††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† A Summary of David in I Samuel





ch. 16


vs. 1-5 - The Progression of Providence


1. Samuel is aroused from his sorrow for Saul by a command from God to

anoint a son of Jesse.

2. Being in fear, he is directed to go and offer sacrifice and await further


3. Arriving at Bethlehem, he quiets the trembling elders and makes

preparation for the sacrifice. It was natural for Samuel in his retirement to

cherish sorrow for Saul; and his brooding over disappointment would

become more habitual as no active measures were as yet taken to provide a

successor. The section before us introduces a new phase in the

development of Godís purposes. The part which Samuel was called on to

play, and the spirit in which he set about it, bring out some truths of

general import.



vs. 6-13 - Human and Divine Judgments Contrasted


1. Samuel, being impressed with the appearance of Eliab, concludes that he

is the coming king.

2. An intimation is given that Eliab is not the man, and the reason assigned

for the imperfect judgment of Samuel is, that man looks on the outward

appearance, but God on the heart.

3. It being found that the other sons were not chosen of God, inquiry is

made concerning the absent one.

4. On the youngest being brought, Samuel at once recognizes him as the

chosen of God, and, in obedience to the voice of God, anoints him in the

midst of the family.

5. Henceforth the Spirit of the Lord rests on David.



vs. 14-23 - Disquietude Caused by Sin


1. Saul, being left to himself, is troubled by an evil spirit from the Lord.

2. His servants, in their concern for his peace, suggest music as an

alleviation, and obtain permission to provide it.

3. David, being famed for music, is sent for, and finds favor with Saul.

4. The music of David brings relief to Saulís troubled spirit.



††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ch. 17



vs. 1-11 - Aggression not Defense


1. The armies of Israel and Philistia are drawn up in array, with a valley

between them.

2. A gigantic champion, heavily armed and proud of his strength,

challenges any one of Saulís army to a personal encounter, and with lofty

words defies the armies of Israel.

3. Saul and his men are in great fear.



vs. 12-19 - Cooperation in Spiritual Warfare


1. Three of Jesseís sons are with the army opposing the Philistines.

2. David, being relieved from attendance on Saul, keeps the flock at Bethlehem.

3. Jesse sends David to the camp with provisions, and instructs him to look

after the welfare of his brethren.




vs. 20-30 - A Religious Manís View of Things


1. David arrives at the camp just as preparations are being made for battle.

2. While with his brethren he hears the defiance of Goliath, and observes

the dismay of Israel.

3. Being informed of the inducement offered by Saul for any one to slay

Goliath, he makes particular inquiries as to the facts, and suggests the

vanity of the defiance.

4. His inquiries arouse the jealousy of Eliab, who imputes to him

unhallowed motives.

5. Nevertheless, David persists in his attention to the matter.



vs. 31-37 - Reasonable Confidence in God


1. Davidís words being reported to Saul, he sends for him.

2. David volunteers to go forth and fight the Philistine.

3. In justification of his confidence, he refers to Godís deliverance of him

from the lion and bear.

4. Saul bids him go, and desires for him the Lordís presence.




vs. 38-40- Naturalness


1. Saul clothes David with his armor.

2. David, distrusting its value, puts it aside.

3. He goes forth to the conflict armed only with a sling and a stone.



vs. 41-51 - The Governing Principle of Life


1. The Philistine, on observing the youth and simple weapons of David,

disdains and curses him, and boasts of soon giving his flesh to bird and beast.

2. David, in reply, declares that he comes in the name of God, and

expresses his assurance that, in the speedy death of his foe, all men would

learn that the battle is the Lordís.

3. Goliath falls by means of the sling and stone.

4. Seizing his sword, David cuts off his head, whereon the Philistines flee.



vs. 52-58 - Unknown and Yet Well Known


1. Stimulated by the exploit of David, the people complete their victory

over the Philistines.

