1 Samuel 15; 1 Samuel 16; 1 Samuel 17

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1 Samuel 15

1 Samuel said to Saul, "The LORD sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel. Listen now to the LORD's words!
2 This is what the LORD of heavenly forces says: I am going to punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel: how they attacked the Israelites as they came up from Egypt.
3 So go! Attack the Amalekites; put everything that belongs to them under the ban. Spare no one. Kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys."
4 Saul called out the troops and counted them at Telaim: two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand more troops from Judah.
5 Then Saul advanced on the Amalekite city and laid an ambush in the valley.
6 Saul told the Kenites, "Get going! Leave the Amalekites immediately because you showed kindness to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt. Otherwise, I'll destroy you right along with them." So the Kenites left the Amalekites.
7 Then Saul attacked the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is near Egypt.
8 He captured Agag the Amalekite king alive, but Saul placed all the people under the ban, killing them with the sword.
9 Saul and the troops spared Agag along with the best sheep, cattle, fattened calves, lambs, and everything of value. They weren't willing to put them under the ban; but anything that was despised or of no value they placed under the ban.
10 Then the LORD's word came to Samuel:
11 "I regret making Saul king because he has turned away from following me and hasn't done what I said." Samuel was upset at this, and he prayed to the LORD all night long.
12 Samuel got up early in the morning to meet Saul, and was told, "Saul went to Carmel, where he is setting up a monument for himself. Then he left and went down to Gilgal."
13 When Samuel reached Saul, Saul greeted him, "The LORD bless you! I have done what the LORD said."
14 "Then what," Samuel asked, "is this bleating of sheep in my ears and mooing of cattle I hear?"
15 "They were taken from the Amalekites," Saul said, "because the troops spared the best sheep and cattle in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God. The rest was placed under the ban."
16 Samuel then said to Saul, "Enough! Let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night." "Tell me," Saul replied.
17 Samuel said, "Even if you think you are insignificant, aren't you the leader of Israel's tribes? The LORD anointed you king over Israel.
18 The LORD sent you on a mission, instructing you, ‘Go, and put the sinful Amalekites under the ban. Fight against them until you've wiped them out.'
19 Why didn't you obey the LORD? You did evil in the LORD's eyes when you tore into the plunder!"
20 "But I did obey the LORD!" Saul protested to Samuel. "I went on the mission the LORD sent me on. I captured Agag the Amalekite king, and I put the Amalekites under the ban.
21 Yes, the troops took sheep and cattle from the plunder—the very best items placed under the ban—but in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal."
22 Then Samuel replied, "Does the LORD want entirely burned offerings and sacrifices as much as obedience to the LORD? Listen to this: obeying is better than sacrificing, paying attention is better than fat from rams,
23 because rebellion is as bad as the sin of divination; arrogance is like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected what the LORD said, he has rejected you as king."
24 Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned because I disobeyed the LORD's command and your instructions. I was afraid of the troops and obeyed them.
25 But now please forgive my sin! Come back with me, so I can worship the LORD."
26 But Samuel said to Saul, "I can't return with you because you have rejected what the LORD said, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel."
27 Samuel turned to leave, but Saul grabbed at the edge of his robe, and it ripped.
28 Then Samuel told him, "The LORD has ripped the kingdom of Israel from you today. He will give it to a friend of yours, someone who is more worthy than you.
29 What's more, the enduring one of Israel doesn't take back what he says and doesn't change his mind. He is not a human being who would change his mind."
30 "I have sinned," Saul said, "but please honor me in front of my people's elders and before Israel, and come back with me so I can worship the LORD your God."
31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshipped the LORD.
32 "Bring me Agag the Amalekite king," Samuel said. Agag came to him in chains, asking, "Would death have been as bitter as this is?"
33 Samuel said, "Just as your sword left women without their children, now your mother will be childless among women." Then Samuel cut Agag to pieces in the LORD's presence at Gilgal.
34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah.
35 Samuel never saw Saul again before he died, but he grieved over Saul. However, the LORD regretted making Saul king over Israel.
Copyright © 2011 Common English Bible

