1The Ziphites came to Saul to Gibeah, saying, “Has not David hid himself at the hill of Hachilah, which is on the east of 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 encamped in the hill of Hachilah which is beside the road on the east of Jeshimon. But David stayed in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.
4David therefore sent out spies and understood that Saul had certainly come.
5David arose and came to the place where Saul had encamped, and David saw the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his army; and Saul lay inside the place of the wagons and the people were encamped around him.
6Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, “Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp?”
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 place of the wagons with his spear stuck in the ground at his head, and Abner and the people lay around him.
8Then Abishai said to David, “God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore please let me strike him with the spear to the earth at one stroke and I will not strike him the second time.”
9David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him; for who can put forth his hand against Yahweh’s anointed and be guiltless?”
10David said, “As Yahweh lives, Yahweh will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish.
11Yahweh forbid that I should put forth my hand against Yahweh’s anointed. But now take the spear that is by his head, and the jar of water, and let us go.”
12So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul’s head and they went away; and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither did any awake, for they were all asleep because a deep sleep from Yahweh was fallen on them.
13Then David went over to the other side and stood on the top of the mountain afar off, a great space being between them,
14and David cried out to the people and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Do not you answer, Abner?”
Then Abner answered, “Who are you who cries to the king?”
15David said to Abner, “Aren’t you 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.
16This thing isn’t good that you have done. As Yahweh lives, you are worthy to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, Yahweh’s anointed. Now see where the king’s spear is, and the jar of water that was at his head.”
David said, “It is my voice, my lord, O king.”
18He said, “Why does my lord pursue after his servant? For what have I done? Or what evil is in my hand?
19Now therefore, please let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it is so that Yahweh has stirred you up against me, let him accept 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; as when one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”
22David answered, “Behold the spear, O king! Then let one of the young men come over and get it.
23Yahweh will repay each man for his righteousness and his faithfulness. For Yahweh gave you into my hand today, but I would not stretch out my hand against Yahweh’s anointed.
24Behold, as your life was respected this day in my eyes, so let my life be respected in the eyes of Yahweh and let him deliver me out of all oppression.”