2. David leaves his weapons in his tent and carries Goliathís head to


3. During the conflict Saul inquires who David was, but obtains no

information, till, on presentation, David declares himself to be the son of




††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ch. 18



vs. 1-4 - Religious Friendship


1. Jonathan, on becoming acquainted with David, forms a strong

††† attachment for him.

2. Saul, to show his gratitude for Davidís aid, constrains him into his

††† service.

3. Jonathan and David enter into a solemn covenant of friendship.



vs. 5-11 - Some Dangers of Persistent Sin


1. David, behaving wisely in his public position, wins favor with the

††† people, and in the welcome to him on his return from the battle the women

††† ascribe to him, in their song, higher praise than to Saul.

2. The fact excites Saulís envy henceforth.

3. In a fit of envious rage Saul seeks to smite David.



vs. 12-16 - The Disturbing Power of Goodness


1. Saul, seeing the signs of Godís presence with David, fears him, and

††† removes him to a distance.

2. Increasing wisdom of David adds to Saulís fear, and secures the favor

††† of the people.

3. The departure of God from Saul explains his self-abandonment to the

††† influence of this fear.



vs. 17-30 -†† The Plot and Its Lessons


1. Saul, in hopes of compassing the death of David, promises him his eldest

daughter to wife, on condition that he is valiant against the Philistines.

2. David expresses his unworthiness of so great an honor.

3. Saul, having broken this promise by giving Merab to Adriel, offers

David his daughter Michal.

4. On David intimating that, being poor, he was not able to provide a

becoming dowry, Saul is content with proof of the death of a hundred

enemies of Israel.

5. David presents double the number required, and takes Michal to wife.

6. In spite of his devices, Saul sees the growing prosperity of David, and

becomes more than ever afraid of him.




††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ch. 19


vs. 1-7 - Open Enmity and Open Friendship


1. Saul reveals his purpose to kill David.

2. This being made known to Jonathan, he arranges with David to let him

learn the result of an effort to turn Saul from his purpose.

3. He pleads with Saul Davidís good services and personal risks, Godís

approval, and the kingís own joy therein.

4. Saul yields to persuasion, resolves not to shed ďinnocent blood,Ē and

recalls David into his personal service.


vs. 8-17 - Revived Sins and Troubles


1. The fresh fame of David arouses the latent ill-will of Saul, who seeks in

vain to smite him with a javelin.

2. David fleeing to his house, Saul sends men to lie in wait for and slay him.

3. Michal warns him of danger, and during the night aids his escape.

4. By a clever device she diverts his enemies from an immediate pursuit,

and on being accused of aiding her fatherís enemy, she pleads self-preservation.


vs. 18-24 - Saintly Refuge and Spiritual Restraint


1. David takes refuge with Samuel at Naioth in Ramah.

2. The messengers sent by Saul to take David are restrained in the presence

††† of Samuel and the prophets, and themselves begin to prophesy.

3. Other messengers come under the same influence.

4. Saul, venturing to go himself, on approaching the place, also falls under

the prophetic influence, and is utterly overcome by it in the presence of




††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ch. 20


vs. 1-10 - Endangered Life and Reputation


1. David, believing in Saulís purpose to kill him, flees to Jonathan, and

inquires into the cause of this persecution.

2. Jonathan quiets him by the assurance that Saul would not hide any

purpose from him.

3. On David referring to Saulís knowledge of their friendship and its effect

on his methods, Jonathan expresses readiness to do whatever David may


4. Thereupon David suggests a means by which Saulís disposition towards

him can be ascertained.

5. He further pleads, on the ground of their strong friendship, that Jonathan

should slay or aid to deliver him.



vs. 11-23 - The Spring of Self-sacrifice


1. Jonathan and David retire from observation to confer further.

2. Jonathan undertakes to do all that David requires, and solemnly pledges

himself to let him know the mind of Saul.

3. He pleads with David, in prospect of his elevation to power, that he and

his house may receive mercy.

