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16
Samuel Anoints David as King
1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long do you intend to mourn for Saul? I have rejected him as king over Israel.#tc The Lucianic recension of the Old Greek translation includes the following words: “And the Lord said to Samuel.” Fill your horn with olive oil and go! I am sending you to Jesse in Bethlehem,#map For location see Map5-B1; Map7-E2; Map8-E2; Map10-B4. for I have selected a king for myself from among his sons.”#tn Heb “for I have seen among his sons for me a king.”
2 Samuel replied, “How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me!” But the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you#tn Heb “in your hand.” and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you should do. You will anoint for me the one I point out#tn Heb “say”; KJV, NRSV “name”; NIV “indicate.” to you.”
4 Samuel did what the Lord told him.#tn Heb “said.” When he arrived in Bethlehem,#map For location see Map5-B1; Map7-E2; Map8-E2; Map10-B4. the elders of the city were afraid to meet him. They#tc In the MT the verb is singular (“he said”), but the translation follows many medieval Hebrew mss and ancient versions in reading the plural (“they said”). said, “Do you come in peace?” 5 He replied, “Yes, in peace. I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” So he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6 When they arrived, Samuel#tn Heb “he”; the referent (Samuel) has been specified in the translation for clarity. noticed#tn Heb “saw.” Eliab and said to himself,#tn Heb “said”; the words “to himself” are implied, given the secrecy surrounding Samuel’s mission to Bethlehem (v. 2). “Surely, here before the Lord stands his chosen king!”#tn Heb “his anointed one.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t be impressed by#tn Heb “don’t look toward.” his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. God does not view things the way men do.#tn Heb “for not that which the man sees.” The translation follows the LXX, which reads, “for not as man sees does God see.” The MT has suffered from homoioteleuton or homoioarcton. See P. K. McCarter, I Samuel (AB), 274. People look on the outward appearance,#tn Heb “to the eyes.” but the Lord looks at the heart.”
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him to Samuel.#tn Heb “and caused him to pass before.” But Samuel#tn Heb “he” (also in v. 9); the referent (Samuel) has been specified in the translation for clarity. said, “The Lord has not chosen this one, either.” 9 Then Jesse presented#tn Heb “caused to pass by.” Shammah. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 10 Jesse presented seven of his sons to Samuel.#tn Heb “caused seven of his sons to pass before Samuel.” This could be taken as referring to seven sons in addition to the three mentioned before this, but 1 Sam 17:12 says Jesse had eight sons, not eleven. 1 Chr 2:13-15 lists only seven sons, including David. However, 1 Chr 27:18 mentions an additional son, named Elihu. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Is that all of the young men?” Jesse#tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jesse) has been specified in the translation both here and in v. 12 for clarity. replied, “There is still the youngest one, but he’s taking care of the flock.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we cannot turn our attention to other things until he comes here.”
12 So Jesse had him brought in.#tn Heb “and he sent and brought him.” Now he was ruddy, with attractive eyes and a handsome appearance. The Lord said, “Go and anoint him. This is the one!” 13 So Samuel took the horn full of olive oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers. The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day onward. Then Samuel got up and went to Ramah.
David Appears before Saul
14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had turned away from Saul, and an evil spirit#tn Or “an injurious spirit”; cf. NLT “a tormenting spirit.” The phrase need not refer to an evil, demonic spirit. The Hebrew word translated “evil” may refer to the character of the spirit or to its effect upon Saul. If the latter, another translation option might be “a mischief-making spirit.” from the Lord tormented him. 15 Then Saul’s servants said to him, “Look, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you!” 16 Let our lord instruct his servants who are here before you to look for a man who knows how to play the lyre. Then whenever the evil spirit from God comes upon you, he can play the lyre#tn Heb “and he will play with his hand.” and you will feel better.”#tn Heb “and it will be better for you.” 17 So Saul said to his servants, “Find#tn Heb “see.” me a man who plays well and bring him to me.” 18 One of his attendants replied,#tn Heb “answered and said.” “I have seen a son of Jesse in Bethlehem#map For location see Map5-B1; Map7-E2; Map8-E2; Map10-B4. who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave warrior#tn Heb “mighty man of valor and a man of war.” and is articulate#tn Heb “discerning of word.” and handsome,#tn Heb “a man of form.” for the Lord is with him.”
19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is out with the sheep. 20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a container of wine, and a young goat#tn Heb “a kid of the goats.” and sent them to Saul with#tn Heb “by the hand of.” his son David. 21 David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him a great deal,#tn Heb “he loved him.” and he became his armor bearer. 22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse saying, “Let David be my servant, for I really like him.”#tn Heb “Let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my eyes.”
23 So whenever the spirit from God would come upon Saul, David would take his lyre and play it. This would bring relief to Saul and make him feel better. Then the evil spirit would leave him alone.#tn Heb “would turn aside from upon him.”
16
David Is Anointed King
1The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you go on grieving over Saul? I have rejected him as king of Israel. But now get some olive oil and go to Bethlehem, to a man named Jesse, because I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
2“How can I do that?” Samuel asked. “If Saul hears about it, he will kill me!”
The Lord answered, “Take a calf with you and say that you are there to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will tell you what to do. You will anoint as king the man I tell you to.”
4Samuel did what the Lord told him to do and went to Bethlehem, where the city leaders came trembling to meet him and asked, “Is this a peaceful visit, seer?”
5“Yes,” he answered. “I have come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and come with me.” He also told Jesse and his sons to purify themselves, and he invited them to the sacrifice.
6When they arrived, Samuel saw Jesse's son Eliab and said to himself, “This man standing here in the Lord's presence is surely the one he has chosen.” 7But the Lord said to him, “Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.”
8Then Jesse called his son Abinadab and brought him to Samuel. But Samuel said, “No, the Lord hasn't chosen him either.” 9Jesse then brought Shammah. “No, the Lord hasn't chosen him either,” Samuel said. 10In this way Jesse brought seven of his sons to Samuel. And Samuel said to him, “No, the Lord hasn't chosen any of these.” 11Then he asked him, “Do you have any more sons?”
Jesse answered, “There is still the youngest, but he is out taking care of the sheep.”
“Tell him to come here,” Samuel said. “We won't offer the sacrifice until he comes.” 12So Jesse sent for him. He was a handsome, healthy young man, and his eyes sparkled. The Lord said to Samuel, “This is the one—anoint him!” 13Samuel took the olive oil and anointed David in front of his brothers. Immediately the spirit of the Lord took control of David and was with him from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.
David in Saul's Court
14The Lord's spirit left Saul, and an evil spirit sent by the Lord tormented him. 15His servants said to him, “We know that an evil spirit sent by God is tormenting you. 16So give us the order, sir, and we will look for a man who knows how to play the harp. Then when the evil spirit comes on you, the man can play his harp, and you will be all right again.”
17Saul ordered them, “Find me a man who plays well and bring him to me.”
18One of his attendants said, “Jesse of the town of Bethlehem has a son who is a good musician. He is also a brave and handsome man, a good soldier, and an able speaker. The Lord is with him.”
19So Saul sent messengers to Jesse to say, “Send me your son David, the one who takes care of the sheep.” 20Jesse sent David to Saul with a young goat, a donkey loaded with bread, and a leather bag full of wine. 21David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much and chose him as the man to carry his weapons. 22Then Saul sent a message to Jesse: “I like David. Let him stay here in my service.” 23From then on, whenever the evil spirit sent by God came on Saul, David would get his harp and play it. The evil spirit would leave, and Saul would feel better and be all right again.