1 Samuel 16:19-23 When we read the above scripture we learn that Saul sent for David to serve him as a musician when he was afflicted by an evil spirit. Further, this passage states that Saul liked David very much. It sounds like Saul knew David quite well. However, later in 1 Samuel 17: 55, after David defeated Goliath, we see Saul asking Abner who David was. Why would Saul ask who David was if he must have known him well?
1 Samuel 16:19 - 23
NLT - 19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse to say, “Send me your son David, the shepherd.” 20 Jesse responded by sending David to Saul, along with a young goat, a donkey loaded with bread, and a wineskin full of wine.
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Perhaps the apparently inexplicable forgetfulness on the part of Saul was a residual effect of the evil spirit that had previously afflicted him, for which David had been called to soothe him by playing on his lyre (1 Samuel 16:14-23). Alternatively, perhaps the inquiry was meant to have a broader application (beyond just David's identity) in regard to David's background with respect to being a suitable candidate for marriage to one of Saul's daughters, as was more explicitly subsequently discussed in 1 Samuel 18:17-29 (even though Saul also planned to use that possibility of marriage as an excuse for requiring David to engage in military campaigns during which Saul hoped that David would be killed).
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