4. In his eagerness he seeks a renewal of Davidís promise.

5. They then arrange that, after consulting with Saul, an arrow before or

beyond a certain mark shall reveal safety or danger.




vs. 24-34 - Wasted Influences, Muffed Thoughts, and Conflicting Interests



1. While David lies hidden, Saul notices his absence from the feast on the

first day, and refers it to some ceremonial defilement.

2. On the second day he calls Jonathanís attention to the fact, and inquires

the cause.

3. On his explaining the reason, Saul, in a fit of anger, accuses him of friendship

with David, and points out the injury which he thinks will arise therefrom.

4. On Jonathan reasoning against the command to fetch David that he may

be slain, Saul, in his rage, casts a javelin at him.

5. Jonathan, indignant at the injustice and cruelty of his father, leaves the

court and spends the day in fasting and sorrow.



vs. 35-42 - Warning in Danger


1. In accordance with arrangement, Jonathan, on the next day, goes out

into the field, and, on shooting the arrow beyond the lad with him, he cries

out the signal of danger.

2. David recognizes the sign, and the lad is sent away to the city.

3. Thereupon David and Jonathan embrace each other, and take a

sorrowful farewell ó Jonathan giving him his benediction, and reminding

him for his comfort of the sacred covenant between them both



††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ch. 21



vs. 1-7 - Weakness in Embarrassment


1. Arriving at Nob, David quiets the suspicions of Ahimelech by stating

that he was on the kingís secret business.

2. On this ground he asks for and obtains hallowed bread to appease his

hunger, and the sword of Goliath.

3. Doeg the Edomite, being detained there that day, is observant of Davidís



vs. 8-9


1.      David, being in danger and unarmed, asks Ahimelech for a weapon.

Ahimelech mentions the sword with which David killed Goliath.

2.David is pleased and takes it.





vs. 10-15 - Uncertain Light


1. In continued fear of Saul, David flees to the king of Gath.

2. Being recognized as the conqueror of Goliath, he fears the

†††† consequences.

3. To escape vengeance he feigns madness.

4. Achish the king thereupon refuses to have him in his service.



††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ch. 22



vs. 1-5 Ė Difficult Circumstances


1. David, escaping from Gath, takes refuge in the cave of Adullam.

2. Here he is joined by his kindred and a miscellaneous band of men, over

whom he exercises authority as captain.

3. Anxious for the comfort of his father and mother, he desires and obtains

of the king of Moab permission for them to dwell at Mizpeh.

4. On being advised by the prophet Gad, he returns to Judah.



vs. 6-16 Ė Resistance to Godís Purposes


1. Saul, hearing at Gibeah of Davidís movements, makes an appeal to his

Benjamite attendants.

2. He insinuates the existence of secret designs against himself, connivance

at Davidís supposed purpose, and lack of pity for his condition.

3. Thereupon Doeg the Edomite relates what he saw at Nob, and makes

the statement that the high priest inquired of the Lord for David.

4. Saul sends for Ahimelech and charges him with conspiracy.

5. Notwithstanding the high priestís denial of the charge, and his

conviction of Davidís innocence, Saul condemns him and his house to



vs. 17-23- The Tragedy at Nob


1. Saul commands his guards to slay the priests of Nob, but they refuse.

2. Thereupon he commands Doeg to effect their death, who slays eighty-five

priests, and procures the destruction of the entire city.

3. Abiathar, escaping to David, makes known to him what has happened.

4. David perceives that his presence at Nob was the occasion of this sad

calamity, and admits that he feared the course Doeg would take.

5. He encourages Abiathar to remain with him, and assures him of safety.



††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ch. 23


vs. 1-5 - Deference to the Divine Will


1. David, being informed of the inroads of the Philistines against Keilah,

seeks counsel of God.

2. Being directed to go against them, he finds his men in doubt of the

safety of the enterprise.

