Saul’s Disobedience

15 Then Samuel said to Saul, “(A)The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the [a]words of the Lord. This is what the Lord of armies says: ‘I will [b]punish Amalek (B)for what he did to Israel, in that he obstructed him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and (C)completely destroy everything that he has, and do not spare him; but (D)put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”

Then Saul summoned the people and [c]counted them in (E)Telaim: two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the [d]wadi. But Saul said to (F)the Kenites, “Go, get away, go down from among the Amalekites, so that I do not destroy you along with them; for (G)you showed kindness to all the sons of Israel when they went up from Egypt.” So the Kenites got away from among the Amalekites. Then (H)Saul [e]defeated the Amalekites, from (I)Havilah [f]going toward (J)Shur, which is [g]east of Egypt. He captured (K)Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and (L)completely destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people (M)spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the more valuable animals, the lambs, and everything that was good, and were unwilling to destroy them completely; but everything despicable and weak, that they completely destroyed.

Samuel Rebukes Saul

10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, 11 (N)I regret that I have made Saul king, because (O)he has turned back from [h]following Me and has not carried out My commands.” And Samuel was furious and (P)cried out to the Lord all night. 12 Samuel got up early in the morning to meet Saul; and it was reported to Samuel, saying, “Saul came to (Q)Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and proceeded on [i]down to (R)Gilgal.” 13 So Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “(S)Blessed are you of the Lord! I have carried out the command of the Lord.” 14 But Samuel said, “(T)What then is this [j]bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the [k]bellowing of the oxen which I hear?” 15 Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for (U)the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God; but the rest we have completely destroyed.” 16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop, and let me inform you of what the Lord said to me last night.” And he said to him, “Speak!”

17 So Samuel said, “[l]Is it not true, (V)though you were [m]insignificant in your own eyes, that you became the head of the tribes of Israel? For the Lord anointed you as king over Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a [n]mission, and said, ‘(W)Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are eliminated.’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? (X)Instead, you loudly rushed upon the spoils and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord!”

20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “(Y)I did obey the voice of the Lord, for I went on the [o]mission on which the Lord sent me; and I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have completely destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But (Z)the people took some of the spoils, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things designated for destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.” 22 Samuel said,

(AA)Does the Lord have as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, (AB)to obey is better than a sacrifice,
And to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as reprehensible as the sin of (AC)divination,
And insubordination is as reprehensible as (AD)false religion and idolatry.
Since you have rejected the word of the Lord,
(AE)He has also rejected you from being king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “(AF)I have sinned, for (AG)I have violated the [p]command of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice. 25 Now then, (AH)please pardon my sin and return with me, so that I may worship the Lord.” 26 But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you; for (AI)you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 27 Then Samuel turned to go, but (AJ)Saul grasped the edge of his robe, and it tore off. 28 So Samuel said to him, “(AK)The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you. 29 Also the [q](AL)Glory of Israel (AM)will not lie nor change His mind; for He is not a man, that He would change His mind.” 30 Then Saul said, “I have sinned; (AN)but please honor me now before the elders of my people and before all Israel, and go back with me, (AO)so that I may worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel went back following Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag, the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him [r]cheerfully. And Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is gone!” 33 But Samuel said, “(AP)As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel cut Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel went to (AQ)Ramah, but Saul went up to his house at (AR)Gibeah of Saul. 35 And (AS)Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, though Samuel (AT)mourned for [s]Saul. And the Lord regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.

