|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:14-23 Saul is made a terror to himself. The Spirit of the Lord departed from him. If God and his grace do not rule us, sin and Satan will have possession of us. The devil, by the Divine permission, troubled and terrified Saul, by the corrupt humours of his body, and passions of his mind. He grew fretful, peevish, and discontented, and at times a madman. It is a pity that music, which may be serviceable to the good temper of the mind, should ever be abused, to support vanity and luxury, and made an occasion of drawing the heart from God and serious things. That is driving away the good Spirit, not the evil spirit. Music, diversions, company, or business, have for a time often been employed to quiet the wounded conscience; but nothing can effect a real cure but the blood of Christ, applied in faith, and the sanctifying Spirit sealing the pardon, by his holy comforts. All other plans to dispel religious melancholy are sure to add to distress, either in this world or the next.
Verses 19, 20. - Saul sent messengers to fetch David, the description of him as a brave soldier being even more to the king's liking (see 1 Samuel 14:52) than his skill in music. As a great man might not be approached without a present (1 Samuel 9:7; 1 Samuel 10:4), Jesse sends one consisting of produce from his farm. It consisted of an ass of bread - a strange expression; but there is little doubt that a word has been omitted, and that we should read, with the Syriac, "And Jesse took an ass, and laded it with bread, and a skin of wine, and a kid." It was not an ass laden with bread, as in the A.V., but all three things were placed upon the animal.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Wherefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse,.... For David; not choosing to take him without his leave, though Samuel suggests that kings would do so, 1 Samuel 8:11.
and said, send me David, thy son, which is with the sheep; he had learnt his name, and what was his employment; and which last he mentions not by way of contempt, it not being reckoned mean and despicable even in the sons of great personages, in those times and countries, to attend flocks and herds: so with the Arabs, as Philo (n) testifies, young men and maids of the most illustrious families fed cattle; and with the ancient Romans, the senator (o) fed his own sheep. Paris, son of Priamus, king of Troy, is said (p) to feed his father's oxen and sheep; and Saul himself had done the same; but to describe him particularly.
(n) De Vita Mosis, l. 1. p. 610. (o) "Pascebatque suas", &c. Ovid. Fast. l. 1.((p) Coluthi Raptus Helenae, v. 71, 101.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David—In the East the command of a king is imperative; and Jesse, however reluctant and alarmed, had no alternative but to comply.
1 Samuel 16:19 Parallel Commentaries
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