3. Hence, to satisfy them he makes further inquiry of the Lord, and is again

directed to go, with promise of victory.



vs. 6-12 - Misinterpretation and Miscalculation


1. The moral position of David at Keilah is strengthened by the presence of

Abiathar with the ephod.

2. Saul, believing David to be shut up in the city, prepares a force to lay

siege to Keilah.

3. David, aware of this, has recourse to the ephod, and asks through

Abiathar whether Saul was really coming, and whether, in case he came,

the men of Keilah would give him up to Saul.

4. He receives an affirmative reply to each inquiry.



vs. 13-18 - Deepening Sorrows and New Encouragement


1. David, deeming it unsafe to remain in Keilah, goes forth with his men in

uncertainty as to their destination.

2. Saul, forbearing to march against Keilah, seeks in vain to capture David

in the wilderness of Ziph.

3. While David, fully aware of Saulís evil intent, remains in the wilderness,

he is comforted by a visit from Jonathan, who expresses his confidence in

Davidís future supremacy and renews with him a covenant of friendship.



vs. 19-29 - The Unobserved Side of Life


1. The Ziphites send to Saul, offering their services to secure David if only

he will come to their country in pursuit of him.

2. Saul, indulging in pious language, thanks the Ziphites for their sympathy,

and promises to comply with their request when properly informed of

Davidís movements.

3. Going in pursuit of David in the wilderness of Maon, Saul encompasses

him with his men.

4. At this critical juncture Saul is called away to repel an invasion of the

Philistines, whereupon David seeks refuge in Engedi.




††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ch. 24


vs. 1-7 - Instruction in Caves


1. Saul, having repelled the incursion of the Philistines, returns to pursue

David in the wilderness of Engedi.

2. Saul, entering privately into a cave while David and his men lie

concealed there, comes unwittingly within the power of David.

3. Davidís men, referring to a Divine prediction, urge him to slay Saul.

4. Apparently to indicate how entirely Saul was within his power, David

stealthily cuts off the skirt of his coat.

5. Reproaching himself for the levity thus displayed in treating the Lordís

anointed, he at once justifies his refusal to touch Saulís life, and also

restrains his men.



vs. 8-15 - Discrimination in Relation to Men, Truth, and Vocation


1. David follows Saul out of the cave and pays him homage.

2. He remonstrates against Saul heeding the lies of slanderers, and declares

to him how he had just spared his life.

3. Exhibiting the skirt of the robe in evidence of his words, and appealing

to God, he protests his innocence of purpose.

4. He, while admitting his own insignificance, commends his cause to the

justice of God, and prays for deliverance



vs. 16-22 - Tenderness Transitory and Truth Suppressed


1. Saul, subdued by the magnanimity of David, weeps and admits his own

wrong in contrast with Davidís kindness.

2. Acknowledging his belief that David is to be king, he pleads with him to

be merciful to his seed.

3. David, granting the request, returns to his stronghold, and Saul to his




ch. 25


vs. 1-12 - Honor to the Dead and Insult to the Living



1. Samuel dies, and is buried at Ramah amidst the sorrow of Israel.

2. David, returning to the wilderness, sends a greeting to Nabal, a wealthy

man at Carmel, and asks for some favor to his young men on account of

the friendly aid recently rendered to Nabalís shepherds.

3. Nabal, in a churlish spirit, sends an insulting reply, and refuses the request.

4. Whereupon David resolves on taking revenge for the insult.



vs. 13-17 - Creed and Practice


1. David, stung by the insult, prepares to take summary vengeance on Nabal.

2. A servant, overhearing his intention, reports it to Abigail.

3. He also relates to her the circumstances of Davidís kindness to Nabalís

men, and appeals to her for intervention, as he has no faith in Nabalís

wisdom or generosity.


