And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how your brethren fare, and bring back a token.
All Commentaries on 1 Samuel 17:18 Go To 1 Samuel 17
The whole nation of the faithful Hebrews was saying to their Lord and Savior who would be born from their seed, as they sighed for his advent with earnest desire, “Take these, I beg you, to refresh and aid your people in spiritual warfare. They are your brothers because you deigned to be born from their midst according to the flesh. Amid their camps worn out by daily warfare, take, I say, the form of perfect humility in the body and guardianship of the law, although you in no wise need to submit voluntarily to its demands.” For the parched grain refers to a distressed spirit and a contrite and humiliated heart. The ephah is a measure which holds three amphoras and points to the spirit, soul and body perfected and joined together by humility—whether of our Lord or of each of the elect. This parched grain of humility appeared in the Lord by his own power and volition so that he might build the same in us, but really such humility cannot be brought about except by being placed between the upper and lower grindstones, that is, through fear and hope. Now the ten loaves brought by David clearly point to the food that comes from keeping the decalogue, which we have not by our own powers but by the gift of giver. After he himself was placed under the law for us, he also made the burdens of the law bearable, just as by his humility (which he did not have to show) he taught us to be humble because of the great debt which we will never be able to pay back. But turn, he says, to the gentleness of the decalogue, full of milk (so to say). Just as it is well suited for infants to build up the vigor of their spiritual minds, so it can also refresh and comfort every great and outstanding general of the heavenly army. For after our longed-for Lord, mighty in deed, gave bread and barley groats to his brothers, he brought down cheese to the commander. This occurred after he showed the example of his patience and humility before the magistrates of the Jews and after he did not abolish but fulfilled the commandments of the law and prophets and commanded them to his disciples. These he established and appointed as rulers of the church. “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”