1 Samuel 16:2
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New International Version
But Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me." The LORD said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.'

New Living Translation
But Samuel asked, "How can I do that? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me." "Take a heifer with you," the LORD replied, "and say that you have come to make a sacrifice to the LORD.

English Standard Version
And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’

New American Standard Bible
But Samuel said, "How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me." And the LORD said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.'

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Samuel asked, "How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me!" The LORD answered, "Take a young cow with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.'

International Standard Version
Samuel said, "How can I go? Saul will hear about this and kill me!" The LORD said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I've come to offer a sacrifice to the LORD.'

NET Bible
Samuel replied, "How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me!" But the LORD said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.'

New Heart English Bible
Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me." The LORD said, "Take a heifer with you, and say, I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"How can I go?" Samuel asked. "When Saul hears about it, he'll kill me." The LORD said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I've come to sacrifice to the LORD.'

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Samuel said: 'How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me.' And the LORD said: 'Take a heifer with thee, and say: I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.

New American Standard 1977
But Samuel said, “How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Samuel said, How can I go? If Saul understands it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take a heifer with thee and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.

King James 2000 Bible
And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hears it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take a heifer with you, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.

American King James Version
And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with you, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.

American Standard Version
And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And Jehovah said, Take a heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to Jehovah.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Samuel said: How shall I go? for Saul will hear of it, and he will kill me. And the Lord said: Thou shalt take with thee a calf of the herd, and thou shalt say: I am come to sacrifice to the Lord.

Darby Bible Translation
And Samuel said, How shall I go? if Saul hear [it], he will kill me. And Jehovah said, Take a heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to Jehovah.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul shall hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take a heifer with thee, and say, I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.

World English Bible
Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me." Yahweh said, "Take a heifer with you, and say, I have come to sacrifice to Yahweh.

Young's Literal Translation
And Samuel saith, 'How do I go? when Saul hath heard, then he hath slain me.' And Jehovah saith, 'A heifer of the herd thou dost take in thy hand, and hast said, To sacrifice to Jehovah I have come;
Study Bible
Samuel Anoints David as King
1Now the LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons." 2But Samuel said, "How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me." And the LORD said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.' 3"You shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate to you."…
Cross References
1 Samuel 20:29
for he said, 'Please let me go, since our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to attend. And now, if I have found favor in your sight, please let me get away that I may see my brothers.' For this reason he has not come to the king's table."

1 Samuel 16:3
"You shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate to you."
Treasury of Scripture

And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with you, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.

How can I go

Exodus 3:11 And Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and …

1 Kings 18:9-14 And he said, What have I sinned, that you would deliver your servant …

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you …

Luke 1:34 Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

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, as so tell that truth that the hearer shall not believe a lie by it.

with thee [heb] in thine hand

1 Samuel 9:12 And they answered them, and said, He is; behold, he is before you: …

I am come

1 Samuel 9:12 And they answered them, and said, He is; behold, he is before you: …

1 Samuel 20:29 And he said, Let me go, I pray you; for our family has a sacrifice …

Jeremiah 38:26,27 Then you shall say to them, I presented my supplication before the …

(2) He will kill me.--The unhappy mental malady of Saul must have made rapid progress. The jealous king was indeed changed from the Saul who even, in his self-willed rebellion against the Lord, was careful to pay honour to Samuel. But now the aged prophet felt that if he crossed the king's path in any way, even in carrying out the commands of the invisible King of Israel, his life would be forfeited to the fierce anger of Saul.

Take an heifer with thee.--And the Divine voice instructed Samuel how he should proceed. There was to be as yet no public anointing of the successor to Saul, only the future king must be sought out, and quietly, but solemnly, set apart for service before the Lord, and then watched over and carefully trained for his high office.

