1st Samuel, out of sequence?

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1st Samuel, out of sequence?

Postby Jericho on Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:22 am

In researching King David there appears to be verses in 1st Samuel that are not in chronological order. For instance in chapter 16 Saul is tormented by a distressing spirit and Saul's servant informs him of David:

Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the LORD is with him.” (1Sa 16:18)


This is before David kills Goliath so how could he be a man of valor and a man of war if all he has done was tended sheep up until this point?

In Chapter 17 Saul appears to not know who David is even though he became his armorbearer a chapter earlier:

So David came to Saul and stood before him. And he loved him greatly, and he became his armorbearer. (1Sa 16:21)

When Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know. So the king said, “Inquire whose son this young man is.” (1Sa 17:56-57)

And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” So David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.” (1Sa 17:58)


David is said to have taken Golioth's head Jerusalem, but a few verses later he takes the head to Saul. Jerusalem at that time was under Jebusite control. David didn't conquered Jerusalem until many years later after he was king and Saul was dead.

And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent. (1Sa 17:54)

Then, as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. (1Sa 17:57)


In Chapter 18 he is immediately set over the men of war yet a short time later he's still playing a harp for Saul? This does not sound like something a captain of an army would still be be doing.

So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved wisely. And Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants. (1Sa 18:5)

And it happened on the next day that the distressing spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house. So David played music with his hand, as at other times; but there was a spear in Saul’s hand. (1Sa 18:10)


Thoughts?
Last edited by Jericho on Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1st Samuel, out of sequence?

Postby Mark F on Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:24 am

Jericho,

Interesting observation. I was looking at commentary and ran across this web page, toward the bottom the respondent gives a possible reason for the seeming disorder of events, I think I see his point, thought I'd share it.

Here is a PDF that covers this as well.
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Re: 1st Samuel, out of sequence?

Postby Jericho on Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:48 pm

Mark F wrote:Jericho,

Interesting observation. I was looking at commentary and ran across this web page, toward the bottom the respondent gives a possible reason for the seeming disorder of events, I think I see his point, thought I'd share it.

Here is a PDF that covers this as well.


Thanks Mark F. I'll check it out. I believe I found a few resolutions.

David is said to have taken Golioth's head Jerusalem, but a few verses later he takes the head to Saul. Jerusalem at that time was under Jebusite control. David didn't conquered Jerusalem until many years later after he was king and Saul was dead.


1Sa 17:54 has to be a flash forward for the reasons previously given.

In Chapter 17 Saul appears to not know who David is even though he became his armorbearer a chapter earlier:


I found a reasonable explanation here:
a. Saul does not ask who David is, but who David's father is.
b. He does, after all, promise that David's father's household will be exempt from paying taxes (see 17:25).
c. Jesse was an old man during the days of Saul, it is unlikely that they had any personal contact. (17:12)
d. Why would we assume that Saul remembers who David's father is?
e. Previous contact had been through messengers and servants.

Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the LORD is with him.” (1Sa 16:18)

This is before David kills Goliath so how could he be a man of valor and a man of war if all he has done was tended sheep up until this point?


I've heard someone say that he was a man of war because he killed bears and lions with only his sling. I'm not sure I'm completely satisfied with that answer but it's plausible I suppose.
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Re: 1st Samuel, out of sequence?

Postby Jericho on Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:18 am

I've had time to look though the PDF you recommended Mark F. What I get from it is this, The Masoretic Text (MT), which 1st Samuel is based off, appears to be juxtaposition of two separate accounts of the event. Both accounts cover the same event but with differing details. As a result, when the two versions were joined, the combined text displayed a certain amount of redundancy and inconsistency. Much of the inconsistencies can be resolved by reading the Septuagint (LXX) account which is over 1,000 years older than the MT and 44% smaller. This makes sense and clears up a lot of confusion. Thanks. :wink:
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Re: 1st Samuel, out of sequence?

Postby shorttribber on Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:40 am

Jericho wrote:I've had time to look though the PDF you recommended Mark F. What I get from it is this, The Masoretic Text (MT), which 1st Samuel is based off, appears to be juxtaposition of two separate accounts of the event. Both accounts cover the same event but with differing details. As a result, when the two versions were joined, the combined text displayed a certain amount of redundancy and inconsistency. Much of the inconsistencies can be resolved by reading the Septuagint (LXX) account which is over 1,000 years older than the MT and 44% smaller. This makes sense and clears up a lot of confusion. Thanks. :wink:


interesting explanation, makes sense and gives good support for each version and how, in a very practical way God has preserved His Word.
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