In 1 Samuel 20 and following it seems clear that David is beginning to set up a Kingdom in earnest, and a rival kingdom to that of Saul.  Although he's been anointed some time before (ch. 16), it's in chapter 20 that we really see his alternative, messianic kingdom begin to take shape, and it is from here that we see it grow.  While David refuses to seize power from God's anointed, his kingdom begins to take shape even as Saul's is collapsing.

In chapter 20 David flees Saul, and apparently only has a handful of close followers with him; for he only requires five loaves (the Bread of the Presence which he receives from the high priest at Nob).  True, this is all there was, but one does not get the impression that it was vastly insufficient.  

However, two chapters later, when David is encamped at the Cave of Adullam, the text tells us that he had with him about 400 men.  Furthermore, when we consider the kind of men that David had accrued to his party, the typological ties with Jesus are striking.  They are said to be: his brothers and his father's house (i.e. the disciples), everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul (or discontented).  This motley crue sounds significantly like those who became part of Jesus' retinue.

Then, by chapter 27, when David approaches Nabal, we find that he has 600 men, half again as many as just previously.  He leaves 200 to guard the supplies, and arms 400 to take vengeance on foolish Nabal.  Furthermore, Abigail, when she learns of it and sets out to quell David's wrath, brings 200 loaves, 2 skins of wine, 5 sheep, 35 quarts of parched grain, a hundred clusters of raisins, and 200 cakes of figs.  Now granted, this was intended to be a lavish gift, not a morsel for subsistence, nevertheless the contrast with the five loaves needed for David and his disciples in chapter 20 is striking.

Add to this that in the midst of all this action an evil king over Israel, Saul, comes and wipes out an entire town, and the parallels to the life of Jesus are rather striking.  Clearly David is beginning even here to take up the messianic role as a shepherd to the lost sheep of Israel.
 


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