Psalm 69 contains some interesting and puzzling statements. David says, “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.” (verse 8) He says, “I restored that which I took not away [I have not stolen].” (verse 4) David continues, “They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.” (verse 12)
In addition, you will recall that when Samuel was told to go to the house of Jesse and anoint one of his sons as king of Israel, Jesse did not even tell Samuel of David. (First Samuel 16:1-13) Further, when David questioned what was to be done about Goliath, his oldest brother, Eliab, was angry and scolded him for coming to the army’s camp. (First Samuel 17:28)
Jewish commentary in the Midrashim offers an explanation for this attitude of David’s brothers. According to certain non-Scriptural documents, there was a question about David’s legitimacy. It involved David’s mother becoming pregnant by her husband, Jesse, without his knowledge. (It is a long story.) As a result, David’s mother and David himself were shunned by the family.
According to these commentaries, David was not permitted to eat with the rest of his family, but was assigned to a separate table in the corner. He was given the task of shepherd because “they hoped that a wild beast would come and kill him while he was performing his duties,” and for this reason was sent to pasture in dangerous areas full of lions and bears. David was considered an outcast and if anything was missing, David was accused of the theft. (See Psalm 69:4 above.)
Possibly confirming this family attitude is the story of Samuel coming to the house of Jesse to anoint one of his sons. When the Lord did not choose any of the seven sons presented to him, Samuel asked Jesse if this was all of the lads in his house. The Holy Spirit led Samuel to ask if there were any other lads, or young men, in the house because if Samuel would have asked if there was another son, Jesse might have said there were none because David was not considered a son.
In First Samuel 16:11 the King James Version says “children,” but the Hebrew word na’ar (Strong’s H5288) is used, which means lad, boy, youth or servant. Sonship is not indicated by this word.
Jewish tradition says that David was of a ruddy complexion, red hair, and beautiful eyes and was handsome. When David was brought before Samuel, he is reported to have thought, “Here is another red-headed trouble-maker like Esau.” But the Lord told Samuel to look at the inner person, not the outer. This is a good lesson for us all.
So David was possibly the original red-headed step-child. David’s mother was shunned, as Mary the mother of Jesus would have been had her pregnancy become public knowledge. David was rejected by his brothers, as Jesus was rejected by His Jewish brothers.
According to tradition, after David was anointed, Nitzevet his mother (not named in Scripture), told his brothers, “The stone that was reviled by the builders has now become the cornerstone,” a slight paraphrase of Psalm 118:22. The Jews apply this Scripture to King David, while Christians apply it to his descendant, Jesus.
David can be seen as a foreshadow or type of the Lord Jesus, which is only fitting because Jesus will sit on the throne of David. (Isaiah 9:7) Praise the name of Jesus! Lord Jesus, come quickly!