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1 Samuel 16 (New International Reader's Version)

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Samuel Anoints David to Be Israel's King

1 The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you be filled with sorrow because of Saul? I have refused to have him as king over Israel. Fill your animal horn with olive oil and go on your way. I am sending you to Jesse in Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king." 2 But Samuel said, "How can I go? Saul will hear about it. Then he'll kill me." The LORD said, "Take a young cow with you. Tell the elders of Bethlehem, 'I've come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord.' 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice. Then I will show you what to do. You must anoint for me the one I point out to you." 4 Samuel did what the LORD said. He arrived at Bethlehem. The elders of the town met him. They were trembling with fear. They asked, "Have you come in peace?" 5 Samuel replied, "Yes, I've come in peace. I've come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Set yourselves apart to him and come to the sacrifice with me." Then he set Jesse and his sons apart to the Lord. He invited them to the sacrifice. 6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab. He thought, "This has to be the one the LORD wants me to anoint for him." 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider how handsome or tall he is. I have not chosen him. I do not look at the things people look at. Man looks at how someone appears on the outside. But I look at what is in the heart." 8 Then Jesse called for Abinadab. He had him walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, "The LORD hasn't chosen him either." 9 Then Jesse had Shammah walk by. But Samuel said, "The LORD hasn't chosen him either." 10 Jesse had seven of his sons walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said to him, "The LORD hasn't chosen any of them." 11 So he asked Jesse, "Are these the only sons you have?" "No," Jesse answered. "My youngest son is taking care of the sheep." Samuel said, "Send for him. We won't sit down to eat until he arrives." 12 So Jesse sent for his son and had him brought in. His skin was tanned. He had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, "Get up and anoint him. He is the one." 13 So Samuel got the animal horn that was filled with olive oil. He anointed David in front of his brothers. From that day on, the Spirit of the LORD came on David with power. Samuel went back to Ramah.

David Serves Saul

14 The Spirit of the LORD had left Saul. And an evil spirit that was sent by the LORD terrified him. 15 Saul's attendants said to him, "An evil spirit that was sent by God is terrifying you. 16 Give us an order to look for someone who can play the harp. He will play it when the evil spirit that was sent by God comes on you. Then you will feel better." 17 So Saul said to his attendants, "Find someone who plays the harp well. Bring him to me." 18 One of the servants said, "I've seen someone who knows how to play the harp. He is a son of Jesse from Bethlehem. He's a brave man. He would make a good soldier. He's a good speaker. He's very handsome. And the LORD is with him." 19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse. He said, "Send me your son David, the one who takes care of your sheep." 20 So Jesse got some bread and a bottle of wine. The bottle was made out of animal skin. He also got a young goat. He loaded everything on the back of a donkey. He sent all of it to Saul with his son David. 21 David went to Saul and began to serve him. Saul liked him very much. David became one of the men who carried Saul's armor. 22 Saul sent a message to Jesse. It said, "Let David stay here. I want him to serve me. I'm pleased with him." 23 When the evil spirit that was sent by God would come on Saul, David would get his harp and play it. That would help Saul. He would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
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