And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.
A. M. 2941. B.C. 1063. An. Ex. Is. 428. How long
horn with oil
And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.
How can I go
Take an heifer
For the prudent management of the affair, and to avoid suspicion, Samuel was directed to go to Bethlehem to sacrifice, as he probably did from time to time in many different places; and the answer which he was instructed to return was strictly true though he did not tell the principal design of his coming; for though no man in any circumstances should tell a lie, yet, in all circumstances, he is not bound to tell the whole truth, though he must tell nothing but the truth, and so tell that truth that the hearer shall not believe a lie by it.
Heb. in thine hand.
I am come
And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.
and I will shew
And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?
Heb. meeting. Comest.
And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him.
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
Heb. eyes. on the heart.
Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.
And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
of a beautiful countenance
Heb. fair of eyes.
And the Lord
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
The evil spirit was either sent immediately from the Lord, or permitted to come; but whether this was a diabolic possession, or a mere mental malady, is not agreed: it seems to have partaken of both. That Saul had fallen into a deep melancholy, there is little doubt; and that an evil spirit might work more effectually on such a state of mind, there can be little question. His malady appears to have been of a mixed kind, natural and diabolical: there is too much of apparent nature in it to permit us to believe it was all spiritual; and there is too much of apparently supernatural influence, to suffer us to believe it was all natural.
Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.
Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him.
or, speech. a comely.
Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.
with the sheep
And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul.
an ass laden
Chamor lechem, literally, "an ass of bread," rendered by the LXX. [gomor arton] a gomor of bread; meaning, probably, not an animal, but a vessel containing a certain measure of bread.
And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer.
stood before him
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.