Reading 80/341, 1 Samuel 16-17

We meet David today. There are three stories here. Looking at them logically, it seems that only one can be true, perhaps two. Samuel may have anointed David and no one ever heard about it, but if David was the armor-bearer and personal musician of Saul, it seems unlikely that Saul would have never heard of him. The people who put this book together realized that the stories contradicted each other, but they were unwilling to either drop one or to edit them together so that they made sense. This is a good indication of how the authors did history. The were faithful to their sources.
...1 Samuel...

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided me a king among his sons. Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do, and you shall anoint for me him whom I name for you.” Samuel did what the Lord said and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” He sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. It happened, when they had come, that he looked at Eliab, and said, “Surely the Lord's anointed is before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his face, or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him, for the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. He said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” He said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down until he comes here.” He sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had a beautiful face, and was handsome to look at. The Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily on David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. Saul's servants said to him, “See now, an evil spirit from God troubles you. Let our lord now command your servants who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp, and it shall happen, when the evil spirit from God is on you, that he shall play with his hand, and you shall be well.” Saul said to his servants, “Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.” Then answered one of the young men, saying, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, and a mighty man of valor, and a man of war, and prudent in speech, and a handsome person, and the Lord is with him.” Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.” Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid goat, and sent them by David his son to Saul. David came to Saul, and stood before him, and he loved him greatly, and he became his armor bearer. Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Please let David remain before me, for he has found favor in my sight.” It happened, when the evil spirit from God was on Saul, that David took the harp, and played with his hand, so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

Now the Philistines gathered together their armies for battle, and they were gathered together at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim. Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and encamped in the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. The Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, and there was a valley between them. There came out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span [9’6”]. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was clad with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. He had bronze shin armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze between his shoulders. The staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron, and his shield bearer went before him. He stood and shouted to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out in battle array? Am I not a Philistine? Are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and kill me, then will we be your servants, but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall you be our servants, and serve us.” The Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid. Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, whose name was Jesse, and he had eight sons, and the man was an old man in the days of Saul, advanced among men. The three eldest sons of Jesse had gone after Saul to the battle, and the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. David was the youngest, and the three eldest followed Saul. But David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem. The Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself for forty days.

Jesse said to David his son, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers, and bring these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers fare, and take some pledge from them.” Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him, and he came to the place of the wagons, as the army was going forth to the fight and shouted for the battle. Israel and the Philistines were in battle array, army against army. David left his baggage in the hand of the keeper of the baggage, and ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers. As he talked with them, behold, up came the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke the same words as before, and David heard him. All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were very afraid. The men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who is come up? Surely to defy Israel he has come up, and it shall be, that the man who kills him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel.” David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done to the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” The people answered him after this manner, saying, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.” Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men, and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the desert? I know your pride, and the naughtiness of your heart, for you have come down that you might see the battle.” David said, “What have I now done? Is there not a cause?” He turned away from him toward another, and spoke after the same manner, and the people answered him again after the former manner.

When the words were heard which David spoke, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. David said to Saul, “Let no man's heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” Saul said to David, You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” David said to Saul, “Your servant was keeping his father's sheep, and when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after him, and struck him, and delivered it out of his mouth, and when he arose against me, I caught him by his mane, and struck him, and killed him. Your servant struck both the lion and the bear, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing that he has defied the armies of the living God.” David said, “The Lord who delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord shall be with you.” Saul clad David with his clothing, and he put a helmet of bronze on his head, and he clad him with a coat of mail. David girded his sword on his clothing, and he tried to go, for he had not tested them. David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” David took them off. He took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in the shepherd's bag which he had, and his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine.

The Philistine came on and drew near to David, with his shield-bearer before him. When the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, and ruddy and with a fair face. The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” The Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky, and to the beasts of the field.” Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day will the Lord deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and take your head from off you, and I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky, and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand.” It happened, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried, and ran toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in his bag, and took there a stone, and slung it, and struck the Philistine in his forehead, and the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine, and killed him, though there was no sword in the hand of David. Then David ran, and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of its sheath, and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. The men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until Gath and to the gates of Ekron. The wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, to Gath, and to Ekron. The children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent. When Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I cannot tell.” The king said, “Inquire whose son the young man is.” As David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

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