1 Samuel 16:12
And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
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1 Samuel 16:12-13. The Lord said, &c. — Spoke secretly by his Spirit to Samuel’s heart; for it is not probable that any audible voice was uttered. Samuel anointed him in the midst of his brethren — This is a perfectly literal translation of the Hebrew, confirmed by the Seventy; and the words seem evidently to imply that he was anointed publicly among his brethren. But though they saw his unction, it is probable they had no idea that he was anointed to the kingdom, but were only told by Samuel that it was to some great service, which they should be informed of hereafter. Samuel certainly was afraid to have it known at present that he was anointed to be king, and therefore would not tell it out among his brethren. And by Eliab’s treatment of David after this, (1 Samuel 17:28,) it appears that he did not know him to be the king elect of God’s people. Thus Jesse only and David understood the whole business; but his brethren would be able to bear witness to the fact of Samuel’s anointing him, which, with other collateral evidences, would be abundantly sufficient to prove David’s right to the kingdom, if need should be. Dr. Waterland proposes to translate the words, from the midst, instead of in the midst; but Houbigant approves of our reading, and thinks the anointing was made publicly, as has just been stated, but that Samuel did not signify, unless to Jesse, the purpose for which he was anointed. The Spirit of the Lord came upon David, &c. — That is, he was immediately endowed with extraordinary gifts of God’s Spirit, as strength, and courage, and wisdom, and other excellent qualities, which prepared him for, and excited him to, noble attempts.

16:6-13 It was strange that Samuel, who had been so disappointed in Saul, whose countenance and stature recommended him, should judge of another man by that rule. We can tell how men look, but God can tell what they are. He judges of men by the heart. We often form a mistaken judgment of characters; but the Lord values only the faith, fear, and love, which are planted in the heart, beyond human discernment. And God does not favour our children according to our fond partiality, but often most honours and blesses those who have been least regarded. David at length was pitched upon. He was the youngest of the sons of Jesse; his name signifies Beloved; he was a type of God's beloved Son. It should seem, David was least set by of all the sons of Jesse. But the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. His anointing was not an empty ceremony, a Divine power went with that instituted sign; he found himself advanced in wisdom and courage, with all the qualifications of a prince, though not advanced in his outward circumstances. This would satisfy him that his election was of God. The best evidence of our being predestinated to the kingdom of glory, is, our being sealed with the Spirit of promise, and experience of a work of grace in our hearts.We will not sit down ... - . literally, we will not turn round to sit at the table. 12. he was ruddy, &c.—Josephus says that David was ten, while most modern commentators are of the opinion that he must have been fifteen years of age. He was ruddy; which may be referred either to the colour of his hair; or rather, to the complexion of his face.

Goodly to look to; of a comely but masculine and majestic aspect.

And he sent and brought him in,.... Sent messengers into the field and to the flock for him, and being come home Jesse introduced him into the room where Samuel was:

now he was ruddy; which some understand not of the ruddiness of his complexion, or of his cheeks, but of the redness of his hair; the former seems best:

and withal of a beautiful countenance; of comely features: or "beautiful eyes" (e); bright, clear, and sparkling; eyes that are black or blue are reckoned beautiful:

and goodly to look to; of a pleasant countenance, delightful to behold; he carried sweetness as well as majesty in his face; in this he was a type of Christ, Sol 5:10. A beautiful aspect, as well as shape and height, recommended persons for government, as with the Ethiopians, as Aristotle (f) relates; so Agamemnon is represented by Priamus (g) for his personable appearance, as like a king, and fit to be one:

and the Lord said, arise, anoint him, for this is he; that he had spoken to him of, and who it was his pleasure should be anointed king; and therefore, by a secret strong impulse upon his mind, was put upon doing it immediately, without any hesitation or delay.

(e) "simul pulcher oculis", Montanus; "cum pulchritudine oculorum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (f) Politic. l. 4. c. 4. (g) Homer. Iliad. 3. v. 166.

And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
12. ruddy] The word denotes the red hair and fair skin which are regarded as a mark of beauty in southern countries, where the hair and complexion are generally dark.

of a beautiful countenance, &c.] Lit. “beautiful-eyed and goodly in appearance.” Compare the description of Joseph (Genesis 39:6), and Moses (Exodus 2:2; Acts 7:20, where compare the Gk. ἀστεῖος τῷ Θεῷ with the Sept. here, ἀγαθὸς ὁράσει Κυρίῳ).

1 Samuel 16:12When David arrived, - and he was ruddy, also of beautiful eyes and good looks (אדמוני, used to denote the reddish colour of the hair, which was regarded as a mark of beauty in southern lands, where the hair is generally black. עם is an adverb here equals therewith), and therefore, so far as his looks and figure were concerned, well fitted, notwithstanding his youth, for the office to which the Lord had chosen him, since corporeal beauty was one of the outward distinctions of a king, - the Lord pointed him out to the prophet as the chosen one; whereupon he anointed him in the midst of his brethren. Along with the anointing the Spirit of Jehovah came upon David from that day forward. But Samuel returned to Ramah when the sacrificial meal was over. There is nothing recorded concerning any words of Samuel to David at the time of the anointing and in explanation of its meaning, as in the case of Saul (1 Samuel 10:1). In all probability Samuel said nothing at the time, since, according to 1 Samuel 16:2, he had good reason for keeping the matter secret, not only on his own account, but still more for David's sake; so that even the brethren of David who were present knew nothing about the meaning and object of the anointing, but may have imagined that Samuel merely intended to consecrate David as a pupil of the prophets. At the same time, we can hardly suppose that Samuel left Jesse, and even David, in uncertainty as to the object of his mission, and of the anointing which he had performed. He may have communicated all this to both of them, without letting the other sons know. It by no means follows, that because David remained with his father and kept the sheep as before, therefore his calling to be king must have been unknown to him; but only that in the anointing which he had received he did not discern either the necessity or obligation to appear openly as the anointed of the Lord, and that after receiving the Spirit of the Lord in consequence of the anointing, he left the further development of the matter to the Lord in childlike submission, assured that He would prepare and show him the way to the throne in His own good time.
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