Did Saul know David before he fought Goliath?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Jesus Saves!, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Jesus Saves!

    Jesus Saves!
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    A friend I work with ask me this question. According to the beginning of 1 Samuel 17, you think he does, but toward the end of the Chapter, Saul is asking questions about him. Just curious to the thoughts of others. Thanks and may God Bless You All
     
  2. kyredneck

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    Hello JS! Welcome to the BB! Why don't you tell us something about yourself? I see you're from SE KY, I'm a Primitive Baptist from E Central KY. I liked your salvation statement in your profile.

    I don't see that it is clear that Saul knew David beforehand in that chapter; can you point it out?
     
  3. Jesus Saves!

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    I couldn't find a clear answer either. Just a little about myself. I'm blessed to be the assistant pastor at Blackmont Baptist Church. I also teach school and drive a bus. I'm very thankful that we have a merciful God. I turned the Lord away several times, but praise the Lord, he came by my way again and I gave my heart to him. I had made a confession before, but no change took place. But, when I came on God's conditions, just as I was, a poor lost beggar with nothing to offer but to lay down my life for him, He saved me. The great burden of sin was lifted off and I became a new creature in Jesus Christ.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    1 Samuel 16:17-23 indicates that Saul did know David since he was the only one who could calm Saul's spirit in his affliction and that David became his armor bearer which is a close relationship.

    Anyways the text in 1 Samuel 17 has nothing to indicate there wasn't an existing relationship or knowledge of David by Saul.
     
  5. Jesus Saves!

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    Thanks preachinJesus! It pays to read before and after in the scripture. Here is what was confusing us from Chpt. 17: 56 And the king said, Enquire thou whose son the stripling [is].

    57 And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.

    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.

    Do you think maybe since David had been keeping the sheep for awhile, he had grown older and more mature and he didn't recognize him at the time of the battle?
     
  6. kyredneck

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    So what do you make of the seeming discrepancy? It appears to me that Saul was after verification of whose son David really was, not who David was [17:55, 56,58].
     
  7. kyredneck

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    Hey JS, thanks for the intro. I lived between Coldiron and Wallins with my Dad on a construction job on Hwy #119 many years ago. There's some big hills down that way.

    I think there is a huge type presented to us here with the enmity between Saul and David, and it's antitype being the Pharisees/apostate Judaism vs. Christ/early Church.

    I believe there are types/allegories/similes to be found in all the firsts vs, seconds.
     
    #7 kyredneck, Sep 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2011
  8. preachinjesus

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    I don't try to handle it as a discrepancy, rather I point out that the narrative is without dating. Given the author's(') indication that David was moving between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and that as a court musician, Saul probably didn't keep up with who was around him.

    From the earlier text (1 Sam 16) to here the relationship could have been like an aid within the White House who the President sorta knows but not really. Then after the huge military victory suddenly Saul needs to know David. :)
     
  9. kyredneck

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    Thanks, good points. I've kinda thought along those lines also, especially as a President knowing an aid. But note, I said 'seeming' descepancy. :)
     
  10. Jesus Saves!

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    Kyredneck, I actually live only about 10 minutes from Coldiron. I live on hwy 72 off of 119. I don't believe there is really a discrepency. I believe God's word lines up all through the Bible. Just a question I guess to cause us to did into God's precious word. I know if that question hadn't been ask me, I probably wouldn't have looked this hard in one place. In Chpt. 16:19 we know it says this: 19Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. Evidently here, he knew them both or had heard of them. You made a good point, kyredneck, and preachinjesus. Saul may have witnessed such a great change in this man, David, that he didn't seem like the same one he use to know. But David had been putting his trust in God while watching over the sheep. He knew God was able to protect him in the field as a shepherd and on the battle field as a warrior. Kind like when a lost sinner gives their hearts to Jesus, they come back a changed individual. I appreciate you all comment. We can learn so much from God's word and good fellowship in the Word with our brethern.
     
  11. Dempster

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    I do not see a discrepancy in this at all. Yes, Saul definitely “knew” David before the battle with Goliath; however, he may not have really known who he was (in the sense of remembering his name) and certainly may not have remembered the name of David’s father.

    1 Samuel 16:17-22 says, “So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.”

    One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the LORD is with him.”

    Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.

    David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.”

    Now think about this for a second. As King, Saul probably had countless servants and it is not likely that he would have known (or remembered) all of their names. So he asks a servant to find him someone who can play the harp and someone basically says, “Hey, I know a guy.” Saul’s response is basically, “Fine. Go get him.”

    The fact that Saul liked David and wanted him to remain in Saul’s service doesn’t necessarily mean that he would remember the name of David’s father. Again, David would be just a single servant in the service of a King and there is no reason that he would automatically have remembered details about who David was.

    Further, the fact that Saul sent word to Jesse to “allow David to remain in my service” doesn’t automatically mean that David lived with Saul 24 hours a day. He could have been in the service of the king but not been there on a full-time basis. This argument becomes an important point later.

    Also, we don’t know how much time passed between when David was playing the harp for Saul and when he fought Goliath. As everyone knows, teenaged boys can look totally different over the span of a year or so. I’m sure we all know of kids that age that shot up 6 or 8 inches over a couple years time during those teen years. I mention this only to say that David could have grown a lot since Saul had seen him and may not have even recognized him after the Goliath battle as being the boy who had played the harp for him at earlier times.

    Again, the evidence indicates that, although David might have been in the “service” of the King, he was not there full-time, 24/7. Remember, he was with his father when Jesse sent him to take food to his brothers (see 1 Samuel 17:17, which says, “Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp.”)

    After the battle with Goliath, we direct our attention to 1 Samuel 17:55:58, which says, “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, O king, I don’t know.”

    The king said, “Find out whose son this young man is.”

    As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine’s head.

    “Whose son are you, young man?” Saul asked him.

    Again, this questioning should not concern us. It is certainly not proof of any discrepancy in the scripture. Like I said above, we don’t know how often David had played the harp for Saul. Weeks or even months could have passed sometimes. We just don’t know and I am not trying to speculate. However, we do have evidence that David’s “service” of Saul was not on a full-time basis, as evidenced by the reference to 1 Samuel 17:17 above.

    This is further confirmed by looking at 1 Samuel 18:1,2 which says, “After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house.”

    Again, if David was already in full-time service of the King, there would not have been any reason for the statement that “From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house.”

    In conclusion, a King necessarily would have had many, many people in his service in various capacities and it is doubtful that he would have always remembered their names or the names of their fathers. As a young boy, David would have been a minor player in all of this. Saul might have liked David and enjoyed him playing the harp for him but we do have evidence that he was not with Saul on a full-time basis and we have no way to know how often he was even around Saul. Therefore, the fact that Saul did not seem to remember who he was (or who David’s father was) is not necessarily of any concern for the reader. David could have grown several inches since Saul had seen him last or, even if he did recognize him as “David, the harp player”, he might not automatically have remembered who his family was.
     
  12. kyredneck

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    Excellent post chocked full of excellent points. Thanks for taking the time to do it.

    "... we don’t know how much time passed between when David was playing the harp for Saul and when he fought Goliath..."

    PJ mentions dating, you bring up timeline; does anyone know how much time actually elapsed between David's private annointing as king (1 Sam 16:13) and his public annointing as king of all Israel (2 Sam 5:3)?

    How long did it take for David to actually 'enter into his kingdom'?
     
    #12 kyredneck, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011

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