12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” — 1 Samuel 16:12

All indications would be that he was in top-flight condition having wrestled a bear and (I think) a lion, living in the wild tending his sheep so would it be accurate to tie the word ruddy to a look of high athletic fitness?

P.S. first question. 6th grade graduate with honors I might add and older than you by maybe2x. I have no problem you correcting my grammar. I can take a fair amount of abuse as long as in the end I get accurate correction 🤔

1 Answer 1


In 1 Sam 16:12, we have a description of the young David that consists of three parts:

  • "ruddy", (this word occurs only elsewhere in Gen 25:25, as of Esau, and in 1 Sam 17:42, of David again.)
  • "bright eyes"
  • "handsome/good looking"

There is no justification for arbitrarily selecting any of these three characteristics as attributable to race or genetics - they are all simply a statement of a young man in the flush of youth and health.

Matthew Poole suggests this:

He was ruddy; which may be referred either to the colour of his hair; or rather, to the complexion of his face.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.