The Book of 1 Samuel  PDF  MSWord
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1 Samuel Chapter 1  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 1
Hannah’s Vow

1Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.
  2And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah and the name of the second was Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
  3Now this man would go up out of his city year after year to worship and to sacrifice to Yahweh of Armies at Shiloh. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, priests of Yahweh, were there.

4And it came to pass on the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he gave portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters,
  5but to Hannah he gave a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although Yahweh had closed up her womb.
  6And her rival used to provoke her with provocations in order to irritate her, because Yahweh had closed up her womb.
  7It happened year after year. As often as she went up to the house of Yahweh, she provoked her, so she wept and would not eat.
  8So Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why are you not eating? Why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?”

9And Hannah got up after eating in Shiloh and after drinking. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of Yahweh’s temple.
  10And she was in bitterness of soul and prayed to Yahweh as she wept, yes, wept.
  11And she vowed a vow and said, “O Yahweh of Armies, if you will see, yes, see the affliction of your servant and will remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will give him to Yahweh all the days of his life, and no razor will come upon his head.”

12And it came to pass as she continued a long time praying to Yahweh, that Eli was watching her mouth.
  13Now Hannah spoke in her heart. Only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk.
  14So Eli said to her, “How long will you make yourself drunk? Put away your wine from you!”

15But Hannah answered, “No, my lord. I am a woman oppressed in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor beer, but I have been pouring out my soul before Yahweh.
  16Do not think of your servant as a daughter of Belial, for I have been speaking out of the abundance of my concern and my being provoked.”

17Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your request that you have requested of him.”

18And she said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

19They rose up in the morning early and worshiped before Yahweh, and returned and came to their house to Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife and Yahweh remembered her.
  20It came to pass in due time that Hannah conceived and bore a son. And she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked him of Yahweh.”

Samuel’s Birth and Dedication to Yahweh

21And the man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to Yahweh the yearly sacrifice and his vow,
  22but Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “…until the child is weaned; then I will bring him, that he may appear before Yahweh and stay there forever.”

23And Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems good in your eyes. Wait until you have weaned him, only may Yahweh fulfill his word.” So the woman waited and nursed her son until she weaned him.
  24Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls and one ephah of flour and a skin-bottle of wine, and brought him to the house of Yahweh in Shiloh. And the child was just a child.
  25Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the child to Eli.

26And she said, “Oh my lord, as your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to Yahweh.
  27I prayed for this child, and Yahweh has granted me my request that I requested from him.
  28So I also now lend him to Yahweh. As long as he lives he will be lent to Yahweh.” And he worshiped Yahweh there.

1 Samuel Chapter 2  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 2
The Prayer of Hannah

1And Hannah prayed and said:

 “My heart delights in Yahweh!

 My horn is lifted high in Yahweh!

 My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies

 because I rejoice in your salvation.


 2 There is no one holy as Yahweh!

 There is no one other than you!

 There is no rock like our God.


 3 Speak no more so high, so high and mighty,

 having arrogance come out of your mouth.

 For Yahweh is a God of knowledge;

 by him actions are weighed.


 4 The bows of the mighty are shattered,

 but those who stumbled are armed with strength.


 5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,

 but those who were hungry have ceased being hungry.

 Yes, the barren has given birth to seven sons,

 but she who has many sons withers.


 6 Yahweh brings death and makes alive.

 He brings down to Sheol and brings up.


 7 Yahweh makes poor and makes rich.

 He brings low, he also lifts up.


 8 He raises up the poor out of the dust.

 He lifts up the needy from the refuse heap

 to make them sit with nobles,

 and he makes them inherit a throne of glory.

 For the pillars of the earth are Yahweh’s

 and he has set the world on them.


 9 He will guard the feet of his faithful ones

 but the wicked will become silent in darkness,

 for no man will prevail by strength.


 10 As for Yahweh, those who contend with him will be shattered.

 He will thunder against them in heaven.

 Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth.

 He will give strength to his king,

 and exalt the horn of his anointed one.”


11And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house, and the child served Yahweh in the presence of Eli the priest.

