Samuel Goes to Bethlehem
1The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you continue to feel sorry for Saul? I have rejected him as king of Israel. Fill your container with olive oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse who lives in Bethlehem, because I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
2But Samuel said, “If I go, Saul will hear the news and will try to kill me.”
The Lord said, “Take a young calf with you. Say, ‘I have come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice. Then I will tell you what to do. You must appoint the one I show you.”
4Samuel did what the Lord told him to do. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of Bethlehem shook with fear. They met him and asked, “Are you coming in peace?”
5Samuel answered, “Yes, I come in peace. I have come to make a sacrifice to the Lord. Set yourselves apart to the Lord and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he set Jesse and his sons apart to the Lord, and he invited them to come to the sacrifice.
6When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab, and he thought, “Surely the Lord has appointed this person standing here before him.”
7But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t look at how handsome Eliab is or how tall he is, because I have not chosen him. God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
8Then Jesse called Abinadab and told him to pass by Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this man either.” 9Then Jesse had Shammah pass by. But Samuel said, “No, the Lord has not chosen this one.” 10Jesse had seven of his sons pass by Samuel. But Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.”
11Then he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”
Jesse answered, “I still have the youngest son. He is out taking care of the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him. We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.”
12So Jesse sent and had his youngest son brought in. He was a fine boy, tanned, and handsome.
The Lord said to Samuel, “Go, appoint him, because he is the one.”
13So Samuel took the container of olive oil and poured it on Jesse’s youngest son to appoint him in front of his brothers. From that day on, the Lord’s Spirit worked in David. Samuel then went back to Ramah.
David Serves Saul
14But the Lord’s Spirit had left Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.
15Saul’s servants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is troubling you. 16Give us the command to look for someone who can play the harp. When the evil spirit from God troubles you, he will play, and you will feel better.”
17So Saul said to his servants, “Find someone who can play well and bring him to me.”
18One of the servants said, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem play the harp. He is brave and courageous. He is a good speaker and handsome, and the Lord is with him.”
19Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse, saying, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” 20So Jesse loaded a donkey with bread, a leather bag full of wine, and a young goat, and he sent them with his son David to Saul.
21When David came to Saul, he began to serve him. Saul liked David and made him the officer who carried his armor. 22Saul sent a message to Jesse, saying, “Let David stay and serve me because I like him.”
23When the evil spirit from God troubled Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then the evil spirit would leave him, and Saul would feel better.