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1Yahweh said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite; for I have provided a king for myself among his sons.”
2Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.”
Yahweh said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, I have come to sacrifice to Yahweh. 3Call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. You shall anoint to me him whom I name to you.”
4Samuel did that which Yahweh spoke, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?”
5He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to Yahweh. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” He sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. 6When they had come, he looked at Eliab, and said, “Surely Yahweh’s anointed is before him.”
7But Yahweh said to Samuel, “Don’t look on his face, or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for I don’t see as man sees. For man looks at the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks at the heart.” 8Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Yahweh has not chosen this one, either.” 9Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. He said, “Yahweh has not chosen this one, either.” 10Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. Samuel said to Jesse, “Yahweh has not chosen these.” 11Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your children here?”
He said, “There remains yet the youngest. Behold, he is keeping the sheep.”
Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down until he comes here.”
12He sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with a handsome face and good appearance. Yahweh said, “Arise! Anoint him, for this is he.”
13Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the middle of his brothers. Then Yahweh’s Spirit came mightily on David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up and went to Ramah. 14Now Yahweh’s Spirit departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Yahweh troubled him. 15Saul’s servants said to him, “See now, an evil spirit from God troubles you. 16Let our lord now command your servants who are in front of you to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. Then when the evil spirit from God is on you, he will play with his hand, and you will be well.”
17Saul said to his servants, “Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.”
18Then one of the young men answered, and said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and Yahweh is with him.”
19Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.”
20Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a young goat, and sent them by David his son to Saul. 21David came to Saul, and stood before him. He loved him greatly; and he became his armor bearer. 22Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Please let David stand before me; for he has found favor in my sight.” 23When the spirit from God was on Saul, David took the harp, and played with his hand; so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
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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.