Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Samuel 16:6

When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed is before Him."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church and State;   Eliab;   Elihu;   Jesse;   King;   Minister, Christian;   Thompson Chain Reference - Appearances;   Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Eliab;   Home;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Stories for Children;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - First Born, the;   Judah, the Tribe of;   Kings;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - David;   Eliab;   Jesse;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Samuel;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Covenant;   David;   Elect, Election;   Samuel, First and Second, Theology of;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Prayer;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Bethlehem;   David;   Eliab;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Bethlehem;   Eliab;   King, Kingship;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Bethlehem;   David;   Eliab;   Elihu;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Prophet;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Eliab ;   Jesse ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Kingdom of christ of heaven;   Kingdom of god;   Kingdom of heaven;   Saul;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Da'vid;   Eli'ab;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Anoint;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Eliab;   Elihu (1);   Jesse;   Mediation;   Samuel;   Samuel, Books of;   Shammah;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Eliab;   Levi ben Gershon;   Messiah;  

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

DAVID WAS ANOINTED BY SAMUEL IN BETHLEHEM

"When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed is before him." 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. Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one." Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one. And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, "The Lord has not chosen these." And 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 fetch him; for we will not sit down till he comes here." 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." Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah."

"Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature" (1 Samuel 16:7). Saul had been an excellent example of one who certainly looked like a king but was unfit for the office.

"Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel" (1 Samuel 16:8). Everything in this passage indicates the secrecy of the proceedings. Each son who came before Samuel had to be "called," which, in context, probably means "sent for," just as David was. Furthermore, the statement in 1 Samuel 16:13 that David was anointed "in the midst of his brethren" could not mean that all of his brothers witnessed the anointing, but that he was chosen from "the midst of his brethren," just as Moses had promised with reference to the Messiah that God would raise him up from "the midst of thee and of thy brethren" (Deuteronomy 18:15 AV). As Willis said, "There is no indication in this text, nor even in 1 Samuel 16:13, that the elders, Jesse, or Jesse's seven eldest sons realized the primary purpose of Samuel's visit."[5] It was exactly like it was when Saul was anointed, not even the members of his family knew of it at first. In this anointing of David, "Even David's brothers knew nothing about the meaning and object of the anointing."[6]

"And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel" (1 Samuel 16:10). David, at this time had not appeared; and thus the number of Jesse's sons, as indicated here, was eight. However, in 1 Chronicles 2:13-15, only seven sons are named, David being listed as the seventh. Willis reported that, "This problem has not been satisfactorily resolved";[7] but as John W. Haley explained it, "The writer in Chronicles simply, "Omitted a son who died early."[8]

"Now he was ruddy ... and handsome" (1 Samuel 16:12). "This means that David was either of fair complexion or red-haired,"[9] or perhaps both, since both conditions often appear together. This writer had both a brother and a sister with light complexion and with red hair.

"The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David" (1 Samuel 16:13). This probably refers to supernatural strength such as Samson had and to other magnificent endowments. David's killing a lion and a bear might well have been results of this endowment.

"Again it must be understood that this appointment of David carried with it no office, title or prerogatives. It simply represented a future destiny to be worked out (by God Himself) in human history."[10] God would use Saul himself in working out this future placement of David upon the throne of Israel.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:6". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-samuel-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And it came to pass, when they were come,.... Jesse and his sons, into the house where the entertainment was; and perhaps before they sat down, went into a private apartment by the direction of Samuel, where he acquainted Jesse with the business he came upon:

that he looked on Eliab; who was Jesse's firstborn, 1 Chronicles 2:13, called Elihu, 1 Chronicles 27:18.

and said, surely the Lord's anointed is before him; or this is the person it is his pleasure should be anointed king.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-samuel-16.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD'S d anointed [is] before him.

(d) Thinking that Eliab had been appointed by God to be made king.
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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:6". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-samuel-16.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD's anointed is before him.

