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 appoint you king over Israel. Now listen to his message.
2 This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: 'When the Israelites came out of Egypt, the Amalekites tried to stop them from going to Canaan. So I will punish them.
3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and destroy everything they own as an offering to the Lord. Don't let anything live. Put to death men and women, children and small babies, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'"
4 So Saul called the army together at Telaim. There were two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men from Judah.
5 Then Saul went to the city of Amalek and set up an ambush in the ravine.
6 He said to the Kenites, "Go away. Leave the Amalekites so that I won't destroy you with them, because you showed kindness to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt." So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.
7 Then Saul defeated the Amalekites. He fought them all the way from Havilah to Shur, at the border of Egypt.
8 He took King Agag of the Amalekites alive, but he killed all of Agag's army with the sword.
9 Saul and the army let Agag live, along with the best sheep, fat cattle, and lambs. They let every good animal live, because they did not want to destroy them. But when they found an animal that was weak or useless, they killed it.
10 Then the Lord spoke his word to Samuel:
11 "I am sorry I made Saul king, because he has stopped following me and has not obeyed my commands." Samuel was upset, and he cried out to the Lord all night long.
12 Early the next morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul. But the people told Samuel, "Saul has gone to Carmel, where he has put up a monument in his own honor. Now he has gone down to Gilgal."
13 When Samuel came to Saul, Saul said, "May the Lord bless you! I have obeyed the Lord's commands."
14 But Samuel said, "Then why do I hear cattle mooing and sheep bleating?"
15 Saul answered, "The soldiers took them from the Amalekites. They saved the best sheep and cattle to offer as sacrifices to the Lord your God, but we destroyed all the other animals."
16 Samuel said to Saul, "Stop! Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night." Saul answered, "Tell me."
17 Samuel said, "Once you didn't think much of yourself, but now you have become the leader of the tribes of Israel. The Lord appointed you to be king over Israel.
18 And he sent you on a mission. He said, 'Go and destroy those evil people, the Amalekites. Make war on them until all of them are dead.'
19 Why didn't you obey the Lord? Why did you take the best things? Why did you do what the Lord said was wrong?"
20 Saul said, "But I did obey the Lord. I did what the Lord told me to do. I destroyed all the Amalekites, and I brought back Agag their king.
21 The soldiers took the best sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal."
22 But Samuel answered, "What pleases the Lord more: burnt offerings and sacrifices or obedience to his voice? It is better to obey than to sacrifice. of sheep.
23 Disobedience is as bad as the sin of sorcery. Pride is as bad as the sin of worshiping idols. You have rejected the Lord's command. Now he rejects you as king."
24 Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned. I didn't obey the Lord's commands and your words. I was afraid of the people, and I did what they said.
25 Now, I beg you, forgive my sin. Come back with me so I may worship the Lord."
26 But Samuel said to Saul, "I won't go back with you. You rejected the Lord's command, and now he rejects you as king of Israel."
27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught his robe, and it tore.
28 Samuel said to him, "The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors who is better than you.
29 The Lord is the Eternal One of Israel. He does not lie or change his mind. He is not a human being, so he does not change his mind.
30 Saul answered, "I have sinned. But please honor me in front of the older leaders of my people and in front of the Israelites. Come back with me so that I can worship the Lord your God."
31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.
32 Then Samuel said, "Bring me King Agag of the Amalekites." Agag came to Samuel in chains, but Agag thought, "Surely the threat of death has passed."
33 Samuel said to him, "Your sword made other mothers lose their children. Now your mother will have no children." And Samuel cut Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal.
34 Then Samuel left and went to Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah.
35 And Samuel never saw Saul again the rest of his life, but he was sad for Saul. And the Lord was very sorry he had made Saul king of Israel.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Samuel 16

1 The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you continue to feel sorry for Saul? I have rejected him as king of Israel. Fill your container with olive oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse who lives in Bethlehem, because I have chosen one of his sons to be king."
2 But Samuel said, "If I go, Saul will hear the news and will try to kill me." The Lord said, "Take a young calf with you. Say, 'I have come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord.'
3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice. Then I will tell you what to do. You must appoint the one I show you."
4 Samuel did what the Lord told him to do. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the older leaders of Bethlehem shook with fear. They met him and asked, "Are you coming in peace?"
