from Jehovah: cp. 1 Kings 22:22; Amos 3:6.

22. Stand before me] i.e. be one of my servants: cp. 1 Kings 10:8.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

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