1 Samuel 16

Samuel anoints David

1 The Lord said to Samuel, ‘You should not continue to be sad about Saul. I do not still want him to be the king of Israel. Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to a man whose name is Jesse. He lives in the town called Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.’

2 But Samuel said, ‘If I go, people will tell Saul about it. Then he will kill me.’

The Lord said, ‘Take a young cow with you. Tell the people that you have come to give a sacrifice to the Lord. 3 Say to Jesse, “Come to the sacrifice.” I will show you what to do. I will show you the person that you must anoint.’

4 Samuel obeyed the Lord. He arrived at Bethlehem. The leaders of that town went to meet Samuel. The leaders shook because they were afraid of Samuel. They asked him, ‘Have you come as a friend and not to bring trouble?’

5 Samuel replied, ‘Yes. I have come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Make yourselves clean. Then come to the sacrifice with me.’ Samuel made Jesse and his sons clean. Then Samuel asked them to come to the sacrifice.

6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Jesse's son Eliab. Samuel thought, ‘I am sure that the Lord has chosen this man.’

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at how handsome or how tall Eliab is. I have not chosen him. The Lord does not look at people in the way that other people do. People look at the face and body of a person. But the Lord looks inside them.’

8 Then Jesse called his son Abinadab. Jesse caused him to walk past Samuel. But Samuel said, ‘The Lord has not chosen this man.’

9 Jesse caused his son Shammah to walk past Samuel. But Samuel said, ‘The Lord has not chosen this man.’

10 Jesse caused 7 of his sons to walk past Samuel. But Samuel said, ‘The Lord has not chosen any of these men.’

11 Samuel asked Jesse, ‘Do you have any more sons?’

Jesse answered, ‘I have one more son. He is the youngest. He is caring for the sheep.’

Samuel said, ‘Ask him to come here. We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.’

12 So Jesse asked them to fetch him and Jesse took him to Samuel. This young man was handsome and strong and he had beautiful eyes.

The Lord said to Samuel, ‘I have chosen this man. Go and anoint him.’

13 The name of the young man was David. Samuel took the horn that was full of oil. He poured the oil over David to anoint him. Samuel did this in front of David's brothers. After that, the Spirit of the Lord came on David in a powerful way. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.

14 But the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul. The Lord sent an evil spirit to Saul. It made him afraid and it caused him to have troubles.

15 Saul's servants said to him, ‘We know that God sent an evil spirit to give troubles to you. 16 If you will let us, we will go. We will look for a man who can make music on a harp. When the evil spirit comes from God, this man can make music. Then you will feel better.’

17 So Saul said to his servants, ‘Find someone who can make good music with a harp. Bring him to me.’

18 One of the servants said, ‘Jesse lives in Bethlehem. He has a son who makes good music. This son is a strong, brave soldier. He thinks carefully before he speaks. He is handsome. The Lord is with him.’

19 So Saul sent men to Jesse with a message. He said, ‘Ask your son David to come to me. That is the son who is with the sheep.’ 20 So Jesse took some loaves of bread, a leather bag that was full of wine, and a young goat. He put them on the back of a donkey. He sent them to Saul with his son David.

21 David came to Saul. He became Saul's servant. Saul loved David. David became one of the men who carried Saul's armour. 22 Saul sent a message to Jesse. He said, ‘David gives very much pleasure to me. Let him stay to become my servant.’

23 So, when the evil spirit came from God to Saul, David made music on his harp. Then the evil spirit would leave Saul. And Saul would feel better. And he would be well again.