Natan’s Commentary on 1 Samuel 16 to 20

1 Samuel 16

1 Samuel 16:5, Then he sanctified/consecrated. Heb. qadash/שﬢק meaning “prepare, dedicate, be separate, be set apart, to be honored, be treated as sacred. According to the TWOT, qadash connotes that which belongs to the sphere of the sacred, and is thus distinct from the common or profane. As a verb, it refers to the act which this distinction is made.

What was involved in this process of sanctification? We may gain a clue from Exodus 19 where YHVH tells the Israelites to sanctify themselves at the foot of Mount Sinai in preparation for their encounter with him as they receive the ten words/commandments and enter into a spiritual marital relationship with him (Ezek 16:8–12). As part of the sanctification process, Moses instructed the people to wash their clothes and to restrain from sexual relations with their wives (Exod 19:10,15,22), and to establish strict protocols with regard to approaching YHVH (verses 12, 13, 21, 23, 24). In addition, YHVH established elaborate ceremonies for consecrating or sanctifying the Levites and priests in preparation for service in to him in the tabernacle (e.g., Exod 28:41; 29:44), the offerings (e.g., Exod 29:27, 36), the tabernacle furnishings (e.g., verse 37, 44; Lev 8:11) and the people (verse 44). 

In brief, to become sanctified involves a process by which an individual or object is made ready and then set-apart to enter into the presence of or service to YHVH Elohim. When something or someone is made qadash, they are brought out of the sphere of the mundane or earthly and into that sphere which belongs to the divine or sacred. 

1 Samuel 16:7, Outward appearance … heart. Scripture instructs the saint to make judgments on the basis of two things: the fruits or actions that proceed from one’s life (Matt 7:15–20) and on righteousness (John 7:24). Fruits involve analysis based on the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:16, 22–25), which is the evidence of one’s spiritual walk. Righteousness is defined by one’s obedience to YHVH’s Torah-Word (Ps 119:172). One’s outward appearance may be spectacular, but his heart may be dark and the fruits and actions of his life may be anything but good.

1 Samuel 16:11, The youngest…keeping the sheep. The youngest children in the biblical family often was consigned to tending the sheep. Once he grew older and stronger, his help was needed along side the father in more physically demanding work of tilling, sowing, and harvesting the crops (Manners and Customs, p. 148; Social World of Ancient Israel, p. 41).

1 Samuel 17

1 Samuel 17:26, 36. Uncircumcised Philistine. This was not an ethnic slur. Rather, to refer to someone as uncircumcised was a Hebraism that simply meant that one did not have a covenantal relationship with YHVH Elohim, and thus was out of relationship with him and not under his divine protection.

1 Samuel 17:34–35, When a lion…struck it. The shepherds rod was like a policeman’s club. It was made of hard wood with a knob at the end, or it had knob nails driven into it to make it a better weapon (Manners and Customs, p. 149).

1 Samuel 17:40, Five smooth stones. Goliath had four sons (2 Sam 21:22). David had a stone for Goliath and each of his four sons. Moreover, Israel is an extremely rocky land, thus “bullets” for slings are abundant. 

1 Samuel 17:45–47, I come to you in the name YHVH of hosts. David recognized that this was more than a physical battle; it was a spiritual one. The Israelites were fighting the enemies of Elohim. As such, David summoned heaven’s help in defeating Goliath, and pitted the forces or hosts of heaven against the legions of demons that were empowering the Philistines by lifting up and having faith in the name or reputation of YHVH to help him to fight the enemy.

1 Samuel 18

1 Samuel 18:1, Jonathan loved him. Some perverted minds have attempted to see in this a homosexual relationship between Jonathan and David, thus justifying, in their minds, the sin of homosexuality. This is not only sad, but it is a sick twisting of the Scriptures. What these lost and lonely souls seem to miss is that there is a level of love that is totally altruistic, selfless and a self-sacrificing that can exist between two people that is totally non-sexual, and that can even far surpass sexual or romantic love. This is similar to the love that Elohim had for the world when he gave his Son as a sin sacrifice for it (John 3:16), and the love that he had for each of us while we were yet sinners (Rom 5:8), and the same love that one has when he lays down his life for another person (John 15:13). This is the same love that Yeshua had when he went to the cross for each of us (John 10:11, 15; Rom 5:6–8; Eph 5:2).

1 Samuel 18:10, The evil/distressing spirit from Elohim. As a form of judgment against his backslidden servants, YHVH at times sends out deluding evil (demonic) spirits in hopes to torment them (2 Thess 2:11; Ezek 14:3; Isa 66:4). In that they have rejected him and turned to rebellion (which is as the sin of witchcraft, 1 Sam 15:23), he will turn them over to the powers of the dark side where they can experience the full expression and corresponding consequences of their evil passions and sinful appetites. Under the spiritual delusion of tormenting spirits, perhaps the rebellious backslider will awaken to the reality of his fallen state and will repent and return to YHVH. Similarly, Paul turned over to Satan the man in Corinth who was engaged in sexual immorality “for the destruction of the flesh” resulting in the man’s eventual repentance and restoration to the body of believers in that city (1 Cor 5:1–13 cp. 2 Cor 2:5–13). 