Verse 2. - And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. Saul was actually king, and the anointing of another in his stead would be regarded as an act of open treason, and the stirring up of civil war. This was not indeed intended. The anointing of David was a prophetic indication of the man whom God, in his own way and at his own time,would place upon Saul's throne, without either scheming or action thereto on the part either of Samuel or of David. Its value would chiefly lie in the careful training he would receive from Samuel; but when David was king, it would also greatly strengthen his position; for it would be known that from his boyhood he had been marked out for his high office. Never did man mount a throne with purer hands than David; and if Saul would have permitted it, he would have been a faithful and loyal servant to the last. It was Saul really who thrust the kingdom upon David. As regards Samuel's fears, headstrong as Saul was, he owed too much to the prophet to have put]aim to death; but he would have visited the act upon Jesse and his family with revengeful violence, and Samuel would henceforward have lost all freedom of action, even if he were not cast into prison, or banished from the land. God therefore commands him to take an heifer with him, and say, I am come to sacrifice to Jehovah. The question has been asked, Was there in this any duplicity? In answer we may ask another question: Is it always necessary, or even right, to tell in all cases the whole truth? If so, quarrels and ill-feeling would be multiplied to such an extent that social life would be unendurable. All charitable, well disposed persons suppress much, and keep a guard over their lips, lest they should stir up strife and hatred. Now here there was to be no treason, no inciting to civil war. David, still a child, was to be set apart for a high destiny, possibly without at the time fully knowing what the anointing meant, and certainly with the obligation to take no step whatsoever towards winning the crown that was to descend upon his head. This was his probation, and he bore the trial nobly. And what right would Samuel have had, not merely to compel David to be a traitor, but to place Jesse and his family in a position of danger and difficulty? To have anointed David publicly would have forced Jesse to an open rupture with the king, and he must have sought safety either by fighting for his life, or by breaking up his home, and fleeing into a foreign land. David in course of time had thus to seek an asylum for his parents (1 Samuel 22:3, 4), but it was through no fault of his own, for he always remained true to his allegiance. Even when David was being hunted for his life, he made no appeal to Samuel's anointing, but it remained, what it was ever intended to be, a secret sign and declaration to him of God's preordained purpose, but of one as to which he was to take no step to bring about its fulfilment. It was a pledge to David, and nothing but misery would have resulted from its being prematurely made known to those who had no right to know it. God wraps up the flower, which is in due time to open and bear fruit, within many a covering; and to rend these open prematurely is to destroy the flower and the fruit that is to spring from it. And so to have anointed David openly, and to have made him understand the meaning of the act, would have been to destroy David and frustrate the Divine purpose. And Samuel said, how can I go?.... Which argues weakness of faith in Samuel, and fear of man, and a diffidence in and distrust of divine power; for otherwise he that sent him on such an errand could protect him:

if Saul hear it, he will kill me; should hear that Samuel went and anointed another king, it would so enrage him, that he would either immediately lay hands on him, and put him to death, or order him to be put to death; and indeed were it not that this was done by the command of God, he would deserve to die; it being an overt act of treason to anoint another king:

and the Lord said, take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord; a peace offering, which might be done any where in those unsettled times, the ark being at one place, and the tabernacle at another; and might be offered upon a private altar, and by a private person; and as it seems Samuel used to sacrifice at different places; see 1 Samuel 7:9. Ben Gersom relates it as the sense of one of their Rabbins in his age, that there was a person slain in those parts, not known by whom he was slain; and so Samuel is ordered to take an heifer to fulfil the law in Deuteronomy 21:1 and therefore Saul would make no inquiry into his reason of going thither with an heifer, and this is commended both by him and Abarbinel. 2. How can I go?—This is another instance of human infirmity in Samuel. Since God had sent him on this mission, He would protect him in the execution.

I am come to sacrifice—It seems to have been customary with Samuel to do this in the different circuits to which he went, that he might encourage the worship of God.16:1-5 It appears that Saul was grown very wicked. Of what would he not be guilty, who durst think to kill Samuel? The elders of Bethlehem trembled at Samuel's coming. It becomes us to stand in awe of God's messengers, and to tremble at his word. His answer was, I come peaceably, for I come to sacrifice. When our Lord Jesus came into the world, though men had reason to fear that his errand was to condemn the world, yet he gave full assurance that he came peaceably, for he came to sacrifice, and he brought his offering with him; A body hast thou prepared me. Let us sanctify ourselves, and depend upon His sacrifice.
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