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CHAPTER 16.
1And the Lord said to Samuel. How It long wilt thou mourn for Saul, whom I have rejected from reigning over Israel? fill thy horn with oil, and come, that I may send thee to Isai the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. 2And Samuel said: How shall I go? for Saul will hear of it, and he will kill me. And the Lord said: Thou shalt take with thee a calf of the herd, and thou shalt say: I am come to sacrifice to the Lord. 3And thou shalt call Isai to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou art to do, and thou shalt anoint him whom I shall shew to thee. 4Then Samuel did as the Lord had said to him. And he came to Bethlehem, and the ancients of the city wondered, and meeting him, they said: Is thy coming hither peaceable? 5And he said: It is peaceable: I am come to offer sacrifice to the Lord, be ye sanctified, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Isai and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. 6And when they were come in, he saw Eliab, and said: Is the Lord's anointed before him? 7And the Lord said to Samuel: Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature: because I have rejected him, nor do I judge according to the look of man: for man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth the heart. 8And Isai called Abinadab, and brought him before Samuel. And he said: Neither hath the Lord chosen this. 9And Isai brought Samma, and he said of him: Neither hath the Lord chosen this. 10Isai therefore brought his seven sons before Samuel: and Samuel said to Isai: The Lord hath not chosen any one of these. 11And Samuel said to Isai: Are here all thy sons? He answered: There remaineth yet a young one, who keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said to Isai: Send, and fetch him, for we will not sit down till he come hither. 12He sent therefore and brought him Now he was ruddy and beautiful to behold, and of a comely face. And the Lord said: Arise, and anoint him, for this is he. 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward: and Samuel rose up, and went to Ramatha. 14But the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. 15And the servants of Saul said to him: Behold now an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. 16Let our lord give orders, and thy servants who are before thee will seek out a man skilful in playing on the harp, that when the evil spirit from the Lord is upon thee, he may play with his hand, and thou mayest bear it more easily. 17And Saul said to his servants: Provide me then some man that can play well, and bring him to me. 18And one of the servants answering, said: Behold I have seen a son of Isai the Bethlehemite, a skilful player, and one of great strength, and a man fit for war, and prudent in his words, and a comely person: and the Lord is with him. 19Then Saul sent messengers to Isai, saying: Send me David thy son, who is in the pastures. 20And Isai took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid of the flock, and sent them by the hand of David his son to Saul. 21And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him exceedingly, and made him his armourbearer. 22And Saul sent to Isai, saying: Let David stand before me: for he hath found favour in my sight. 23So whensoever the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul, David took his harp, and played with his hand, and Saul was refreshed, and was better, for the evil spirit departed from him.
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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.”