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One Samuel Sixteen

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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1 Samuel 16:1 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.

1 Samuel 16:2 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.

1 Samuel 16:3 And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.

1 Samuel 16:4 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?

1 Samuel 16:5 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.

1 Samuel 16:6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him.

1 Samuel 16:7 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.

outward appearance. God's method is clearly not that commonly followed by either pulpit committees or political parties, but it works better!

1 Samuel 16:8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.

1 Samuel 16:9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.

1 Samuel 16:10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.

seven of his sons. Only six brothers of David are listed in 1 Chronicles 2:13-15. Presumably one of them must have died without children and was not included in the genealogical records.

1 Samuel 16:11 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.

1 Samuel 16:12 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.

1 Samuel 16:13 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.

Spirit of the Lord. See note on 1 Samuel 16:14. The Spirit of the Lord also had come on Othniel (Judges 3:10, Jephthah (Judges 11:29), and Samson (Judges 13:25), but these were all merely temporary enablings for specific accomplishments.

came upon David. This is the first time David is mentioned by name, but his name (meaning “beloved”) is mentioned more in the Bible than that of Moses or Abraham or any other Old Testament personage. His biography occupies sixty-two chapters, more than that of anyone else except Jesus Christ.

1 Samuel 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

departed from Saul. In the old dispensation, the Holy Spirit evidently came and went from believers in accord with God's purpose and their obedience to His leading. Now, however, according to Christ's promise: “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; ... for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16, 17).

evil spirit. It seems strange that God would send an “evil spirit” to trouble Saul. Even though such evil spirits have evidently followed Satan in his rebellion against God, and now have become the fallen “angels that sinned” (2 Peter 2:4) or “the devils” (i.e., “demons” in Matthew 8:31), God can still control them when He so wills, and use them to fulfill His purposes. Compare also the “lying spirit” sent by the Lord to “persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead” (1 Kings 22:20-23).

1 Samuel 16:15 And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

1 Samuel 16:16 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.

1 Samuel 16:17 And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me.

1 Samuel 16:18 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.

1 Samuel 16:19 Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.

1 Samuel 16:20 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.

1 Samuel 16:21 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer.

1 Samuel 16:22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight.

1 Samuel 16:23 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.