In 1 Samuel 16, God sent Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint a king, one of Jesse's sons. Jesse had eight sons. Seven of his sons were not chosen. Throughout chapter sixteen the KJV reads, “Neither hath the Lord chosen this.” My question is, what is “this”? Why did he not say, neither hath the Lord chosen “him”? Why did he say “this”? I was told that the seven sons had some kind of wrong spirit that God was not pleased with. I have been trying to research this, but I haven't come up with anything. Can you please help me?
The passages in 1 Samuel to which you refer are as follows:
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these. (KJV) 1 Samuel 16:7-10
The Hebrew word for “this” really means “this one.” The King James Version did not carefully translate it. The New American Standard Bible (NASB), the New International Version (NIV), and the New King James Version (NKJV) have changed the wording to more accurately reflect the original Hebrew.
. . . Neither has the LORD chosen this one. (NASB) 1 Samuel 16:9
. . . Nor has the LORD chosen this one. (NIV) 1 Samuel 16:9
. . . Neither has the LORD chosen this one. (NKJV) 1 Samuel 16:9
There is no biblical evidence the seven sons had some kind of wrong spirit. God is not in the business of giving everyone an opportunity to be “king,” “pastor,” “elder,” or allowing us to pick our spiritual gift. God does have standards for selecting leaders. If He does not choose someone that does not mean the person ha a wrong spirit. When He does choose someone, it usually means the person’s life is an example of holiness.
God looks at our heart, He is looking for those who love Him and desire to be holy as He is holy.