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1 Samuel 16


1 Jehovah said to Samuel: »How long will you mourn for Saul? After all I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Take oil in your vessel and go. I will send you to Jesse, the Beth-lehemite. I have a king from among his sons.«

2 »How can I go?« Samuel asked. »When Saul hears about it he will kill me« Jehovah said: »Take a heifer with you and say: ‘I have come to sacrifice to Jehovah.’«

3 »Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice. I will reveal to you what you should do. You will anoint the one I point out to you.«

4 Samuel did what Jehovah told him. When he came to Bethlehem the elders of the city trembled at his coming. They greeted him and said: »May peace be with you.«

5 »Greetings,« he replied, »I have come to sacrifice to Jehovah. »Perform the ceremonies to make yourselves holy, and come with me to the sacrifice.« He performed the ceremonies for Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

6 When they entered he looked at Eliab and thought: »Surely Jehovah’s anointed is before Him.«

7 But Jehovah said to Samuel: »Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature. I have rejected him. God does not see as man sees. Man looks at the outward appearance. Jehovah looks at the heart inner man.«

8 Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. Samuel said: »Jehovah has not chosen this one either.«

9 Next Jesse made Shammah pass by. He said: »Jehovah has not chosen this one either.«

10 So Jesse brought seven more of his sons to Samuel, but Samuel told Jesse: »Jehovah has not chosen any of these.«

11 »Are these all the sons you have?« Samuel asked. »There is still the youngest one,« Jesse answered. »He is tending sheep.« Samuel responded: »Send someone to get him. We will not continue until he gets here.«

12 Jesse sent for him. He was a handsome, healthy young man, and his eyes sparkled. Jehovah said to Samuel: »This is the one. Anoint him!«

13 Samuel took the olive oil and anointed David in front of his brothers. Immediately the Spirit of Jehovah took control of David and was with him from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.

14 Jehovah’s Spirit left Saul, and a distressing spirit sent by Jehovah tormented him.

15 His servants said to him: »We know that a distressing spirit sent by God is tormenting you.

16 »So give us the order and we will look for a man who knows how to play the harp. Then when the distressing spirit comes on you, the man can play his harp, and you will be all right again.«

17 Saul ordered: »Find me a man who plays well and bring him to me.«

18 One of his attendants said: »Jesse of the town of Bethlehem has a son who is a good musician. He is also a brave and handsome man, a good soldier, and an able speaker. Jehovah is with him.«

19 Saul sent a message to Jesse: »Tell your son David to leave your sheep and come here to me.«

20 Jesse loaded a donkey with bread and a goatskin full of wine. He told David to take the donkey and a young goat to Saul.

21 David went to Saul and worked for him. Saul liked him so much that he put David in charge of carrying his weapons.

22 Not long after this, Saul sent another message to Jesse: »I really like David. Please let him stay with me.«

23 Whenever the distressing spirit from God bothered Saul, David would play his harp. Saul would relax and feel better. The distressing spirit would go away.

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