Week of March 18 - Day 3

Day 3 Read: 1 Samuel 16:6-13

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord's anointed is before him.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

Reflect: What task is Samuel doing in this passage? What is the result?

Consider: Appearance. this English word occurs twice in this verse, and in the second case it is qualified as outward appearance. This second occurrence is literally “with the eyes.” The word appearance seems to focus on physical attractiveness, which leads certain English translations to use the word “handsome.” The same term is used later in the description of David (17:42).

The height of his stature is somewhat redundant and may be reduced to “his height” or “how tall he is,” as in certain modern language versions.

The Hebrew word rendered man does not refer to males in opposition to females. Rather man (that is, human beings in general) here stands in contrast to deity.[1]

Respond: Who are the marginalized in our society? Who gets looked down upon because of physical limitations? How can you be more involved in someone’s life who has more to offer than what can be seen on the outside?


[1]  Roger L. Omanson and John Ellington, A Handbook on the First Book of Samuel, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 2001), 338–339.