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1 Samuel 16:1-13

Context
Samuel Anoints David as King

16:1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long do you intend to mourn for Saul? I have rejected him as king over Israel. 1  Fill your horn with olive oil and go! I am sending you to Jesse in Bethlehem, 2  for I have selected a king for myself from among his sons.” 3 

16:2 Samuel replied, “How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me!” But the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you 4  and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 16:3 Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you should do. You will anoint for me the one I point out 5  to you.”

16:4 Samuel did what the Lord told him. 6  When he arrived in Bethlehem, 7  the elders of the city were afraid to meet him. They 8  said, “Do you come in peace?” 16:5 He replied, “Yes, in peace. I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” So he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

16:6 When they arrived, Samuel 9  noticed 10  Eliab and said to himself, 11  “Surely, here before the Lord stands his chosen king!” 12  16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t be impressed by 13  his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. God does not view things the way men do. 14  People look on the outward appearance, 15  but the Lord looks at the heart.”

16:8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him to Samuel. 16  But Samuel 17  said, “The Lord has not chosen this one, either.” 16:9 Then Jesse presented 18  Shammah. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 16:10 Jesse presented seven of his sons to Samuel. 19  But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 16:11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Is that all of the young men?” Jesse 20  replied, “There is still the youngest one, but he’s taking care of the flock.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we cannot turn our attention to other things until he comes here.”

16:12 So Jesse had him brought in. 21  Now he was ruddy, with attractive eyes and a handsome appearance. The Lord said, “Go and anoint him. This is the one!” 16:13 So Samuel took the horn full of olive oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers. The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day onward. Then Samuel got up and went to Ramah.

1 tc The Lucianic recension of the Old Greek translation includes the following words: “And the Lord said to Samuel.”

2 map For location see Map5 B1; Map7 E2; Map8 E2; Map10 B4.

3 tn Heb “for I have seen among his sons for me a king.”

4 tn Heb “in your hand.”

5 tn Heb “say”; KJV, NRSV “name”; NIV “indicate.”

6 tn Heb “said.”

7 map For location see Map5 B1; Map7 E2; Map8 E2; Map10 B4.

8 tc In the MT the verb is singular (“he said”), but the translation follows many medieval Hebrew mss and ancient versions in reading the plural (“they said”).

9 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Samuel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

10 tn Heb “saw.”

11 tn Heb “said”; the words “to himself” are implied, given the secrecy surrounding Samuel’s mission to Bethlehem (v. 2).

12 tn Heb “his anointed one.”

13 tn Heb “don’t look toward.”

14 tn Heb “for not that which the man sees.” The translation follows the LXX, which reads, “for not as man sees does God see.” The MT has suffered from homoioteleuton or homoioarcton. See P. K. McCarter, I Samuel (AB), 274.

15 tn Heb “to the eyes.”

16 tn Heb “and caused him to pass before.”

17 tn Heb “he” (also in v. 9); the referent (Samuel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

18 tn Heb “caused to pass by.”

19 tn Heb “caused seven of his sons to pass before Samuel.” This could be taken as referring to seven sons in addition to the three mentioned before this, but 1 Sam 17:12 says Jesse had eight sons, not eleven. 1 Chr 2:13-15 lists only seven sons, including David. However, 1 Chr 27:18 mentions an additional son, named Elihu.

20 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jesse) has been specified in the translation both here and in v. 12 for clarity.

21 tn Heb “and he sent and brought him.”



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