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How old was David when he was anointed by Samuel?


2 Samuel 5:7

ESV - 7 Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David.

Clarify Share Report Asked September 19 2017 Mini Dean Herman

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
David was anointed by Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:13. The age associated with conscription into the Israelite army was twenty (Numbers 1:45). David's three oldest brothers are mentioned as having followed Saul to battle against the Philistines (1 Samuel 17:13). David was the eighth (and youngest) of Jesse's sons (1 Samuel 16:11). However, David was old enough to have been entrusted with tending the sheep (which he was doing when Samuel came to anoint him), and he had been strong enough to kill both a lion and a bear to protect the sheep (1 Samuel 17:34-36). He was also skilled with the lyre (1 Samuel 16:18).

Based primarily on the minimum possible age gap between a third son who was twenty (or possibly younger in 1 Samuel 16) and David, then the absolute upper limit on how old David could have been when he was anointed (there being no mention of intervening sisters, multiple wives of Jesse, or multiple births (twins, etc.)), and consistent (in my estimation) with an age where he would have possessed sufficient physical stature and strength to have killed a lion and a bear singlehandedly, would have been seventeen (although quite possibly younger, if Shammah (Jesse's third son) had just turned twenty at the time he joined the army; or if there were any extra time gaps at all between the births of Shammah and David, or between the events of 1 Samuel 16 and 1 Samuel 17).

September 20 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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