Samuel Goes to Bethlehem
16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve for Saul, when I have rejected him as king over Israel? [a]Fill 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.” 2 But Samuel said, “How can I go? When Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer from the herd with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 You shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do [after that]; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate.” 4 So Samuel did what the Lord said, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, “Do you come in peace?” 5 And he said, “In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” He also consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6 So it happened, when they had come, he looked at Eliab [the eldest son] 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 the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks [b]at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass before Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 9 Next Jesse had Shammah pass by. And Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen him either.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen [any of] these.” 11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” Jesse replied, “There is still one left, the youngest; he is tending the sheep.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send word and bring him; because we will not sit down [to eat the sacrificial meal] until he comes here.”
12 So Jesse sent word and brought him in. Now he had a ruddy complexion, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. The Lord said [to Samuel], “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David in the presence of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
14 Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented and terrified him. 15 Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord now command your servants who are here before you to find a man who plays skillfully on the harp; and when the evil spirit from God is on you, he shall play the harp with his hand, and you will be well.” 17 So Saul told his servants, “Find me a man who plays well and bring him to me.” 18 One of the young men said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a brave and competent man, a warrior, discerning (prudent, eloquent) in speech, and a handsome man; and the Lord is with him.” 19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the flock.” 20 Jesse took a donkey [loaded with] bread and a jug of wine and a young goat, and sent them to Saul with David his son. 21 Then David came to Saul and attended him. Saul loved him greatly and [later] David became his armor bearer. 22 Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Please let David [c]be my attendant, for he has found favor in my sight.” 23 So it came about that whenever the [evil] spirit from God was on Saul, David took a harp and played it with his hand; so Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would leave him.
- 1 Samuel 16:1 Samuel’s horn was a receptacle for olive oil, which he would use to anoint a new king.
- 1 Samuel 16:7 Lit with the eyes.
- 1 Samuel 16:22 Lit stand before me.