Why Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, Send me David your son, which is with the sheep.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Judges 14:6, Judges 14:19; Judges 15:14, under the same supernatural influence, and was probably more or less known. 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.Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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. 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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