Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 17

Saul asks the name of Davidís father

1 Samuel 17:55-58

David had great faith (trust in God) when he went to fight Goliath. He was bold because he was trusting God to save (rescue) him.

As a great soldier, Saul admired people who were bold. However, Saul never really understood faith.

Davidís bold attitudes and brave decisions impressed Saul very much. Saul hoped that such a brave young man would fight well. David was trusting God to save him, but Saul was not trusting God. So probably, Saul did not expect David to return alive from the fight against Goliath.

Perhaps that was why Saul told Abner to find out the name of Davidís father. It would be necessary to inform Jesse of how his son had died. Saul would have wanted to emphasise that he died in a brave, noble and honourable manner. Even if David died, Saul would still consider him to be a hero.

The fight against Goliath happened so quickly that Abner did not have the opportunity to ask. Afterwards, however, Abner found David and he brought him to Saul. David carried with him the head of Goliath as evidence of his success.

Then, at last, Saul had the opportunity to find out the name of Davidís father. It would have astonished Saul that David had won the fight against Goliath. Now Saul wanted to know the name of Davidís father in order to give him honour (see 1 Samuel 17:25).

Saul also gave great honour to David himself. Soon David became a commander in the army (18:5). Saul did this because of Davidís bold attitudes, not because of his faith. Saul did not understand faith. However, Saulís son Jonathan could recognise faith (see 1 Samuel 14:6). The result was that David and Jonathan became close friends (18:3).

Next part: Jonathanís love for David (1 Samuel 18:1-2)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.