The course taken by David would ordinarily be termed natural for an Eastern

chieftain; that of the servant was more considerate than usually is found among

men of his class when placed in personal peril. Regarding the two causes

separately, we may express the teaching thus:



vs. 18-31 - Wise Persuasiveness


1. Abigail, aware of the danger, provides an ample present, and secretly

sends on her servants to prepare the mind of David for an interview.

2. On seeing David she humbly seeks an audience, and intimates that Nabal

was not to be regarded as of importance.

3. She pleads her cause by reminding David of the kind restraint of

Providence in keeping him from wrong, of Nabalís utter unworthiness of

his notice, of the provision made for the young men, of his own integrity

and coining distinction, of his spiritual safety amidst trials, of the future

satisfaction of not having causelessly shed blood, and then begs that she

may not be forgotten in coming days of power.



vs. 32-35- Restraining Mercy


1. David, recognizing the hand of God, expresses his sense of his mercy

and blesses Abigail for her advice.

2. He perceives, in the light of her remonstrance, the terrible evil of the

passion that had swayed him.

2.      Accepting her present, he dismisses her in peace.



vs. 36-44 - Contrasts, Patience, and Domestic Ties



1. Abigail, finding Nabal in the midst of a drunken revel, refrains from

speaking of her interview with David.

2. In the morning, on her relating what had transpired, he became

insensible, and soon after dies.

3. On hearing of his death David recognizes afresh the mercy that had

restrained him, and sees the wisdom of leaving judgment TO THE LORD!

4. David, deprived of his wife Michal, though possessed of Ahinoam, seeks

to take Abigail to wife, and she, accepting his advances, consents.



††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ch. 26


vs. 1-12 - The Moral Use of Biblical Difficulties


1. At the request of the Ziphites, Saul goes out in pursuit of David, who by

spies ascertains his true position.

2. David, observing Saulís camp, goes to it by night with Abishai while all

are asleep.

3. Abishai urges David to seize the opportunity to slay Saul, but is rebuked

by the declaration that if Saul dies it shall be in such way as God may

ordain, and not by the self-chosen hand of David.

4. David carries off Saulís spear and cruse of water.



vs. 13-25 - Afflictions and Righteousness


1. David seeks to arouse the attention of Saul by an appeal to Abner,

blended with reproof of his negligence.

2. Saul, on recognizing Davidís voice, is answered by him in terms

expressive of loyal homage.

3. David appeals to Saul with respect to his conduct, pointing out its

harshness and unreasonableness.

4. Saul, valuing his own life just spared, admits the force of the plea, and

promises to desist from persecution.

5. David reasserts his integrity, and expresses the hope that God would

accept his motives and actions.

6. Saul acknowledges the moral superiority of David, and professes to

foresee his success in life.



††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ch. 27



vs. 1-4 - Loss of Faith


1. David, fearing lest he should fall by the hand of Saul, deems it better to

go to the land of the Philistines.

2. He and his family and attendants are received by Achish at Gath.

3. Saul, hearing of this, seeks him no more.



vs. 5-12 - The Perils of Expediency


1. David, being unwilling to live in the royal city, seeks and obtains Ziklag

as his place of abode.

2. During his stay there he makes war on neighboring tribes.

3. He gives Achish the impression that he was acting in hostility to Judah,

and so creates the belief that henceforth he must be an ally of the Philistine.




††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ch. 28



vs, 1-5 - The Operation of Moral Causes


1. On war arising between the Philistines and Israel, Achish reminds David of his

obligation to assist him in battle.

2. David, although answering ambiguously, is trusted by Achish, who promises him


3.      On the opposing forces being assembled, Saulís heart faints for fear of his enemy.



vs. 6-14 - Manís Appeal from God to Man


1. Saul in his trouble seeks in vain guidance from God.

2. In despair he has recourse to the witch of Endor, promising her that no

harm should come to her for assisting him with her incantations.

3. Saul desires of her to bring up Samuel.

4. On Samuel coining forth the woman is in terror, and also discovers

Saulís identity.