Samuel Goes to Bethlehem

16 Now the Lord said to Samuel, “(AU)How long are you going to mourn for [t]Saul, since (AV)I have rejected him from being king over Israel? (AW)Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to (AX)Jesse the Bethlehemite, because I have (AY)chosen a king for Myself among his sons.” But Samuel said, “How can I go? When Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” But the Lord said, “(AZ)Take a heifer [u]with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ And you shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and (BA)I will let you know what you shall do; and (BB)you shall anoint for Me the one whom I [v]designate to you.” So Samuel did what the Lord told him, and he came to (BC)Bethlehem. Then the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, “(BD)Do you come in peace?” And he said, “In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. (BE)Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” He also consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they entered, he looked at (BF)Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lords anointed is standing before Him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for [w]God does not see as man sees, since man looks at [x]the outward appearance, (BG)but the Lord looks at the heart.” Then Jesse called (BH)Abinadab and had him pass before Samuel. But he said, “The Lord has not chosen this one, either.” Next Jesse had [y](BI)Shammah pass by. And he said, “The Lord has not chosen this one, either.” 10 So Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the boys?” And he said, “(BJ)The youngest is still left, but behold, he is tending the sheep.” So Samuel said to Jesse, “Send word and bring him; for we will not take our places at the table until he comes here.”

David Anointed

12 So he sent word and brought him in. Now he was [z]reddish, with (BK)beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the Lord said, “(BL)Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and (BM)anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and (BN)the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel set out and went to Ramah.

14 (BO)Now the Spirit of the Lord left Saul, and (BP)an evil spirit from the Lord terrified him. 15 Saul’s servants then said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is terrifying you. 16 May our lord now command your servants who are before you. Have them search for a man who is a skillful musician on the harp; and it shall come about whenever the evil spirit from God is upon you, that (BQ)he shall play the harp with his hand, and you will become well.” 17 So Saul said to his servants, “Now select for me a man who can play well, and bring him to me.” 18 Then one of the young men responded and said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, (BR)a valiant mighty man, a warrior, skillful in speech, and a handsome man; and (BS)the Lord is with him.” 19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse [aa]to say, “Send me your son David, who is with the flock.” 20 And Jesse (BT)took a donkey loaded with bread and a jug of wine, and he took a young goat, and sent them to Saul by his son David. 21 Then David came to Saul and [ab](BU)attended him; and Saul greatly loved him, and he became his armor bearer. 22 So Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Let David now [ac]be my attendant for he has found favor in my sight.” 23 So it came about whenever (BV)the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would feel relieved and become well, and the evil spirit would leave him.

Goliath’s Challenge

17 Now (BW)the Philistines gathered their armies for battle; and they were gathered at Socoh which belongs to Judah, and they camped between (BX)Socoh and (BY)Azekah, in (BZ)Ephes-dammim. Saul and the men of Israel were assembled and camped in (CA)the Valley of Elah, and they drew up in battle formation to confront the Philistines. The Philistines were standing on the mountain on one side, while Israel was standing on the mountain on the other side, with the valley between them. Then a champion came forward from the army encampment of the Philistines, named (CB)Goliath, from (CC)Gath. His height was [ad]six cubits and a [ae]span. And he had a bronze helmet on his head, and he wore scale-armor [af]which weighed [ag]five thousand shekels of bronze. He also had bronze [ah]greaves on his legs and a (CD)bronze [ai]saber slung between his shoulders. (CE)The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and the head of his spear weighed [aj]six hundred shekels of iron; and (CF)his shield-carrier walked in front of him. He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel and said to them, “Why do you come out to draw up in battle formation? Am I not the Philistine, and you the (CG)servants of Saul? Choose a man as your representative and have him come down to me. (CH)If he is able to fight me and [ak]kill me, then we will become your servants; but if I prevail against him and [al]kill him, then you shall become our servants and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “(CI)I have defied the ranks of Israel this day! Give me a man, so that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and very fearful.

12 Now David was (CJ)the son of [am]the (CK)Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, the man whose name was Jesse, and (CL)he had eight sons. And [an]Jesse was old in the days of Saul, advanced in years among men. 13 The three older sons of Jesse had [ao]followed Saul to the battle. And (CM)the names of his three sons who had gone into the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and second to him, Abinadab, and the third, Shammah. 14 So (CN)David was the youngest. Now the three oldest followed Saul, 15 (CO)but David went back and forth from Saul (CP)to tend his father’s flock at Bethlehem. 16 And the Philistine came forward morning and evening, and took his stand for forty days.

