Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 16

The anointing of David

1 Samuel 16:13

For the second time in his life, Samuel carried out the special ceremony to appoint a new king over Israel. In that ceremony, called the anointing, he poured oil upon the head of the king. That showed that the Holy Spirit was coming upon the king. Also, the anointing separated the king from other people, to do his special work for God.

On the earlier occasion, Samuel appointed Saul because the people had demanded a king (1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel chapter 8). Although God chose Saul to rule them, he did not approve of their decision to have a king (8:7-9).

On the other hand, David really was Godís choice to be Israelís king. God wanted David to rule (2 Samuel 5:2).

Davidís brothers were witnesses at Davidís anointing. We do not know whether they really understood the importance of the ceremony. Probably, they felt jealous of him, as 1 Samuel 17:28 seems to show. People are often jealous when God gives honour to someone else (for example, Joseph in Genesis chapter 37). Later, however, Davidís brothers did support him (22:1-2).

For David, the anointing was a very special event in his life. Godís Holy Spirit came on him powerfully, and remained with him. We can see the effect of that in the many songs that David wrote in the Book of Psalms. Through the rest of his life, David was regularly writing Psalms in the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21). Acts 2:29-31 shows us that the first Christians considered David to be a prophet (a holy man who spoke messages from God, by the power of the Holy Spirit).

Next part: Saulís evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.