Several parts of my study have recently converged on 1 Samuel. Initially, while looking at ‘אבן‘ or ‘stone,’ I was led to consider David and his use of a stone to slay Goliath.
In the considering of this story, I asked myself, ‘If David is a picture of Mashiach, then shouldn’t this story have some prophetic clues?’ Minimal digging in the immediate surrounding verses of the actual confrontation turned up a few real nuggets, but I had to move on to another topic/post burning in my chest.
As I worked on a post dealing with the error of dividing the Law, I was again led into 1 Samuel and a look at Saul. A few more thoughts teased the corner of my mind and I decided to pursue…
The Jewish sages regard the Books of Kings to be prophetic. I think that opinion would extend to at least parts of First and Second Samuel as this post will show.
The story of David has multiple remez hints or pointers to prophecy. Some fulfilled and some yet unfulfilled.
Most begin their story about David with his Goliath confrontation. But, do we realize that was his ‘second coming?’
David, as a remez of Mashiach, was anointed by Samuel in I Samuel 16:13,
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.
Shortly thereafter ‘an evil spirit from Yahweh’ began to terrorize Saul. As a means of helping to control this, his servants recommended finding one who was skilled at the harp. The candidate that came on high acclaim was … David!
18 Then one of the young men said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the Lord is with him.” 19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David who is with the flock.” 20 Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread and a jug of wine and a young goat, and sent them to Saul by David his son. (I Samuel 16:18-20)
David comes (on a donkey?) to him, bringing the Spirit of Yahweh (the Ruach?) and he comes with bread, wine and a young goat (sacrifice)!!
This is a picture of Messiah Yeshua’s first coming. He entered Jerusalem at Pesach riding on a donkey. He brought bread and wine (‘this is my body, this is My blood…’) and was the atoning sacrifice, seen in the Yom Kippur sacrifice. David came to Saul as a lamb. A Prince of Peace.
Chapter 17 of I Samuel has stark pictures of Mashiach’s second coming!!
Israel had gathered at the valley of Elah and were set up in battle array. It is at this point that we are told about a Philistine named Goliath from Gath. One may speculate who he represents, but they have only to keep reading to find that he is referred to as Goliath only twice as opposed to some 22 or so uses of ‘the Philistine’ or ‘this uncircumcised Philistine’ in the rest of the chapter. This is representative of the anti-mashiach who defies the armies of the Living God (v. 25).
Even more amazing is the description of the Philistine’s armor in verse 5. It is ‘scale armor,’ like that of a serpent…
We see a period of testing, 40 days, in verse 16. Even more interesting is the allusion to the morning and evening sacrifices of Daniel 8:14, though we’ll hold that tentatively…
The Philistine came forward morning and evening for forty days and took his stand.
David comes to the battle lines and has something interesting with him. He comes bringing ‘ten loaves’ and is told, by his father to ‘run to the camp, to your brothers.’ Further, he brings ‘ten cuts of cheese.’ Hmmm… An allusion to the ten lost tribes? Again, let’s hold this open-handed and see what else is here…
Notice the reward for the one who defeats/kills the Philistine.
The men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who is coming up? Surely he is coming up to defy Israel. And it will be that the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.
He gets a Bride, a reward/inheritance, and his father’s house will be free in Israel!! This again points to Mashiach! But it gets better!
David’s brothers are not happy with him showing up. I would ‘see this’ as an entwined picture of the rejection Mashiach faced at His first coming. The passage, however tells us twice that he ‘came down.’ And, that he has ‘sheep in the wilderness!!’ Are you kidding me?
Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger burned against David and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle.” (v.28)
The second mention of his ‘coming down specifically mentions his coming for battle!!
We are starting to see the dripping Messianic language.
Skipping forward in the story, not to belabor it, we see after his exchange with Saul that,
40 He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.
17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her [a]children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
The Philistine is more precise when he speaks of the ‘sticks’ in David’s hand (v.43) as he ‘curses David by his gods.’
Verse 46 again points clearly to the Second Coming of Mashiach when we read David saying,
this day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,
Compare to the coming of THE King in Revelation 19:17-18,
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”
Then the part we are so familiar with, but now seeing it through the lens of prophecy,
And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.
At the time of Mashiach’s return, He will defeat the anti-mashiach and every knee will bow. Here, against his own will, the Philistine bows to both David and to the Living Messiah he represents!!
An interesting detail in verse 50 is that ‘there was no sword in David’s hand.’ Revelation 19:15 describes Mashiach as having a sharp sword ‘from His mouth.’ It says nothing of implements in His hand… Another remez!
Verse 52 and 53 speak specifically of Israel and Judah pursuing the enemy in a passage reminiscent of eschatological Isaiah 11:12-44ff.
And He will lift up a standard for the nations
And assemble the banished ones of Israel,
And will gather the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.
Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart,
And those who harass Judah will be cut off;
Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah,
And Judah will not harass Ephraim.
They will swoop down on the slopes of the Philistines on the west;
Together they will plunder the sons of the east;
They will possess Edom and Moab,
And the sons of Ammon will be subject to them.
A final note or two…
David, in v.54, takes the Philistine’s head to Jerusalem, picturing Yeshua’s taking up of Zion for His glorious throne.
In an odd sort of passage, at the end of the story, Saul and Abner do not recognize him!!
Now when Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this young man?” And Abner said, “By your life, O king, I do not know.”
Without even checking commentaries, I would speculate that some would try to move chapter 17 ahead of chapter 16, because this doesn’t make much sense… For me, I totally believe God’s Word, and therefore believe it is written this way to tell us something prophetic.
Is it possible that many will not recognize the Mashiach when he comes because he will not fit their preconceived notion? I’ve heard it said that the Jews were expecting a lion and got a lamb. Today, most Christians are expecting a lamb and they are going to get a lion!!
On another note, there is more to be understood in verse 40. Consider,
He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.
We talked about the early parts of this verse, but these details seem very important, but I am not ‘seeing’ what they represent… Particularly the ‘inner pouch’ and the ‘sling.’ Both are important details in this remez, but it has not been made clear to me what they represent… Ideas? Thoughts?
Also, in reading the story, you may see another nugget or two. Do share!
I hope my musings on this passage have helped and encouraged you to dig deeper into the Word!
Yahweh bless you, and keep you;
Yahweh make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
Yahweh lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.
I was sharing this with Tommy and Dorothy Wilson, friends and co-laborers, the other day and they made the astute observation that if the Philistine represents the antimessiah and the stone represents Torah, then it is significant that the stone strikes the ‘mark of the beast’ in the center of the forehead! That is a significant detail that I missed!! Beautiful!!