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16 One day he said, “Samuel, I’ve rejected Saul, and I refuse to let him be king any longer. Stop feeling sad about him. Put some olive oil[a] in a small container[b] and go visit a man named Jesse, who lives in Bethlehem. I’ve chosen one of his sons to be my king.”

Samuel answered, “If I do that, Saul will find out and have me killed.”

“Take a calf with you,” the Lord replied. “Tell everyone that you’ve come to offer it as a sacrifice to me, then invite Jesse to the sacrifice.[c] When I show you which one of his sons I have chosen, pour the olive oil on his head.”

Samuel did what the Lord told him and went to Bethlehem. The town leaders went to meet him, but they were terribly afraid and asked, “Is this a friendly visit?”

“Yes, it is!” Samuel answered. “I’ve come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Get yourselves ready[d] to take part in the sacrifice and come with me.” Samuel also invited Jesse and his sons to come to the sacrifice, and he got them ready to take part.

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Footnotes

  1. 16.1 olive oil: See the note at 9.16.
  2. 16.1 small container: Hebrew “horn”; animal horns were sometimes hollowed out and used as containers.
  3. 16.3 sacrifice: A sacrifice often involved a dinner where the meat from the sacrificed animal would be served.
  4. 16.5 Get yourselves ready: The people of Israel sometimes had to perform certain ceremonies to make themselves acceptable to God.