Larry Hunt's Bible Commentary

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I Samuel 16

Chapter 16

 

v. 4:  Nobody has acted this way toward Samuel so far in the book, so I wonder why they are afraid?  Perhaps word of Samuel’s displeasure with Saul and of his “hewing to pieces” of Agag has made them fearful.

 

v. 21:  Barnes believes that the sentiment expressed in these words (vs. 21-23) should come chronologically after the episode with Goliath but that they are placed here (before the Goliath episode) because they are a fitting cap to this initial meeting of David and Saul.  They describe the working relationship of David and Saul, which began with the story here in chapter sixteen and developed further in the Goliath episode in chapter seventeen.  Barnes then explains Saul’s confusion over David’s identity in chapter seventeen by saying that Saul may not have recognized David if David had only played for him a couple of times and then returned to watch his father’s sheep.  This seems like a reasonable explanation to me, especially when one considers that Saul was not in his right mind when David played for him.  Nevertheless, I disagree with Barnes since 18:1 says, “When he [David] had finished speaking to Saul,” thus linking the end of the Goliath story to 18:2 (see notes there), which says that “Saul took him [David] that day and would not let him go home to his father’s house anymore.”  This should place the events concerning David in chapter sixteen chronologically before the Goliath episode because in chapter sixteen David is called from his father’s house.     

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