Anointment of David as King
Museum of Art, New York
This appears to be a conflation of the Bible's three narratives of the
anointing of David. In the first, 1 Samuel 16:1-13, David is a shepherd boy
anointed by the prophet Samuel. In the present image, David's size
could indicate his youth, and the haloed figure blessing the boy with a
Trinitarian gesture ought to be Samuel.
But everyone except Samuel is dressed for battle, and Samuel is not
doing the anointing, suggesting that the event depicted is either
David's royal anointing by either the men of Judah (2 Samuel 2:4) or
the men of Israel (2 Samuel 5:1-5).
But the latter passage says that David was 30 years old at the time;
and Samuel was long dead.
One might preserve appearances by concluding that the small size of the
David figure represents his relative
youth at the time of his anointing by the men of Israel (he would reign
for another 40 years), and that Samuel is included because his
anointing of David was the real one, the one that mattered because it
had been directly ordered by God.
Photographed at the
site by Richard Stracke