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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.
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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.