Eli’s Wicked Sons

12Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they did not know Yahweh.
  13Now the custom of the priests with the people was that when anyone sacrificed a sacrifice, while the flesh was boiling, the priest’s servant came with a fork of three teeth in his hand,
  14and he would thrust it into the basin, or kettle, or caldron, or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.
  15Also, before they turned the fat into smoke-perfume, the priest’s servant came and said to the man who sacrificed, “Give meat to roast for the priest, for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.”
  16And if the man said to him, “Let the fat first be turned into smoke-perfume, yes, smoke-perfume, and then take as much as your soul craves,” then he would say, “No, but you must give it to me now, and if not I will take it by force.”
  17Thus the sin of the young men was very great before Yahweh, for the men treated the offering of Yahweh with contempt.

18But Samuel served in the presence of Yahweh, being a child, clothed with a linen ephod.
  19Moreover, his mother used to make him a little cloak and bring it to him from year to year when she went up with her husband to sacrifice the yearly sacrifice.
  20Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May Yahweh give you seed from this woman to replace the loaned-one who was lent to Yahweh.” And they would go back to his place.

21And Yahweh visited Hannah and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before Yahweh.

22Now Eli was very old and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel and how they were lying with the women who served at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.
  23And he said to them, “Why are you doing such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people.
  24No, my sons! For the report that I hear Yahweh’s people spreading is not good.
  25If one man sin against another, God can judge him, but if a man sin against Yahweh, who can intercede for him?” But they did not listen to the voice of their father, therefore Yahweh desired to put them to death.
  26The child Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor both with Yahweh and also with the people.

Prophecy Against the House of Eli

27And a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what Yahweh says: ‘Did I not reveal, yes, reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in slavery to Pharaoh’s house,
  28and choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to turn incense into smoke-perfume, to wear an ephod before me? And I gave to the house of your father all of the offerings that are made by fire by the children of Israel?
  29So why do you all kick at my sacrifice and at my offering that I have commanded in my habitation, and you honor your sons above me making yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel my people?’

30“Therefore Yahweh the God of Israel says,

 ‘I had said, yes, said,

 that your house and the house of your father

 would walk before me forever.’

 But now Yahweh says, ‘Be it far from me,

 for those who honor me I will honor

 and those who treat me with contempt will be lightly esteemed.


31“‘Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, such that there will not be an old man in your house.
  32You will see trouble in my habitation in spite of all the good that will be done to Israel, and there will not be an old man in your house all the days to come.
  33The man of yours whom I do not cut off from my altar will be spared to weep out his eyes and grieve his soul, and all the greater part of your house will die.
  34And this will be the sign to you that will come on your two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they will both die.

35“‘And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest who will do according to whatever is in my heart and in my soul. I will build him a sure house, and he will walk in the presence of my anointed one all the days to come.
  36And it will come to pass that whoever is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread, and will say, ‘Please put me into one of the priests’ offices so that I may eat a piece of bread.’”

1 Samuel Chapter 3  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 3
Yahweh Calls Samuel

1The child Samuel was serving Yahweh in the presence of Eli. And the word of Yahweh was rare in those days; visions were not frequent.

2And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was lying down in his place (his eyes had begun to grow dim, so that he was not able to see well)
  3and the lamp of God had not yet gone out and Samuel had laid down in Yahweh’s temple where the ark of God was,

4that Yahweh called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.”
  5Then he ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.”

But he said, “I did not call, lie down again.” So he went and lay down.

6And Yahweh called yet again, “Samuel!”

Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.”

But he answered, “I did not call, my son, lie down again.”

7Now Samuel did not yet know Yahweh, nor was the word of Yahweh yet revealed to him.
  8And Yahweh called, “Samuel!” the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.”

And Eli perceived that Yahweh was calling the child.
  9So Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and if he calls you, you are to say, ‘Speak, O Yahweh, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10And Yahweh came and stood there, and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

11And Yahweh said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which every one who hears it—their two ears will tingle.
  12In that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.
  13For I have told him that I will judge his house for the ages to come because of the iniquity that he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not restrain them.
  14Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house will not be removed with sacrifice nor offering forever.”

15Samuel lay until the morning and opened the doors of the house of Yahweh. Samuel feared to show Eli the vision.
  16Then Eli called Samuel, and said, “Samuel, my son!”

He said, “Here I am.”

