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1 Samuel 16

Samuel Anoints David

1 Now the LORD said to Samuel, “How long are you going to mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have selected from his sons a king for Myself.”

2 “How can I go?” Samuel asked. “Saul will hear of it and kill me!”

The LORD answered, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ 3 Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you are to do. You are to anoint for Me the one I indicate.”

4 So Samuel did what the LORD had said and went to Bethlehem. When the elders of the town met him, they trembled and asked, “Do you come in peace?”

5 “In peace,” he replied. “I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.”

Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and said, “Surely here before the LORD is His anointed.”

7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or height, for I have rejected him; the LORD does not see as man does. For man sees the outward appearance, but the LORD sees the heart.”

8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him to Samuel, who said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.”

9 Next Jesse presented Shammah, a but Samuel said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.”

10 Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel told him, “The LORD has not chosen any of these.”

11 And Samuel asked him, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied, “but he is tending the sheep.”

“Send for him,” Samuel replied. “For we will not sit down to eat until he arrives.”

12 So Jesse sent for his youngest son and brought him in. He was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him, for he is the one.”

13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. Then Samuel set out and went to Ramah.

David Serves Saul

14 After the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, a spirit of distress b from the LORD began to torment him. 15 Saul’s servants said to him, “Surely a spirit of distress from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord command your servants here to seek out someone who can skillfully play the harp. Whenever the spirit of distress from God is upon you, he is to play it, and you will be well.”

17 And Saul commanded his servants, “Find me someone who plays well, and bring him to me.”

18 One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a mighty man of valor, a warrior, eloquent and handsome, and the LORD is with him.”

19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.”

20 And Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and one young goat, and sent them to Saul with his son David. 21 When David came to Saul and entered his service, Saul admired him greatly, and David became his armor-bearer.

22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.” 23 And whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would pick up his harp and play, and Saul would become well, and the spirit of distress would depart from him.



9 a Shammah is a variant of Shimeah , Shimea , and Shimei ; see 2 Samuel 13:3, 2 Samuel 21:21, and 1 Chronicles 2:13.
14 b Or a harmful spirit ; similarly in verses 15, 16, and 23

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