Heard one preacher teaching on 1 Samuel 16 that when the prophet came to annoint another king in the house of Jesse he actually tried to pour oil on David's brothers but it would not come out until he came to David

KJV 1 Samuel 16 : 1

And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.

Tried to search for this information in 1 Samuel 16 but couldn't find it. Got me thinking whether this was from some extra biblical source.

Could be someone has an idea on this source?

1 Answer 1


What actually happens in the event is that Samuel is shown the brothers of David in turn, and in each case the Lord tells Samuel that this one has not been chosen. Only when David appears does the Lord say "Arise, anoint him, for this is he." (1 Samuel ch16 vv6-13). In other words, Samuel does not even try to pour out the oil until the Lord gives permission.

I strongly suspect, I'm afraid, that your preacher (or the person from whom he learned that detail) was quoting the story from memory and has attached his own interpretation to the concept "The Lord did not let it happen". But perhaps there was a much older writer who has committed this fault.

  • It seems to be a common misconception. E.g. Hour of Power says "He looked like a King, but God hadn't chosen him. When he tried to pour the oil on him, it wouldn't flow.". Commented Feb 25, 2023 at 14:45
  • @ Ray Butterworth Thank you, that's interesting. I still suspect it's a modern twist, though, perhaps from the internet era. Commented Feb 25, 2023 at 14:51
  • a modern twist does not include completely re writing the scripture to say something it does not. If the original script does not say "the oil wouldn't flow", then that is not what happened. This is even more problematic given the text actually says that God spoke to Samuel telling him repeatedly "the Lord has not chosen this one" then when David arrived the Lord said "Rise and anoint him, for he is the one."
    – Adam
    Commented Feb 25, 2023 at 22:28
  • @Adam Agreed. That was the gist of my second paragraph. Commented Feb 25, 2023 at 22:37

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