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David Anointed King
1The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over 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 for myself a king among his sons." 2And Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me." And the Lord said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.' 3And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you." 4Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, "Do you come peaceably?" 5And he said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice." And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed is before him." 7But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." 8Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one." 9Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one." 10And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, "The Lord has not chosen these." 11Then Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here." 12And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, "Arise, anoint him, for this is he." 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
David in Saul's Service
14Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him. 15And Saul's servants said to him, "Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. 16Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well." 17So Saul said to his servants, "Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me." 18One of the young men answered, "Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him." 19Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, "Send me David your son, who is with the sheep." 20And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. 21And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. 22And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, "Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight." 23And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.
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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.