Comparing Saul and David

The contrasts between Saul and David appear throughout 1 Samuel. Here are just a few of them to consider along the way.

Saul David
Tribe Benjamin Judah
Patronym Son of Kish Son of Jesse
Description …a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome.
Herding Lost Donkeys Contented Sheep
Found Wandering through Ephraim, Benjamin and Zuph In his father’s fields, tending the flock
The Feasts Public in Mizpah Public in Bethlehem, but David does not attend
Relationship to Samuel YHWH sends him to Samuel Samuel goes to him
Anointed Alone, outside of town In front of his family, in town
After his anointing The Spirit comes upon him He plays for Saul, because the Spirit has left him

Of course, I’m only one reader but it does seem rather strange that this many things appear in both narratives. It only makes sense that it is an intentional device meant to contrast the two kings and show the clear superiority of David.

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