David is his name of the greatest king of Israel and human ancestor of the Lord Jesus. His story, accomplishments, and problems receive extensive treatment. The meaning of David is still uncertain. The connection between the Akkadian "Chief Commander" is attractive, but doubtful. More likely is the association with the Hebrew root word "Love", giving the meaning "beloved". Some have suggested that David is a throne name and that he is Elhanan "God is gracious", the hero who killed Goliath in
(2 Sam. 21:19) And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.
Though the solution may answer the seeming discrepancy between (1 Sam. 17) according to which David killed Goliath and (2 Sam 21:19), which commends Elhanan for killing Goliath, it creates another problem; why then is Elhanan named in the list of David's heroes? Another suggestion comes from
(1 Chron. 20:5) And there was war again with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear staff was like a weaver's beam.,
Which identifies Elhanan as the hero who killed the brother of Goliath, Lahmi. Since it is unclear whether the text in (2 Sam. 21:19) or in (1 Chron. 20:5) represents the textual corruption, the identification of Elhanan is uncertain.
David was the youngest of the eight sons born to Jesse, the Ephrathite from Bethlehem.
(1 Sam. 17:11-12)
11. When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
12. Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehemjudah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul.
Jesse hailed from the tribe of Judah and was a great-grandson of Boaz and Ruth, the Moabitess
18. Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron,
19. And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,
20. And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,
21. And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,
22. And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
Also in (1 Chron. 2:1-15)
1. These are the sons of Israel; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun,
2. Dan, Joseph, and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
3. The sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah: which three were born unto him of the daughter of Shua the Canaanitess. And Er, the firstborn of Judah, was evil in the sight of the Lord; and he slew him.
4. And Tamar his daughter in law bare him Pharez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah were five.
5. The sons of Pharez; Hezron, and Hamul.
6. And the sons of Zerah; Zimri, and Ethan, and Heman, and Calcol, and Dara: five of them in all.
7. And the sons of Carmi; Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the thing accursed.
8. And the sons of Ethan; Azariah.
9. The sons also of Hezron, that were born unto him; Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai.
10. And Ram begat Amminadab; and Amminadab begat Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah;
11. And Nahshon begat Salma, and Salma begat Boaz,
12. And Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse,
13. And Jesse begat his firstborn Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimma the third,
14. Nethaneel the fourth, Raddai the fifth,
15. Ozem the sixth, David the seventh:
Further reference also found in (Matt. 1:2-6) and (Luke 3:31-38).
In his youth, David took care of the family sheep. As a shepherd, he learned to care for his animals as well as to protect them from wild animals. This experience taught him to depend on the Lord, as he affirmed to Saul. "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine"
(1 Sam. 17:37) David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.
David was also a musician of note. When Saul suffered from depression or melancholia, his servants knew of David’s reputation.
(1 Sam. 16:16) Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.
One of them said,” 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.
(1 Sam. 16:18) Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him.
This text bears out several characteristics of the youthful David; his musical skills, bravery, eloquence, appearance, but more than that, the evident presence of the Lord.
God's election of David to be king
The young David was outstanding in both his love for God and in his physical appearance.
(1 Sam. 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.
After Saul had been rejected from perpetual kingship by his acts of disobedience,
(1 Sam. 15:26) And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.
The Lord charged Samuel with the task of anointing a son of Jesse. Son after son passed before Samuel, but of none did the Lord say, "This is my man". When all seven sons had passed before Samuel, he wondered why the Lord had not shown him which son had to be anointed to become king. Samuel had been looking for a candidate who would qualify by his physical stature for kingship. After all, Samuel had told the people earlier that Saul was well qualified for kingship by his stature; do you see that man the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people
(1 Sam. 10:24) And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.
Jesse told Samuel that his youngest son, David, was still taking care of the sheep. Upon his being brought before Samuel, the prophet knew that this lad met Gods standard in that The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
(1 Sam 16:7) But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
David received two confirmations of his election; Samuel anointed him in a family ceremony and the Spirit of the Lord came on him in a powerful way.
