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?” 2 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. 3 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, 4 David sent out spies and learned that Saul had indeed come. 5 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.
6 Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Joab’s brother yAbishai the son of Zeruiah, z“Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?” And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.” 7 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. 8 Then Abishai said to David, b“God 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.” 9 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, d“As 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, m“Is this your voice, my son David?” And David said, “It is my voice, my lord, O king.” 18 And he said, n“Why 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, r“I 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.
David Flees to the Philistines
27 Then David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of seeking me any longer within the borders of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand.” 2 So David arose and went over, he and uthe six hundred men who were with him, vto Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath. 3 And David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, and David with whis two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal’s widow. 4 And when it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath, he no longer sought him.
5 Then David said to Achish, “If xI have found favor in your eyes, let a place be given me in one of the country towns, that I may dwell there. For why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?” 6 So that day Achish gave him yZiklag. Therefore Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah to this day. 7 zAnd the number of the days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was a year and four months.
8 Now David aand his men went up and made raids against bthe Geshurites, cthe Girzites, and dthe Amalekites, for these were the inhabitants of the land from of old, eas far as Shur, to the land of Egypt. 9 And David would strike the land and would leave neither man nor woman alive, but would take away the sheep, the oxen, the donkeys, the camels, and the garments, and come back to Achish. 10 When Achish asked, “Where have you fmade a raid today?” David would say, “Against the Negeb of Judah,” or, “Against the Negeb of gthe Jerahmeelites,” or, “Against the Negeb of hthe Kenites.” 11 And David would leave neither man nor woman alive to bring news to Gath, thinking, “lest they should tell about us and say, ‘So David has done.’” Such was his custom all the while he lived in the country of the Philistines. 12 And Achish trusted David, thinking, “He has made himself an utter stench to his people Israel; therefore he shall always be my servant.”
Saul and the Medium of En-dor
28 In those days ithe Philistines gathered their forces for war, to fight against Israel. And Achish said to David, “Understand that you and your men are to go out with me in the army.” 2 David said to Achish, “Very well, you shall know what your servant can do.” And Achish said to David, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.”
3 Now jSamuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him kin Ramah, his own city. And Saul had put lthe mediums and the necromancers out of the land. 4 The Philistines assembled and came and encamped mat Shunem. And Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped nat Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. 6 And when Saul inquired of the Lord, othe Lord did not answer him, either pby dreams, or qby Urim, or by prophets. 7 Then Saul said to his servants, r“Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at sEn-dor.”
8 So Saul tdisguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, u“Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you.” 9 The woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done, lhow he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?” 10 But Saul swore to her by the Lord, v“As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” 11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” 12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul.” 13 The king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a god coming up out of the earth.” 14 He said to her, “What is his appearance?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped win a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and paid homage.
15 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul answered, “I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and xGod has turned away from me and yanswers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams. Therefore I have summoned you to tell me what I shall do.” 16 And Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done to you as he spoke by me, for zthe Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David. 18 aBecause you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. 19 Moreover, the Lord will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you band your sons shall be with me. The Lord will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.”
20 Then Saul fell at once full length on the ground, filled with fear because of the words of Samuel. And there was no strength in him, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night. 21 And the woman came to Saul, and when she saw that he was terrified, she said to him, “Behold, your servant has obeyed you. cI have taken my life in my hand and have listened to what you have said to me. 22 Now therefore, you also obey your servant. Let me set a morsel of bread before you; and eat, that you may have strength when you go on your way.” 23 He refused and said, “I will not eat.” But his servants, together with the woman, urged him, and he listened to their words. So he arose from the earth and sat on the bed. 24 Now the woman had a fattened calf in the house, and she quickly killed it, and she took flour and kneaded it and baked unleavened bread of it, 25 and she put it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they rose and went away that night.
The Philistines Reject David
29 dNow the Philistines had gathered all their forces at eAphek. And the Israelites were encamped by fthe spring that is in gJezreel. 2 As hthe lords of the Philistines were passing on by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were passing on in the rear iwith Achish, 3 the commanders of the Philistines said, “What are these Hebrews doing here?” And Achish said to the commanders of the Philistines, “Is this not David, the servant of Saul, king of Israel, who has been with me jnow for days and years, and since he deserted to me kI have found no fault in him to this day.” 4 But hthe commanders of the Philistines were angry with him. And the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Send the man back, that he may return lto the place to which you have assigned him. He shall not go down with us to battle, mlest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of the men here? 5 Is not this David, of whom they sing to one another in dances,
n‘Saul has struck down his thousands,
and David his ten thousands’?”
6 Then Achish called David and said to him, o“As the Lord lives, you have been honest, and to me it seems right that pyou should march out and in with me in the campaign. For I have found nothing wrong in you from the day of your coming to me to this day. Nevertheless, the lords do not approve of you. 7 So go back now; and go peaceably, that you may not displease the lords of the Philistines.” 8 And David said to Achish, “But what have I done? What have you found in your servant from the day I entered your service until now, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?” 9 And Achish answered David and said, “I know that you are as blameless in my sight qas an angel of God. Nevertheless, rthe commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us to the battle.’ 10 Now then rise early in the morning swith the servants of your lord who came with you, and start early in the morning, and depart as soon as you have light.” 11 So David set out with his men early in the morning to return to the land of the Philistines. But the Philistines went up to tJezreel.
The Mighty Men Join David
12 xNow these are the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he could not move about freely because of Saul the son of Kish. And they were among the mighty men who helped him in war. 2 They ywere bowmen and could shoot arrows and sling stones with either the right or the zleft hand; they were Benjaminites, aSaul’s kinsmen. 3 The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, both sons of Shemaah of bGibeah; also Jeziel and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; Beracah, Jehu of cAnathoth, 4 Ishmaiah of dGibeon, a mighty man among the thirty and a leader over the thirty; Jeremiah,1 Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad of Gederah, 5 Eluzai,2 Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah the Haruphite; 6 Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, the eKorahites; 7 And Joelah and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor.
19 Some of the men of Manasseh deserted to David lwhen he came with the Philistines for the battle against Saul. (Yet he did not help them, for the rulers of the Philistines took counsel and sent him away, saying, m“At peril to our heads he will desert to his master Saul.”)
In God I Trust
To the choirmaster: according to The Dove on Far-off Terebinths. A pMiktam1 of David, when the qPhilistines seized him in Gath.
all day long an attacker oppresses me;
2 my enemies trample on me all day long,
for many attack me proudly.
3 When I am afraid,
I tput my trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; uI shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?
5 All day long they injure my cause;2
all their thoughts are against me for evil.
they xwatch my steps,
as they have waited for my life.
7 For their crime will they escape?
8 You have kept count of my tossings;3
aput my tears in your bottle.
bAre they not in your book?
9 Then my enemies will turn back
cin the day when I call.
10 In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
11 in God I trust; uI shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
12 I must perform my evows to you, O God;
I will erender thank offerings to you.
13 fFor you have delivered my soul from death,
yes, my feet from falling,
gthat I may walk before God
hin the light of life.