1 Samuel 16

1 The LORD said to Samuel, "How long are you going to grieve over Saul? I have rejected him as king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and get going. I'm sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem because I have found my next king among his sons."
2 "How can I do that?" Samuel asked. "When Saul hears of it he'll kill me!" "Take a heifer with you," the LORD replied, "and say, ‘I have come to make a sacrifice to the LORD.'
3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will make clear to you what you should do. You will anoint for me the person I point out to you."
4 Samuel did what the LORD instructed. When he came to Bethlehem, the city elders came to meet him. They were shaking with fear. "Do you come in peace?" they asked.
5 "Yes," Samuel answered. "I've come to make a sacrifice to the LORD. Now make yourselves holy, then come with me to the sacrifice." Samuel made Jesse and his sons holy and invited them to the sacrifice as well.
6 When they arrived, Samuel looked at Eliab and thought, That must be the LORD's anointed right in front.
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Have no regard for his appearance or stature, because I haven't selected him. God doesn't look at things like humans do. Humans see only what is visible to the eyes, but the LORD sees into the heart."
8 Next Jesse called for Abinadab, who presented himself to Samuel, but he said, "The LORD hasn't chosen this one either."
9 So Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said, "No, the LORD hasn't chosen this one."
10 Jesse presented seven of his sons to Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, "The LORD hasn't picked any of these."
11 Then Samuel asked Jesse, "Is that all of your boys?" "There is still the youngest one," Jesse answered, "but he's out keeping the sheep." "Send for him," Samuel told Jesse, "because we can't proceed until he gets here."
12 So Jesse sent and brought him in. He was reddish brown, had beautiful eyes, and was good-looking. The LORD said, "That's the one. Go anoint him."
13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him right there in front of his brothers. The LORD's spirit came over David from that point forward. Then Samuel left and went to Ramah.
14 Now the LORD's spirit had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.
15 Saul's servants said to him, "Look, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.
16 If our master just says the word, your servants will search for someone who knows how to play the lyre. The musician can play whenever the evil spirit from God is affecting you, and then you'll feel better."
17 Saul said to his servants, "Find me a good musician and bring him to me."
18 One of the servants responded, "I know that one of Jesse's sons from Bethlehem is a good musician. He's a strong man and heroic, a warrior who speaks well and is good-looking too. The LORD is with him."
19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse to say, "Send me your son David, the one who keeps the sheep."
20 Jesse then took a donkey and loaded it with a homer of bread, a jar of wine, and a young goat, and he sent it along with his son David to Saul.
21 That is how David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked David very much, and David became his armor-bearer.
22 Saul sent a message to Jesse: "Please allow David to remain in my service because I am pleased with him."
23 Whenever the evil spirit from God affected Saul, David would take the lyre and play it. Then Saul would relax and feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him alone.
Copyright © 2011 Common English Bible