Before him — That is, in this place where God is now present. For it is observable, that not only the sacrifice is said to be offered, but even the feast upon the remainders of it is said, to be eaten before the Lord, Deuteronomy 12:7, that is, before or near his altar, where God was present in a special manner. This I take to be the person I am sent to anoint: wherein yet be was mistaken, as other prophets sometimes were, when they hastily spake their own thoughts, before they had consulted God.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:6". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-samuel-16.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Samuel 16:6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed [is] before him.

Ver. 6. He looked on Eliab.] Who was of a goodly stature and presence, but proud and uncourteous. [1 Samuel 17:28] Fronti nulla fides. Samuel had seen how ill Saul proved, though proper and personable.

And said, Surely, &c.] This he said by a human judgment, and not as a prophet. See the like, 2 Samuel 7:3.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-samuel-16.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

When they were come; when the most of Jesse’s sons were come, either to the place of the feast, or to some other place near it, appointed for this private discourse, whither they were to come before they went to the feast. It must also be understood that Samuel had acquainted Jesse with his design, which is easily gathered out of the context, and needed not be expressed.

Is before him, i.e. is in this place where God is now present. For it is observable, that not only the sacrifice is said to be offered, but even the feast upon the remainders of it is said to be eaten, before the Lord, Deuteronomy 12:7, i.e. before or near his altar, where God was present in a special manner. And the ground of this expression seems to be this, that Jesse brought not all his sons together, but made one after another to come to the place, and to pass before Samuel, who stood before the Lord, in some place near the altar, that this great business might be managed with more solemnity. And Eliab being the person now before Samuel, is said to be now before the Lord. But whatsoever the ground of this phrase is, this is certain and confessed, that this is his meaning, This I take to be the person whom I am sent to anoint; wherein yet he was greatly mistaken, as other prophets sometimes were, when they hastily spake their own thoughts, before they had consulted God in the case, as 2 Samuel 7:3.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:6". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-samuel-16.html. 1685.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Samuel 16:6. He looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed, &c. — Struck with the gracefulness and dignity of his person, he immediately concluded that this was the person whom God designed for his anointed; wherein, however, he was mistaken, as other prophets sometimes were, when they hastily spake their own thoughts, before they had consulted God. Before him — That is, in this place, where God is now present. For it is observable, that not only the sacrifice is said to be offered, but even the feast upon the remainders of it, is said to be eaten before the Lord, Deuteronomy 12:7; that is, before, or near his altar, where God was present in a special manner.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:6". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-samuel-16.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Him. Hebrew, "surely the Lord's anointed is in his presence." This he spoke by his own spirit, judging from the comeliness of Eliab. (Calmet) --- But the beauty of Saul's body had concealed a deformed soul. (Haydock)

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:6". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-samuel-16.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD's anointed is before him.

He looked on Eliab, [ 'Eliy'aab (Hebrew #446), to whom God is father] - or Elihu (1 Chronicles 27:18). And said, Surely the Lord's anointed is before him. Here Samuel, in consequence of taking his impressions from the external appearance, falls into the same error as formerly (1 Samuel 10:24).

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-samuel-16.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(6) He looked on Eliab.—There was something in the tall and stately presence of the eldest born of Jesse which reminded the old man of the splendid youth of Saul. Eliab seemed to Samuel in all respects a fit successor to the great warrior whom the Lord rejected. But the Divine voice gave no reply back to the prophet’s mute questioning; and the other sons of Jesse, an imposing band of gallant youths, passed in review before the old seer, and were severally introduced to him; but the Divine voice only warned the seer that these external advantages of mere human beauty and strength, were no mark of true greatness.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-samuel-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him.
Eliab
17:13,22; 1 Chronicles 2:13; 27:18
Elihu
Surely.
Judges 8:18; 1 Kings 12:26
Reciprocal: Judges 14:11 - saw him;  1 Samuel 9:17 - Behold;  1 Chronicles 5:1 - and;  1 Chronicles 28:4 - chose me;  2 Chronicles 11:18 - Eliab;  Lamentations 4:20 - the anointed

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-samuel-16.html.