1 Samuel 15-17 World English Bible

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Saul's Disobedience and Rejection

15 1  Samuel said to Saul, “Yahweh sent me to anoint you to be king over his people, over Israel. Now therefore listen to the voice of the words of Yahweh. 2  Thus says Yahweh of Armies, ‘I have marked that which Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way, when he came up out of Egypt. 3  Now go and strike Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and don’t spare them; but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” 4  Saul summoned the people, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah. 5  Saul came to the city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. 6  Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart, go down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them; for you showed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 7  Saul struck the Amalekites, from Havilah as you go to Shur, that is before Egypt. 8  He took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9  But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the cattle, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and wouldn’t utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

10  Then the word of Yahweh came to Samuel, saying, 11  “It grieves me that I have set up Saul to be king; for he is turned back from following me, and has not performed my commandments.” Samuel was angry; and he cried to Yahweh all night. 12  Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning; and it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, and turned, and passed on, and went down to Gilgal.” 13  Samuel came to Saul; and Saul said to him, “You are blessed by Yahweh! I have performed the commandment of Yahweh.” 14  Samuel said, “Then what does this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the cattle which I hear mean?” 15  Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the cattle, to sacrifice to Yahweh your God. We have utterly destroyed the rest.” 16  Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stay, and I will tell you what Yahweh has said to me last night.”

He said to him, “Say on.” 17  Samuel said, “Though you were little in your own sight, weren’t you made the head of the tribes of Israel? Yahweh anointed you king over Israel; 18  and Yahweh sent you on a journey, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ 19  Why then didn’t you obey the voice of Yahweh, but took the spoils, and did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh?” 20  Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of Yahweh, and have gone the way which Yahweh sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21  But the people took of the spoil, sheep and cattle, the chief of the devoted things, to sacrifice to Yahweh your God in Gilgal.” 22  Samuel said, “Has Yahweh as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Yahweh? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. 23  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim. Because you have rejected the word of Yahweh, he has also rejected you from being king.”

24  Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of Yahweh, and your words, because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. 25  Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship Yahweh.” 26  Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of Yahweh, and Yahweh has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 27  As Samuel turned about to go away, Saul grabbed the skirt of his robe, and it tore. 28  Samuel said to him, “Yahweh has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day, and has given it to a neighbor of yours who is better than you. 29  Also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent.” 30  Then he said, “I have sinned: yet honor me now, please, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and come back with me, that I may worship Yahweh your God.” 31  So Samuel went back with Saul; and Saul worshiped Yahweh.

32  Then said Samuel, “Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites!”

Agag came to him cheerfully. Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” 33  Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so your mother will be childless among women!” Samuel cut Agag in pieces before Yahweh in Gilgal. 34  Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul. 35  Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death; for Samuel mourned for Saul: and Yahweh grieved that he had made Saul king over Israel.

David Anointed King

16 1  Yahweh said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite; for I have provided a king for myself among his sons.” 2  Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.”

Yahweh said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, I have come to sacrifice to Yahweh. 3  Call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. You shall anoint to me him whom I name to you.” 4  Samuel did that which Yahweh spoke, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5  He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to Yahweh. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” He sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.

6  It happened, when they had come, that he looked at Eliab, and said, “Surely Yahweh’s anointed is before him.” 7  But Yahweh said to Samuel, “Don’t look on his face, or on the height of his stature; because I have rejected him: for Yahweh sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks at the heart.” 8  Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has Yahweh chosen this one.” 9  Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. He said, “Neither has Yahweh chosen this one.” 10  Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. Samuel said to Jesse, “Yahweh has not chosen these.” 11  Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your children here?”

He said, “There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is keeping the sheep.”

Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” 12  He sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful face, and goodly to look on. Yahweh said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” 13  Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers: and the Spirit of Yahweh came mightily on David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

David Plays the Harp for Saul

14  Now the Spirit of Yahweh departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Yahweh troubled him. 15  Saul’s servants said to him, “See now, an evil spirit from God troubles you. 16  Let our lord now command your servants who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. It shall happen, when the evil spirit from God is on you, that he shall play with his hand, and you shall be well.” 17  Saul said to his servants, “Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.” 18  Then one of the young men answered, and said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a comely person; and Yahweh is with him.” 19  Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.” 20  Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a young goat, and sent them by David his son to Saul. 21  David came to Saul, and stood before him. He loved him greatly; and he became his armor bearer. 22  Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Please let David stand before me; for he has found favor in my sight.” 23  It happened, when the evil spirit from God was on Saul, that David took the harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

David Kills Goliath

17 1  Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle; and they were gathered together at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim. 2  Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and encamped in the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. 3  The Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them. 4  There went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5  He had a helmet of brass on his head, and he was clad with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. 6  He had brass shin armor on his legs, and a javelin of brass between his shoulders. 7  The staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and his shield bearer went before him. 8  He stood and cried to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to set your battle in array? Am I not a Philistine, and you servants to Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9  If he be able to fight with me, and kill me, then will we be your servants; but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then you will be our servants, and serve us.” 10  The Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day! Give me a man, that we may fight together!” 11  When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

12  Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man was an old man in the days of Saul, stricken in years among men. 13  The three eldest sons of Jesse had gone after Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14  David was the youngest; and the three eldest followed Saul. 15  Now David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 16  The Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days. 17  Jesse said to David his son, “Now take for your brothers an ephah [1] of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers; 18  and bring these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers are doing, and bring back news.” 19  Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20  David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the place of the wagons, as the army which was going forth to the fight shouted for the battle. 21  Israel and the Philistines put the battle in array, army against army. 22  David left his baggage in the hand of the keeper of the baggage, and ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers. 23  As he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke according to the same words: and David heard them. 24  All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were terrified. 25  The men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who is come up? He has surely come up to defy Israel. It shall be, that the man who kills him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel.” 26  David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done to the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 27  The people answered him after this manner, saying, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.” 28  Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride, and the naughtiness of your heart; for you have come down that you might see the battle.” 29  David said, “What have I now done? Is there not a cause?” 30  He turned away from him toward another, and spoke like that again; and the people answered him again the same way.

31  When the words were heard which David spoke, they rehearsed them before Saul; and he sent for him. 32  David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33  Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” 34  David said to Saul, “Your servant was keeping his father’s sheep; and when a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb out of the flock, 35  I went out after him, and struck him, and rescued it out of his mouth. When he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and struck him, and killed him. 36  Your servant struck both the lion and the bear. This uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37  David said, “Yahweh who delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go; and Yahweh shall be with you.” 38  Saul dressed David with his clothing. He put a helmet of brass on his head, and he clad him with a coat of mail. 39  David strapped his sword on his clothing, and he tried to move; for he had not tested it. David said to Saul, “I can’t go with these; for I have not tested them.” David took them off.

40  He took his staff in his hand, and chose for himself five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his wallet. His sling was in his hand; and he drew near to the Philistine. 41  The Philistine came on and drew near to David; and the man who bore the shield went before him. 42  When the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and withal of a fair face. 43  The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” The Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44  The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky, and to the animals of the field.” 45  Then said David to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a javelin: but I come to you in the name of Yahweh of Armies, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46  Today, Yahweh will deliver you into my hand. I will strike you, and take your head from off you. I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky, and to the wild animals of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47  and that all this assembly may know that Yahweh doesn’t save with sword and spear: for the battle is Yahweh’s, and he will give you into our hand.”

48  It happened, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49  David put his hand in his bag, took a stone, and slung it, and struck the Philistine in his forehead; and the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50  So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine, and killed him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. 51  Then David ran, and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of its sheath, and killed him, and cut off his head therewith. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52  The men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until you come to Gai, and to the gates of Ekron. The wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath, and to Ekron. 53  The children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. 54  David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armor in his tent. 55  When Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?”

Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I can’t tell.” 56  The king said, “Inquire whose son the young man is!” 57  As David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58  Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, you young man?”

David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

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Footnotes

[1] 17:17 1 ephah is about 22 litres or about 2/3 of a bushel

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