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1 Samuel 16:1-13 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Samuel Goes to Bethlehem

16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you feel sorry for Saul? I have rejected him as king of Israel. Fill your horn[a] with oil and go to Bethlehem. I am sending you to Jesse who lives in Bethlehem, because I have chosen one of his sons to be the new king.”

But Samuel said, “If I go, Saul will hear the news and try to kill me.”

The Lord said, “Go to Bethlehem. Take a young calf with you and tell them, ‘I have come to make a sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice. Then I will show you what to do. You must anoint the person I show you.”

Samuel did what the Lord told him to do and went to Bethlehem. The elders of Bethlehem shook with fear. They met Samuel and asked, “Do you come in peace?”

Samuel answered, “Yes, I come in peace. I come to make a sacrifice to the Lord. Prepare yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Samuel prepared Jesse and his sons. Then he invited them to come and share the sacrifice.

When Jesse and his sons arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the man who the Lord has chosen.”

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Eliab is tall and handsome, but don’t judge by things like that. God doesn’t look at what people see. People judge by what is on the outside, but the Lord looks at the heart. Eliab is not the right man.”

Then Jesse called his second son, Abinadab. Abinadab walked by Samuel. But Samuel said, “No, this is not the man who the Lord chose.”

Then Jesse told Shammah to walk by Samuel. But Samuel said, “No, the Lord did not choose this man, either.”

10 Jesse showed seven of his sons to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these men.”

11 Then he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

Jesse answered, “No, I have another son—my youngest, but he is out taking care of the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him. Bring him here. We won’t sit down to eat until he arrives.”

12 Jesse sent someone to get his youngest son. This son was a good-looking, healthy[b] young man. He was very handsome.

The Lord said to Samuel, “Get up and anoint him. He is the one.”

13 Samuel took the horn with the oil in it, and poured the special oil on Jesse’s youngest son in front of his brothers. The Spirit of the Lord came on David with great power from that day on. Then Samuel went back home to Ramah.


  1. 1 Samuel 16:1 horn An animal’s horn is hollow and often used like a bottle.
  2. 1 Samuel 16:12 healthy The Hebrew word means “red,” “ruddy,” or “red-haired.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International


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