March 31

1 Samuel 15:1 — 17:25

15 Then Samuel said to Saul: “It was I whom Jehovah sent to anoint you as king over his people Israel, and now listen to the voice of the words of Jehovah. 2 This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘I must call to account what Amalek did to Israel when he set himself against him in the way while he was coming up out of Egypt. 3 Now go, and you must strike down Amalek and devote him to destruction with all that he has, and you must not have compassion upon him, and you must put them to death, man as well as woman, child as well as suckling, bull as well as sheep, camel as well as ass.’” 4 Accordingly Saul summoned the people and took the count of them in Telaim, two hundred thousand men on foot and ten thousand men of Judah.

5 And Saul proceeded to come as far as the city of Amalek and to lie in ambush by the torrent valley. 6 Meanwhile Saul said to the Kenites: “GO, DEPART, GO DOWN from the midst of the Amalekites, that I may not sweep you away with them. As for you, you exercised loving-kindness with all the sons of Israel at the time of their coming up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from the midst of Amalek. 7 After that Saul went striking down Amalek from Havilah as far as Shur, which is in front of Egypt. 8 And he got to catch Agag the king of Amalek alive, and all the other people he devoted to destruction with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people had compassion upon Agag and upon the best of the flock and the herd and the fat ones and upon the rams and upon all that was good, and they did not wish to devote them to destruction. As for all the goods that were despicable and rejected, these they devoted to destruction.

10 The word of Jehovah now came to Samuel, saying: 11 “I do regret that I have caused Saul to reign as king, because he has turned back from following me, and my words he has not carried out.” And it was distressing to Samuel, and he kept crying out to Jehovah all night long. 12 Then Samuel got up early to meet Saul in the morning. But report was made to Samuel, saying: “Saul came to Carmel, and, look! he was erecting a monument for himself, and he then turned around and went across and descended to Gilgal.” 13 At length Samuel came to Saul, and Saul began to say to him: “Blessed are you of Jehovah. I have carried out the word of Jehovah.” 14 But Samuel said: “Then what does this sound of the flock in my ears mean, and the sound of the herd that I am hearing?” 15 To this Saul said: “From the Amalekites they have brought them, because the people had compassion upon the best of the flock and of the herd, for the purpose of sacrificing to Jehovah your God; but what was left over we have devoted to destruction.” 16 At this Samuel said to Saul: “Stop! And I will tell you what Jehovah spoke to me last night.” So he said to him: “Speak!”

17 And Samuel went on to say: “Was it not when you were little in your own eyes that you were head of the tribes of Israel, and Jehovah proceeded to anoint you as king over Israel? 18 Later Jehovah sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, and you must devote the sinners, the Amalekites, to destruction, and you must fight against them until you will have exterminated them.’ 19 So why is it you did not obey the voice of Jehovah but went darting greedily at the spoil and doing what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah?”

20 However, Saul said to Samuel: “But I have obeyed the voice of Jehovah in that I went on the mission on which Jehovah had sent me and I brought Agag the king of Amalek, but Amalek I have devoted to destruction. 21 And the people went taking from the spoil sheep and cattle, the choicest of them as something devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to Jehovah your God in Gilgal.”

22 In turn Samuel said: “Does Jehovah have as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? Look! To obey is better than a sacrifice, to pay attention than the fat of rams; 23 for rebelliousness is the same as the sin of divination, and pushing ahead presumptuously the same as [using] uncanny power and teraphim. Since you have rejected the word of Jehovah, he accordingly rejects you from being king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel: “I have sinned; for I have overstepped the order of Jehovah and your words, because I feared the people and so obeyed their voice. 25 And now, please, pardon my sin and return with me that I may prostrate myself to Jehovah.” 26 But Samuel said to Saul: “I shall not return with you, for you have rejected the word of Jehovah, and Jehovah rejects you from continuing as king over Israel.” 27 As Samuel was turning about to go, he immediately grabbed hold of the skirt of his sleeveless coat, but it ripped away. 28 At this Samuel said to him: “Jehovah has ripped away the royal rule of Israel from off you today, and he will certainly give it to a fellowman of yours who is better than you. 29 And, besides, the Excellency of Israel will not prove false, and He will not feel regrets, for He is not an earthling man so as to feel regrets.”

