I Samuel 16
1. Now the LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.”
Now the LORD scolds Samuel for mourning too long for Saul. The problem was not the mourning, which was fine and proper, and no doubt the LORD himself mourned for this sad event. Yet if the mourning carried on too long and got in the way of doing something to move on and fix the situation, then the mourning was no longer appropriate. The time for mourning is past, since the LORD has rejected Saul from governing over Israel. He no longer deserves the job. Samuel is now to go and anoint his replacement with a horn of oil.
Now the “horn” of oil was probably quite literal. It seems they would carry their oil at that time in the horn of a domestic animal. After the animal was butchered they would save the horn, making a cap for it, and this horn would be used to hold the oil. Since they did not have an overabundance of water for bathing, nor did they have deodorants or things like that which we have, they would often use this oil as a crucial part of their toilet to make themselves presentable. No doubt Samuel would have had this horn of oil for his own, daily use. Yet now he is to use it to do something significant for God. Read the rest of this entry »