1 Samuel 15:34-16:13

1 Samuel 15:34-16:13
Ordinary B29


15:34 Then SamuelA wentB to Ramah;C

Notes on verse 15:34a

A “Samuel” = Shemuel. From shem (name, fame, renown; indicating something essential about a person; honor, authority, or character); {may be from sum (to put, place, set)} + el (God, a god) OR from shama (hear, call, consent, or consider; implies listening intelligently, giving attention; obedience and action are often implied) + el (God, a god). This is Samuel meaning either the “name of God” or “heard of God.”
B “went” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
C “Ramah” = Ramah. From rum (to be high, rise, exalt self, extol, be haughty; to rise literally or figuratively). This is Ramah, meaning height.

and SaulD went upE to his houseF in GibeahG of Saul. 

Notes on verse 15:34b

D “Saul” = Shaul. From shaal (to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request; can also mean demand). This is Saul or Shaul, meaning “asked of the Lord.”
E “went up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
F “house” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
G “Gibeah” = Gibah. From the same as Geba (Geba or Gibeah; hillock); from the same as gabia (cup, bowl, flower; root might mean being convex). This is Gibeah, a city whose name means “hill.”

35 Samuel did not seeH Saul againI until the day of his death,J but Samuel grievedK over Saul.

Notes on verse 15:35a

H “see” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
I “again” = yasaph. This is to add, increase, continue, exceed.
J “death” = mavet. From muth (to die in a literal or figurative sense). This can be death, deadliness, the dead, or the place where the dead go. It can be used figuratively for pestilence or ruin.
K “grieved” = abal. This is to mourn or lament.

And the LordL was sorryM that he had made Saul king over Israel.N

Notes on verse 15:35b

L “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
M “was sorry” = nacham. Properly, this is a strong breath or a sigh. This can be to be sorry, to pity, console. Comfort, or repent. But, one can also comfort oneself with less righteous thoughts, so this can also mean to avenge oneself.
N “Israel” = Yisrael. Related to “Samuel” in v15:34. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (see note A above). This is God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

16:1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejectedO him from being king over Israel. FillP your hornQ with oilR and set out;S

Notes on verse 16:1a

O “rejected” = ma’as. This is to reject, refuse, despise, disdain, reject, or spurn. It can also be to disappear or melt away.
P “fill” = male. This is fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate. It is fill in a literal or figurative sense.
Q “horn” = qeren. This is horn or hill. It can be a flask or cornet, ivory, altar corner, mountain peak, or figuratively power.
R “oil” = shemen. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.
S “set out” = halak. Same as “went” in v15:34. See note B above.

I will sendT you to JesseU the Bethlehemite,V for I have providedW for myself a king among his sons.”X 

Notes on verse 16:1b

T “send” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
U “Jesse” = Yishay. Perhaps from the same as yesh (being, existence, substance). This is Jesse.
V “Bethlehemite” = Beth Hallachmi. Related to “house” in v15:34. 4x in OT. From beth lechem (Bethlehem); {from bayit (see note F above) + lechem (bread, food, loaf; food for people or for animals); {from lacham (to eat, feed on; figuratively, to battle as a kind of consumption/destruction)}. This is a resident of Bethlehem.
W “provided” = raah. Same as “see” in v15:35. See note H above.
X “sons” = ben. Related to “house” in v15:34 & “Bethlehemite” in v16:1. Perhaps from banah (see note F above). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.

Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hearsY of it, he will killZ me.”

And the Lord said, “Take a heiferAA, BB with you,CC and say, ‘I have come to sacrificeDD to the Lord.’ 

Notes on verse 16:2

Y “hears” = shama. Related to “Samuel” in v15:34. See note A above.
Z “kill” = harag. This is to strike with deadly intent so it can be kill, destroy, murder, or put to death.
AA “heifer” = eglah. 14x in OT. From egel (male calf as one that frisks about; often one that is almost grown up); may be from the same as agol (round, circular – root meaning revolve). This is a female calf, a heifer or cow that is nearly mature.
BB {untranslated} = baqar. From baqar (to plow, break forth; figuratively, to inquire, inspect, consider). This is cattle – an animal used for plowing.
CC “with you” = yad. Literally “at hand.” This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
DD “sacrifice” = zabach. This is slaughtering an animal, generally for the purpose of sacrifice. It can mean kill or offer.