30 At this he said: “I have sinned. Now honor me, please, in front of the older men of my people and in front of Israel and return with me, and I shall certainly prostrate myself to Jehovah your God.” 31 So Samuel returned behind Saul, and Saul proceeded to prostrate himself to Jehovah. 32 After that Samuel said: “BRING Agag the king of Amalek near to me.” Then Agag went to him reluctantly, and Agag began to say to himself: “Truly the bitter experience of death has departed.” 33 However, Samuel said: “Just as your sword has bereaved women of children, in that way your mother will be most bereaved of children among women.” With that Samuel went hacking Agag to pieces before Jehovah in Gilgal.

34 Samuel now went his way to Ramah, and Saul, for his part, went up to his own house at Gibeah of Saul. 35 And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, because Samuel had gone into mourning for Saul. As for Jehovah, he regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.

16 Eventually Jehovah said to Samuel: “For how long will you be mourning for Saul, while I, on the other hand, have rejected him from ruling as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I shall send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, because I have provided among his sons a king for myself.” 2 But Samuel said: “How can I go? Once Saul has heard of it he will certainly kill me.” And Jehovah went on to say: “A young cow of the herd you should take with you, and you must say, ‘To sacrifice to Jehovah is why I have come.’ 3 And you must call Jesse to the sacrifice; and I, for my part, shall make known to you what you should do, and you must anoint for me the one whom I designate to you.”

4 And Samuel proceeded to do what Jehovah spoke. When he came to Bethlehem the older men of the city began to tremble at meeting him, and so they said: “Does your coming mean peace?” 5 To this he said: “It means peace. To sacrifice to Jehovah is why I have come. Sanctify yourselves, and YOU must come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he sanctified Jesse and his sons, after which he called them to the sacrifice. 6 And it came about that, as they came in and he caught sight of Eliab, he at once said: “Surely his anointed one is before Jehovah.” 7 But Jehovah said to Samuel: “Do not look at his appearance and at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For not the way man sees [is the way God sees], because mere man sees what appears to the eyes; but as for Jehovah, he sees what the heart is.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass before Samuel, but he said: “Neither has Jehovah chosen this one.” 9 Next Jesse had Shammah pass by, but he said: “Neither has Jehovah chosen this one.” 10 So Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel; still Samuel said to Jesse: “Jehovah has not chosen these.”

11 Finally Samuel said to Jesse: “Are these all the boys?” To this he said: “The youngest one has till now been left out, and, look! he is pasturing the sheep.” At that Samuel said to Jesse: “Do send and fetch him, because we shall not sit down to meal until his coming here.” 12 Accordingly he sent and had him come. Now he was ruddy, a young man with beautiful eyes and handsome in appearance. Then Jehovah said: “Get up, anoint him, for this is he!” 13 Accordingly Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the spirit of Jehovah began to be operative upon David from that day forward. Later Samuel rose and went his way to Ramah.

14 And the very spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul, and a bad spirit from Jehovah terrorized him. 15 And the servants of Saul began to say to him: “Here, now, God’s bad spirit is terrorizing you. 16 Let our lord, please, command your servants before you that they should look for a skilled man playing upon the harp. And it must occur that, when God’s bad spirit comes to be upon you, he will have to play with his hand, and it will certainly be well with you.” 17 So Saul said to his servants: “Provide me, please, a man doing well at playing, and YOU must bring him to me.”