17He said, “What is the thing that he has spoken to you? Please do not hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the things that he spoke to you.”
  18Samuel told him every bit and hid nothing from him. He said, “It is Yahweh. Let him do what seems good to him.”

19Samuel grew, and Yahweh was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.
  20All Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of Yahweh.
  21Yahweh appeared again in Shiloh, for Yahweh revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of Yahweh.

1 Samuel Chapter 4  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 4

1The word of Samuel came to all Israel.

The Philistines Capture the Ark

Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle and encamped beside Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped in Aphek.
  2The Philistines put themselves in battle formation against Israel; and when they joined battle, Israel was struck before the Philistines, and they killed of the army in the field about 4,000 men.

3When the people had come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has Yahweh struck us today before the Philistines? Let us get the ark of the covenant of Yahweh out of Shiloh to us, that it may come among us and save us out of the hand of our enemies.”
  4So the people sent to Shiloh and they brought from there the ark of the covenant of Yahweh of Armies who sits above the cherubim: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
  5When the ark of the covenant of Yahweh came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout so that the earth rang again.

6When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” They understood that the ark of Yahweh had come into the camp.
  7The Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp.” They said, “Woe to us! For there has not been such a thing before.
  8Woe to us! Who will deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods that struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness.
  9Be strong and behave like men, O you Philistines, that you not be servants to the Hebrews as they have been to you. Strengthen yourselves like men and fight!”

10The Philistines fought and Israel was struck, and they fled every man to his tent, and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel 30,000 footmen.
  11The ark of God was taken and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.

The Death of Eli

12There ran a man of Benjamin out of the army and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes torn and with earth on his head.
  13When he came, behold, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. When the man came into the city and told it, all the city cried out.

14When Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, “What does the noise of this tumult mean?”

The man hurried and came and told Eli.
  15Now Eli was 98 years old, and his eyes were set so that he could not see.

16The man said to Eli, “I am he who came out of the army and I fled today out of the army.”

He said, “How did things go, my son?”

17He who brought the news answered, “Israel has fled before the Philistines and there has been also a great slaughter among the people. Your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.”
  18It came to pass, when he mentioned the ark of God, that Eli fell backward from off his seat by the side of the city gate, and his neck broke and he died; for he was an old man, and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.

19His daughter–in–law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, close to giving birth. When she heard the news that the ark of God was taken and that her father–in–law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and gave birth, for her pains came on her.
  20About the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have given birth to a son.” But she didn’t answer, neither did she regard it.
  21She named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel;” because the ark of God was taken and because of her father–in–law and her husband.
  22She said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God is taken.”

1 Samuel Chapter 5  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 5
The Ark in Ashdod and Ekron

1Now the Philistines had taken the ark of God, and they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.
  2The Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.
  3When they of Ashdod arose early on the next day, behold, Dagon was fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh. They took Dagon and set him in his place again.
  4When they arose early on the next day morning, behold, Dagon was fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh, and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off on the threshold. Only Dagon’s torso was intact.
  5Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any who come into Dagon’s house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod, to this day.

6But the hand of Yahweh was heavy on them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them and struck them with tumors, even Ashdod and its borders.
  7When the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not stay with us, for his hand is severe on us and on Dagon our god.”
  8They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines to them and said, “What should we do with the ark of the God of Israel?”

They answered, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried over to Gath.” They carried the ark of the God of Israel there.
  9It was so, that after they had carried it about, the hand of Yahweh was against the city with a very great confusion, and he struck the men of the city, both small and great; and tumors broke out on them.

10So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. It came to pass as the ark of God came to Ekron that the Ekronites cried out, saying, “They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us to kill us and our people.”

11They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and they said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel and let it go again to its own place, that it not kill us and our people.” For there was a deadly confusion throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.
  12The men who didn’t die were struck with the tumors, and the cry of the city went up to heaven.

1 Samuel Chapter 6  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 6
The Ark Returned to Israel

1The ark of Yahweh was in the country of the Philistines seven months.
  2The Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What should we do with the ark of Yahweh? Show us with which we can send it to its place.”

3They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty, but by all means return him a trespass offering; then you will be healed, and it will be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.”

