1 Samuel 17:55
New International Version
As Saul watched David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, "Abner, whose son is that young man?" Abner replied, "As surely as you live, Your Majesty, I don't know."

New Living Translation
As Saul watched David go out to fight the Philistine, he asked Abner, the commander of his army, "Abner, whose son is this young man?" "I really don't know," Abner declared.

English Standard Version
As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.”

Berean Study Bible
As Saul had watched David going out to confront the Philistine, he said to Abner the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this young man?” “As surely as you live, O king,” Abner replied, “I do not know.”

New American Standard Bible
Now when Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner the commander of the army, "Abner, whose son is this young man?" And Abner said, "By your life, O king, I do not know."

King James Bible
And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.

Christian Standard Bible
When Saul had seen David going out to confront the Philistine, he asked Abner the commander of the army, "Whose son is this youth, Abner?" "Your Majesty, as surely as you live, I don't know," Abner replied.

Contemporary English Version
After King Saul had watched David go out to fight Goliath, Saul turned to the commander of his army and said, "Abner, who is that young man?" "Your Majesty," Abner answered, "I swear by your life that I don't know."

Good News Translation
When Saul saw David going out to fight Goliath, he asked Abner, the commander of his army, "Abner, whose son is he?" "I have no idea, Your Majesty," Abner answered.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When Saul had seen David going out to confront the Philistine, he asked Abner the commander of the army, "Whose son is this youth, Abner?" "My king, as surely as you live, I don't know," Abner replied.

International Standard Version
When Saul saw David going out to meet the Philistine, he asked Abner, the commander of the army, "Whose son is this young man, Abner?" Abner said, "As surely as you live, your majesty, I don't know."

NET Bible
Now as Saul watched David going out to fight the Philistine, he asked Abner, the general in command of the army, "Whose son is this young man, Abner?" Abner replied, "As surely as you live, O king, I don't know."

New Heart English Bible
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 can't tell."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
As Saul watched David going out against the Philistine, he asked Abner, the commander of the army, "Abner, whose son is this young man?" Abner answered, "I solemnly swear, as you live, Your Majesty, I don't know."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host: 'Abner, whose son is this youth?' And Abner said: 'As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.'

New American Standard 1977
Now when Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this young man?” And Abner said, “By your life, O king, I do not know.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul lives, O king, I cannot tell.

King James 2000 Bible
And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the commander of the army, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As your soul lives, O king, I cannot tell.

American King James Version
And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As your soul lives, O king, I cannot tell.

American Standard Version
And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now at the time that Saul saw David going out against the Philistines, he said to Abner the captain of the army: Of what family is this young man descended, Abner? And Abner said: As thy soul liveth, O king, I know not.

Darby Bible Translation
And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this young man? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.

English Revised Version
And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.

Webster's Bible Translation
And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said to Abner the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.

World English Bible
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 can't tell."

Young's Literal Translation
And when Saul seeth David going out to meet the Philistine, he hath said unto Abner, head of the host, 'Whose son is this -- the youth, Abner?' and Abner saith, 'Thy soul liveth, O king, I have not known.'
Study Bible
David Slays Goliath
54David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put Goliath’s weapons in his own tent. 55As Saul had watched David going out to confront the Philistine, he said to Abner the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this young man?” “As surely as you live, O king,” Abner replied, “I do not know.” 56“Find out whose son this young man is!” said the king.…
Cross References
Genesis 42:15
And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here.

1 Samuel 16:12
So Jesse sent for his youngest son and brought him in. He was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him, for he is the one."

1 Samuel 16:21
When David came to Saul and entered his service, Saul admired him greatly, and David became his armor-bearer.

1 Samuel 17:54
David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put Goliath's weapons in his own tent.

1 Samuel 17:56
"Find out whose son this young man is!" said the king.

1 Samuel 26:5
Then David set out and went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw the place where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the general of his army, had lain down. Saul was lying inside the inner circle of the camp, with the troops camped around him.

