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Bible Highlights: 1 Samuel 16-18 > Theocratic Ministry School

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Study information for Theocratic Ministry School

Bible reading: 1 Samuel 16-18 (8 min.)


1 SAMUEL 16:1


“Jehovah eventually said to Samuel: “How long will you mourn for Saul now that I have rejected him from ruling as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I will send you to Jesʹse the Bethʹle•hem•ite, because I have selected from among his sons a king for myself.””

*** w10 3/1 p. 23 “He Sees What the Heart Is” ***
Picture the scene. Jehovah is about to anoint a new king over the nation of Israel. God says to the prophet Samuel: “I shall send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, because I have provided among his sons a king for myself.” (Verse 1) Jehovah does not give the name but says only that the chosen one will be among the sons of Jesse. As Samuel heads for Bethlehem, he may be wondering, ‘How will I know which one of Jesse’s sons has been chosen by Jehovah?’

1 SAMUEL 16:4


“Samuel did what Jehovah said. When he came to Bethʹle•hem, the elders of the city were trembling at meeting him, and they said: “Does your coming mean peace?””

*** it-2 p. 853 Samuel ***
Anoints David. When the two men parted, they had no further association. Samuel, however, went into mourning for Saul. But Jehovah God interrupted his mourning, commissioning him to go to Bethlehem to anoint one of the sons of Jesse as Israel’s future king. To avoid any suspicion on Saul’s part that might result in Samuel’s death, Jehovah directed that Samuel take along a cow for sacrifice. Perhaps fearing that Samuel had come to reprove or punish some wrongdoing, the older men of Bethlehem trembled. But he assured them that his coming meant peace and then arranged for Jesse and his sons to share in a sacrificial meal. Impressed by the appearance of Jesse’s firstborn Eliab, Samuel reasoned that this son must surely be Jehovah’s choice for the kingship. But neither Eliab nor any of the other six sons of Jesse present had been chosen by Jehovah. Therefore, at Samuel’s insistence, the youngest son, David, was called from pasturing the sheep, and then at Jehovah’s direction Samuel anointed David in the midst of his brothers.—1Sa 15:34–16:13.

1 SAMUEL 16:6


“As they came in and he saw E•liʹab, he said: “Surely here before Jehovah stands his anointed one.””

*** w10 3/1 p. 23 “He Sees What the Heart Is” ***
When Eliab, the oldest son, enters, Samuel is immediately struck by his appearance. Samuel thinks that Eliab’s stature is by all means kingly and says to himself: “Surely his anointed one is before Jehovah.”—Verse 6.

1 SAMUEL 16:7


“But Jehovah said to Samuel: “Do not pay attention to his appearance and how tall he is, for I have rejected him. For the way man sees is not the way God sees, because mere man sees what appears to the eyes, but Jehovah sees into the heart.””

*** w10 3/1 p. 23 “He Sees What the Heart Is” ***
Jehovah, however, sees things differently. He says to Samuel: “Do not look at his appearance and at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him.” (Verse 7) Jehovah is not impressed by how tall and handsome Eliab is. Jehovah’s all-seeing eyes look past outward appearances to where true beauty can be found.
Jehovah explains to Samuel: “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.” (Verse 7) Yes, it is the heart—the inner person, the source of one’s thoughts, attitudes, and feelings—that matters to Jehovah.

*** w04 11/15 p. 20 pars. 1-2 Search for Jehovah, the Examiner of Hearts ***
JEHOVAH GOD told the prophet Samuel: “Mere man sees what appears to the eyes; but as for Jehovah, he sees what the heart is.” (1 Samuel 16:7) How is it that Jehovah “sees what the heart is”?
2 In the Scriptures, the heart is often used figuratively to represent what a person is inside—his desires, his thoughts, his emotions, and his affections. So when the Bible says that God sees the heart, it means that he looks beyond outward appearances and focuses on what a person really is.

*** w03 3/15 p. 15 Try to See Others as Jehovah Sees Them ***
It later became apparent that handsome Eliab did not have the makings of a suitable king of Israel. When the Philistine giant Goliath challenged the Israelites in combat, Eliab, along with the other men of Israel, cowered in fear.—1 Samuel 17:11, 28-30.

*** w03 3/15 p. 15 Try to See Others as Jehovah Sees Them ***
Try to See Others as Jehovah Sees Them
“Not the way man sees is the way God sees.”—1 SAMUEL 16:7.
IN THE 11th century B.C.E., Jehovah sent the prophet Samuel on a secret mission. He commanded the prophet to go to the house of a man named Jesse and anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be the future king of Israel. When Samuel caught sight of Jesse’s firstborn, Eliab, he felt sure that he had found the one whom God had chosen. But Jehovah said: “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.” (1 Samuel 16:6, 7) Samuel had failed to see Eliab as Jehovah saw him.

*** w99 6/15 p. 22 par. 13 Your Creator—Learn What He Is Like ***
When David was chosen to be king of Israel, God told Samuel: “Mere man sees what appears to the eyes; but as for Jehovah, he sees what the heart is.” (1 Samuel 16:7) Yes, the Creator looks at what we are inside, not at mere outward appearances. How satisfying!

*** w89 11/1 p. 28 Do You See Only the Outward Appearance? ***
HEINZ, a teenager driven by hatred, planned to kill his stepfather. Happily, he lacked the courage to do it. Several years later he decided to commit suicide but could not go through with that either. He got involved in stealing and drug trafficking, for which he was imprisoned. Then his marriage failed.
Today Heinz is no longer addicted to drugs. He is making an honest living. He has a happy marriage and a fine relationship with his stepfather. What made the difference? He began studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Gradually, his outlook on life began to change.
No doubt, many who knew the old Heinz passed him off as a hopeless case. Thankfully for many people like him, God did not give him up as beyond redemption. Why not? The reason is: “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.”—1 Samuel 16:7.
That is one big difference between man and God. We tend to judge from outward appearances. We even say that “first impressions are lasting impressions.” In other words, we tend to categorize people based on initial reactions. But God, because he can read the heart, is just and impartial.

*** g89 1/22 p. 31 Inner Beauty ***
Have you not known people who are like geodes? Quiet, maybe shy, perhaps rather plain-looking on the outside? But you take the time to get acquainted, and they open up and show you an inner beauty that glows. A warm, kind spirit emerges, a delightful personality unfolds. You discover depths you never suspected.
You begin to appreciate what the apostle Peter said: “Do not let your adornment be that of the external braiding of the hair and of the putting on of gold ornaments or the wearing of outer garments, but let it be the secret person of the heart in the incorruptible apparel of the quiet and mild spirit, which is of great value in the eyes of God.”—1 Peter 3:3, 4.
And you try to practice seeing the way God sees: “Mere man sees what appears to the eyes; but as for Jehovah, he sees what the heart is.”—1 Samuel 16:7.

1 SAMUEL 16:10


“So Jesʹse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesʹse: “Jehovah has not chosen any of these.””

*** w05 10/1 p. 9 par. 1 Highlights From the Book of First Chronicles ***
2:15—Was David the seventh son of Jesse? No. Jesse had eight sons, and David was the youngest. (1 Samuel 16:10, 11; 17:12) One of the sons of Jesse evidently died without having any children. Since that son would have no bearing on genealogical records, Ezra omitted his name.

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