1 Samuel 17:15
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father's sheep at Bethlehem.

New Living Translation
but David went back and forth so he could help his father with the sheep in Bethlehem.

English Standard Version
but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.

New American Standard Bible
but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father's flock at Bethlehem.

King James Bible
But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.

Christian Standard Bible
but David kept going back and forth from Saul to tend his father's flock in Bethlehem.

Contemporary English Version
He took care of his father's sheep, and he went back and forth between Bethlehem and Saul's camp.

Good News Translation
David would go back to Bethlehem from time to time, to take care of his father's sheep.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
but David kept going back and forth from Saul to tend his father's flock in Bethlehem.

International Standard Version
And David would go back and forth from Saul to tend his father's sheep in Bethlehem.

NET Bible
David was going back and forth from Saul in order to care for his father's sheep in Bethlehem.

New Heart English Bible
Now David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
David went back and forth from Saul's camp to Bethlehem, where he tended his father's flock.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Now David went to and fro from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Beth-lehem.--

New American Standard 1977
but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s flock at Bethlehem.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But David had gone and returned from being with Saul to feed his father's sheep in Bethlehem.

King James 2000 Bible
But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.

American King James Version
But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.

American Standard Version
Now David went to and fro from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Beth-lehem.

Douay-Rheims Bible
David went, and returned from Saul, to feed his father's flock at Bethlehem.

Darby Bible Translation
But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.

English Revised Version
Now David went to and fro from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Beth-lehem.

Webster's Bible Translation
But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Beth-lehem.

World English Bible
Now David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.

Young's Literal Translation
and David is going and returning from Saul, to feed the flock of his father at Beth-Lehem.
Study Bible
Jesse Sends David
14David was the youngest. Now the three oldest followed Saul, 15but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father's flock at Bethlehem. 16The Philistine came forward morning and evening for forty days and took his stand.…
Cross References
1 Samuel 16:11
And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are these all the children?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep." Then Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here."

1 Samuel 16:19
So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, "Send me your son David who is with the flock."

1 Samuel 16:21
Then David came to Saul and attended him; and Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor bearer.

1 Samuel 17:16
The Philistine came forward morning and evening for forty days and took his stand.

1 Samuel 18:2
Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father's house.
Treasury of Scripture

But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.

returned

1 Samuel 16:11,19-23 And Samuel said to Jesse, Are here all your children? And he said, …

(15) Returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep.--This short statement was, no doubt, introduced by the compiler of the First Book of Samuel to show that, in spite of this apparent introduction of David into the history for the first time in this chapter (see 1Samuel 17:12 and following verses), and the inquiry of King Saul from Abner respecting the young hero's father (see 1Samuel 17:55-58), he, the compiler, was perfectly aware that David had already visited the court of Saul in the capacity of a musician (see 1Samuel 16:18-23). As has been already suggested, these historical books of the Old Testament are, no doubt, made up from contemporaneous documents, stored up most probably in one or other of the prophetic schools. It is, therefore, to be expected that certain facts will be found occasionally repeated. The circumstances connected with the healing influence of the music of David in the case of the soul malady of King Saul were of course preserved with great care and detail in these "schools," where music and poetry were so highly cultivated and esteemed. We have here many of the very words of the original narrative preserved to us. Similarly the story of the first exploit of David is incorporated in the history probably unchanged. Each of these ancient and favourite "memories" of David, as being complete in themselves, would of course contain some of the same details.

The apparent ignorance of Saul and Abner respecting the young shepherd's family will be discussed in the note on 1Samuel 17:55-58.

Verse 15. - David went and returned from Saul. This is a very important statement, as it shows that the writer, in spite of what is said in vers. 55-58, knew that David had visited Saul at his court, and become personally known to him. Apparently it had been but a short visit, possibly because after the fit of melancholy had passed away there was no return of it for the present; and if David had been back at Bethlehem for two or three years, a young man changes so much in appearance at David's time of life that it is no wonder that neither Saul nor Abner recognised him in his shepherd's dress. For some reason, then, or other David had not remained with Saul at Gibeah, but had resumed his pastoral life at Bethlehem, and the statements made in 1 Samuel 16:21-23 belong to the time immediately after the combat with Goliath, and not before. But David went, and returned from Saul,.... Or "from above Saul"; Josephus (u) says, the physicians of Saul advised to get a man to stand , "over his head", and sing psalms and hymns to him; and Saul being recovered from his frenzy and melancholy, by means of David's music, he was dismissed from him, or had leave to go home, or he returned upon Saul's taking the field; though one would think, if he was now his armourbearer, he would have gone with him, see 1 Samuel 16:21. It seems that when he was called to the court of Saul, that he did not continue there, but was going and coming, was there at certain times when Saul wanted him; and so when in the camp he might go and return as there was occasion for it:

to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem; for though he was anointed king, and was called to court, yet such was his humility, that he condescended to attend this employment of keeping sheep; and though Jesse knew all this, yet he kept him at home to this business, when it might be more reasonably thought he would have lain in the way of preferment, had he followed Saul to the camp, and appeared in the army; but he chose to leave things to the providence of God to work the way for him, and by which he was directed to take the following step, though perhaps without any design to his son's future promotion.

(u) Antiqu. l. 6. c. 8. sect. 2.17:12-30 Jesse little thought of sending his son to the army at that critical juncture; but the wise God orders actions and affairs, so as to serve his designs. In times of general formality and lukewarmness, every degree of zeal which implies readiness to go further, or to venture more in the cause of God than others, will be blamed as pride and ambition, and by none more than by near relations, like Eliab, or negligent superiors. It was a trial of David's meekness, patience, and constancy. He had right and reason on his side, and did not render railing for railing; with a soft answer he turned away his brother's wrath. This conquest of his own passion was more honourable than that of Goliath. Those who undertake great and public services, must not think it strange if they are spoken ill of, and opposed by those from whom they expect support and assistance. They must humbly go on with their work, in the face not only of enemies' threats, but of friends' slights and suspicions.
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OT History: 1 Samuel 17:15 Now David went back and forth (1Sa iSam 1 Sam i sa) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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