1 Samuel 16
Samuel anoints David as king
1 The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Stop being sad about Saul. I have decided that he will no longer be the king of Israel. Fill your horn with olive oil and go. I am sending you to a man whose name is Jesse. He lives in Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to become king.’
16:1He used the horn to contain oil, like a jar. He would use the oil to anoint a new king.
2 Samuel said, ‘If I go to do that, people will tell Saul about it. Then he will kill me.’
The Lord said, ‘Take a calf with you. Tell the people that you have come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. 3 Then ask Jesse to come to the sacrifice. I will show you what to do after that. I will show you the person that you must anoint with the oil.’
4 Samuel obeyed the Lord. He went to Bethlehem. The leaders of the town went to meet Samuel, but they were very afraid. They asked him, ‘Have you come to visit us as a friend?’
5 Samuel replied, ‘Yes. I do not bring any trouble. 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 to worship the Lord. Then he took them with him 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 to be king.’
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 people do. People look at the face and body of a person. But the Lord sees what they are like inside.’
8 Then Jesse called his son Abinadab. Jesse caused him to stand in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, ‘The Lord has not chosen this man either.’
9 Jesse caused his son Shammah to stand in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, ‘The Lord has not chosen this man.’
10 Jesse caused seven of his sons to stand in front of Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen any of these men.’
11 Samuel asked Jesse, ‘Are those all of your sons?’
Jesse answered, ‘I have one more son. He is the youngest. He is taking care of my sheep.’
Samuel said, ‘Send someone to bring him here. We cannot continue to offer the sacrifice until he arrives.’
12 So Jesse told his men to bring his youngest son for Samuel to see. This young man was handsome and strong and he had beautiful eyes.
The Lord said to Samuel, ‘I have chosen this man. Now anoint him as king.’
13 Samuel took the horn that was full of olive oil. He poured the oil over David's head to anoint him. Samuel did this in front of David's brothers. From that moment, the Spirit of the Lord came on David with great power.
Then Samuel returned to his home in Ramah.
David becomes Saul's servant
14 The Spirit of the Lord had now gone away from Saul. The Lord sent an evil spirit to Saul. It gave Saul trouble and fear in his mind.
15 Saul's servants said to him, ‘We know that God has sent an evil spirit which is giving you much trouble. 16 If you agree, we will look for a man who can make music on a harp. When the evil spirit gives you trouble, this man can make music. Then you will not feel so upset.’
17 Saul agreed and he said to his servants, ‘Find someone who can make good music with a harp. Then bring him to me.’
18 One of the servants said, ‘I know one man who can play a harp very well. He is one of Jesse's sons, who lives in Bethlehem. This man is a brave soldier. He speaks well and he is handsome. The Lord is with him.’
19 So Saul sent his men to Jesse with this message: ‘Tell your son David to come to me. That is your son who takes care of your sheep.’
20 So Jesse took some loaves of bread, a bag with wine in it, and a young goat. He put them on the back of a donkey and he sent them to Saul with his son David.
21 David went to Saul. He became Saul's servant. Saul loved David. David carried Saul's armour for him. 22 Then Saul sent a message to Jesse. He said, ‘I am very pleased with David. Let him stay here as my servant.’
23 So, when the evil spirit brought trouble to Saul, David made music on his harp. Then Saul would feel happier and the evil spirit would leave him.