4Then they said, “What will be the trespass offering that we should return to him?”

They said, “Five golden tumors and five golden mice, for the number of the lords of the Philistines; for one plague was on you all and on your lords.
  5Therefore you are to make images of your tumors and images of your mice that mar the land, and you are to give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps he will lighten his hand from off you and from off your gods and from off your land.
  6Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When he had worked wonderfully among them, didn’t they let the people go, and they departed?

7Now therefore take and prepare yourselves a new cart and two milk cows, on which there has come no yoke; and tie the cows to the cart and bring their calves home from them,
  8and take the ark of Yahweh and lay it on the cart; and put the jewels of gold that you return him for a trespass offering in a chest by its side, and send it away, that it may go.
  9Behold, if it goes up by the way of its own border to Beth-shemesh, then he has done us this great evil; but if not, then we will know that it is not his hand that struck us; it was a chance that happened to us.”

10The men did so, and took two milk cows and tied them to the cart and shut up their calves at home;
  11and they put the ark of Yahweh on the cart, and the chest with the mice of gold and the images of their tumors.
  12The cows took the straight way by the way to Beth Shemesh; they went along the highway, lowing as they went, and didn’t turn aside to the right hand or to the left, and the lords of the Philistines went after them to the border of Beth Shemesh.

13They of Beth Shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.
  14The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh and stood there where there was a great stone; and they split the wood of the cart and offered up the cows for a burnt offering to Yahweh.
  15The Levites took down the ark of Yahweh and the chest that was with it in which the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone, and the men of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day to Yahweh.
  16When the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.

17These are the golden tumors that the Philistines returned for a trespass offering to Yahweh: for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Ashkelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one;
  18and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fortified cities and of country villages, even to the great stone on which they set down the ark of Yahweh. That stone remains to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh.

19He struck of the men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked into the ark of Yahweh, he struck 70 men of the people; and the people mourned because Yahweh had struck the people with a great slaughter.
  20The men of Beth-shemesh said, “Who is able to stand before Yahweh, this holy God? To whom should he go up from us?”

21They sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim, saying, “The Philistines have brought back the ark of Yahweh; come down and bring it up to yourselves.”

1 Samuel Chapter 7  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 7

1The men of Kiriath-jearim came and fetched up the ark of Yahweh and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of Yahweh.

Samuel Judges Israel

2It came to pass, from the day that the ark stayed in Kiriath-jearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after Yahweh.
  3Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you do return to Yahweh with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your hearts to Yahweh and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.”
  4Then the children of Israel removed the Baals and the Ashtaroth and served Yahweh only.

5Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray for you to Yahweh.”
  6So they gathered together to Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before Yahweh, and they fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against Yahweh.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpah.

7When the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. When the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.
  8The children of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to Yahweh our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.”

9Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it for a whole burnt offering to Yahweh, and Samuel cried out to Yahweh for Israel; and Yahweh answered him.
  10As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel, but Yahweh thundered with a great thunder on that day on the Philistines and threw them into a panic; and they were struck down before Israel.
  11The men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them until they came under Beth Kar.

12Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Yahweh helped us until now.”
  13So the Philistines were subdued and they came no more inside the border of Israel. The hand of Yahweh was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
  14The cities that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath, and Israel recovered its border out of the hand of the Philistines. There was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

15Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.
  16He went from year to year in circuit to Bethel and Gilgal and Mizpah, and he judged Israel in all those places.
  17His return was to Ramah, for there was his house, and there he judged Israel; and he built there an altar to Yahweh.

1 Samuel Chapter 8  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 8
Israel Demands a King

1It came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel.
  2Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second Abijah: they were judges in Beer-sheba.
  3His sons didn’t walk in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes and perverted justice.

4Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together and came to Samuel to Ramah;
  5and they said to him, “Behold, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”

6But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” Samuel prayed to Yahweh.
  7Yahweh said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they tell you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not be king over them.
  8According to all the works that they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, in that they have forsaken me and served other gods, so do they also to you.
  9Now therefore listen to their voice; however you must protest solemnly to them and must show them the way of the king who will reign over them.”

