It seems from I Samuel 16 that Samuel pretended to come in peace, and then anointed David.

Also, if it was done publicly, how come nobody told Saul, look, someone claiming to be prophets is anointing some other guy to be king.

If Samuel did it privately, how did the rest of Israel know that God wants David to be king?

reminds me of Year One quotes:

...that self-same God...

...has promised unto me the whole of this land.


  • This is all your land?
  • For all of eternity.

    But apparently God forgot to tell anyone else.

    We're at war with someone every other day.


  • A reading of the story in the book of Samuel I seems to make it pretty clear that Samuel anointed David privately. If anything, when G-d first commands Samuel to anoint David, Samuel asks G-d what shall I tell people along the way who ask me where I'm going; if Saul finds out, he will kill me. Additionally, when David is serving Saul as his musician, Saul suspects that David might become king, but he doesn't know that he was anointed. – DanF Mar 15 '18 at 20:38
  • Is there any way we can know that Dave didn't simply usurp the throne and latter wrote some "back story" about him being elected by Samuel all along all along. – user4951 Mar 18 '18 at 7:39

Samuel wasn't just some guy claiming to be a prophet, he was the very prophet who annointed Saul (see I Sam. 9-10), and who explicitly told Saul that because of his failing his kingship would be forfeited to someone else (id. 13:14). He later told him that this someone else was David (id. 28:17). Samuel was also the judge of Israel his whole life (id. 7:15).

From the story it does indeed seem that David's annointment was private. However, David never sought to take the kingdom away from Saul. In fact he had several opportunities to kill Saul, and he refused to (see, e.g. id. 24). He even made a pact with Saul's son and presumed heir to the throne, Jonathan (id. 18:3). It was only after Saul's death in war that David was crowned by the people, first in Hebron and then in Jerusalem (see II Sam. 5), although Saul himself explicitly recognized that David would become king (I Sam. 24:21). The story of his annointment seems to simply be the account of God's pre-approval of the king the Jewish people would accept by choice years later.

  • So Samuel anointment is private. Okay. So Saul knows full well that David is "set to be king". What makes you think that David has "no intent" to take the kingdom away from Saul given that it's exactly what he did after Saul's death. So we have reluctant king candidate that's reluctantly win election of what? – user4951 Mar 18 '18 at 7:32
  • @J.Chang I would agree that David is not reluctant to become king. He doesn't refuse Samuel's annointment. While running away from Saul, he attracts a few hundred people who join him in hiding and they view him as a leader; not king, though. Upon defeating Goliath, the women sing David's praises. So, there seems to be a general preference towards him. It is clear, though, that David has no desire to usurp Saul's throne. There are several situations where David could have, rightfully, killed Saul, as Saul was attempting to kill David. He doesn't do this, claiming that Saul is still king. – DanF Mar 18 '18 at 16:12
  • @J.Chang I agree with DanF, I didn't say David was reluctant, and I cited an example of an opportunity David had to kill Saul that he did not act on. David even put to death the person who actually killed Saul. David wasn't a reluctant leader, he simply did not believe in overthrowing Saul. – Dov F Mar 18 '18 at 18:26
  • The Qing dinasty didn't say that they would get rid Ming. To the opposite, the Qing dinasty "punish" those who rebelled against Ming. It's typical political facade. Of course, most Ming loyalists know that the Qing are just invader. – user4951 Mar 20 '18 at 3:33
  • So Dave may pretend that punish those who killed Saul to set precedent so others don't kill kings too. Same trick every dinasty in China use. – user4951 Mar 20 '18 at 3:34

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