April 16, 2008

Breadcrumb: David-vu

1 Sam. 16 and 17 present us with a bit of a conundrum. You see, it appears that Saul meets David in chapter 16, presented to him as Jesse's son and a good harp player. Saul gets along great with David and makes him his armour-bearer. However, in the very next chapter (featuring Goliath), Saul claims never to have met David before, and needs to send Abner, captain of the host, to find out who he is. I offer the following attempted explanation, which has no base in the text except that it would make logical sense: chapter 17 happens before chapter 16. David, a nobody from Judah, kills the mighty warrior Goliath, and Saul takes an interest in him. When he finds out the boy can also play a mean harp, he invites him to the palace, makes him his armour-bearer, and the rest, as they say, is history. If you've got a better explanation, I'd be happy to hear it.


Agnostic Anarch said...

Do you figure Saul had a reason to lie?

Julie said...

Personally, I don't think so. True, starting in the next chapter, he begins to hate David with a blinding passion, but for right now we're still in the happy-friends stage. I think this is just a problem of redaction, not content.