1 Samuel 16:18

18 One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the LORD is with him.”

Read 1 Samuel 16:18 Using Other Translations

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.
One of the young men answered, "Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him."
One of the servants said to Saul, “One of Jesse’s sons from Bethlehem is a talented harp player. Not only that—he is a brave warrior, a man of war, and has good judgment. He is also a fine-looking young man, and the LORD is with him.”

What does 1 Samuel 16:18 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Samuel 16:18

Then answered one of the servants
Which the Jews say F13 was Doeg the Edomite, who out of envy and ill will to David spake of him, that Saul might have an opportunity of slaying him; but this is not at all likely; rather it was one of David's friends and acquaintance, that was desirous of promoting him at court, and no doubt was directed to that motion by the overruling providence of God:

and said, behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite;
he does not mention the name of his son, but so describes him, that he might be easily known by those who knew anything of the family of Jesse; besides it was sufficient that he was one of Jesse's sons, to find him out:

[that is] cunning in playing;
that is, on the harp; has good skill in music, and is expert in it:

and a mighty valiant man;
as appeared by his encountering with and slaying the lion and the bear; an event now past, as very probable:

and a man of war
some think this character of him was given after the affair of his fighting with Goliath and killing him, but here put by a prolepsis or anticipation; and indeed if David had been taken into Saul's court before that affair, it is difficult to account for Saul's ignorance of him, since he must be so near him, and so often with him, as his musician and armourbearer; though that difficulty may be removed, as may be observed in its proper place:

and prudent in matters;
in his talk and conversation, and conduct and behaviour; knew how to carry himself, even in a prince's court: and a comely person; which always recommended to the courts of the eastern nations; (See Gill on Daniel 1:4).

and the Lord is with him;
prospering and succeeding him in whatsoever he is engaged; and seeing the Lord was with him, it might be expected the evil spirit would depart from Saul, when this person, with whom the Lord was, was in his presence. The Targum is,

``the Word of the Lord is for his help;''

all that is said of him showed that he was fit to be in the palace of a king, and a proper person to be with Saul in his present circumstances.


F13 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 93. 2. So in Hieron. Trad. Heb in lib. Reg. fol. 76. C.
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