1 Samuel 16:1–31:13

David Is Anointed

16 Then Yahweh said to Samuel, “How longa will you mourn about Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel! Fill up 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? If Saul hears, he will kill me.” Yahweh said, “You must take a heifer from the herd with you,b and you must say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to Yahweh.’ You will invite Jesse to the sacrifice and I will make known to you what you must do. You will anoint for me the one whom I tell you.”

So Samuel did what Yahweh said. He came to Bethlehem, and the elders of the city came trembling to meet him. They said, “Have you come in peace?”c He said, “I come in peace. I have come to sacrifice to Yahweh. Sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” So he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came,d hee saw Eliab and said, “Surely his anointed one is before Yahweh!” But Yahweh said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For God does not see what man sees, for a man looks on the outward appearance,f but Yahweh looks on the heart.”g Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel, and he said, “This one also Yahweh has not chosen.” So Jesse made Shammah pass before Samuel, but he said, “Yahweh also has not chosen this one.” 10 And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, “Yahweh has not chosen any of these.”

11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?”h And he said, “The youngest still remains, but look, he is shepherding the flock.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him, for we cannot sit downi until he comes here.” 12 So he sent and brought him. Now he was ruddy with beautiful eyes and of handsomej appearance. And Yahweh 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. Then the Spirit of Yahweh rushed upon David from that day on.k Then Samuel got up and went to Ramah.

Saul in Torment

14 Now the Spirit of Yahweh departed from Saul and an evil spirit from Yahweh tormented him. 15 So the servants of Saul said to him, “Look please, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Please, let our lord command your servants who are before you! Let them seek a man skilled in playing on the lyre. Whenl the evil spirit from God is upon you, he can play on itm and you will feel better.”n 17 So Saul said to his servants, “Please select a man who plays a stringed instrument wello and bring him to me.”

18 One of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skillful in playing a stringed instrument, a brave man, a warrior, prudent in speech, and handsome.p And Yahweh is with him.” 19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son who is with the sheep.” 20 And Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread and a skin of wine and one young goatq and sent them to Saul by the hand of David his son. 21 So David came to Saul and entered his service.r Hes loved him greatly and he became Saul’s armor bearer.t 22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Please let David stand before me, because he has found favor in my sight.”u 23 So whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the stringed instrument and play it with his hand. Then it would bring reliefv for Saul; he would feel betterw and the evil spirit would depart from him.

The Philistine Champion Taunts Israel

17 The Philistines gathered their campsa for battle and they were gathered at Socoh which belongs to Judah. They camped between Socoh and Azekah in Ephes Dammim. Then Saul and the men of Israel were gathered and encamped in the valley of Elah, and they formed ranks for the battle to meet the Philistines. The Philistines were standing on the hill on one side and the army of Israel was standing on the hill on the other side with the valley between them. Then a championb went out from the camps of the Philistines, whose name was Goliath from Gath. His height was six cubits and a span.c A bronze helmet was on his head, and he was clothed with scale body armor; the weight of the body armor was five thousand bronze shekels. Bronze greavesd were on his legs,e and a bronze javelin was slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam and the point of his spear weighed six hundred iron shekels. His shield bearerf was walking in front of him.

He stood and called to the battle lines of Israel and said to them, “Why have you come out to form ranks for battle? Am I not the Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Commission for yourselves a man and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and he defeats me, then we will be your servants; but if I prevail over him and defeat him, then you will be our servants and you will serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “I hereby defy the battle lines of Israel today! Give me a man so that we may fight each other!” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and very afraid.

David Enters the Scene of Battle

12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite. This man was from Bethlehem of Judah, and his name was Jesse. He hadg eight sons; in the days of Saul this man was old, yet he still walked amongh the men. 13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had gone and followedi Saul to the battle. The names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, his second oldest was Abinadab, and the third was Shammah. 14 Now David was the youngest. The three oldest followedj Saul, 15 but David went back and forthk from Saul to feed the sheep of his father in Bethlehem. 16 Now the Philistine came forward early and late, and he took his stand for forty days.

17 Then Jesse said to his son David, “Please take for your brothers an ephah of this roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and bring them quickly to the camp for your brothers. 18 And these ten portions of cheese you will bring to the commander of the thousand; find out how your brothers are doing,l and take their pledge.”m 19 Now Saul and theyn and all the men of Israel were in the valley of Elah fighting the Philistines.

20 David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper, and he took the provisions and went as Jesse had commanded him. He came to the encampment while the troops were going to the battle line, and they raised the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines drew up in battle lines, one battle line against the other.o 22 David left the baggage he had with him in the carep of the baggage keeper, ran to the battle line, and came and asked how his brothers were doing.q 23 While he was speaking to them, the champion,r whose name was Goliath the Philistine from Gath, was coming up from the cavess of the Philistines. He spoke just as he had previously,t and David heard his words. 24 When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from his presence and were very afraid. 25 And the men of Israel said, “Did you see this man who has come up? For he is going up to defy Israel! It will be that the man who defeats him, the king will make himu very rich with great wealth and will give him his daughter in marriage and will make his father’s house free in Israel.”v 26 Now David had spoken to the men who were standing with him, saying, “What will be done for the man who defeats this Philistine and removes the disgrace from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he defies the battle lines of the living God?” 27 And the troops had spoken to him according to this word, saying, “So it will be done for the man who defeatsw him.”

28 His oldest brother Eliab heard while he was speaking to the men, and Eliab became very angry against Davidx and said, “Why have you come down today, and with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumptuousness and the evil of your heart! For you have come down in order to see the battle!” 29 David replied, “What have I done now? I merely asked a question!y 30 He turned around from him to another opposite him and he spoke to him in the same way,z and the peoplea answered him as before.b

David Appears before Saul

31 Now the words which David had spoken were heard and they reported them toc Saul, and he summoned him. 32 David said to Saul, “Do not let anyone’s heart fail concerning him! Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 But Saul said to David, “You will not be able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, because you are only a boy, whereas he has been a man of war since his childhood!” 34 And David said to Saul, “Your servant has been a shepherd of the flock for his father. If the lion or the bear would come and carry off a sheep from the group, 35 I would go out after it and strike it down and rescue the sheep from its mouth. If it rose against me, I would grab it by its beard and strike it down and kill it. 36 Your servant has struck down both the lion and the bear, and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he defied the battle lines of the living God.”

37 And David said, “Yahweh, who rescued me from the hand of the lion and from the hand of the bear, will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine!” Then Saul said to David, “Go and may Yahweh be with you!” 38 Then Saul clothed David with his own fighting attire and put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with body armor. 39 Then David strapped on his sword over his fighting attire, but he tried in vain to walk around, for he was not trained to use them. So David said to Saul, “I am not able to walk with these, because I am not trained to use them.” So David removed them. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, …

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