Treasury of Scripture

And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As your soul lives, O king, I cannot tell.

whose son

1 Samuel 17:58
And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.

1 Samuel 16:21,22
And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer…







Lexicon
As Saul
שָׁא֜וּל (šā·’ūl)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7586: Saul -- first king of Israel, also an Edomite and two Israelites

had watched
וְכִרְא֨וֹת (wə·ḵir·’ō·wṯ)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-k | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 7200: To see

David
דָּוִ֗ד (dā·wiḏ)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1732: David -- perhaps 'beloved one', a son of Jesse

going out
יֹצֵא֙ (yō·ṣê)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3318: To go, bring, out, direct and proxim

to confront
לִקְרַ֣את (liq·raṯ)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 7122: To encounter, befall

the Philistine,
הַפְּלִשְׁתִּ֔י (hap·pə·liš·tî)
Article | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6430: Philistines -- inhabitants of Philistia

he said
אָמַ֗ר (’ā·mar)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

to
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 413: Near, with, among, to

Abner
אַבְנֵר֙ (’aḇ·nêr)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 74: Abner -- 'my father is a lamp', an Israelite name

the commander
שַׂ֣ר (śar)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 8269: Chieftain, chief, ruler, official, captain, prince

of the army,
הַצָּבָ֔א (haṣ·ṣā·ḇā)
Article | Noun - common singular
Strong's Hebrew 6635: A mass of persons, reg, organized for, war, a campaign

“Abner,
אַבְנֵ֑ר (’aḇ·nêr)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 74: Abner -- 'my father is a lamp', an Israelite name

whose
מִי־ (mî-)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4310: Who?, whoever, in oblique construction with prefix, suffix

son
בֶּן־ (ben-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 1121: A son

is this
זֶ֥ה (zeh)
Pronoun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2088: This, that

young man?”
הַנַּ֖עַר (han·na·‘ar)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5288: A boy, lad, youth, retainer

“As surely as you
נַפְשְׁךָ֥ (nap̄·šə·ḵā)
Noun - feminine singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5315: A soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion

live,
חֵֽי־ (ḥê-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 2416: Alive, raw, fresh, strong, life

O king,”
הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ (ham·me·leḵ)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4428: A king

Abner
אַבְנֵ֔ר (’aḇ·nêr)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 74: Abner -- 'my father is a lamp', an Israelite name

replied,
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר (way·yō·mer)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

“I do not
אִם־ (’im-)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 518: Lo!, whether?, if, although, Oh that!, when, not

know.”
יָדָֽעְתִּי׃ (yā·ḏā·‘ə·tî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 3045: To know
(55) Whose son is this youth?--A grave difficulty, at first sight, indisputably exists here. It is briefly this. In the preceding chapter (1Samuel 17:18-23), David, the son of Jesse, is chosen to play before the mentally sick king; his playing relieved the sufferer, who became attached to the young musician, and in consequence appointed him to a position about his person that certainly would have involved a lengthened, if not a continuous, residence at the court. In this and the following verses we read how this same David, at the time of his great exploit, was apparently unknown to the king and to Abner, the captain of the host. The LXX., fully conscious of the difficulty, determined to solve it by boldly, if not wisely, cutting the knot. They literally expunged from their version all the later passages which they could not easily bring into harmony with the earlier. The Greek Version, then, simply omits these four last verses of 1 Samuel 17, together with the first five verses of 1 Samuel 18, and the whole of the section 1Samuel 17:12-31.

Various ingenious explanations have been suggested by scholars.

(a) The mental state of Saul when David played before him was such that the king failed to recognise him on the present occasion, and Abner probably had never seen him before.

(b) Some length of time had elapsed since his last visit to the court, and as he was then in very early manhood, he had, so to speak, grown, in a comparatively speaking short space of time, out of Saul's memory.

(c) The purpose of Saul's inquiry was not to find out who David was--that he knew well already--but to ascertain the position and general circumstances of the young hero's father, as, according to the promise (in 1Samuel 17:25), in the event of his success (which evidently the king confidently looked for), the father of the champion and his family would receive extraordinary honours.

