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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

1 Samuel 17

Verses 1-58

Whose Son Art Thou, Young Man?

1 Samuel 17:58

When this shepherd boy entered the royal presence with the ghastly trophy, his fingers clutching the hair of Goliath's head, the king looked at him with admiring wonderment, and put the plain, straightforward question of my text, 'Whose son art thou, young man?' It was natural that Saul should wish to know something of the antecedents of so brave a youth.

I. If there is anything more utterly contemptible than for one who has risen a bit in the world to be ashamed of his humble origin, it is the conduct of him who ridicules his low-born brother. I admire the prompt, straightforward answer which David gave to the king: 'I am the son of thy servant Jesse, the Beth-lehemite.' Sometimes we hear it remarked with a sneer and a curl of the lip concerning some young man who is doing well, 'Oh, he has risen from the ranks'. Well, the more honour to him, if it is so; and the more shame upon the silly, contemptible snobbishness that could be guilty of such an utterance.

II. We shall not talk of rank now, but of character. Let me tell you that the purest blood this world has ever known is that of a Christian ancestry. It throws all other nobility and aristocracy into the shade. It is but too plain that grace does not run in the blood. The Bible itself teaches us this. A long line of Christian inheritance is something to rejoice in. 'Whose son art thou, young man?'

III. I am not afraid to put the question even to those who have had no such advantage. I thank God that I have seen many a clean bird come out of a foul nest. If ever a man might have been supposed to have had bad blood in his veins, it was Hezekiah, who was the son of one of the worst monarchs that ever reigned over Israel. And yet he turned out a devout and holy man of God.

IV. I tell you that whether you realize it or not, you have, each of you, royal blood in your veins. Your pedigree traces back to the King of kings. St. Luke goes right up to the fountainhead when he finishes his genealogical table thus: 'Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God'. Awake to the glorious fact, and claim your high inheritance.

J. Thain Davidson, The City Youth, p. 126.

References, XVII. 68. R. D. B. Rawnsley, Sermons in Country Churches, p. 96. XVIII. 1-30. W. M. Taylor, David King of Israel, p. 39. XVIII. 4. J. M. Neale, Sermons for Some Feast Days in the Christian Year, p. 227. XVIII. 17. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. V. No. 250.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 17". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/1-samuel-17.html. 1910.