17 Then Jesse said to his son David, “(CQ)Take now for your brothers an ephah of this roasted grain and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to your brothers. 18 (CR)Bring also these ten slices of cheese to the commander of their thousand, (CS)and look into the well-being of your brothers and bring back [ap]confirmation from them. 19 For Saul and they and all the men of Israel are in the Valley of Elah, fighting the Philistines.”

David Accepts the Challenge

20 So David got up early in the morning and left the flock with a keeper, and took the supplies and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the (CT)entrenchment encircling the camp while the army was going out in battle formation, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines drew up in battle formation, army against army. 22 Then David left the (CU)baggage in the [aq]care of the baggage keeper and ran to the battle line. And he entered and [ar]greeted his brothers. 23 As he was speaking with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine from Gath named Goliath, was coming up from the army of the Philistines, and he spoke (CV)these same words; and David heard him.

24 When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him and were very fearful. 25 And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who is coming up? Surely he is coming up to defy Israel. And it will be that the king will make the man who kills him wealthy with great riches, and (CW)will give him his daughter and make his father’s house [as]free in Israel.”

26 Then David said to the men who were standing by him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and rids Israel of (CX)the disgrace? For who is this (CY)uncircumcised Philistine, that he has dared to (CZ)defy the armies of (DA)the living God?” 27 The people [at]answered him in agreement with this statement, saying, “(DB)This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”

28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard him when he spoke to the men; and (DC)Eliab’s anger burned against David and he said, “Why is it that you have come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I myself know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle.” 29 But David said, “What have I done now? Was it not just a [au]question?” 30 Then he turned [av]away from him to another and (DD)said the same thing; and the people replied with the same words as [aw]before.

David Kills Goliath

31 When the words that David spoke were heard, they informed [ax]Saul, and he [ay]sent for him. 32 And David said to Saul, “(DE)May no one’s heart fail on account of him; (DF)your servant will go and fight this Philistine!” 33 But Saul said to David, “(DG)You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight him; for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior since his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a sheep from the flock, 35 I went out after it and [az]attacked it, and (DH)rescued the sheep from its mouth; and when it rose up against me, I grabbed it by its mane and struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has [ba]killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “(DI)The Lord who saved me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, He will save me from the hand of this Philistine.” So Saul said to David, “(DJ)Go, and may the Lord be with you.” 38 Then Saul clothed David with his military attire and put a bronze helmet on his head, and outfitted him with armor. 39 And David strapped on his sword over his military attire and struggled at walking, for he had not trained with the armor. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, because I have not trained with them.” And David took them [bb]off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, that is, in his shepherd’s pouch, and (DK)his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.

41 Then the Philistine came and approached David, with the shield-bearer in front of him. 42 When the Philistine looked and saw David, (DL)he was contemptuous of him; for he was only a youth, and [bc](DM)reddish, with a handsome appearance. 43 So the Philistine said to David, “(DN)Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And (DO)the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh (DP)to the birds of the sky and the [bd]wild animals.” 45 But David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a [be]saber, (DQ)but I come to you in the name of the Lord of armies, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I will strike you and remove your head from you. Then I will give the (DR)dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the earth, (DS)so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that this entire assembly may know that (DT)the Lord does not save by sword or by spear; (DU)for the battle is the Lords, and He will hand you over to us!”

48 Then it happened, when the Philistine [bf]came closer to meet David, that (DV)David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone penetrated his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.

50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with the sling and the stone: he struck the Philistine and killed him, and there was no sword in David’s hand. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine, and (DW)took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and finished him, and cut off his head with it. (DX)When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah rose up and shouted, and they pursued the Philistines [bg]as far as the valley, and to the gates of (DY)Ekron. And the Philistine dead [bh]lay along the way to (DZ)Shaaraim, even to Gath and Ekron. 53 Then the sons of Israel returned from their close pursuit of the Philistines, and plundered their camps. 54 And David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his weapons in his tent.

