Samuel Goes to Bethlehem
16 Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long are you going to mourn for [a]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, because I have chosen a king for Myself among his sons.” 2 But Samuel said, “How can I go? When Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” But the Lord said, “Take a heifer [b]with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 And you shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will let you know what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I [c]designate to you.” 4 So Samuel did what the Lord told him, and he came to Bethlehem. Then the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, “Do you come in peace?” 5 And he said, “In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” He also consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6 When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is standing before Him.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for [d]God does not see as man sees, since man looks at [e]the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass before Samuel. But he said, “The Lord has not chosen this one, either.” 9 Next Jesse had [f]Shammah pass by. And he said, “The Lord has not chosen this one, either.” 10 So Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the boys?” And he said, “The youngest is still left, but behold, he is tending the sheep.” So Samuel said to Jesse, “Send word and bring him; for we will not take our places at the table until he comes here.”
12 So he sent word and brought him in. Now he was [g]reddish, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” 13 So 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 set out and went to Ramah.
14 Now the Spirit of the Lord left Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrified him. 15 Saul’s servants then said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is terrifying you. 16 May our lord now command your servants who are before you. Have them search for a man who is a skillful musician on the harp; and it shall come about whenever the evil spirit from God is upon you, that he shall play the harp with his hand, and you will become well.” 17 So Saul said to his servants, “Now select for me a man who can play well, and bring him to me.” 18 Then one of the young men responded and said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a valiant mighty man, a warrior, skillful in speech, and a handsome man; and the Lord is with him.” 19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse [h]to say, “Send me your son David, who is with the flock.” 20 And Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread and a jug of wine, and he took a young goat, and sent them to Saul by his son David. 21 Then David came to Saul and [i]attended him; and Saul greatly loved him, and he became his armor bearer. 22 So Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Let David now [j]be my attendant for he has found favor in my sight.” 23 So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would feel relieved and become well, and the evil spirit would leave him.
- 1 Samuel 16:1 I.e., God’s rejection of Saul
- 1 Samuel 16:2 Lit by your hand
- 1 Samuel 16:3 Lit say to you
- 1 Samuel 16:7 As in LXX; MT, He does not see what man sees
- 1 Samuel 16:7 Lit the eyes; or what is before the eyes
- 1 Samuel 16:9 In 2 Sam 13:3, Shimeah; in 1 Chr 2:13, Shimea
- 1 Samuel 16:12 I.e., of reddish hair or skin
- 1 Samuel 16:19 Lit and said
- 1 Samuel 16:21 Lit stood before him
- 1 Samuel 16:22 Lit stand before me