(1 Sam. 10:13)
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
David with Saul
(1 Sam Ch 16 - Ch 31) is a loose anthology of stories that as a collection have been entitled "The History of David's Rise". The purpose of these stories is to vindicate David against accusations that he acted subversively in taking the throne from Saul's family by bearing responsibility for the deaths of Saul, Jonathan, Abner, and Ishbosheth. Clearly, God was working in all the circumstances of David's life that took him from being with the sheep to a musician in the king's palace, from fighting off wild animals to his victories over the Philistines, and from being a national hero to a political refugee.
First, David was invited to serve King Saul as a musician. Saul was suffering from melancholia because the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him.
(1 Sam. 16:14) But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.
At the court David pleased the king, so he was appointed to be his amour-bearer.
(1 Sam. 16:21)
And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer.
Second Providence called again when the Philistines attacked Israel (1 Sam. Ch 17). The Philistine giant, Goliath, challenged Saul and Israel several times a day for 40 days.
(1 Sam. 17:16)
And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.
David happened to be bringing supplies for his brothers and chanced to hear the giants dare. Motivated by his zeal for the Lord, his love for the people, and by the high reward - wealth, marriage to Saul’s daughter, and an exemption of the family from taxes - David volunteered to engage Goliath in battle. The Lord was with him. He triumphed over the Philistine, whom he killed with a sling and a stone.
(1 Sam. 17:50) So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
Third, David was invited to make the royal palace his home.
(1 Sam. 18:2)
And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house.
Members of Saul’s family loved him. Jonathan became one in spirit with David and loved him as himself. He went so far as to make a covenant with David.
(1 Sam. 18:3)
Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
As an expression of his deep love and respect for David, he gave him his clothes and amour. Mchal, to loved David.
(1 Sam. 18:20)
And Michal Saul's daughter loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.
As often happens, when to many good things are happening, fortune turned into fate. David’s renown grew fast. Throughout Israel, the women praised David’s name and made a positive comparison between the youth and the king: Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.
(1 Sam. 18:7)
And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
This contrast aroused Saul’s jealousy. He knew that his days were numbered and that he had to protect the throne from his family. This was the beginning of acts of overt hostility against David. The narrator of Samuel wrote, from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
(1 Sam. 18:9)
And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
Saul’s jealousy blinded him. He was deceitful in reversing his promise to give his older daughter Merab to David in marriage.
(1 Sam. 18:17)
And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the Lord's battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.
He required David to engage the Philistines in battle in the hope that he would lose his life. David, slow to accept a marriage into the royal family, was quick to please the king. In the meantime, Merab was given to another man in marriage.
(1 Sam. 18:19)
But it came to pass at the time when Merab Saul's daughter should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife.
Wily Saul challenged David to demonstrate his powers again by killing 100 Philistines as a dowry. He was chagrined in giving Michal to David as a wife, because he knew that the Lord was with David and saw in his daughters love for David a betrayal of her father.
(1 Sam. 18:28)
And Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal Saul's daughter loved him.
Forth, through David’s friendship with Saul’s son, Jonathan, he was forewarned of Saul’s deep hatred for him as well as of Saul’s plot to take his life. Jonathan loved David and was not apprehensive about his military feats and his growing popularity. He even spoke on behalf of David, invited him back to the palace but had to perceive gradually that his father was committed to having David killed. Saul made every attempt to kill David in the palace. And even in his own house.
(1 Sam. 19:10-11)
10. And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin: but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night.
11. Saul also sent messengers unto David's house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David's wife told him, saying, if thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain.
The two men separated under duress. Jonathan knew that David’s life was at risk and also that God had a special plan for David. The two made a covenant and separated for life.
16. So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the Lord even require it at the hand of David's enemies.
42. And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.