1 Samuel 17

1 The Philistines assembled their troops for war at Socoh of Judah. They camped between Socoh and Azekah at Ephes-dammim.
2 Saul and the Israelite army assembled and camped in the Elah Valley, where they got organized to fight the Philistines.
3 The Philistines took positions on one hill while Israel took positions on the opposite hill. There was a valley between them.
4 A champion named Goliath from Gath came out from the Philistine camp. He was more than nine feet tall.
5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore bronze scale-armor weighing one hundred twenty-five pounds.
6 He had bronze plates on his shins, and a bronze scimitar hung on his back.
7 His spear shaft was as strong as the bar on a weaver's loom, and its iron head weighed fifteen pounds. His shield-bearer walked in front of him.
8 He stopped and shouted to the Israelite troops, "Why have you come and taken up battle formations? I am the Philistine champion, and you are Saul's servants. Isn't that right? Select one of your men, and let him come down against me.
9 If he is able to fight me and kill me, then we will become your slaves, but if I overcome him and kill him, then you will become our slaves and you will serve us.
10 I insult Israel's troops today!" the Philistine continued, "Give me an opponent, and we'll fight!"
11 When Saul and all Israel heard what the Philistine said, they were distressed and terrified.
12 Now David was Jesse's son, an Ephraimite from Bethlehem in Judah who had eight sons. By Saul's time, Jesse was already quite old and far along in age.
13 Jesse's three oldest sons had gone with Saul to war. Their names were Eliab the oldest, Abinadab the second oldest, and Shammah the third oldest.
14 (David was the youngest.) These three older sons followed Saul,
15 but David went back and forth from Saul's side to shepherd his father's flock in Bethlehem.
16 For forty days straight the Philistine came out and took his stand, both morning and evening.
17 Jesse said to his son David, "Please take your brothers an ephah of this roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread. Deliver them quickly to your brothers in the camp.
18 And here, take these ten wedges of cheese to their unit commander. Find out how your brothers are doing and bring back some sign that they are okay.
19 They are with Saul and all the Israelite troops fighting the Philistines in the Elah Valley."
20 So David got up early in the morning, left someone in charge of the flock, and loaded up and left, just as his father Jesse had instructed him. He reached the camp right when the army was taking up their battle formations and shouting the war cry.
21 Israel and the Philistines took up their battle formations opposite each other.
22 David left his things with an attendant and ran to the front line. When he arrived, he asked how his brothers were doing.
23 Right when David was speaking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, came forward from the Philistine ranks and said the same things he had said before. David listened.
24 When the Israelites saw Goliath, every one of them ran away terrified of him. (
25 Now the Israelite soldiers had been saying to each other: "Do you see this man who keeps coming out? How he comes to insult Israel? The king will reward with great riches whoever kills that man. The king will give his own daughter to him and make his household exempt from taxes in Israel.")
26 David asked the soldiers standing by him, "What will be done for the person who kills that Philistine over there and removes this insult from Israel? Who is that uncircumcised Philistine, anyway, that he can get away with insulting the army of the living God?"
27 Then the troops repeated to him what they had been saying. "So that's what will be done for the man who kills him," they said.
28 When David's oldest brother Eliab heard him talking to the soldiers, he got very mad at David. "Why did you come down here?" he said. "Who is watching those few sheep for you in the wilderness? I know how arrogant you are and your devious plan: you came down just to see the battle!"
29 "What did I do wrong this time?" David replied. "It was just a question!"
30 So David turned to someone else and asked the same thing, and the people said the same thing in reply.
31 The things David had said were overheard and reported to Saul, who sent for him.
32 "Don't let anyone lose courage because of this Philistine!" David told Saul. "I, your servant, will go out and fight him!"
33 "You can't go out and fight this Philistine," Saul answered David. "You are still a boy. But he's been a warrior since he was a boy!"
34 "Your servant has kept his father's sheep," David replied to Saul, “and if ever a lion or a bear came and carried off one of the flock,
35 I would go after it, strike it, and rescue the animal from its mouth. If it turned on me, I would grab it at its jaw, strike it, and kill it.
36 Your servant has fought both lions and bears. This uncircumcised Philistine will be just like one of them because he has insulted the army of the living God.
37 "The LORD, " David added, "who rescued me from the power of both lions and bears, will rescue me from the power of this Philistine." "Go!" Saul replied to David. "And may the LORD be with you!"
38 Then Saul dressed David in his own gear, putting a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.
39 David strapped his sword on over the armor, but he couldn't walk around well because he'd never tried it before. "I can't walk in this," David told Saul, "because I've never tried it before." So he took them off.
40 He then grabbed his staff and chose five smooth stones from the streambed. He put them in the pocket of his shepherd's bag and with sling in hand went out to the Philistine.
41 The Philistine got closer and closer to David, and his shield-bearer was in front of him.
42 When the Philistine looked David over, he sneered at David because he was just a boy; reddish brown and good-looking.
43 The Philistine asked David, "Am I some sort of dog that you come at me with sticks?" And he cursed David by his gods.
44 "Come here," he said to David, "and I'll feed your flesh to the wild birds and the wild animals!"
45 But David told the Philistine, "You are coming against me with sword, spear, and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel's army, the one you've insulted.
46 Today the LORD will hand you over to me. I will strike you down and cut off your head! Today I will feed your dead body and the dead bodies of the entire Philistine camp to the wild birds and the wild animals. Then the whole world will know that there is a God on Israel's side.
47 And all those gathered here will know that the LORD doesn't save by means of sword and spear. The LORD owns this war, and he will hand all of you over to us."
48 The Philistine got up and moved closer to attack David, and David ran quickly to the front line to face him.
49 David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone. He slung it, and it hit the Philistine on his forehead. The stone penetrated his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
50 And that's how David triumphed over the Philistine with just a sling and a stone, striking the Philistine down and killing him—and David didn't even have a sword!
51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine. He grabbed the Philistine's sword, drew it from its sheath, and finished him off. Then David cut off the Philistine's head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they fled.
52 The soldiers from Israel and Judah jumped up with a shout and chased the Philistines all the way to Gath and the gates of Ekron. The dead Philistines were littered along the Shaarim road all the way to Gath and Ekron.
53 When the Israelites came back from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp.
54 David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put the Philistine's weapons in his own tent.
55 Now when Saul saw David go out to meet the Philistine, he asked Abner the army general, "Abner, whose son is that boy?" "As surely as you live, Your Majesty, I don't know," Abner answered.
56 "Then find out whose son that young man is," the king replied.
57 So when David came back from killing the Philistine, Abner sent for him and presented him to Saul. The Philistine's head was still in David's hand.
58 Saul said to him, "Whose son are you, my boy?" "I'm the son of your servant Jesse from Bethlehem," David answered.
Copyright © 2011 Common English Bible