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David Appears before Saul

14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had turned away from Saul, and an evil spirit[a] 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[b] and you will feel better.”[c] 17 So Saul said to his servants, “Find[d] me a man who plays well and bring him to me.” 18 One of his attendants replied,[e] “I have seen a son of Jesse in Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave warrior[f] and is articulate[g] and handsome,[h] 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[i] and sent them to Saul with[j] his son David. 21 David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him a great deal,[k] 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.”[l]

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.[m]

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  1. 1 Samuel 16:14 tn Or “an injurious spirit”; cf. NLT “a tormenting spirit.” The phrase need not refer to an evil, demonic spirit. The Hebrew word translated “evil” may refer to the character of the spirit or to its effect upon Saul. If the latter, another translation option might be “a mischief-making spirit.”
  2. 1 Samuel 16:16 tn Heb “and he will play with his hand.”
  3. 1 Samuel 16:16 tn Heb “and it will be better for you.”
  4. 1 Samuel 16:17 tn Heb “see.”
  5. 1 Samuel 16:18 tn Heb “answered and said.”
  6. 1 Samuel 16:18 tn Heb “mighty man of valor and a man of war.”
  7. 1 Samuel 16:18 tn Heb “discerning of word.”
  8. 1 Samuel 16:18 tn Heb “a man of form.”
  9. 1 Samuel 16:20 tn Heb “a kid of the goats.”
  10. 1 Samuel 16:20 tn Heb “by the hand of.”
  11. 1 Samuel 16:21 tn Heb “he loved him.”
  12. 1 Samuel 16:22 tn Heb “Let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my eyes.”
  13. 1 Samuel 16:23 tn Heb “would turn aside from upon him.”