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Jehovah’s Witnesses


Online Bible


1 Samuel 16:1-23


  • Samuel anoints David as next king (1-13)

    • “Jehovah sees into the heart” (7)

  • God’s spirit removed from Saul (14-17)

  • David becomes harpist for Saul (18-23)

16  Jehovah eventually said to Samuel: “How long will you mourn for Saul+ now that I have rejected him from ruling as king over Israel?+ Fill your horn with oil+ and go. I will send you to Jes′se+ the Beth′le·hem·ite, because I have selected from among his sons a king for myself.”+  But Samuel said: “How can I go? When Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”+ Jehovah replied: “Take a young cow with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to Jehovah.’  Invite Jes′se to the sacrifice; then I will make known to you what to do. You must anoint for me the one whom I designate to you.”+  Samuel did what Jehovah said. When he came to Beth′le·hem,+ the elders of the city were trembling at meeting him, and they said: “Does your coming mean peace?”  To this he said: “It means peace. I have come to sacrifice to Jehovah. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he sanctified Jes′se and his sons, after which he summoned them to the sacrifice.  As they came in and he saw E·li′ab,+ he said: “Surely here before Jehovah stands his anointed one.”  But Jehovah said to Samuel: “Do not pay attention to his appearance and how tall he is,+ for I have rejected him. For the way man sees is not the way God sees, because mere man sees what appears to the eyes, but Jehovah sees into the heart.”+  Then Jes′se called A·bin′a·dab+ and had him pass before Samuel, but he said: “Jehovah has not chosen this one either.”  Next Jes′se presented Sham′mah,+ but he said: “Jehovah has not chosen this one either.” 10  So Jes′se had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jes′se: “Jehovah has not chosen any of these.” 11  Finally Samuel said to Jes′se: “Are these all of your boys?” To this he said: “The youngest+ has been left out until now; he is pasturing the sheep.”+ Then Samuel said to Jes′se: “Send for him, because we will not sit down for the meal until he comes here.” 12  So he sent for him and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes, and handsome in appearance.+ Then Jehovah said: “Get up, anoint him, for this is the one!”+ 13  So Samuel took the horn of oil+ and anointed him in the presence of his brothers. And the spirit of Jehovah began to empower David from that day forward.+ Samuel later rose and went his way to Ra′mah.+ 14  Now the spirit of Jehovah had departed from Saul,+ and a bad spirit from Jehovah terrorized him.+ 15  The servants of Saul said to him: “You see that a bad spirit from God is terrorizing you. 16  Let our lord, please, command your servants before you to look for a man who is skilled at playing the harp.+ Whenever a bad spirit from God comes upon you, he will play it, and you will feel better.” 17  So Saul said to his servants: “Find me, please, a man who plays well, and bring him to me.” 18  One of the attendants said: “Look! I have seen how a son of Jes′se the Beth′le·hem·ite plays skillfully, and he is a courageous, mighty warrior.+ He can speak well, and he is handsome,+ and Jehovah is with him.”+ 19  Saul then sent messengers to Jes′se and said: “Send to me your son David, who is with the flock.”+ 20  So Jes′se loaded a donkey with bread, a skin bottle of wine, and a young goat and sent them to Saul with his son David. 21  Thus David came to Saul and began serving him.+ Saul grew to love him very much, and he became his armor-bearer. 22  Saul sent a message to Jes′se: “Please let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my eyes.” 23  Whenever a bad spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the harp and played it, and Saul found relief and felt better, and the bad spirit would depart from him.+