InviteEE Jesse to the sacrifice,FF and I will showGG you what you shall do;HH and you shall anointII for me the one whom I name to you.” 

Notes on verse 16:3

EE “invite” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
FF “sacrifice” = zebach. Related to “sacrifice” in v16:2. From zabach (see note DD above). This is a slaughter – literally of an animal. So, it implies the act or the animals used in sacrifice. Further, it can mean offering.
GG “show” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
HH “do” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
II “anoint” = mashach. This is smear, paint, spread, or paint. It can also be to rub with oil or, otherwise stated, to anoint. This implies a consecration. This root verb is where the word “messiah” comes from.

Samuel did what the Lord commanded,JJ and came to Bethlehem.KK The eldersLL of the cityMM

Notes on verse 16:4a

JJ “commanded” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
KK “Bethlehem” = Beth lechem. Related to “house” in v15:34 & “Bethlehemite” and “sons” in v16:1. See note V above.
LL “elders” = zaqen. From the same as zaqan (beard or chin – the beard represents old age). This is old, aged, or elder.
MM “city” = iyr. From uwr (to awaken or wake oneself up). This can mean excitement in the sense of wakefulness or city. Properly, this is a place that is guarded. Guards kept schedules according to watches. This sense of the word would include cities as well as encampments or posts that were guarded.

came to meetNN him trembling,OO and said, “Do you come peaceably?”PP 

Notes on verse 16:4b

NN “came to meet” = qara. This is to meet, befall, happen upon. It can be to encounter by chance or for aggression.
OO “trembling” = charad. This is trembling, being afraid, or being terrified. It can also refer to moving quickly due to anxiety.
PP “peaceably” = shalom. From shalam (to be complete or sound; to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate; so, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated). This is completeness, soundness, welfare, favor, friend, good health. It is to be safe and figuratively well, happy, at peace, friendly. Abstractly, it includes the ideas of welfare and prosperity (not in excessive wealth, but in having enough).

He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctifyQQ yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came, he lookedRR on EliabSS and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointedTT is now beforeUU the Lord.” 

Notes on verses 16:5-6

QQ “sanctify” = qadash. From qodesh (set apart and so sacred; God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart; things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy). This is set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified. This is something or someone that is set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean.
RR “looked” = raah. Same as “see” in v15:35. See note H above.
SS “Eliab” = Eliab. Related to “Samuel” in v15:34 & “Israel” in v15:35. From el (see note A above) + ab (father, chief, ancestor; father in a literal or figurative sense). This is Eliab, meaning “God is father” or “God of his father.”
TT “anointed” = mashiach. Related to “anoint” in v16:3. From mashach (see note II above). This is the anointed or consecrated one. So, it could refer to a king, priest, or saint. It is also the root of the word “messiah.”
UU “before” = neged. From nagad (to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain). This is in front of, opposite to. It can refer to a counterpart or partner, one corresponding to or in the sight of.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not lookVV on his appearanceWW or on the heightXX of his stature,YY because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortalsZZ see;

Notes on verse 16:7a

VV “look” = nabat. This is to behold, look at intently, consider, or scan. It can mean to have respect or regard someone favorably.
WW “appearance” = mareh. Related to “see” in v15:35. From raah (see note H above). This is sight, appearance, or vision. It can be a view, seeing itself, that which is seen, something real, or a vision one sees.
XX “height” = gaboah. From gabah (to be tall, high, exalted, proud, haughty). This is high, tall, long, proud, or arrogant. It could also be a high ranking official, someone exalted, or something lofty. 
YY “stature” = qomah. From qum (to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide; rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action; standing in a figurative sense). This is tall, high, length, or height.
ZZ “mortals” = adam. Perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.

theyAAA lookBBB on the outward appearance,CCC but the Lord looks on the heart.”DDD 

Notes on verse 16:7b

AAA “they” = adam. Same as “mortals” in v16:7. See note ZZ above.
BBB “look” = raah. Same as “see” in v15:35. See note H above.
CCC “outward appearance” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
DDD “heart” = lebab. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.

Then Jesse called Abinadab,EEE and made him passFFF beforeGGG Samuel.

