The Meaning of 1 Samuel 16:21 Explained

1 Samuel 16:21

KJV: And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer.

YLT: And David cometh in unto Saul, and standeth before him, and he loveth him greatly; and he is a bearer of his weapons.

Darby: And David came to Saul, and stood before him; and he loved him greatly; and he became his armour-bearer.

ASV: And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armorbearer.

What does 1 Samuel 16:21 Mean?

Study Notes

And David Cf. 1 Samuel 17:55 ; 1 Samuel 17:56 . The order of events is:
(1) David, whose skill on the harp, and valour in the combat with the lion and bear 1 Samuel 17:34 ; 1 Samuel 17:36 were known to "one of the servants" of Saul, was brought to play before the king 1 Samuel 16:17 ; 1 Samuel 16:18 .
(2) David returns to Bethlehem 1 Samuel 17:15 .
(3) David is sent to Saul's camp 1 Samuel 17:17 ; 1 Samuel 17:18 and performs his great exploit.
(4) Saul's question 1 Samuel 17:55 ; 1 Samuel 17:56 implies only that he had forgotten the name of David's father --not remarkable certainly in an oriental king.

Context Summary

1 Samuel 16:14-23 - The Young Harper Before The Dejected King
In one sentence we are told of the Spirit of the Lord coming upon David, 1 Samuel 16:13, and in the next of the departure of the Spirit from Saul. This does not necessarily imply that all religious sensibility had become extinct, but that the special enduement which had fitted him for his kingly office had been withdrawn. An evil spirit "from the Lord" troubled him; that is, God permitted this spirit to enter. The garrison of peace and love had, been willfully dismissed by Saul, and by the inevitable operation of the divine law, as He had banished the light, he was necessarily left in darkness. God gave him up to a reprobate mind, Romans 1:24; Romans 1:26; Romans 1:28.
The king's depression demanded an antidote, which was provided by music. Philip V of Spain was helped in the same fashion. The minstrel was none other than the young shepherd so recently anointed. A directing Providence superintends every incident in life. That a servant of Saul's had seen David in some country contest was only a link in the chain, 1 Samuel 16:18. God has a plan for each life. "All things work together for good to them that love God," Romans 8:28. [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Samuel 16

1  Samuel sent by God, under pretense of a sacrifice, comes to Bethlehem
6  His human judgment is reproved
11  He anoints David
15  Saul sends for David to quiet his evil spirit

What do the individual words in 1 Samuel 16:21 mean?

So came David to Saul and stood before him and he loved him greatly and he became his bearer armorbearer
וַיָּבֹ֤א דָוִד֙ אֶל־ שָׁא֔וּל וַֽיַּעֲמֹ֖ד לְפָנָ֑יו וַיֶּאֱהָבֵ֣הֽוּ מְאֹ֔ד וַֽיְהִי־ ל֖וֹ נֹשֵׂ֥א כֵלִֽים

וַיָּבֹ֤א  So  came 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: בֹּוא 
Sense: to go in, enter, come, go, come in.
דָוִד֙  David 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: דָּוִד  
Sense: youngest son of Jesse and second king of Israel.
שָׁא֔וּל  Saul 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: שָׁאוּל  
Sense: a Benjamite, son of Kish, and the st king of Israel.
וַֽיַּעֲמֹ֖ד  and  stood 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: עָמַד  
Sense: to stand, remain, endure, take one’s stand.
לְפָנָ֑יו  before  him 
Parse: Preposition-l, Noun, common plural construct, third person masculine singular
Root: לִפְנֵי 
Sense: face.
וַיֶּאֱהָבֵ֣הֽוּ  and  he  loved  him 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular, third person masculine singular
Root: אָהַב  
Sense: to love.
מְאֹ֔ד  greatly 
Parse: Adverb
Root: מְאֹד  
Sense: exceedingly, much subst.
וַֽיְהִי־  and  he  became 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אֶהְיֶה 
Sense: to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.
ל֖וֹ  his 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
נֹשֵׂ֥א  bearer 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular construct
Root: נָשָׂא  
Sense: to lift, bear up, carry, take.
כֵלִֽים  armorbearer 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: כְּלִי  
Sense: article, vessel, implement, utensil.