TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

I Samuel 16

1And Hashem said to Shmuel, “How long will you grieve over Shaul, since I have rejected him as king over Yisrael? Fill your horn with oil and set out; I am sending you to Yishai the Bethlehemite, for I have decided on one of his sons to be king.”

אוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־שְׁמוּאֵל עַד־מָתַי אַתָּה מִתְאַבֵּל אֶל־שָׁאוּל וַאֲנִי מְאַסְתִּיו מִמְּלֹךְ עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל מַלֵּא קַרְנְךָ שֶׁמֶן וְלֵךְ אֶשְׁלָחֲךָ אֶל־יִשַׁי בֵּית־הַלַּחְמִי כִּי־רָאִיתִי בְּבָנָיו לִי מֶלֶךְ׃

2Shmuel replied, “How can I go? If Shaul hears of it, he will kill me.” Hashem answered, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to Hashem.'

בוַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֵיךְ אֵלֵךְ וְשָׁמַע שָׁאוּל וַהֲרָגָנִי וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה עֶגְלַת בָּקָר תִּקַּח בְּיָדֶךָ וְאָמַרְתָּ לִזְבֹּחַ לַיהֹוָה בָּאתִי׃

3Invite Yishai to the sacrificial feast, and then I will make known to you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I point out to you.”

גוְקָרָאתָ לְיִשַׁי בַּזָּבַח וְאָנֹכִי אוֹדִיעֲךָ אֵת אֲשֶׁר־תַּעֲשֶׂה וּמָשַׁחְתָּ לִי אֵת אֲשֶׁר־אֹמַר אֵלֶיךָ׃

4Shmuel did what Hashem commanded. When he came to Beit Lechem, the elders of the city went out in alarm to meet him and said, “Do you come on a peaceful errand?”

דוַיַּעַשׂ שְׁמוּאֵל אֵת אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה וַיָּבֹא בֵּית לָחֶם וַיֶּחֶרְדוּ זִקְנֵי הָעִיר לִקְרָאתוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁלֹם בּוֹאֶךָ׃

5“Yes,” he replied, “I have come to sacrifice to Hashem. Purify yourselves and join me in the sacrificial feast.” He also instructed Yishai and his sons to purify themselves and invited them to the sacrificial feast.

הוַיֹּאמֶר שָׁלוֹם לִזְבֹּחַ לַיהֹוָה בָּאתִי הִתְקַדְּשׁוּ וּבָאתֶם אִתִּי בַּזָּבַח וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת־יִשַׁי וְאֶת־בָּנָיו וַיִּקְרָא לָהֶם לַזָּבַח׃

6When they arrived and he saw Eliav, he thought: “Surely Hashem's anointed stands before Him.”

ווַיְהִי בְּבוֹאָם וַיַּרְא אֶת־אֱלִיאָב וַיֹּאמֶר אַךְ נֶגֶד יְהֹוָה מְשִׁיחוֹ׃

7But Hashem said to Shmuel, “Pay no attention to his appearance or his stature, for I have rejected him. For not as man sees [does Hashem see]; man sees only what is visible, but Hashem sees into the heart.”

זוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־שְׁמוּאֵל אַל־תַּבֵּט אֶל־מַרְאֵהוּ וְאֶל־גְּבֹהַּ קוֹמָתוֹ כִּי מְאַסְתִּיהוּ כִּי לֹא אֲשֶׁר יִרְאֶה הָאָדָם כִּי הָאָדָם יִרְאֶה לַעֵינַיִם וַיהֹוָה יִרְאֶה לַלֵּבָב׃

8Then Yishai called Avinadav and had him pass before Shmuel; but he said, “Hashem has not chosen this one either.”

חוַיִּקְרָא יִשַׁי אֶל־אֲבִינָדָב וַיַּעֲבִרֵהוּ לִפְנֵי שְׁמוּאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר גַּם־בָּזֶה לֹא־בָחַר יְהֹוָה׃

9Next Yishai presented Shammah; and again he said, “Hashem has not chosen this one either.”

טוַיַּעֲבֵר יִשַׁי שַׁמָּה וַיֹּאמֶר גַּם־בָּזֶה לֹא־בָחַר יְהֹוָה׃

10Thus Yishai presented seven of his sons before Shmuel, and Shmuel said to Yishai, “Hashem has not chosen any of these.”

יוַיַּעֲבֵר יִשַׁי שִׁבְעַת בָּנָיו לִפְנֵי שְׁמוּאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל־יִשַׁי לֹא־בָחַר יְהֹוָה בָּאֵלֶּה׃

11Then Shmuel asked Yishai, “Are these all the boys you have?” He replied, “There is still the youngest; he is tending the flock.” And Shmuel said to Yishai, “Send someone to bring him, for we will not sit down to eat until he gets here.”

va-YO-mer sh'-mu-AYL el yi-SHAI ha-TA-mu ha-n'-a-REEM va-YO-mer OD sha-AR ha-ka-TAN v'-hi-NAY ro-EH ba-TZON va-YO-mer sh'-mu-EL el yi-SHAI shil-KHAH v'-ka-KHE-nu kee LO na-SOV ad bo-O FOH

יאוַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל־יִשַׁי הֲתַמּוּ הַנְּעָרִים וַיֹּאמֶר עוֹד שָׁאַר הַקָּטָן וְהִנֵּה רֹעֶה בַּצֹּאן וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל־יִשַׁי שִׁלְחָה וְקָחֶנּוּ כִּי לֹא־נָסֹב עַד־בֹּאוֹ פֹה׃

16:11   There is still the youngest; he is tending the flock

Young David is not the only great leader of the Children of Israel who was a shepherd before Hashem called him to a leadership role. For example, Moshe was also a shepherd. Shepherds bear great responsibility for the flock as a whole, and also for each individual sheep. Each one must be cared for, and must be counted as part of the flock for tithing. This is perfect training for leaders, who must lead the nation as a whole, and also maintain concern and compassion for each individual.