Samuel's Warning Against Kings

10Samuel told all the words of Yahweh to the people who asked of him a king.
  11He said, “This will be the way of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to him for his chariots and to be his horsemen; and they will run before his chariots,
  12and he will appoint them to him for captains of thousands and captains of fifties, and he will assign some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest and to make his instruments of war and the instruments of his chariots.
  13He will take your daughters to be perfumers and to be cooks and to be bakers.
  14He will take your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves, even their best, and give them to his servants.
  15He will take the tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants.
  16He will take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work.
  17He will take the tenth of your flocks and you can be his servants.
  18You will cry out in that day because of your king whom you will have chosen, and Yahweh will not answer you in that day.”

19But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us,
  20that we also may be like all the nations and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

21Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of Yahweh.
  22Yahweh said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and make them a king.”

Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Every man go to his city.”

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 9
Saul Chosen to be King

1Now there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a Benjamite, a mighty man of valor.
  2He had a son whose name was Saul, an impressive young man, and there was not among the children of Israel a more handsome person than he. From his shoulders and upward he was taller than any of the people.

3The donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. Kish said to Saul his son, “Take now one of the servants with you, and arise, go seek the donkeys.”
  4He passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. Then they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. And he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they did not find them.

5When they had come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come and let us return, lest my father stop caring about the donkeys and be anxious for us.”

6But he said to him, “See now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is a man who is held in honor. All that he says surely comes to pass. Now let us go there. Perhaps he can tell us concerning our journey, which way we should go.”

7Then Saul said to his servant, “But look, if we go, what do we bring the man? For the bread in our sacks is gone and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?”

8The servant answered Saul again and said, “Behold, I have in my hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver. I will give that to the man of God to tell us our way.”

9(In earlier times in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he would say, “Come and let us go to the seer,” for he who is now called a prophet was formerly called a Seer.)

10Then Saul said to his servant, “Well said. Come, let us go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.
  11As they went up the ascent to the city, they found young women going out to draw water and said to them, “Is the seer here?”

12They answered them and said, “He is. See, he is ahead of you. Hurry now, for he has come today into the city, for the people have a sacrifice today in the high place.
  13As soon as you have come into the city, you will surely find him before he goes up to the high place to eat; for the people will not eat until he come, because he must bless the sacrifice. Afterwards those who are invited eat. Now therefore go up, for at this time you will find him.”
  14They went up to the city.

As they came inside the city, behold, Samuel came out toward them to go up to the high place.
  15Now Yahweh had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying,
  16“Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man out of the land of Benjamin, and you are to anoint him to be ruler over my people Israel, and he will save my people out of the hand of the Philistines; for I have looked on my people because their cry has come to me.”
  17When Samuel saw Saul, Yahweh said to him, “Behold, the man of whom I spoke to you! This same will have authority over my people.”

18Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate and said, “Please tell me where the seer’s house is.”

19Samuel answered Saul and said, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you will eat with me today. In the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is in your heart.
  20As for your donkeys who were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they are found. For whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s house?”

21Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjamite of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? And my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak to me like this?”

22Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the guest room and made them sit in the best place among those who were invited, who were about thirty persons.
  23Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion that I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Set it aside.’”

24The cook took up the thigh and what was on it, and set it before Saul. Samuel said, “Behold, that which has been reserved! Set it before yourself and eat, because for the appointed time has it been kept for you, for I said, ‘I have invited the people.’” So Saul ate with Samuel that day.
  25When they had come down from the high place into the city, he talked with Saul on the housetop.

26They arose early, and it came to pass about the spring of the day that Samuel called to Saul on the housetop, saying, “Get up that I may send you away.” Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad.
  27As they were going down at the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant pass on before us” (and he passed on), “but stand still first, that I may cause you to hear the word of God.”

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 10
Samuel Anoints Saul as King

1Then Samuel took the vial of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said, “Is it not that Yahweh has anointed you to be ruler over his inheritance?
  2When you have departed from me today, then you will find two men by Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they will tell you, ‘The donkeys that you went to seek have been found; and behold, your father has stopped caring about the donkeys and is anxious about you, saying, “What should I do about my son?”’

3“Then you will go on forward from there, and you will come to the oak of Tabor; and three men will meet you there going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three young goats and another carrying three loaves of bread and another carrying a skin-bottle of wine,
  4and they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread that you will accept from their hand.

5“After that you will come to Gibeah-elohim where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And when you have come there to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place, and they will be prophesying and have people with lyres and tambourines and lutes and harps going before them,
  6and the spirit of Yahweh will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and will be turned into another man.
  7And let it be that when these signs have come to pass for you, that you do whatever your hand finds to do, because God is with you.
  8You are to go down before me to Gilgal, and behold, I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: you are to wait seven days until I come to you and show you what you are to do.”

9And so it was, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all those signs happened that day.
  10When they came to Gibeah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the spirit of God rushed upon him and he prophesied along with them.

11And it came to pass that when everyone who knew him previously saw that, behold, he prophesied with the prophets, then the people said to one another, “What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”

12Then someone from that place responded, “Who is their father?”

So it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
  13When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.

14Saul’s uncle said to him and to his servant, “Where did you go?”

He said, “To seek the donkeys. When we saw that they were not found, we came to Samuel.”

15Saul’s uncle said, “Please tell me what Samuel said to you.”

16Saul said to his uncle, “He told us plainly that the donkeys were found.” But concerning the matter of the kingdom of which Samuel spoke, he didn’t tell him.

Saul Received as King

17Samuel called the people together to Yahweh to Mizpah,
  18and he said to the children of Israel, “This is what Yahweh the God of Israel says: ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all the kingdoms that oppressed you,’
  19but today you have rejected your God, who himself saves you out of all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, ‘No! Set a king over us.’ So now present yourselves before Yahweh by your tribes and by your thousands.”

20So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken.
  21He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by their families, and the family of the Matrites was taken; and Saul the son of Kish was taken; but when they sought him, he could not be found.
  22Therefore they asked of Yahweh further, “Is there yet a man to come here?”

Yahweh answered, “Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage.”

23They ran and fetched him there, and when he stood among the people he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward.
  24Samuel said to all the people, “You see the one whom Yahweh has chosen, that there is none like him among all the people?”

All the people shouted and said, “Long live the king!”

25Then Samuel told the people the regulations of the kingdom and wrote it in a book and laid it up before Yahweh. Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.

26Saul also went to his house, to Gibeah, and the army whose hearts God had touched went with him.
  27But certain sons of Belial said, “How can this man save us?” They despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace.

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 11
Saul Defeats the Ammonites

1Then Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh Gilead, and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Cut a covenant with us and we will serve you.”

2Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “On this condition I will make it with you: that all your right eyes be put out; and I will lay it for a reproach on all Israel.”

3The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days, that we may send messengers through all the territory of Israel; and then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out to you.”

4Then the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and spoke these words in the ears of the people; and all the people lifted up their voice and wept.
  5Behold, Saul came following the oxen out of the field; and Saul said, “What ails the people that they weep?” They told him the words of the men of Jabesh.

6The spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard those words, and his anger was kindled greatly.
  7He took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the borders of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, “Whoever doesn’t come forth after Saul and after Samuel, so will it be done to his oxen.” The dread of Yahweh fell on the people and they came out as one man.

8He numbered them in Bezek, and the children of Israel were 300,000 and the men of Judah 30,000.
  9They said to the messengers who came, “Thus you will tell the men of Jabesh Gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you will have deliverance.’” The messengers came and told the men of Jabesh, and they were glad.

10Therefore the men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you will do with us all that seems good to you.”

11It was so on the next day that Saul put the people in three companies, and they came into the middle of the camp in the morning watch and struck the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass that those who remained were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

Saul Confirmed as King

12The people said to Samuel, “Who is he who said, ‘Should Saul reign over us?’ Bring those men, that we may put them to death!”

13Saul said, “There will not a man be put to death this day; for today Yahweh has worked deliverance in Israel.”

14Then Samuel said to the people, “Come and let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there.”
  15All the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before Yahweh in Gilgal, and there they offered sacrifices of peace offerings before Yahweh; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 12
Samuel's Farewell Address

1Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have listened to your voice in all that you said to me and have made a king over you.
  2Now behold, the king walks before you, and I am old and gray–headed; and behold, my sons are with you:, and I have walked before you from my youth to this day.
  3Here I am. Witness against me before Yahweh and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Of whose hand have I taken a ransom to blind my eyes with it? I will restore it to you.”

