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1And Jehovah saith unto Samuel, ‘Till when art thou mourning for Saul, and I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thy horn with oil, and go, I send thee unto Jesse the Beth-Lehemite, for I have seen among his sons for Myself a king.
2And Samuel saith, ‘How do I go? when Saul hath heard, then he hath slain me.’ And Jehovah saith, ‘A heifer of the herd thou dost take in thy hand, and hast said, To sacrifice to Jehovah I have come;
3and thou hast called for Jesse in the sacrifice, and I cause thee to know that which thou dost do, and thou hast anointed to Me him of whom I speak unto thee.’
4And Samuel doth that which Jehovah hath spoken, and cometh in to Beth-Lehem, and the elders of the city tremble to meet him, and [one] saith, ‘Is thy coming peace?’
5and he saith, ‘Peace; to sacrifice to Jehovah I have come, sanctify yourselves, and ye have come in with me to the sacrifice;’ and he sanctifieth Jesse and his sons, and calleth them to the sacrifice.
6And it cometh to pass, in their coming in, that he seeth Eliab, and saith, ‘Surely, before Jehovah [is] His anointed.’
7And Jehovah saith unto Samuel, ‘Look not unto his appearance, and unto the height of his stature, for I have rejected him; for [it is] not as man seeth — for man looketh at the eyes, and Jehovah looketh at the heart.’
8And Jesse calleth unto Abinadab, and causeth him to pass by before Samuel; and he saith, ‘Also on this Jehovah hath not fixed.’
9And Jesse causeth Shammah to pass by, and he saith, ‘Also on this Jehovah hath not fixed.’
10And Jesse causeth seven of his sons to pass by before Samuel, and Samuel saith to Jesse, ‘Jehovah hath not fixed on these.’
11And Samuel saith unto Jesse, ‘Are the young men finished?’ and he saith, ‘Yet hath been left the youngest; and lo, he delighteth himself among the flock;’ and Samuel saith unto Jesse, ‘Send and take him, for we do not turn round till his coming in hither.’
12And he sendeth, and bringeth him in, and he [is] ruddy, with beauty of eyes, and of good appearance; and Jehovah saith, ‘Rise, anoint him, for this [is] he.’
13And Samuel taketh the horn of oil, and anointeth him in the midst of his brethren, and prosper over David doth the Spirit of Jehovah from that day and onwards; and Samuel riseth and goeth to Ramath.
14And the Spirit of Jehovah turned aside from Saul, and a spirit of sadness from Jehovah terrified him;
15and the servants of Saul say unto him, ‘Lo, we pray thee, a spirit of sadness [from] God is terrifying thee;
16let our lord command, we pray thee, thy servants before thee, they seek a skilful man, playing on a harp, and it hath come to pass, in the spirit of sadness [from] God being upon thee, that he hath played with his hand, and [it is] well with thee.’
17And Saul saith unto his servants, ‘Provide, I pray you, for me a man playing well — then ye have brought [him] in unto me.’
18And one of the servants answereth and saith, ‘Lo, I have seen a son of Jesse the Beth-Lehemite, skilful in playing, and a mighty virtuous man, and a man of battle, and intelligent in word, and a man of form, and Jehovah [is] with him.’
19And Saul sendeth messengers unto Jesse, and saith, ‘Send unto me David thy son, who [is] with the flock.’
20And Jesse taketh an ass, [with] bread, and a bottle of wine, and one kid of the goats, and sendeth by the hand of David his son unto Saul.
21And David cometh in unto Saul, and standeth before him, and he loveth him greatly; and he is a bearer of his weapons.
22And Saul sendeth unto Jesse, saying, ‘Let David, I pray thee, stand before me, for he hath found grace in mine eyes.’
23And it hath come to pass, in the spirit of [sadness from] God being on Saul, that David hath taken the harp, and played with his hand, and Saul hath refreshment and gladness, and the spirit of sadness hath turned aside from off him.
16
Samuel Is Sent to Bethlehem.
