|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 21-23. - David came to Saul, and stood before him. The latter phrase means, "became one of his regular attendants." This, and his being appointed one of Saul's armour bearers, happened only after the lapse of some time. The armour bearer, like the esquire in the middle ages, had to carry his lord's lance, and sword, and shield, and was always a tried soldier, and one whom the king trusted. It was apparently after the combat with Goliath that Saul sent to Jesse, and asked that David might be always with him; and until his jealousy burst forth David was very dear to him, and his music exercised a soothing influence upon his melancholy. At first, probably, these fits of insanity came upon Saul only at distant intervals, but afterwards more frequently, and with such loss of self-control that he more than once tried to murder David, and even Jonathan, his own son. We have, then, here a summary of the relations of Saul to David until the unfortunate day when the king heard the women ascribe to the youthful soldier the higher honor (1 Samuel 18:7); and thenceforward these friendly feelings gave way to a growing dislike which deprived Saul of a faithful servant, and finally cost him his crown and life on Mount Gilboa.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And David came to Saul, and stood before him,.... As a servant, and ministered to him in the way, and for the purpose for which he was sent:
and he loved him greatly; being a comely person, and a well behaved youth, and especially as he was serviceable to him with his music, in driving away melancholy from him:
and he became his armourbearer; that is, he appointed him to this office, though we never read that he exercised it; nor did he go with Saul in this capacity to the battle related in the following chapter: it may be literally rendered: "and he was to him a bearer of vessels", or "instruments" (q); and Abarbinel thinks this is to be understood not of instruments of war, but of instruments of music to play with; which he brought in and bare before him when he went in to the king.
(q) "et fuit ei ferens vasa", Montanus; "ferens instrumenta", Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
21. David came to Saul—Providence thus prepared David for his destiny, by placing him in a way to become acquainted with the manners of the court, the business of government, and the general state of the kingdom.
became his armour-bearer—This choice, as being an expression of the king's partiality, shows how honorable the office was held to be.
1 Samuel 16:21 Parallel Commentaries
1 Samuel 16:21 NIV
1 Samuel 16:21 NLT
1 Samuel 16:21 ESV
1 Samuel 16:21 NASB
1 Samuel 16:21 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible