1 Samuel 28–31; Psalm 18

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. 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.

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. The Philistines assembled and came and encamped mat Shunem. And Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped nat Gilboa. When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, othe Lord did not answer him, either pby dreams, or qby Urim, or by prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, rSeek 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.

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, uDivine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you. 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, vAs 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. 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, 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. 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? Is not this David, of whom they sing to one another in dances,

nSaul has struck down his thousands,

and David his ten thousands?

Then Achish called David and said to him, oAs 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. So go back now; and go peaceably, that you may not displease the lords of the Philistines. 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? 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.

David's Wives Are Captured

30 Now when David and his men came to uZiklag on the third day, vthe Amalekites had wmade a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all1 who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David's xtwo wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke yof stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul,2 each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

zAnd David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, Bring me the ephod. So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. aAnd David inquired of the Lord, Shall I pursue after this bband? Shall I overtake them? He answered him, Pursue, for you shall surely overtake cand shall surely rescue. So David set out, and dthe six hundred men who were with him, and they came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind stayed. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men. eTwo hundred stayed behind, who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor.

11 They found an Egyptian in the open country and brought him to David. And they gave him bread and he ate. They gave him water to drink, 12 and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. And when he had eaten, fhis spirit revived, for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13 And David said to him, To whom do you belong? And where are you from? He said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago. 14 gWe had made a raid against the Negeb of hthe Cherethites and against that which belongs to Judah and against the Negeb of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire. 15 And David said to him, Will you take me down to this band? And he said, Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this iband.

David Defeats the Amalekites

16 And when he had taken him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17 And David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. 18 jDavid recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. jDavid brought back all. 20 David also captured all the flocks and herds, and the people drove the livestock before him,3 and said, This is David's spoil.

21 Then David came to kthe two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow David, and who had been left kat the brook Besor. And they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near to the people he greeted them. 22 Then all the wicked and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David said, Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except that each man may lead away his wife and children, and depart. 23 But David said, You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the Lord has given us. He has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us. 24 Who would listen to you in this matter? lFor as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike. 25 And he made it a statute and a rule for Israel from that day forward to this day.

26 When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the Lord. 27 It was for those in mBethel, in Ramoth of the Negeb, in nJattir, 28 in oAroer, in Siphmoth, in pEshtemoa, 29 in Racal, in the cities of qthe Jerahmeelites, in the cities of rthe Kenites, 30 in sHormah, in Bor-ashan, in Athach, 31 in tHebron, for all the places where David and his men had roamed.

The Death of Saul

31 uNow the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell slain von Mount Gilboa. And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines struck down wJonathan and xAbinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. yThe battle pressed hard against Saul, and the archers found him, and he was badly wounded by the archers. zThen Saul said to his armor-bearer, Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these auncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me. But his armor-bearer would not, bfor he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword cand fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him. Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together. And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley and those beyond the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their cities and fled. And the Philistines came and lived in them.

The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. So they cut off his head and stripped off his armor and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines, dto carry the good news eto the house of their idols and to the people. 10 fThey put his armor in the temple of gAshtaroth, and they fastened his body to the wall of hBeth-shan. 11 iBut when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 jall the valiant men arose and went all night and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh kand burned them there. 13 And they took their bones land buried them under mthe tamarisk tree in Jabesh and nfasted seven days.


The Lord Is My Rock and My Fortress

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, fthe servant of the Lord, gwho addressed the words of this hsong to the Lord on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:

18  I love you, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my irock and my jfortress and my deliverer,

my God, my irock, in kwhom I take refuge,

my lshield, and mthe horn of my salvation, my nstronghold.

I call upon the Lord, who is oworthy to be praised,

and I am saved from my enemies.

pThe cords of death encompassed me;

qthe torrents of destruction assailed me;1

pthe cords of Sheol entangled me;

the snares of death confronted me.

rIn my distress I called upon the Lord;

to my God I cried for help.

From his stemple he heard my voice,

and my cry to him reached his ears.

Then the earth treeled and rocked;

the foundations also of the mountains trembled

and quaked, because he was angry.

Smoke went up from his nostrils,2

and devouring ufire from his mouth;

glowing coals flamed forth from him.

He vbowed the heavens and wcame down;

xthick darkness was under his feet.

10  He rode on a cherub and flew;

he came swiftly on zthe wings of the wind.

11  He made darkness his covering, his acanopy around him,

thick clouds bdark with water.

12  Out of the brightness before him

chailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.

13  The Lord also dthundered in the heavens,

and the Most High uttered his evoice,

hailstones and coals of fire.

14  And he sent out his farrows and scattered them;

he flashed forth lightnings and grouted them.

15  Then hthe channels of the sea were seen,

and the foundations of the world were laid bare

at your irebuke, O Lord,

at the blast of jthe breath of your nostrils.

16  He ksent from on high, he took me;

he ldrew me out of mmany waters.

17  He rescued me from my strong enemy

and from those who hated me,

for they were ntoo mighty for me.

18  They confronted me in the day of my calamity,

but the Lord was my support.

19  He brought me out into oa broad place;

he rescued me, because he pdelighted in me.

20  The Lord dealt with me qaccording to my righteousness;

according to rthe cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.

21  For I have skept the ways of the Lord,

and have not wickedly departed from my God.

22  For tall his rules3 were before me,

and his statutes I did not put away from me.

23  I was ublameless before him,

and I kept myself from my guilt.

24  So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,

according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25  With vthe merciful you show yourself merciful;

with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;

26  with the purified you show yourself pure;

and with wthe crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.

27  For you save xa humble people,

but ythe haughty eyes you bring down.

28  For it is you who light my zlamp;

the Lord my God lightens my darkness.

29  For by you I can run against a troop,

and by my God I can aleap over ba wall.

30  This Godhis way is cperfect;4

the word of the Lord dproves true;

he is ea shield for all those who ftake refuge in him.

31  For gwho is God, but the Lord?

And who is ha rock, except our God?

32  the God who iequipped me with strength

and made my way jblameless.

33  He made my feet like the feet of a kdeer

and set me secure on lthe heights.

34  He mtrains my hands for war,

so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

35  You have given me the shield of your salvation,

and your right hand nsupported me,

and your ogentleness made me great.

36  You pgave a wide place for my steps under me,

and my feet did not slip.

37  I pursued my enemies and overtook them,

and did not turn back till they were consumed.

38  I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;

they fell under my feet.

39  For you equipped me with strength for the battle;

you made those who rise against me sink under me.

40  You made my enemies qturn their backs to me,5

and those who hated me I destroyed.

41  rThey cried for help, but there was none to save;

they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.

42  I beat them fine as sdust before the wind;

I cast them out like tthe mire of the streets.

43  You delivered me from ustrife with the people;

you made me vthe head of the nations;

wpeople whom I had not known served me.

44  As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;

xforeigners ycame cringing to me.

45  xForeigners lost heart

and zcame trembling out of their fortresses.

46  The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,

and exalted be the God of my salvation

47  the God who gave me vengeance

and asubdued peoples under me,

48  who rescued me from my enemies;

yes, you bexalted me above those who rose against me;

you delivered me from cthe man of violence.

49  dFor this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,

and esing to your name.

50  Great fsalvation he brings to his king,

and shows steadfast love to his ganointed,

to hDavid and his offspring forever.