“As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, ‘Abner, whose son is this youth?’ And Abner said, ‘As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.’ And the king said, ‘Inquire whose son the boy is.'” (ESV – Read the chapter)
One of the questions that quickly comes to the mind of the perceptive reader here is how chapters 16 and 17 can be harmonized. One seems to say one thing and the other another thing. This is the kind of apparent conflict that gives critics of the Scriptures plenty of ammunition to fire away at its credibility…or so they (and sometimes we) think. But, while this is yet another place where things are harder than usual to understand at first glance, a little bit of thinking reveals that it does not pose nearly the challenge that it seems.