New Living Translation

1 Samuel 16

Samuel Anoints David as King

1Now the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king.”

But Samuel asked, “How can I do that? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

“Take a heifer with you,” the Lord replied, “and say that you have come to make a sacrifice to the Lord. Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you which of his sons to anoint for me.”

So Samuel did as the Lord instructed. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town came trembling to meet him. “What’s wrong?” they asked. “Do you come in peace?”

“Yes,” Samuel replied. “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then Samuel performed the purification rite for Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice, too.

When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!”

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Then Jesse told his son Abinadab to step forward and walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “This is not the one the Lord has chosen.” Next Jesse summoned Shimea,[a] but Samuel said, “Neither is this the one the Lord has chosen.” 10 In the same way all seven of Jesse’s sons were presented to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11 Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.”

“Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.”

12 So Jesse sent for him. He was dark and handsome, with beautiful eyes.

And the Lord said, “This is the one; anoint him.”

13 So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.

David Serves in Saul’s Court

14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and the Lord sent a tormenting spirit[b] that filled him with depression and fear.

15 Some of Saul’s servants said to him, “A tormenting spirit from God is troubling you. 16 Let us find a good musician to play the harp whenever the tormenting spirit troubles you. He will play soothing music, and you will soon be well again.”

17 “All right,” Saul said. “Find me someone who plays well, and bring him here.”

18 One of the servants said to Saul, “One of Jesse’s sons from Bethlehem is a talented harp player. Not only that—he is a brave warrior, a man of war, and has good judgment. He is also a fine-looking young man, and the Lord is with him.”

19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse to say, “Send me your son David, the shepherd.” 20 Jesse responded by sending David to Saul, along with a young goat, a donkey loaded with bread, and a wineskin full of wine.

21 So David went to Saul and began serving him. Saul loved David very much, and David became his armor bearer.

22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse asking, “Please let David remain in my service, for I am very pleased with him.”

23 And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away.

Footnotes

  1. 16:9 Hebrew Shammah, a variant spelling of Shimea; compare 1 Chr 2:13; 20:7.
  2. 16:14 Or an evil spirit; also in 16:15, 16, 23.

Amplified Bible

1 Samuel 16

Samuel Goes to Bethlehem

1The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve for Saul, when I have rejected him as king over Israel? [a]Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have chosen a king for Myself among his sons.” But Samuel said, “How can I go? When Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer from the herd with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ You shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do [after that]; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate.” So Samuel did what the Lord said, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, “Do you come in peace?” 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.

So it happened, when they had come, he looked at Eliab [the eldest son] and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.” 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 the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks [b]at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass before Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Next Jesse had Shammah pass by. And Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen him either.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen [any of] these.” 11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” Jesse replied, “There is still one left, the youngest; he is tending the sheep.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send word and bring him; because we will not sit down [to eat the sacrificial meal] until he comes here.”

David Anointed

12 So Jesse sent word and brought him in. Now he had a ruddy complexion, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. The Lord said [to Samuel], “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David in the presence of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

14 Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented and terrified him. 15 Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord now command your servants who are here before you to find a man who plays skillfully on the harp; and when the evil spirit from God is on you, he shall play the harp with his hand, and you will be well.” 17 So Saul told his servants, “Find me a man who plays well and bring him to me.” 18 One of the young men said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a brave and competent man, a warrior, discerning (prudent, eloquent) in speech, and a handsome man; and the Lord is with him.” 19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the flock.” 20 Jesse took a donkey [loaded with] bread and a jug of wine and a young goat, and sent them to Saul with David his son. 21 Then David came to Saul and attended him. Saul loved him greatly and [later] David became his armor bearer. 22 Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Please let David [c]be my attendant, for he has found favor in my sight.” 23 So it came about that whenever the [evil] spirit from God was on Saul, David took a harp and played it with his hand; so Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would leave him.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 16:1 Samuel’s horn was a receptacle for olive oil, which he would use to anoint a new king.
  2. 1 Samuel 16:7 Lit with the eyes.
  3. 1 Samuel 16:22 Lit stand before me.