5 Samuel answered, "Yes, I come in peace. I have come to make a sacrifice to the Lord. Set yourselves apart to the Lord and come to the sacrifice with me." Then he set Jesse and his sons apart to the Lord, and he invited them to come to the sacrifice.
6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab, and he thought, "Surely the Lord has appointed this person standing here before him."
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, "Don't look at how handsome Eliab is or how tall he is, because I have not chosen him. God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart."
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and told him to pass by Samuel. But Samuel said, "The Lord has not chosen this man either."
9 Then Jesse had Shammah pass by. But Samuel said, "No, the Lord has not chosen this one."
10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass by Samuel. But Samuel said to him, "The Lord has not chosen any of these."
11 Then he asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" Jesse answered, "I still have the youngest son. He is out taking care of the sheep." Samuel said, "Send for him. We will not sit down to eat until he arrives."
12 So Jesse sent and had his youngest son brought in. He was a fine boy, tanned, and handsome. The Lord said to Samuel, "Go, appoint him, because he is the one."
13 So Samuel took the container of olive oil and poured it on Jesse's youngest son to appoint him in front of his brothers. From that day on, the Lord's Spirit worked in David. Samuel then went back to Ramah.
14 But the Lord's Spirit had left Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.
15 Saul's servants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is troubling you.
16 Give us the command to look for someone who can play the harp. When the evil spirit from God troubles you, he will play, and you will feel better."
17 So Saul said to his servants, "Find someone who can play well and bring him to me."
18 One of the servants said, "I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem play the harp. He is brave and courageous. He is a good speaker and handsome, and the Lord is with him."
19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse, saying, "Send me your son David, who is with the sheep."
20 So Jesse loaded a donkey with bread, a leather bag full of wine, and a young goat, and he sent them with his son David to Saul.
21 When David came to Saul, he began to serve him. Saul liked David and made him the officer who carried his armor.
22 Saul sent a message to Jesse, saying, "Let David stay and serve me because I like him."
23 When the evil spirit from God troubled Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then the evil spirit would leave him, and Saul would feel better.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Samuel 17

1 The Philistines gathered their armies for war. They met at Socoh in Judah and camped at Ephes Dammim between Socoh and Azekah.
2 Saul and the Israelites gathered in the Valley of Elah and camped there and took their positions to fight the Philistines.
3 The Philistines controlled one hill while the Israelites controlled another. The valley was between them.
4 The Philistines had a champion fighter from Gath named Goliath. He was about nine feet, four inches tall. He came out of the Philistine camp
5 with a bronze helmet on his head and a coat of bronze armor that weighed about one hundred twenty-five pounds.
6 He wore bronze protectors on his legs, and he had a bronze spear on his back.
7 The wooden part of his larger spear was like a weaver's rod, and its blade weighed about fifteen pounds. The officer who carried his shield walked in front of him.
8 Goliath stood and shouted to the Israelite soldiers, "Why have you taken positions for battle? I am a Philistine, and you are Saul's servants! Choose a man and send him to fight me.
9 If he can fight and kill me, we will be your servants. But if I can kill him, you will be our servants."
10 Then he said, "Today I stand and dare the army of Israel! Send one of your men to fight me!"
11 When Saul and the Israelites heard the Philistine's words, they were very scared.
12 Now David was the son of Jesse, an Ephrathite from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons. In Saul's time Jesse was an old man.
13 His three oldest sons followed Saul to the war. The first son was Eliab, the second was Abinadab, and the third was Shammah.
14 David was the youngest. Jesse's three oldest sons followed Saul,
15 but David went back and forth from Saul to Bethlehem, where he took care of his father's sheep.
16 For forty days the Philistine came out every morning and evening and stood before the Israelite army.
17 Jesse said to his son David, "Take this half bushel of cooked grain and ten loaves of bread to your brothers in the camp.
18 Also take ten pieces of cheese to the commander and to your brothers. See how your brothers are and bring back some proof to show me that they are all right.
19 Your brothers are with Saul and the army in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines."
20 Early in the morning David left the sheep with another shepherd. He took the food and left as Jesse had told him. When David arrived at the camp, the army was going out to their battle positions, shouting their war cry.
