1 Samuel 16:17, How Did King Saul Meet David?
And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me.
//There are two contradictory stories in the Bible about how Saul came to know David. The first story of how Saul and David meet is recorded in 1 Samuel 16:17. Today’s verse tells how Saul requested a musician to sooth him. David, son of Jesse, is recommended for his skill in playing the lyre. So Saul sends for him, and David plays for Saul.
And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. –Samuel 16:21
In the very next chapter, however, Saul’s “great love” for David seems to have waned, and David’s responsibility as armor bearer forgotten. As David prepares to fight Goliath, Saul seems to have no idea who he is.
And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell. –1 Samuel 17:55
So after the battle, Saul asks David who he is, and David tells Saul that he is the son of Jesse. Two verses later we read:
And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. –1 Samuel 18:2
These stories cannot both be true, of course. The story you prefer of how David rises to prominence in the court of Saul probably depends on whether you prefer the image of David, the musician, or David, the warrior.
Indeed, it is because David fills both roles to mythical proportions that he has become such a beloved enigma … known as the writer of the Psalms and the slayer of Goliath. Small wonder that we need two stories to introduce him.