The real solution of the difficulty probably lies in the fact that, as has been before stated, this and the other historical books of the Old Testament were made up by the inspired compiler from well-authenticated traditions current in Israel, and most probably preserved in the archives of the great prophetic schools. (See Notes on 1Samuel 17:1; 1Samuel 17:15.) There were, no doubt, many of these traditions connected with the principal events of David's early career. Two here were selected which, to a certain extent, covered the same ground. The first--preserved, no doubt, in some prophetic school where music and poetry were especially cultivated--narrates the influence which David acquired over Saul through his great gift of music. The power of music and poetry in Saul's mental disease was evidently the great point of interest to the original writer of 1Samuel 16:14-23. Now, in the narrative contained in these ten verses no note of time occurs. The events related evidently were spread over a considerable, possibly over a very long, period. The afflicted king might have seen the young musician perhaps in a darkened tent once or twice before the Goliath combat, but the great intimacy described in 1Samuel 16:21-23, we may well assume, belonged to a period subsequent to the memorable combat with the giant.

Following out this hypothesis, we may with some confidence assume that King Saul failed entirely to recognise the young player whom he had only seen (possibly only heard in his darkened tent) on one or two sad occasions; and Abner probably had never seen him.

As for the great love on the part of the king, and position of royal armour-bearer these things we have little doubt came to David after the victory over the giant Philistine, and very likely indeed in consequence of it.

In the later of the two sections of the Goliath history, the compiler cared little for the musical detail; his work was to show that the foundation stone of David's brilliant and successful life was intense faith in the Jehovah of Israel, a perfect child-like trust in the power of the Invisible King.

In the former of the two sections the relater--no doubt in his day a famous teacher in some school of prophetic music--was, only concerned to show the mighty influence of his Divine art upon the souls and the lives of men, as exemplified in the story of the early days of the sweet Psalmist-King of Israel.

The musical details connected with the early life of David, the composer of so many of the famous hymns sung in the Tempie Service and also in the public gatherings of the people, would be--in the eyes of this writer--of the deepest interest to coming generations.

Verses 55-58. - Abner, whose son is this youth? Hebrew, "lad," na'ar. We have seen that the narrative in 1 Samuel 16:21-23 carries the history of David's relations with Saul down to a much later period, and that in ver. 15 of this chapter David is represented as not dwelling continuously at Saul's court, but as having returned to Bethlehem and resumed his pastoral occupations there, whence he would be summoned back in case of the recurrence of Saul's malady. It is plain from what is stated here that David had not thus far spent time enough at Gibeah to be personally well known either to Saul or his officers (see note on ver. 15). Stripling. Not na'ar, but alem, the masculine of the word almah, used in Isaiah 7:14. It means a young man fully grown, and arrived at the age to marry, and so is more definite than na'ar, which Saul uses in ver. 58. As David returned, etc. Abner, as captain of the host, would naturally watch the combat, and as soon as it was possible would bring the young warrior into the king's presence. But what is recorded here could have taken place only after the pursuit of the Philistines was over, and really these five verses should be united with ch. 17, as their object is to introduce the account of the love. of Jonathan for David. Starting then with the inquiry made by the king of Abner, asking for fuller information as to the young man's parentage, the historian then tells how after the chase he was brought before Saul, and then, in 1 Samuel 18:1, that the result of their conversation was the warm love that henceforward knit together these two kindred souls.



17:48-58 See how frail and uncertain life is, even when a man thinks himself best fortified; how quickly, how easily, and by how small a matter, the passage may be opened for life to go out, and death to enter! Let not the strong man glory in his strength, nor the armed man in his armour. God resists the proud, and pours contempt on those who defy him and his people. No one ever hardened his heart against God and prospered. The history is recorded, that all may exert themselves for the honour of God, and the support of his cause, with bold and unshaken reliance on him. There is one conflict in which all the followers of the Lamb are, and must be engaged; one enemy, more formidable than Goliath, still challenges the armies of Israel. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Go forth to battle with the faith of David, and the powers of darkness shall not stand against you. But how often is the Christian foiled through an evil heart of unbelief!
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Alphabetical: Abner against And army As By commander David do don't going he I is king know life live man meet not Now O of out Philistine replied said Saul saw son surely that the this to watched when whose you young your

OT History: 1 Samuel 17:55 When Saul saw David go forth against (1Sa iSam 1 Sam i sa) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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