Notes on verse 16:8a

EEE “Abinadab” = Abinadab. Related to “Eliab” in v16:6. 12x in OT. From ab (see note SS above) + nadab (to offer voluntarily, incite, impel; to volunteer to be a soldier or offer freely). This is Abinadab, meaning “my father is noble” or “father of generosity,” which is to say very generous.
FFF “made…pass” = abar. This is to pass over or cross over. It is used for transitions, whether literal or figurative. It can also mean to escape, alienate, or fail. This is the root verb from which “Hebrew” is drawn.
GGG “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.

He said, “Neither has the Lord chosenHHH this one.” Then Jesse made ShammahIII pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse made sevenJJJ of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 

11 Samuel said to Jesse, “Are allKKK your sonsLLL here?”

Notes on verses 16:8b-11a

HHH “chosen” = bachar. This is to choose, appoint, try, excellent.
III “Shammah” = Shammah. 7x in OT. From the same as shammah (desolation, horror, dismay, waste); from shamem (to be appalled, astonished; to stun or devastate, be destitute). This is Shammah.
JJJ “seven” = sheba. This is seven or by sevenfold. It can also be used to imply a week or an indefinite number. Symbolically, this is the number of fullness, sacredness, perfection.
KKK “all” = tamam. This is to finish or accomplish. It is to make perfect, demonstrate that you are upright, consume or cease. It is to complete in a literal or figurative sense, positive or negative.
LLL “sons” = naar. May be from na’ar (to shake, toss up and down, tumble around). This is a child or a servant. It is a child in their active years so they could be aged anywhere from infancy to adolescence.

And he said, “There remainsMMM yet the youngest,NNN, OOO but he is keepingPPP the sheep.”QQQ

Notes on verse 16:11b

MMM “remains” = shaar. Properly, this is swelling up i.e. being left over, a remnant, remaining, being redundant.
NNN “youngest” = qatan. From quwt (grieved, cut off, to detest). This is least, small, young, little one. It is literally smaller whether in amount or size. Figuratively it is smaller in the sense of younger or less important.
OOO {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
PPPP “keeping” = ra’ah. This is to tend a flock, pasture, or graze. It can mean to rule or to associate with someone. Figuratively, it can be ruler or teacher.
QQQ “sheep” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.

And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit downRRR until he comes here.” 12 He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy,SSS and had beautifulTTT eyes,UUU and was handsome.VVV

Notes on verses 16:11c-12a

RRR “sit down” = sabab. This is turning around, going around; to surround, cast, walk, fetch. It is to revolve or border in a literal or figurative sense.
SSS “ruddy” = admoni. 3x in OT. From the same as adom (to be red or flushed). This is red or ruddy, whether of the hair or complexion.
TTT “beautiful” = yapheh. From yaphah (to be beautiful, decorate; root means being bright, which implies being beautiful). This is beautiful in a literal or figurative sense – appropriate, handsome, godly, pleasant.
UUU “eyes” = ayin. Same as “outward appearance” in v16:7. See note CCC above.
VVV “handsome” = tob + roi. Literally “good looking.” Tob is from tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good. Roi is related to “see” in v15:35 & “appearance” in v16:7. 5x in OT. From raah (see note H above) This is sight, appearance, a vision, a spectacle.

The Lord said, “RiseWWW and anoint him; for this is the one.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presenceXXX of his brothers;YYY

Notes on verses 16:12b-13a

WWW “rise” = qum. Related to “stature” in v16:7. See note YY above.
XXX “presence” = qereb. Perhaps from qarab (to come near or approach). This is among, in the midst, before, the center It is the inward part, whether literal or figurative. It can also be used for the heart, the site of thoughts and feelings. This word is also used as a technical term for the entrails of the animals who are sacrificed.
YYY “brothers” = ach. This is brother, kindred, another, other, like. It is literally brother, but it can also be someone who is similar, resembling, or related to.

and the spiritZZZ of the Lord cameAAAA mightily upon DavidBBBB from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

Notes on verse 16:13b

ZZZ “spirit” = ruach. This is breath, wind, air, cool, spirit. This is wind, which resembles the breath and so this can be used figuratively for life itself or being frail/mortal/impermanent. It can refer to the air of the sky or the spirit.
AAAA “came” = tsalach. This is pushing forward in a literal or figurative sense. So it could be to break out, to come mightily, to rush, to go over. Figuratively, it could mean to prosper.
BBBB “David” = David. From the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”

Image credit: “Choosing a King” by Lambsongs – Jill Kemp & Richard Gunther.

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