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1 Samuel 15:1–16:23

Saul’s Disobedience

1 Then Samuel said to Saul, “aThe Lord sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the 1words of the Lord.

2 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I will 1punish Amalek afor what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt.

3 ‘Now go and strike Amalek and autterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but bput to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”

4 Then Saul summoned the people and 1numbered them in aTelaim, 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men of Judah.

5 Saul came to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the valley.

6 Saul said to athe Kenites, “Go, depart, go down from among the Amalekites, so that I do not destroy you with them; for byou showed kindness to all the sons of Israel when they came up from Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.

7 So aSaul 1defeated the Amalekites, from bHavilah as you go to cShur, which is 2east of Egypt.

8 He captured aAgag the king of the Amalekites alive, and butterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

9 But Saul and the people aspared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.

Samuel Rebukes Saul

10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying,

11 aI regret that I have made Saul king, for bhe has turned back from 1following Me and has not carried out My commands.” And Samuel was distressed and ccried out to the Lord all night.

12 Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul; and it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul came to aCarmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and proceeded on 1down to bGilgal.”

13 Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “aBlessed are you of the Lord! I have carried out the command of the Lord.”

14 But Samuel said, “aWhat then is this 1bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the 1lowing of the oxen which I hear?”

15 Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for athe people spared the best of the sheep and oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; but the rest we have utterly destroyed.”

16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Wait, and let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” And he said to him, “Speak!”

17 Samuel said, “Is it not true, athough you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel? And the Lord anointed you king over Israel,

18 and the Lord sent you on a 1mission, and said, ‘aGo and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated.’

19 “Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord, abut rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord?”

20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “aI did obey the voice of the Lord, and went on the 1mission on which the Lord sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

21 “But athe people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”

22 Samuel said,

aHas the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices

As in obeying the voice of the Lord?

Behold, bto obey is better than sacrifice,

And to heed than the fat of rams.

23 “For rebellion is as the sin of adivination,

And insubordination is as biniquity and idolatry.

Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,

cHe has also rejected you from being king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “aI have sinned; bI have indeed transgressed the 1command of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice.

25 “Now therefore, aplease pardon my sin and return with me, that I may worship the Lord.”

26 But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you; for ayou have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.”

27 As Samuel turned to go, aSaul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore.

28 So Samuel said to him, “aThe Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you.

29 “Also the 1aGlory of Israel bwill not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.”

30 Then he said, “I have sinned; abut please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and go back with me, bthat I may worship the Lord your God.”

31 So Samuel went back following Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag, the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him 1cheerfully. And Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”

33 But Samuel said, “aAs your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hewed Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel went to aRamah, but Saul went up to his house at bGibeah of Saul.

35 aSamuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death; for Samuel bgrieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.

Chapter 16

Samuel Goes to Bethlehem

1 Now the Lord said to Samuel, “aHow long will you grieve over Saul, since bI have rejected him from being king over Israel? cFill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to dJesse the Bethlehemite, for I have eselected a king for Myself among his sons.”

2 But Samuel said, “How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “aTake a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’

3 “You shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and aI will show you what you shall do; and byou shall anoint for Me the one whom I 1designate to you.”

4 So Samuel did what the Lord said, and came to aBethlehem. And the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, “bDo you come in peace?”

5 He said, “In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. aConsecrate 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 aEliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is 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 1God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, abut the Lord looks at the heart.”

8 Then Jesse called aAbinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.”

9 Next Jesse made 1aShammah pass by. And he said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.”

10 Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.”

11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the children?” And he said, “aThere remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and 1bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.”

David Anointed

12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with abeautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the Lord said, “bArise, anoint him; for this is he.”

13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and aanointed him in the midst of his brothers; and bthe Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

14 aNow the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and ban evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him.

15 Saul’s servants then said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is terrorizing you.

16 “Let our lord now command your servants who are before you. Let them seek a man who is a skillful player on the harp; and it shall come about when the evil spirit from God is on you, that ahe shall play the harp with his hand, and you will be well.”

17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me now a man who can play well and bring him to me.”

18 Then one of the young men said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, aa mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and bthe Lord is with him.”

19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David who is with the flock.”

20 Jesse atook a donkey loaded with bread and a jug of wine and a young goat, and sent them to Saul by David his son.

21 Then David came to Saul and 1aattended him; and 2Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor bearer.

22 Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David now stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight.”

23 So it came about whenever athe evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.

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