1 Samuel 16

God chooses David as king

16:1 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.

God said to Samuel: "How long will you morn for Saul, now that I have rejected him as king?"

"Fill your horn with oil and go visit Jesse. I've chosen one of his sons to be king."

16:2 And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.

16:3 And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.

Samuel answered God: "If I do that Saul will kill me."

God said: "Take a heifer with you and say you're going to sacrifice to the Lord. Call Jesse to the sacrifice. After that I'll show you what to do."

16:4 And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?

16:5 And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.

So Samuel went to Bethlehem, telling the frightened elders that he had come in peace to sacrifice his heifer.

He invited Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice.

16:6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD's anointed is before him.

Samuel examined Jesse's sons to see which God had selected as king. First up was the oldest son, Eliab. Samuel said, "This must be the one."

16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

But God said, "Don't look at his looks or height. He's tall and good looking, but I reject him."

16:8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.

Then Jesse showed his second-oldest son, Abinadb. Samuel said, "No God hasn't chosen this one."

16:9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.

Likewise for the third-oldest, Shammah.

16:10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.

After Jesse had showed Samuel seven of his sons. Samuel said, "God hasn't chosen any of these."

16:11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.

Samuel asked Jesse, "Are these your only sons?"

Jesse said, "No, there's one more, the youngest. He's taking care of the sheep."

How many sons did Jesse have?

16:12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.

Jesse brought him (David) in. He was amaziingly good looking.

As soon as God saw him, he said: "Anoint him. He's the one."

16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

Samuel took his horn of oil and anointed David. And the Spirit of God came upon David from that day forward. [1]

An evil spirit from God plagues Saul (and David makes it go away)

16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

Meanwhile, God's spirit departed from Saul and an evil spirit from God troubled him. [2]

16:15 And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now,an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

God's evil spirit was so obvious that even Saul's servants noticed, saying to him, "An evil spirit from God troubles you."

16:16 Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.

Saul's servants suggested that they find someone who can play a harp well enough to make God's evil spirit leave Saul.

16:17 And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me.

16:18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him.

Saul's servants suggested one of Jesse's sons, a mighty man of war, who is good-looking and can play the harp well. The Lord, they said, was also with him.

A man of war
Was David a man of war?

16:19 Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.

Apparently Saul knew who they were talking about: David. So he asked Jesse to send him to him.

16:20 And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul.

So Jesse gave David some bread, a bottle of wine, and a young goat, and sent him to Saul.

16:21 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer.

16:22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight.

David came to Saul and Saul loved him greatly. So he asked Jesse to Let David stand before him, because he likes the way he looks. [3]
When did Saul meet David?
Strange Flesh: Saul and David

16:23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

David plays his harp and makes Saul's "evil spirit from God" go away.