Study Guide

1 Samuel Chapter 16

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Chapter 16

Surprise Anointing Again

  • Samuel is super bummed that God rejected Saul. So God tells him to buck up and go to Bethlehem to anoint one of the sons of Jesse.
  • Rejuvenated, Samuel gets over his own insecurities and heads out.
  • Upon arriving in Bethlehem, the elders want to know if Samuel comes with good news or bad news? Fortunately, Samuel comes with good news (if your name isn't Saul). He meets Jesse and together they make a sacrifice (1-5).
  • Samuel tells Jesse he's going to anoint one of his sons king because Saul is failing terribly… so terribly. Jesse summons all his sons and Samuel rejects them all.
  • Then he asks Jesse if he has more sons, which—thankfully—he does. Jesse summons his youngest son, David, who's busy shepherding the flock. Samuel immediately anoints him king (surprising anointings are Samuel's thing) and they head off back to Saul (6-13). Well, that was easy.
  • Meanwhile, the spirit (or blessing) of God has left Saul and he begins to be tormented by demons. It's very possible that Saul really suffered from a mental illness, but the Bible is rather unclear on the matter. Either way, David sets up shop in the palace playing his lyre to soothe Saul's demons.
  • Because David is doing such a bang up job as Saul's person musician/headache medicine, Saul makes David his armor-bearer, which is rather like a squire.
  • Little does Saul know that David was anointed to be king. Believe Shmoop, this is only the beginning of the treachery and secrets between these two (14-23).

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