55 Now when Saul had seen David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is (EA)this young man?” And Abner said, “By your life, O king, I do not know.” 56 And the king said, “You then, ask whose son the youth is.” 57 So when David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and (EB)brought him before Saul with the Philistine’s head in his hand. 58 Then Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “(EC)I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”


  1. 1 Samuel 15:1 Lit sound of the words
  2. 1 Samuel 15:2 Or visit
  3. 1 Samuel 15:4 Lit mustered
  4. 1 Samuel 15:5 Or valley
  5. 1 Samuel 15:7 Lit struck
  6. 1 Samuel 15:7 Lit as you go
  7. 1 Samuel 15:7 Lit before
  8. 1 Samuel 15:11 Lit after
  9. 1 Samuel 15:12 Lit and went down
  10. 1 Samuel 15:14 Lit sound
  11. 1 Samuel 15:14 Lit sound
  12. 1 Samuel 15:17 Or Though you were..., did you not become
  13. 1 Samuel 15:17 Lit small
  14. 1 Samuel 15:18 Lit way
  15. 1 Samuel 15:20 Lit way
  16. 1 Samuel 15:24 Lit mouth
  17. 1 Samuel 15:29 Or Splendor
  18. 1 Samuel 15:32 Or in chains
  19. 1 Samuel 15:35 I.e., God’s rejection of Saul
  20. 1 Samuel 16:1 I.e., God’s rejection of Saul
  21. 1 Samuel 16:2 Lit by your hand
  22. 1 Samuel 16:3 Lit say to you
  23. 1 Samuel 16:7 As in LXX; MT, He does not see what man sees
  24. 1 Samuel 16:7 Lit the eyes; or what is before the eyes
  25. 1 Samuel 16:9 In 2 Sam 13:3, Shimeah; in 1 Chr 2:13, Shimea
  26. 1 Samuel 16:12 I.e., of reddish hair or skin
  27. 1 Samuel 16:19 Lit and said
  28. 1 Samuel 16:21 Lit stood before him
  29. 1 Samuel 16:22 Lit stand before me
  30. 1 Samuel 17:4 About 9 ft. or 2.7 m
  31. 1 Samuel 17:4 About 9 in. or 23 cm
  32. 1 Samuel 17:5 Lit and the weight of the armor was
  33. 1 Samuel 17:5 Possibly 75-125 lb. (shekel weight varied)
  34. 1 Samuel 17:6 I.e., shin guards
  35. 1 Samuel 17:6 Lit scimitar was
  36. 1 Samuel 17:7 Possibly 8-14 lb.
  37. 1 Samuel 17:9 Lit strike
  38. 1 Samuel 17:9 Lit strike
  39. 1 Samuel 17:12 Lit this
  40. 1 Samuel 17:12 Lit the man
  41. 1 Samuel 17:13 Lit gone; they went after
  42. 1 Samuel 17:18 Lit their pledge
  43. 1 Samuel 17:22 Lit hand
  44. 1 Samuel 17:22 Lit inquired about his brothers’ well-being
  45. 1 Samuel 17:25 I.e., exempt from taxes and public service
  46. 1 Samuel 17:27 Lit said to
  47. 1 Samuel 17:29 Lit word
  48. 1 Samuel 17:30 Lit from beside him
  49. 1 Samuel 17:30 Lit the former word
  50. 1 Samuel 17:31 Lit before Saul
  51. 1 Samuel 17:31 Lit took him
  52. 1 Samuel 17:35 Lit struck
  53. 1 Samuel 17:36 Lit struck
  54. 1 Samuel 17:39 Lit off from himself
  55. 1 Samuel 17:42 I.e., of reddish hair or complexion
  56. 1 Samuel 17:44 Lit beast of the field
  57. 1 Samuel 17:45 Lit scimitar
  58. 1 Samuel 17:48 Lit arose and came
  59. 1 Samuel 17:52 Lit until your coming to
  60. 1 Samuel 17:52 Lit fell

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