1 Samuel 25–26; Psalm 7

The Death of Samuel

25 uNow Samuel died. And all Israel assembled vand mourned for him, and they buried him win his house at xRamah.

David and Abigail

Then David rose and went down to ythe wilderness of Paran. And there was a man in zMaon whose business was in aCarmel. The man was very rich; he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. bHe was shearing his sheep in Carmel. Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was discerning and beautiful, but the man was harsh and badly behaved; che was a Calebite. David heard in the wilderness that Nabal bwas shearing his sheep. So David sent ten young men. And David said to the young men, Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal and greet him in my name. And thus you shall greet him: dPeace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. I hear that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us, and we did them no harm, eand they missed nothing all the time they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come fon a feast day. Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.

When David’s young men came, they said all this to Nabal in the name of David, and then they waited. 10 And Nabal answered David’s servants, gWho is David? Who is the son of Jesse? hThere are many servants these days who are breaking away from their masters. 11 Shall I take imy bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers and give it to jmen who come from I do not know where? 12 So David’s young men turned away and came back and told him all this. 13 And David said to his men, Every man strap on his sword! And every man of them strapped on his sword. David also strapped on his sword. And kabout four hundred men went up after David, kwhile two hundred lremained with the baggage.

14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them. 15 Yet the men were very good to us, and we suffered no harm, nand we did not miss anything when we were in the fields, as long as we went with them. 16 They were oa wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. 17 Now therefore know this and consider what you should do, pfor harm is determined against our master and against all his house, and he is such qa worthless man that one cannot speak to him.

18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs1 of parched grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. 19 And she said to her young men, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 And as she rode on the donkey and came down under cover of the mountain, behold, David and his men came down toward her, and she met them. 21 Now David had said, Surely in vain have I guarded all that this fellow has in the wilderness, rso that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him, and he has sreturned me evil for good. 22 tGod do so to the enemies of David2 and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.

23 When Abigail saw David, she hurried uand got down from the donkey vand fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said, wOn me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. 25 Let not my lord regard qthis worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal3 is his name, and folly is with him. But I your servant did not see the young men of my lord, whom you sent. 26 Now then, my lord, xas the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, because ythe Lord has restrained you from bloodguilt and from zsaving with your own hand, now then alet your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. 27 And now let this bpresent that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord ca sure house, because my lord dis fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. 29 If men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the Lord your God. And the lives of your enemies ehe shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling. 30 And when the Lord has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you prince4 over Israel, 31 my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my lord zworking salvation himself. And when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.

32 And David said to Abigail, fBlessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! 33 Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, ywho have kept me this day from bloodguilt zand from working salvation with my own hand! 34 For as surely gas the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, ywho has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male. 35 Then David received from her hand what she had brought him. And he said to her, hGo up in peace to your house. See, I have obeyed your voice, and I have granted your petition.

36 And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, ihe was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart jwas merry within him, for he was very drunk. So she told him nothing kat all until the morning light. 37 In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. 38 And about ten days later lthe Lord struck Nabal, and he died.

39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, fBlessed be the Lord who has mavenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, nand has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. oThe Lord has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head. Then David sent and pspoke to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40 When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife. 41 And she rose qand bowed with her face to the ground and said, Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. 42 And Abigail hurried and rose and mounted a donkey, and her five young women attended her. She followed the messengers of David and became his wife.

43 David also took Ahinoam of rJezreel, sand both of them became his wives. 44 Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim.

David Spares Saul Again

26 tThen the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, Is not David hiding himself on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the east of Jeshimon? So Saul arose and went down to uthe wilderness of Ziph with vthree thousand chosen men of Israel to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul encamped on the hill of Hachilah, which is beside the road on the east of Jeshimon. But David remained in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness, David sent out spies and learned that Saul had indeed come. Then David rose and came to the place where Saul had encamped. And David saw the place where Saul lay, with wAbner the son of Ner, the commander of his army. Saul was lying within xthe encampment, while the army was encamped around him.

Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Joab’s brother yAbishai the son of Zeruiah, zWho will go down with me into the camp to Saul? And Abishai said, I will go down with you. So David and Abishai went to the army by night. And there lay Saul sleeping within xthe encampment, with his spear stuck in the ground aat his head, and Abner and the army lay around him. Then Abishai said to David, bGod has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear, and I will not strike him twice. But David said to Abishai, Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand cagainst the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? 10 And David said, dAs the Lord lives, ethe Lord will strike him, or fhis day will come to die, gor he will go down into battle and perish. 11 hThe Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. But take now the spear that is iat his head and the jar of water, and let us go. 12 So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul’s head, and they went away. No man saw it or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because ja deep sleep from the Lord had fallen upon them.

13 Then David went over to the other side and stood far off on the top of the hill, with a great space between them. 14 And David called to the army, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Will you not answer, Abner? Then Abner answered, Who are you who calls to the king? 15 And David said to Abner, Are you not a man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not kept watch over your lord the king? For one of the people came in to destroy the king your lord. 16 This thing that you have done is not good. kAs the Lord lives, you deserve to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, the Lord’s anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is and the jar of water that was lat his head.

17 Saul recognized David’s voice and said, mIs this your voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king. 18 And he said, nWhy does my lord pursue after his servant? For what have I done? What evil is on my hands? 19 Now therefore let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it is the Lord who has stirred you up against me, may he accept an offering, but if it is men, may they be cursed before the Lord, ofor they have driven me out this day that I should have no share in pthe heritage of the Lord, saying, Go, serve other gods. 20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of the Lord, for the king of Israel has come out to seek qa single flea like one who hunts a partridge in the mountains.

21 Then Saul said, rI have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have acted foolishly, and have made a great mistake. 22 And David answered and said, Here is the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and take it. 23 sThe Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the Lord gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. 24 Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation. 25 Then Saul said to David, Blessed be you, my son David! You will do many things and will tsucceed in them. So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place.


In You Do I Take Refuge

A lShiggaion1 of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush, a Benjaminite.

O Lord my God, in you do I mtake refuge;

nsave me from all my pursuers and deliver me,

lest like oa lion they tear my soul apart,

rending it in pieces, with pnone to deliver.

O Lord my God, qif I have done this,

if there is rwrong in my hands,

if I have repaid smy friend2 with evil

or tplundered my enemy without cause,

let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it,

and let him utrample my life to the ground

and lay my glory in the dust. Selah

vArise, O Lord, in your anger;

wlift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;

xawake for me; you have appointed a judgment.

Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you;

over it return on high.

The Lord yjudges the peoples;

zjudge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness

and according to the integrity that is in me.

Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end,

and may you establish the righteous

you who atest bthe minds and hearts,3

O righteous God!

10  My shield is cwith God,

who saves dthe upright in heart.

11  God is ea righteous judge,

and a God who feels findignation every day.

12  If a man4 does not repent, God5 will gwhet his sword;

he has hbent and ireadied his bow;

13  he has prepared for him his deadly weapons,

making his jarrows kfiery shafts.

14  Behold, the wicked man lconceives evil

and is lpregnant with mischief

and gives birth to lies.

15  He makes ma pit, digging it out,

and falls into the hole that he has made.

16  His nmischief returns upon his own head,

and on his own skull his violence descends.

17  I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,

and I will osing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.