Shepherd with his sheep in the Kidron Valley

Shepherd and flock of sheep.

12So they sent and brought him. He was ruddy-cheeked, bright-eyed, and handsome. And Hashem said, “Rise and anoint him, for this is the one.”

יבוַיִּשְׁלַח וַיְבִיאֵהוּ וְהוּא אַדְמוֹנִי עִם־יְפֵה עֵינַיִם וְטוֹב רֹאִי וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה קוּם מְשָׁחֵהוּ כִּי־זֶה הוּא׃

13Shmuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of Hashem gripped David from that day on. Shmuel then set out for Rama.

יגוַיִּקַּח שְׁמוּאֵל אֶת־קֶרֶן הַשֶּׁמֶן וַיִּמְשַׁח אֹתוֹ בְּקֶרֶב אֶחָיו וַתִּצְלַח רוּחַ־יְהֹוָה אֶל־דָּוִד מֵהַיּוֹם הַהוּא וָמָעְלָה וַיָּקָם שְׁמוּאֵל וַיֵּלֶךְ הָרָמָתָה׃

14Now the spirit of Hashem had departed from Shaul, and an evil spirit from Hashem began to terrify him.

ידוְרוּחַ יְהֹוָה סָרָה מֵעִם שָׁאוּל וּבִעֲתַתּוּ רוּחַ־רָעָה מֵאֵת יְהֹוָה׃

15Shaul's courtiers said to him, “An evil spirit of Hashem is terrifying you.

טווַיֹּאמְרוּ עַבְדֵי־שָׁאוּל אֵלָיו הִנֵּה־נָא רוּחַ־אֱלֹהִים רָעָה מְבַעִתֶּךָ׃

16Let our lord give the order [and] the courtiers in attendance on you will look for someone who is skilled at playing the lyre; whenever the evil spirit of Hashem comes over you, he will play it and you will feel better.”

טזיֹאמַר־נָא אֲדֹנֵנוּ עֲבָדֶיךָ לְפָנֶיךָ יְבַקְשׁוּ אִישׁ יֹדֵעַ מְנַגֵּן בַּכִּנּוֹר וְהָיָה בִּהְיוֹת עָלֶיךָ רוּחַ־אֱלֹהִים רָעָה וְנִגֵּן בְּיָדוֹ וְטוֹב לָךְ׃

17So Shaul said to his courtiers, “Find me someone who can play well and bring him to me.”

יזוַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל אֶל־עֲבָדָיו רְאוּ־נָא לִי אִישׁ מֵיטִיב לְנַגֵּן וַהֲבִיאוֹתֶם אֵלָי׃

18One of the attendants spoke up, “I have observed a son of Yishai the Bethlehemite who is skilled in music; he is a stalwart fellow and a warrior, sensible in speech, and handsome in appearance, and Hashem is with him.”

יחוַיַּעַן אֶחָד מֵהַנְּעָרִים וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה רָאִיתִי בֵּן לְיִשַׁי בֵּית הַלַּחְמִי יֹדֵעַ נַגֵּן וְגִבּוֹר חַיִל וְאִישׁ מִלְחָמָה וּנְבוֹן דָּבָר וְאִישׁ תֹּאַר וַיהֹוָה עִמּוֹ׃

19Whereupon Shaul sent messengers to Yishai to say, “Send me your son David, who is with the flock.”

יטוַיִּשְׁלַח שָׁאוּל מַלְאָכִים אֶל־יִשָׁי וַיֹּאמֶר שִׁלְחָה אֵלַי אֶת־דָּוִד בִּנְךָ אֲשֶׁר בַּצֹּאן׃

20Yishai took an ass [laden with] bread, a skin of wine, and a kid, and sent them to Shaul by his son David.

כוַיִּקַּח יִשַׁי חֲמוֹר לֶחֶם וְנֹאד יַיִן וּגְדִי עִזִּים אֶחָד וַיִּשְׁלַח בְּיַד־דָּוִד בְּנוֹ אֶל־שָׁאוּל׃

21So David came to Shaul and entered his service; [Shaul] took a strong liking to him and made him one of his arms-bearers.

כאוַיָּבֹא דָוִד אֶל־שָׁאוּל וַיַּעֲמֹד לְפָנָיו וַיֶּאֱהָבֵהוּ מְאֹד וַיְהִי־לוֹ נֹשֵׂא כֵלִים׃

22Shaul sent word to Yishai, “Let David remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.”

כבוַיִּשְׁלַח שָׁאוּל אֶל־יִשַׁי לֵאמֹר יַעֲמָד־נָא דָוִד לְפָנַי כִּי־מָצָא חֵן בְּעֵינָי׃

23Whenever the [evil] spirit of Hashem came upon Shaul, David would take the lyre and play it; Shaul would find relief and feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.

כגוְהָיָה בִּהְיוֹת רוּחַ־אֱלֹהִים אֶל־שָׁאוּל וְלָקַח דָּוִד אֶת־הַכִּנּוֹר וְנִגֵּן בְּיָדוֹ וְרָוַח לְשָׁאוּל וְטוֹב לוֹ וְסָרָה מֵעָלָיו רוּחַ הָרָעָה׃