1#a. [16:1] Ru 4:17–22; 1 Kgs 1:39; 1 Chr 11:3; Is 11:1; Mt 2:6; Lk 2:4. The Lord said to Samuel: How long will you grieve for Saul, whom I have rejected as king of Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for from among his sons I have decided on a king.#David is anointed two more times after Saul’s death (2 Sm 2:4; 5:3). In 17:28, his brother Eliab is not aware of David’s selection. These repetitions and inconsistencies reflect the final editor’s use of multiple sources. 2But Samuel replied: “How can I go? Saul will hear of it and kill me.” To this the Lord answered: Take a heifer along and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.” 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I myself will tell you what to do; you are to anoint for me the one I point out to you.#b. [16:3] 1 Sm 9:13, 22, 24.
Samuel Anoints David.
4Samuel did as the Lord had commanded him. When he entered Bethlehem, the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and asked, “Is your visit peaceful, O seer?” 5He replied: “Yes! I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. So purify yourselves and celebrate with me today.” He also had Jesse and his sons purify themselves and invited them to the sacrifice.#c. [16:5] 1 Sm 9:12–13; 20:26; Ex 19:10; Jb 1:5. 6As they came, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the anointed is here before the Lord.” 7But the Lord said to Samuel: Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The Lord looks into the heart.#d. [16:7] 1 Sm 10:23–24; 1 Kgs 11:4; 1 Chr 28:9; Prv 15:11; Jer 17:10; 20:12; Lk 16:15; Acts 1:24. 8#e. [16:8–11] 1 Sm 17:12–13; 1 Chr 2:13–15. Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him before Samuel, who said, “The Lord has not chosen him.” 9Next Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 10In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any one of these.” 11Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest, but he is tending the sheep.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send for him; we will not sit down to eat until he arrives here.”#f. [16:11] 1 Sm 17:15, 28, 34; 2 Sm 7:8; Ps 78:70–71. 12Jesse had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth with beautiful eyes, and good looking. The Lord said: There—anoint him, for this is the one!#g. [16:12] 1 Sm 9:2. 13Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and from that day on, the spirit of the Lord rushed upon David. Then Samuel set out for Ramah.#h. [16:13] 1 Sm 10:6; 11:6; Jgs 3:10; 9:9; Sir 46:13.
David Wins Saul’s Approval.
14#These verses explain Saul’s loss of divine favor and David’s rise to power. By approving the young man, Saul identifies David as his legitimate successor. Of the two traditions in the Hebrew text about David’s entry into Saul’s service, the Greek translation retains only the one found in vv. 14–23; 17:1–11, 32–54. An evil spirit from the LORD: Saul’s erratic behavior is attributed to a change in the Lord’s relationship with him. Cf. Jgs 9:23, where the Lord puts an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem. #i. [16:14] 1 Sm 18:10–11. The spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and he was tormented by an evil spirit from the Lord. 15So the servants of Saul said to him: “Look! An evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16If your lordship will order it, we, your servants here attending to you, will look for a man skilled in playing the harp. When the evil spirit from God comes upon you, he will play and you will feel better.” 17Saul then told his servants, “Find me a good harpist and bring him to me.” 18#j. [16:18] 1 Sm 18:12, 14, 28; 2 Sm 5:10; 17:8; Jn 3:2. One of the servants spoke up: “I have observed that a son of Jesse of Bethlehem is a skillful harpist. He is also a brave warrior, an able speaker, and a handsome young man. The Lord is certainly with him.”
David Made Armor-Bearer.
19Accordingly, Saul dispatched messengers to ask Jesse to send him his son David, who was with the flock. 20Then Jesse took five loaves of bread, a skin of wine, and a young goat, and sent them to Saul with his son David.#k. [16:20] 1 Sm 9:7–8; 10:3–4; 16:1; 17:17–19. 21Thus David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul became very fond of him and made him his armor-bearer.#l. [16:21] 1 Sm 18:2. 22Saul sent Jesse the message, “Let David stay in my service, for he meets with my approval.” 23Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take the harp and play, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, for the evil spirit would leave him.