1 Samuel 16:19
Why Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, Send me David your son, which is with the sheep.
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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.A mighty valiant man ... - David's reputation for courage, skill, discretion, and manly beauty, was already great. Since "the Spirit of the Lord came upon him," his natural qualities and powers had been greatly enhanced. His feat of killing the lion and the bear (see the marginal references) had been performed, like Samson's feats of strength Judges 14:6, Judges 14:19; Judges 15:14, under the same supernatural influence, and was probably more or less known. 19. Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David—In the East the command of a king is imperative; and Jesse, however reluctant and alarmed, had no alternative but to comply. No text from Poole on this verse. Wherefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse,.... For David; not choosing to take him without his leave, though Samuel suggests that kings would do so, 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.

(n) De Vita Mosis, l. 1. p. 610. (o) "Pascebatque suas", &c. Ovid. Fast. l. 1.((p) Coluthi Raptus Helenae, v. 71, 101.

Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.
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. When 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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