Was David the eighth or seventh son of Jesse?


By BibleAsk Team

The Eighth or seventh Son of Jesse?

According to the Bible, David was the youngest son of Jesse and the eighth son overall. In 1 Samuel 16:10-11, when the prophet Samuel came to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the future king of Israel, Jesse had presented his seven sons. However, David was the youngest and was not initially called in from the fields where he was tending the sheep. It was only after Samuel insisted that David be brought before him that God told Samuel that he would be the future king of Israel, and so Samuel anointed David as the chosen one.

The confusion, however, is between 1 Samuel 17:12 and 1 Chronicles 2:13-15. Let’s read these verses:

“Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehemjudah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul” (1 Samuel 17:12).

“And Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat his firstborn Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimma the third, nethaneel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, ozem the sixth, David the seventh” (1 Chronicles 2:13-15).

First Samuel 16 states that Jesse made seven sons pass before the prophet Samuel, in hopes that God would anoint one of them as the next king of Israel (16:10). Samuel then, informed Jesse that God had not chosen any of these seven sons that passed before him, but was looking for another. Of course, that other son was David, “the youngest” (16:11) of Jesse’s “eight sons” (17:12).

Then, in the genealogy in 1 Chronicles 2:13-15, it specifically states that David was “the seventh” son of Jesse. How is it that David could be both the seventh son and eighth son of Jesse?

The answer is really quite simple. It seems that one of Jesse’s sons shown to Samuel at Bethlehem must have died while young and without posterity. Thus, at one time, David was the youngest of eight sons, and at another time, he was the youngest of seven sons.

Who Was David?

David is one of the most prominent figures and a central character in the Old Testament. He is described as the second king of Israel and is known for his accomplishments as a warrior, poet, and musician. David’s story is primarily found in the books of 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel.

David’s rise to prominence began when he was anointed by the prophet Samuel as the future king of Israel, succeeding Saul. He famously defeated the Philistine giant Goliath with a slingshot, which earned him recognition and favor in the kingdom. David’s military success and popularity led to a strained relationship with King Saul, who became jealous and sought to kill him. David spent a significant portion of his early years on the run, gathering loyal followers and living in exile.

Eventually, Saul died in battle, and David became the undisputed king of Israel. Under his reign, the kingdom of Israel experienced a period of stability, expansion, and prosperity. David established Jerusalem as the capital city and desired to build a temple for God, although that task was ultimately given to his son Solomon.

David’s legacy extends beyond his political and military achievements. He is credited as the author of many of the Psalms, which are a collection of poetic and worshipful hymns. David’s relationship with God and his expressions of faith, repentance, and praise through the Psalms have had a profound impact on religious and cultural traditions.

Overall, David is a complex and multi-faceted character in the Bible, revered as a king, warrior, poet, and spiritual leader.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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