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

2 Samuel replied, “How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me!” But the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 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 to you.”

4 Samuel did what the Lord told him. When he arrived in Bethlehem, the elders of the city were afraid to meet him. They said, “Do you come in peace?” 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.

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

8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him to Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 9 Then Jesse presented Shammah. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 10 Jesse presented seven of his sons to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11 Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Is that all the young men?” Jesse 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.”

12 So Jesse had him brought in. Now he was ruddy, with attractive eyes and a handsome appearance. The Lord said, “Go and anoint him. This is the one.” 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.

14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had turned away from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. 15 Then Saul’s servants said to him, “Look, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord instruct his servants who are here before you to look for a man who knows how to play the lyre. Then whenever the evil spirit from God comes upon you, he can play the lyre and you will feel better.” 17 So Saul said to his servants, “Find me a man who plays well and bring him to me.” 18 One of his attendants replied, “I have seen a son of Jesse in Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave warrior and is articulate and handsome, for the Lord is with him.”

19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is out with the sheep.” 20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a container of wine, and a young goat and sent them to Saul with his son David. 21 David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him a great deal, and he became his armor-bearer. 22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse saying, “Let David be my servant, for I am very pleased with him.”

23 So whenever the spirit from God would come upon Saul, David would take his lyre and play it. This would bring relief to Saul and make him feel better. Then the evil spirit would leave him alone.

17:1 The Philistines gathered their troops for battle. They assembled at Socoh in Judah. They camped in Ephes Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah. 2 Saul and the Israelite army assembled and camped in the valley of Elah, where they arranged their battle lines to fight against the Philistines. 3 The Philistines were standing on one hill, and the Israelites on another hill, with the valley between them.

4 Then a champion came out from the camp of the Philistines. His name was Goliath; he was from Gath. He was close to seven feet tall. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and was wearing scale body armor. The weight of his bronze body armor was 5,000 shekels. 6 He had bronze shin guards on his legs, and a bronze javelin was slung over his shoulders. 7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and the iron point of his spear weighed 600 shekels. His shield bearer was walking before him.

8 Goliath stood and called to Israel’s troops, “Why do you come out to prepare for battle? Am I not the Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose for yourselves a man so he may come down to me! 9 If he is able to fight with me and strike me down, we will become your servants. But if I prevail against him and strike him down, you will become our servants and will serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “I defy Israel’s troops this day! Give me a man so we can fight each other!” 11 When Saul and all the Israelites heard these words of the Philistine, they were upset and very afraid.

12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse from Bethlehem in Judah. He had eight sons, and in Saul’s days he was old and well advanced in years. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to war. The names of the three sons who went to war were Eliab, his firstborn; Abinadab, the second oldest; and Shammah, the third oldest. 14 Now David was the youngest. While the three oldest sons followed Saul, 15 David was going back and forth from Saul in order to care for his father’s sheep in Bethlehem.

16 Meanwhile for 40 days the Philistine approached every morning and evening and took his position. 17 Jesse said to his son David, “Take your brothers this ephah of roasted grain and these 10 loaves of bread; go quickly to the camp to your brothers. 18 Also take these 10 portions of cheese to their commanding officer. Find out how your brothers are doing and bring back their pledge that they received the goods. 19 They are with Saul and the whole Israelite army in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.”

20 So David got up early in the morning and entrusted the flock to someone else who would watch over it. After loading up, he went just as Jesse had instructed him. He arrived at the camp as the army was going out to the battle lines shouting its battle cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines drew up their battle lines opposite one another. 22 After David had entrusted his cargo to the care of the supply officer, he ran to the battlefront. When he arrived, he asked his brothers how they were doing. 23 As he was speaking with them, the champion named Goliath, the Philistine from Gath, was coming up from the battle lines of the Philistines. He spoke the way he usually did, and David heard it. 24 When all the men of Israel saw this man, they retreated from his presence and were very afraid.

25 The men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who is coming up? He does so to defy Israel. But the king will make the man who can strike him down very wealthy! He will give him his daughter in marriage, and he will make his father’s house exempt from tax obligations in Israel.”

26 David asked the men who were standing near him, “What will be done for the man who strikes down this Philistine and frees Israel from this humiliation? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he defies the armies of the living God?” 27 The soldiers told him what had been promised, saying, “This is what will be done for the man who can strike him down.”

28 When David’s oldest brother Eliab heard him speaking to the men, he became angry with David and said, “Why have you come down here? To whom did you entrust those few sheep in the wilderness? I am familiar with your pride and deceit! You have come down here to watch the battle.”

29 David replied, “What have I done now? Can’t I say anything?” 30 Then he turned from those who were nearby to someone else and asked the same question, but they gave him the same answer as before. 31 When David’s words were overheard and reported to Saul, he called for him.

32 David said to Saul, “Don’t let anyone be discouraged. Your servant will go and fight this Philistine!” 33 But Saul replied to David, “You aren’t able to go against this Philistine and fight him. You’re just a boy! He has been a warrior from his youth.”

34 David replied to Saul, “Your servant has been a shepherd for his father’s flock. Whenever a lion or bear would come and carry off a sheep from the flock, 35 I would go out after it, strike it down, and rescue the sheep from its mouth. If it rose up against me, I would grab it by its jaw, strike it, and kill it. 36 Your servant has struck down both the lion and the bear. This uncircumcised Philistine will be just like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 David went on to say, “The Lord who delivered me from the lion and the bear will also deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Then Saul said to David, “Go! The Lord will be with you.”

38 Then Saul clothed David with his own fighting attire and put a bronze helmet on his head. He also put body armor on him. 39 David strapped on his sword over his fighting attire and tried to walk around, but he was not used to them. David said to Saul, “I can’t walk in these things, for I’m not used to them.” So David removed them. 40 He took his staff in his hand, picked out five smooth stones from the stream, placed them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag, took his sling in hand, and approached the Philistine.

41 The Philistine, with his shield bearer walking in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 When the Philistine looked carefully at David, he despised him, for he was only a ruddy and handsome boy. 43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you are coming after me with sticks?” Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come here to me, so I can give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the field!”

45 But David replied to the Philistine, “You are coming against me with sword and spear and javelin. But I am coming against you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel’s armies, whom you have defied! 46 This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand. I will strike you down and cut off your head. This day I will give the corpses of the Philistine army to the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the land. Then all the land will realize that Israel has a God, 47 and all this assembly will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves! For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will deliver you into our hand.”

48 The Philistine drew steadily closer to David to attack him, while David quickly ran toward the battle line to attack the Philistine. 49 David reached his hand into the bag and took out a stone. He slung it, striking the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank deeply into his forehead, and he fell down with his face to the ground.

50 David prevailed over the Philistine with just the sling and the stone. He struck down the Philistine and killed him. David did not even have a sword in his hand. 51 David ran and stood over the Philistine. He grabbed Goliath’s sword, drew it from its sheath, and after killing him, he cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they ran away.

52 Then the men of Israel and Judah charged forward, shouting a battle cry. They chased the Philistines to the valley and to the very gates of Ekron. The Philistine corpses lay fallen along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. 53 When the Israelites returned from their hot pursuit of the Philistines, they looted their camp. 54 David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, and he put Goliath’s weapons in his tent.

55 Now as Saul watched David going out to fight the Philistine, he asked Abner, the general in command of the army, “Whose son is that young man, Abner?” Abner replied, “As surely as you live, O king, I don’t know.” 56 The king said, “Find out whose son this boy is.”

57 So when David returned from striking down the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul. He still had the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58 Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” David replied, “I am the son of your servant Jesse in Bethlehem.”