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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

1 Samuel 16



1Samuel sent by God, under pretence of a sacrifice, comes to Beth-lehem.
6His human judgment is reproved.
11He anoints David.
15Saul sends for David to quiet his evil spirit.

Verse 1
And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.
A. M. 2941. B.C. 1063. An. Ex. Is. 428. How long
15:11,35; Jeremiah 7:16; 11:14
15,23; 13:13,14; 15:23,26; Jeremiah 6:30; 14:11,12; 15:1; 1 John 5:16
horn with oil
9:16; 10:1; 2 Kings 9:1,3,6
13:14; Genesis 49:8-10; Ruth 4:18-22; 1 Chronicles 2:10-15; Psalms 78:68-71; 89:19,20; Isaiah 11:1,10; 55:4; Acts 13:21,22; Romans 15:12

Verse 2
And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.
How can I go
Exodus 3:11; 1 Kings 18:9-14; Matthew 10:16; Luke 1:34
Take an heifer
For the prudent management of the affair, and to avoid suspicion, Samuel was directed to go to Bethlehem to sacrifice, as he probably did from time to time in many different places; and the answer which he was instructed to return was strictly true though he did not tell the principal design of his coming; for though no man in any circumstances should tell a lie, yet, in all circumstances, he is not bound to tell the whole truth, though he must tell nothing but the truth, and so tell that truth that the hearer shall not believe a lie by it.
with thee
Heb. in thine hand.
I am come
9:12; 20:29; Jeremiah 38:26,27

Verse 3
And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.
call Jesse
9:12,13; 2 Samuel 15:11; Matthew 22:1-4
and I will shew
Exodus 4:15; Acts 9:6
12,13; 9:16; Deuteronomy 17:14

Verse 4
And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?
21:1; 2 Samuel 6:9; 1 Kings 17:18; Hosea 6:5; 11:10; Luke 5:8; 8:37
Heb. meeting. Comest.
1 Kings 2:13; 2 Kings 9:22; 1 Chronicles 12:17,18

Verse 5
And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
sanctify yourselves
Exodus 19:10,14,15; Leviticus 20:7,8; Numbers 11:8; Joshua 3:5; 7:13; 2 Chronicles 30:17-20; Job 1:5; Psalms 26:2-6; Joel 2:16; 1 Corinthians 11:28

Verse 6
And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him.
17:13,22; 1 Chronicles 2:13; 27:18
Judges 8:18; 1 Kings 12:26

Verse 7
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
Look not
9:2; 10:23,24; 2 Samuel 14:25; Psalms 147:10,11; Proverbs 31:30
seeth not
Job 10:4; Isaiah 55:8,9; Luke 16:15; 1 Peter 2:4; 3:4
John 7:24; 2 Corinthians 10:7,10
outward appearance
Heb. eyes. on the heart.
1 Kings 8:39; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 16:9; Psalms 7:9; 139:2; Proverbs 15:11; 16:2; Jeremiah 11:20; 17:10; 20:12; Acts 1:24; Hebrews 4:13; Revelation 2:23

Verse 8
Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
17:13; 1 Chronicles 2:13

Verse 9
Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
17:13; 2 Samuel 13:3
1 Chronicles 2:13

Verse 10
Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.
1 Chronicles 2:13-15

Verse 11
And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
There remaineth
17:12-15,28; 2 Samuel 7:8; 1 Chronicles 17:7; Psalms 78:70,71
Heb. round.

Verse 12
And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
17:42; Song of Solomon 5:10; Lamentations 4:7; Acts 7:20; Hebrews 11:23
of a beautiful countenance
Heb. fair of eyes.
And the Lord
anoint him
Psalms 2:2,6; 89:19,20; Acts 4:27

Verse 13
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
10:1; 2 Kings 9:6
the Spirit
18; 10:6,9,10; Numbers 11:17; 27:18; Judges 3:10; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6; Isaiah 11:1-3; John 3:34; Hebrews 1:9

Verse 14
But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
the Spirit
11:6; 18:12; 28:15; Judges 16:29; Psalms 51:11; Hosea 9:12
evil spirit
The evil spirit was either sent immediately from the Lord, or permitted to come; but whether this was a diabolic possession, or a mere mental malady, is not agreed: it seems to have partaken of both. That Saul had fallen into a deep melancholy, there is little doubt; and that an evil spirit might work more effectually on such a state of mind, there can be little question. His malady appears to have been of a mixed kind, natural and diabolical: there is too much of apparent nature in it to permit us to believe it was all spiritual; and there is too much of apparently supernatural influence, to suffer us to believe it was all natural.
18:10; 19:9,10; Judges 9:23; 1 Kings 22:22; Acts 19:15,16
or, terrified.

Verse 16
Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.
before thee
21,22; Genesis 41:46; 1 Kings 10:8
23; 10:5; 2 Kings 3:15

Verse 18
Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him.
a mighty
17:32-36; 2 Samuel 17:8,10
and prudent
2 Samuel 14:20
or, speech. a comely.
the Lord
3:19; 10:7; 18:12-14; Genesis 39:2,23; Matthew 1:23; 28:20

Verse 19
Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.
with the sheep
11; 17:15,33,34; Exodus 3:1-10; 1 Kings 19:19; Psalms 78:70-72; 113:8; Amos 1:1; 7:14,15; Matthew 4:18-22

Verse 20
And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul.
an ass laden
Chamor lechem, literally, "an ass of bread," rendered by the LXX. [gomor arton] a gomor of bread; meaning, probably, not an animal, but a vessel containing a certain measure of bread.
10:27; 17:18; 25:18; Genesis 43:11; 2 Samuel 16:1,2; Proverbs 18:16

Verse 21
And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer.
stood before him
Genesis 41:46; Deuteronomy 1:38; 10:8; 1 Kings 10:8; Proverbs 22:29
loved him
Psalms 62:9; 118:9; 146:3

Verse 23
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
the evil spirit
18:10,11; Matthew 12:43-45; Luke 11:24-26


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

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

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