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Samuel Anoints David to Be Israel's King
1The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you be filled with sorrow because of Saul? I have refused to have him as king over Israel. Fill your animal horn with olive oil and go on your way. I am sending you to Jesse in Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king."
2But Samuel said, "How can I go? Saul will hear about it. Then he'll kill me."
The Lord said, "Take a young cow with you. Tell the elders of Bethlehem, 'I've come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord.' 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice. Then I will show you what to do. You must anoint for me the one I point out to you."
4Samuel did what the Lord said. He arrived at Bethlehem. The elders of the town met him. They were trembling with fear. They asked, "Have you come in peace?"
5Samuel replied, "Yes, I've come in peace. I've come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Set yourselves apart to him and come to the sacrifice with me."
Then he set Jesse and his sons apart to the Lord. He invited them to the sacrifice.
6When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab. He thought, "This has to be the one the Lord wants me to anoint for him."
7But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider how handsome or tall he is. I have not chosen him. I do not look at the things people look at. Man looks at how someone appears on the outside. But I look at what is in the heart."
8Then Jesse called for Abinadab. He had him walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, "The Lord hasn't chosen him either."
9Then Jesse had Shammah walk by. But Samuel said, "The Lord hasn't chosen him either."
10Jesse had seven of his sons walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said to him, "The Lord hasn't chosen any of them." 11So he asked Jesse, "Are these the only sons you have?"
"No," Jesse answered. "My youngest son is taking care of the sheep."
Samuel said, "Send for him. We won't sit down to eat until he arrives."
12So Jesse sent for his son and had him brought in. His skin was tanned. He had a fine appearance and handsome features.
Then the Lord said, "Get up and anoint him. He is the one."
13So Samuel got the animal horn that was filled with olive oil. He anointed David in front of his brothers. From that day on, the Spirit of the Lord came on David with power. Samuel went back to Ramah.
David Serves Saul
14The Spirit of the Lord had left Saul. And an evil spirit that was sent by the Lord terrified him.
15Saul's attendants said to him, "An evil spirit that was sent by God is terrifying you. 16Give us an order to look for someone who can play the harp. He will play it when the evil spirit that was sent by God comes on you. Then you will feel better."
17So Saul said to his attendants, "Find someone who plays the harp well. Bring him to me."
18One of the servants said, "I've seen someone who knows how to play the harp. He is a son of Jesse from Bethlehem. He's a brave man. He would make a good soldier. He's a good speaker. He's very handsome. And the Lord is with him."
19Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse. He said, "Send me your son David, the one who takes care of your sheep."
20So Jesse got some bread and a bottle of wine. The bottle was made out of animal skin. He also got a young goat. He loaded everything on the back of a donkey. He sent all of it to Saul with his son David.
21David went to Saul and began to serve him. Saul liked him very much. David became one of the men who carried Saul's armor.
22Saul sent a message to Jesse. It said, "Let David stay here. I want him to serve me. I'm pleased with him."
23When the evil spirit that was sent by God would come on Saul, David would get his harp and play it. That would help Saul. He would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
16
1 # Ps 151.4. One day he said, “Samuel, I've rejected Saul, and I refuse to let him be king any longer. Stop feeling sad about him. Put some olive oil#16.1 olive oil: See the note at 9.16. in a small container#16.1 small container: Hebrew “horn”; animal horns were sometimes hollowed out and used as containers. and go visit a man named Jesse, who lives in Bethlehem. I've chosen one of his sons to be my king.”
2Samuel answered, “If I do that, Saul will find out and have me killed.”
“Take a calf with you,” the Lord replied. “Tell everyone that you've come to offer it as a sacrifice to me, 3then invite Jesse to the sacrifice.#16.3 sacrifice: A sacrifice often involved a dinner where the meat from the sacrificed animal would be served. When I show you which one of his sons I have chosen, pour the olive oil on his head.”
4Samuel did what the Lord told him and went to Bethlehem. The town leaders went to meet him, but they were terribly afraid and asked, “Is this a friendly visit?”
5“Yes, it is!” Samuel answered. “I've come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Get yourselves ready#16.5 Get yourselves ready: The people of Israel sometimes had to perform certain ceremonies to make themselves acceptable to God. to take part in the sacrifice and come with me.” Samuel also invited Jesse and his sons to come to the sacrifice, and he got them ready to take part.
6When Jesse and his sons arrived, Samuel noticed Jesse's oldest son, Eliab. “He has to be the one the Lord has chosen,” Samuel said to himself.
7 # Ps 151.5. But the Lord told him, “Samuel, don't think Eliab is the one just because he's tall and handsome. He isn't the one I've chosen. People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts.”
8Jesse told his son Abinadab to go over to Samuel, but Samuel said, “No, the Lord hasn't chosen him.”
9Next, Jesse sent his son Shammah to him, and Samuel said, “The Lord hasn't chosen him either.”
10One by one, Jesse told all seven of his sons to go over to Samuel. Finally, Samuel said, “Jesse, the Lord hasn't chosen any of these young men. 11#Ps 151.1. Do you have any other sons?”
“Yes,” Jesse answered. “My youngest son David is out taking care of the sheep.”
“Send for him!” Samuel said. “We won't start the ceremony until he gets here.”
12Jesse sent for David. He was a healthy, good-looking boy with a sparkle in his eyes. As soon as David came, the Lord told Samuel, “He's the one! Get up and pour the olive oil on his head.”#16.12 olive oil on his head: See the note at 9.16.
13Samuel poured the oil on David's head while his brothers watched. At that moment, the Spirit of the Lord took control of David and stayed with him from then on.
Samuel returned home to Ramah.
David Plays the Harp for Saul
14The Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord was terrifying him. 15“It's an evil spirit from God that's frightening you,” Saul's officials told him. 16“Your Majesty, let us go and look for someone who is good at playing the harp. He can play for you whenever the evil spirit from God bothers you, and you'll feel better.”
17“All right,” Saul answered. “Find me someone who is good at playing the harp and bring him here.”
18“A man named Jesse who lives in Bethlehem has a son who can play the harp,” one official said. “He's a brave warrior, he's good-looking, he can speak well, and the Lord is with him.”
19Saul sent a message to Jesse: “Tell your son David to leave your sheep and come here to me.”
20Jesse loaded a donkey with bread and a goatskin full of wine,#16.20 wine: Wine was sometimes kept in bottles made of goatskin sewn up with the fur on the outside. then he told David to take the donkey and a young goat to Saul. 21David went to Saul and started working for him. Saul liked him so much that he put David in charge of carrying his weapons. 22Not long after this, Saul sent another message to Jesse: “I really like David. Please let him stay with me.”
23 # Ps 151.2. Whenever the evil spirit from God bothered Saul, David would play his harp. Saul would relax and feel better, and the evil spirit would go away.