Saul…prophesied. Saul prophesied (Heb. naba). Naba can refer to the prophetic utterances of both true and false prophets. When Saul was under the influence of the Spirit of Elohim he prophesied by the Spirit. When under the influence of an evil spirit, he “raved” (NAS). Saul may be a picture of modern Torahless prophets in the Christian church who sometimes prophesy and sometimes rave out of their own emotions and carnal mindedness or from the influences of an evil spirit.

1 Samuel 19

1 Samuel 19:13, Image. Heb. terephiym is an idolatrous image.

1 Samuel 19:20–24, Saul and his servants prophesy. Though Saul and his servants were under the influence of an evil spirit, when they came under the influence of the Spirit of Elohim, they would prophesy by the Spirit. Many people in the Christian church claim to be prophets, though they are only walking partially in accordance with YHVH’s Torah-Word and partially following the rudiments of this world or pagan church traditions that violate the Torah-word of Elohim. These prophets are like Saul, who was at times under the influence of the spirit of this world or the dictates of their own hearts and at other times under the influence of the Spirit of Elohim. Like the carnal prophets who are condemned by Jeremiah, they prophesy a mixture of truth and error.

1 Samuel 20

1 Samuel 20:5, 18, 24, 27, 34. New moon. How did David know that the next day was new moon day? Was this because he was able to calculate ahead of time when the new moon was going to occur? No. The answer is quite simple. A lunar cycle lasts for 29.5 days. This means that some months will be 29 days long and some will be 30 days long, since it’s impossible to have half-days. How did David know that the next day would be the new moon day? Simply this. Biblical months are based on the lunar cycle. A lunar cycle can’t have more than 30 days. A lunar cycle month is either 29 or 30 days long. If one has reached day 30 of a month and the new moon still isn’t visible because the sliver is too faint to see, or because there’s cloud cover or haze blocking it from being seen, then the observer automatically knows that the next day, by default, will the first day of the next month. Sometimes one sees the new moon after 29 days. Sometimes it is seen after 30 days either because they sited it, or because, even though it wasn’t visible and since a month can’t have any more than 30 days, the next day (day 31, if you will) becomes the default start of the new month. Obviously, in the story of David, the new moon hadn’t been sited on day 30, and so he knew that the next day was, by default, the beginning of the new month.

The idea that, because the time between conjunction and visible sliver can last one to three day, proves that Saul was feasting or celebrating the new moon during this interval is speculation. Nothing in any Jewish historical sources that I have studied state either that the ancient Hebrews calculated the new moon from the conjunction, or that if they did they celebrated the interval time between the conjunction and the sliver. So when 1 Sam 20:27 and 34 speak of the second day of the month, we have to believe that they were feasting for a couple of days after the sliver was first spotted.

1 Samuel 20:41, Kissed [Heb. nashaq] one another. Nashaq means “to put together, kiss, to touch gently.” This is the same word used in Proverbs 27:6 referring to the deceitful or superficial kisses of an enemy (like the kiss of Judas, Yeshua’s betrayer), as well as the tender or affectionate kisses of lovers (Song 1:2; 8:1; Prov 7:13). The concept of touching gently can be seen in the use of this word where the wings of cherubim kiss or touch each other in Ezekiel’s vision (Ezek 1:3). Kissing as special sign of affection was common among family members (Ruth 1:1) and among fellow countrymen (2 Sam 15:5). It was also done as a sign of respect (1 Sam 10:1; 2 Sam 19:39). Even today in many parts of the world, friends greet each other with a kiss on the cheek. On four occasions, Paul closes his epistles with instructions for the saints who will be reading his letters to greet each other with a holy kiss (Rom 16:16; 1 Cor 16:20; 2 Cor 13:12; 1 Thess 5:26). If there is a “holy kiss”, then logic demands that there must be an unholy kiss as well. Because of the deep loving friendship and spiritual relationship that David and Jonathan shared, their kiss would have been one of mutual respect and affection, and not an unholy kiss.


5 thoughts on “Natan’s Commentary on 1 Samuel 16 to 20

    • Thank you dear brother, but there is only one rav and his name is Yeshua. You and I are only his helpers and subordinates. Your love, respect and support, tho, is deeply encouraging and touching, and I greatly appreciate the heart and spirit behind it. I only wish that I could come and visit you and hug and thank your personally and that we could spend time together praising and worshipping our great King and Master Yeshua!

      • Natan,
        Shalom rav! (abundant peace)
        I really would love for you to come to Australia. Speaking with you for hours would be a sheer joy. But it looks like the internet has to do as neither of us will ever be vacced voluntarily.
        Shalom, John

      • Thank you. As you probably have learned, the word rav is is the Aramaic word for the Hebrew word rabbi meaning “my great one.” It is commonly used in rabbinic circles as an honorific and ecclesiastical title and is synonymous with rabbi. I’m glad to learn that you didn’t mean it that way in reference to me.

      • Thank you. As you probably have learned, the word rav is is the Aramaic word for the Hebrew word rabbi meaning “my great one.” It is commonly used in rabbinic circles as an honorific and ecclesiastical title and is synonymous with rabbi.

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