5. By the aid of the woman Saul recognizes Samuel, and bows himself to

the earth.



(vs. 15-25) - The Last Fruitless Effort


1. Saul, in reply to Samuelís question, declares, as the reason of seeking

him, his deep distress and desire to know what to do.

2. Samuel intimates that the inquiry is vain, as he cannot go against God;

that the event causing so much distress was simply the perfecting of what

had long before been declared; that David was the coming king, and that all

this was the consequence of deliberate disobedience.

3. He also declares that the morrow should witness the overthrow of Saulís

power and the death of himself and sons.

4. The effect of the message on Saul is to prostrate him in terror on the ground.

5. Out of compassion the woman seeks in vain to rouse Saul from his

helpless despair, but by the aid of his attendants he is at last constrained to

rise and partake of the meal she had prepared.



††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ch. 29



vs. 1-5 -The Counteractions of Providence


1. The Philistines make preparations for battle, and David and his men form

the rear.

2. On the princes complaining of the presence of the Hebrews, Achish

pleads the faithfulness of David.

3. The princes insist on the dismissal of David and his men to a safe

quarter, being suspicious that he might in battle turn against them



vs. 6-11 - Escape from Danger


1. Achish informs David of the remonstrance of the princes, and at the

same time expresses confidence in his integrity.

2. On Achish urging his return from the scene of conflict, David professes

to be surprised that he should be distrusted, and appeals to his past fidelity.

3. Being reassured of the confidence of Achish, and of the determination of

the princes, David returns with his men.



††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ch. 30



vs. 1-10 - The Spiritual Uses of Calamity


1. David, on returning to Ziklag with his men, discovers that the

Amalekites had smitten it and carried off the families as captives.

2. In their deep distress David and his men weep bitterly.

3. On a mutiny arising among his men, threatening his life, David betakes

himself to God for comfort and guidance.

4. Inquiring of God through the high priest, he receives assurance of

success in pursuing the Amalekites, and therefore, leaving the faint at

Besor, he presses on with the rest of his force.



vs. 11-24) The Consequences of Kindness


1. Pursuing the Amalekites, David finds an Egyptian slave in distress, and

administers to him food and drink.

2. On being questioned, the man states that his master, who was one of the

force destroying Ziklag, had left him there three days before.

3. On promise of not being delivered up to his master, he engages to act as

guide to the rendezvous of the Amalekites.

4. On coming upon them in the midst of their revels, David smites them,

and recovers all that his force had lost, and acquires also much spoil.

4.      David keeps the captured flocks and herds as his portion of the spoil.



vs. 21-31 - The Law of Service



1. On returning to the men who had remained at Besor, some of Davidís

followers oppose his intention to give them a share of the spoil, and are

even desirous of sending them away.


2.David resists this spirit as being inconsistent with gratitude to God for His care

and aid, and with strict justice to those who serve in humble form according to

their strength.


3. Davidís decision becomes a standing ordinance in Israelís future national life.


4. He sends presents to the elders of cities that had befriended him during

the days of his persecution.



††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ch. 31


vs. 1-6 - Judgment at Last


The facts are :


1. In the battle at Gilboa the men of Israel suffer a defeat from the Philistines.

2. His sons being slain, the conflict presses hard on Saul.

3. Dreading to fall by the hand of a Philistine, and failing to find death

through the hand of his armor bearer, Saul falls on his own sword, his

example being followed by his armor bearer.



vs. 7-13 - The Final Issues of Life a Criterion of Worth

The facts are:


1. The defeat of Saul is followed by the general flight of the men of Israel

from the neigbboring cities, and the occupation of these by the Philistines.


2. The bodies of Saul and of his sons being found, the Philistines strip the

kingís of his armor, publish the fact in the houses of idols, and dishonor

him on the wall of Beth-shan.


3. The men of Jabesh-Gilead, hearing of this, rescue the bodies and bury

them at Jabesh amidst much mourning.

















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