18 And one of the attendants proceeded to answer and say: “Look! I have seen how a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite is skilled at playing, and he is a valiant, mighty man and a man of war and an intelligent speaker and a well-formed man, and Jehovah is with him.” 19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said: “Do send to me David your son, who is with the flock.” 20 So Jesse took an ass, bread and a skin bottle of wine and a kid of the goats and sent them by the hand of David his son to Saul. 21 Thus David came to Saul and attended upon him; and he got to loving him very much, and he came to be his armor-bearer. 22 Consequently Saul sent to Jesse, saying: “Let David, please, keep attending upon me, for he has found favor in my eyes.” 23 And it occurred that, when God’s spirit came to be upon Saul, David took the harp and played with his hand; and there was relief for Saul and it was well with him, and the bad spirit departed from upon him.

17 And the Philistines went collecting their camps together for war. When they were collected together at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, then they took up camping between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. 2 As for Saul and the men of Israel, they collected themselves together and took up camping in the low plain of Elah, and they went drawing up in battle formation to meet the Philistines. 3 And the Philistines were standing on the mountain on this side, and the Israelites were standing on the mountain on that side, with the valley between them.

4 And a champion began to go out from the camps of the Philistines, his name being Goliath, from Gath, his height being six cubits and a span. 5 And there was a helmet of copper on his head, and he was clad with a coat of mail, of overlapping scales, and the weight of the coat of mail was five thousand shekels of copper. 6 And there were greaves of copper above his feet and a javelin of copper between his shoulders. 7 And the wooden shaft of his spear was like the beam of loom workers, and the blade of his spear was six hundred shekels of iron; and the bearer of the large shield was marching ahead of him. 8 Then he stood still and began to call to the battle lines of Israel and say to them: “Why do YOU come out to draw up in battle formation? Am I not the Philistine and YOU servants belonging to Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and he does strike me down, we must then become servants to YOU. But if I myself am a match for him and I do strike him down, YOU must also become servants to us, and YOU must serve us.” 10 And the Philistine went on to say: “I myself do taunt the battle lines of Israel this day. Give me a man, and let us fight together!”

11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, then they became terrified and were greatly afraid.

12 Now David was the son of this Ephrathite from Bethlehem of Judah whose name was Jesse. And he had eight sons. And in the days of Saul the man was already old among men. 13 And the three oldest sons of Jesse proceeded to go. They went after Saul to the war, and the names of his three sons that went into the war were Eliab the firstborn, and his second son Abinadab and the third Shammah. 14 And David was the youngest, and the three oldest themselves went after Saul.

15 And David was going and returning from Saul to tend the sheep of his father at Bethlehem. 16 And the Philistine kept coming forward at early morning and at evening and taking his position for forty days.

17 Then Jesse said to David his son: “Take, please, to your brothers this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers. 18 And these ten portions of milk you should bring to the chief of the thousand; also, you should look after your own brothers as regards their welfare, and a token from them you should take.” 19 Meantime, Saul and they and all the other men of Israel were in the low plain of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.

20 Accordingly David got up early in the morning and left the sheep to the keeper’s charge and picked up and went just as Jesse had commanded him. When he came to the camp enclosure, the military forces were going out to the battle line, and they raised a shout for the battle. 21 And Israel and the Philistines began drawing up battle line to meet battle line. 22 Immediately David left the baggage from off him to the care of the keeper of the baggage and went running to the battle line. When he came, he began asking about the welfare of his brothers.

23 While he was speaking with them, why, here the champion, his name being Goliath the Philistine from Gath, was coming up from the battle lines of the Philistines, and he began speaking the same words as before, and David got to listen in. 24 As for all the men of Israel, on their seeing the man, why, they went fleeing on account of him and were very much afraid. 25 And the men of Israel began to say: “Have YOU seen this man that is coming up? For it is to taunt Israel that he is coming up. And it must occur that, the man who strikes him down, the king will enrich him with great riches, and his own daughter he will give him, and the house of his father he will set free in Israel.”


End of March