1 Samuel 16:1–17:58

Samuel Anoints David

16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mournu for Saul, since I have rejectedv him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oilw and be on your way; I am sending you to Jessex of Bethlehem. I have choseny one of his sons to be king.”

But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will showz you what to do. You are to anointa for me the one I indicate.”

Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem,b the elders of the town trembledc when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?d

Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecratee yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliabf and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance,g but the Lord looks at the heart.”h

Then Jesse called Abinadabi and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammahj pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these allk the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”l

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

12 So hem sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsomen features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointedo him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lordp came powerfully upon David.q Samuel then went to Ramah.

David in Saul’s Service

14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had departedr from Saul, and an evila spirits from the Lord tormented him.t

15 Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre.u He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.”

17 So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.”

18 One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jessev of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior.w He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is withx him.”

19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.y20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread,z a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.

21 David came to Saul and entered his service.a Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. 22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.”

23 Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spiritb would leave him.

David and Goliath

17 Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembledc at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokohd and Azekah.e Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elahf and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.

A champion named Goliath,g who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.a He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekelsb; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelinh was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod,i and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.c His shield bearerj went ahead of him.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choosek a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defyl the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.m11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathiten named Jesse,o who was from Bethlehemp in Judah. Jesse had eightq sons, and in Saul’s time he was very old. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab;r the second, Abinadab;s and the third, Shammah.t 14 David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to tendu his father’s sheepv at Bethlehem.

16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.

17 Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephahd w of roasted grainx and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18 Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothersy are and bring back some assurancee from them. 19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.”

20 Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies,z ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usuala defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.

25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughterb in marriage and will exempt his family from taxesc in Israel.”

26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgraced from Israel? Who is this uncircumcisede Philistine that he should defyf the armies of the livingg God?”

27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”

28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with angerh at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.

32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose hearti on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

33 Saul replied,j “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lionk or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seizedl it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lionm and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescuedn me from the paw of the liono and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be withp you.”

38 Then Saul dressed David in his ownq tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearerr in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome,s and he despisedt him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog,u that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birdsv and the wild animals!w

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,x but I come against you in the namey of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.z 46 This day the Lord will delivera you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcassesb of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole worldc will know that there is a God in Israel.d 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sworde or spear that the Lord saves;f for the battleg is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

48 As

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