1 Samuel Chapter 26  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 26
David Again Spares Saul’s Life

1Then the Ziphites came to Saul to Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding himself at the hill of Hachilah, which is facing Jeshimon?”
  2Then Saul arose and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having 3,000 chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.
  3Saul camped on the hill of Hachilah, which is beside the road facing Jeshimon, while David was staying in the wilderness. And he saw that Saul had come after him into the wilderness.
  4So David sent out spies and learned for certain that Saul had come.
  5Then David arose and came to the place where Saul had camped, and David saw the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his army; and Saul lay inside the circle of the camp, and the people were camped around him.
  6Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, “Who will go down with me to Saul, to the camp?” And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.”

7So David and Abishai came to the people by night, and behold, Saul lay sleeping inside the circle of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground at his head, and Abner and the people were lying around him.
  8Then Abishai said to David, “God has given your enemy over into your hand this day. So now let me strike him with the spear to the earth one time, and I will not have to do it twice.”

9But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put forth his hand against Yahweh’s anointed and be guiltless?”
  10And David said, “As Yahweh lives, Yahweh will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and be swept away.
  11Yahweh forbid that I should stretch out my hand against Yahweh’s anointed. But now take the spear that is by his head and the jar of water, and let’s go.”

12So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul’s head and they went away, and no man saw it, or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep because a deep sleep from Yahweh had fallen upon them.
  13Then David crossed over to the other side and stood far off, on the top of the mountain, a great space being between them,
  14and David called out to the people and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Will you not answer, Abner?” Then Abner answered, “Who are you who called to the king?”

15Then David said to Abner, “Aren’t you a man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then haven’t you kept watch over your lord, the king? For one of the people came in to destroy the king your lord.
  16This thing is not good that you have done. As Yahweh lives, you all are worthy of death, because you have not kept watch over your lord, Yahweh’s anointed. Now look around. Where are the king’s spear and the jar of water that were at his head?”

17And Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “Is that your voice, my son David?” And David said, “It is my voice, my lord, O king.”
  18Then he said, “Why does my lord pursue after his servant? For what have I done? Or what evil is in my hand?
  19So now, please let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it is Yahweh who has stirred you up against me, let him accepta an offering. But if it is the children of men, they are cursed before Yahweh, for they have driven me out this day so that I have no share in Yahweh’s inheritance, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods!’
  20So now do not let my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of Yahweh! For the king of Israel has come out to seek a flea, like when one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”

21Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no longer do you harm because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have been a fool and have erred very greatly.”

22And David answered, “Behold the spear, O king! Have one of the young men cross over and take it.
  23May Yahweh return upon each man his righteousness and his faithfulness. For Yahweh gave you into my hand today, but I was not willing to stretch out my hand against Yahweh’s anointed.
  24Behold, just as your life was highly valued this day in my eyes, so may my life be highly valued in the eyes of Yahweh and may he deliver me out of every tribulation.”

25Then Saul said to David, “You are blessed, my son David. You will do, yes, do well, and will prevail, yes, prevail!” So David went his way and Saul returned to his place.

Lit. “smell”

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