21 The Israelites and Philistines were lining up their men to face each other in battle.
22 David left the food with the man who kept the supplies and ran to the battle line to talk to his brothers.
23 While he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, came out. He shouted things against Israel as usual, and David heard him.
24 When the Israelites saw Goliath, they were very much afraid and ran away.
25 They said, "Look at this man! He keeps coming out to challenge Israel. The king will give much money to whoever kills him. He will also let whoever kills him marry his daughter. And his father's family will not have to pay taxes in Israel."
26 David asked the men who stood near him, "What will be done to reward the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the shame from Israel? Who does this uncircumcised Philistine think he is? Does he think he can speak against the armies of the living God?"
27 The Israelites told David what would be done for the man who would kill Goliath.
28 When David's oldest brother Eliab heard David talking with the soldiers, he was angry with David. He asked David, "Why did you come here? Who's taking care of those few sheep of yours in the desert? I know you are proud and wicked at heart. You came down here just to watch the battle."
29 David asked, "Now what have I done wrong? Can't I even talk?"
30 When he turned to other people and asked the same questions, they gave him the same answer as before.
31 Yet what David said was told to Saul, and he sent for David.
32 David said to Saul, "Don't let anyone be discouraged. I, your servant, will go and fight this Philistine!"
33 Saul answered, "You can't go out against this Philistine and fight him. You're only a boy. Goliath has been a warrior since he was a young man."
34 But David said to Saul, "I, your servant, have been keeping my father's sheep. When a lion or bear came and took a sheep from the flock,
35 I would chase it. I would attack it and save the sheep from its mouth. When it attacked me, I caught it by its fur and hit it and killed it.
36 I, your servant, have killed both a lion and a bear! This uncircumcised Philistine will be like them, because he has spoken against the armies of the living God.
37 The Lord who saved me from a lion and a bear will save me from this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and may the Lord be with you."
38 Saul put his own clothes on David. He put a bronze helmet on his head and dressed him in armor.
39 David put on Saul's sword and tried to walk around, but he was not used to all the armor Saul had put on him. He said to Saul, "I can't go in this, because I'm not used to it." Then David took it all off.
40 He took his stick in his hand and chose five smooth stones from a stream. He put them in his shepherd's bag and grabbed his sling. Then he went to meet the Philistine.
41 At the same time, the Philistine was coming closer to David. The man who held his shield walked in front of him.
42 When Goliath looked at David and saw that he was only a boy, tanned and handsome, he looked down on David with disgust.
43 He said, "Do you think I am a dog, that you come at me with a stick?" He used his gods' names to curse David.
44 He said to David, "Come here. I'll feed your body to the birds of the air and the wild animals!"
45 But David said to him, "You come to me using a sword and two spears. But I come to you in the name of the Lord All-Powerful, the God of the armies of Israel! You have spoken against him.
46 Today the Lord will hand you over to me, and I'll kill you and cut off your head. Today I'll feed the bodies of the Philistine soldiers to the birds of the air and the wild animals. Then all the world will know there is a God in Israel!
47 Everyone gathered here will know the Lord does not need swords or spears to save people. The battle belongs to him, and he will hand you over to us."
48 As Goliath came near to attack him, David ran quickly to meet him.
49 He took a stone from his bag, put it into his sling, and slung it. The stone hit the Philistine and went deep into his forehead, and Goliath fell facedown on the ground.
50 So David defeated the Philistine with only a sling and a stone. He hit him and killed him. He did not even have a sword in his hand.
51 Then David ran and stood beside him. He took Goliath's sword out of its holder and killed him by cutting off his head. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran.
52 The men of Israel and Judah shouted and chased the Philistines all the way to the entrance of the city of Gath and to the gates of Ekron. The Philistines' bodies lay on the Shaaraim road as far as Gath and Ekron.
53 The Israelites returned after chasing the Philistines and robbed their camp.
54 David took Goliath's head to Jerusalem and put Goliath's weapons in his own tent.
55 When Saul saw David go out to meet Goliath, Saul asked Abner, commander of the army, "Abner, who is that young man's father?" Abner answered, "As surely as you live, my king, I don't know."
56 The king said, "Find out whose son he is."
57 When David came back from killing Goliath, Abner brought him to Saul. David was still holding Goliath's head.
58 Saul asked him, "Young man, who is your father?" David answered, "I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.