4They said, “You have not defrauded us nor oppressed us, neither have you taken anything of any man’s hand.”

5He said to them, “Yahweh is witness against you and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.”

They said, “He is witness.”

6Samuel said to the people, “It is Yahweh who appointed Moses and Aaron and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.
  7Now therefore stand still, that I may plead with you before Yahweh concerning all the righteous acts of Yahweh that he did for you and for your fathers.

8“When Jacob had come into Egypt and your fathers cried out to Yahweh, then Yahweh sent Moses and Aaron who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them live in this place.
  9But they forgot Yahweh their God, and he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them.
  10They cried out to Yahweh and said, ‘We have sinned because we have forsaken Yahweh and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve you.’
  11Yahweh sent Jerubbaal and Bedan and Jephthah and Samuel and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in safety.
  12When you saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king must reign over us,’ when Yahweh your God was your king.

13“Now therefore see the king whom you have chosen and whom you have asked for, and behold, Yahweh has set a king over you.
  14If you will fear Yahweh and serve him, and listen to his voice and not rebel against the commandment of Yahweh, then both you and also the king who reigns over you are followers of Yahweh your God.
  15But if you will not listen to the voice of Yahweh, but rebel against the commandment of Yahweh, then will the hand of Yahweh be against you as it was against your fathers.

16“Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that Yahweh will do before your eyes.
  17Isn’t it wheat harvest today? I will call to Yahweh so that he will send thunder and rain; and you will know and see that your wickedness is great that you have done in the eyes of Yahweh in asking for a king.”
  18So Samuel called to Yahweh, and Yahweh sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared Yahweh and Samuel.

19All the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to Yahweh your God, that we not die; for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.”

20Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid. You have indeed done all this evil; yet do not turn aside from following Yahweh, but serve Yahweh with all your heart.
  21Do not turn aside to go after vain things that cannot profit nor deliver, for they are vain.
  22For Yahweh will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased Yahweh to make you a people to himself.

23“Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against Yahweh in ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and the right way.
  24Only fear Yahweh, and serve him in truth with all your heart, for consider how great things he has done for you.
  25But if you will still do wickedly, you will be consumed, both you and your king.”

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 13
Saul Fights the Philistines

1Saul reigned a year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel,
  2Saul chose for himself 3,000 men of Israel of which 2,000 were with Saul in Michmash and in the Mount of Bethel, and 1,000 were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin, and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.

3Jonathan struck the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. Saul blew the shofar throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear!”
  4All Israel heard that Saul had struck the garrison of the Philistines and also that Israel had become a stench to the Philistines. The people were gathered together after Saul to Gilgal.

5The Philistines assembled themselves together to fight with Israel, 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen and people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude; and they came up, and encamped in Michmash eastward of Beth Aven.

6When the men of Israel saw that they were in a tight spot (for the people were hard pressed), then the people hid themselves in caves and in thickets and in rocks and in underground chambers and in pits.
  7Now some of the Hebrews had gone over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead;

Saul's Unlawful Sacrifice

but as for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.
  8He stayed seven days, according to the time set by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal and the people were scattering from him.
  9Then Saul said, “Bring here to me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering.

10It came to pass that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him.
  11Then Samuel said, “What have you done?”

And Saul said, “Because I saw that the people were scattering from me and that you did not come during the appointed days and that the Philistines were assembling themselves together at Michmash,
  12therefore I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down on me to Gilgal and I have not asked the favor of Yahweh.’ So I forced myself and offered the burnt offering.”

13But Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of Yahweh your God that he commanded you. If you had, Yahweh would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.
  14But now your kingdom will not continue. Yahweh has sought for himself a man after his own heart and Yahweh has appointed him to be ruler over his people because you have not kept what Yahweh commanded you.”
  15Then Samuel arose and went from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul counted the people who were present with him, about 600 men.

Israel Without Weapons

16Saul and Jonathan his son and the people who were present with them stayed in Geba of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.
  17The raiding parties came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned to the way that leads to Ophrah, to the land of Shual,
  18and another company turned toward the road to Beth Horon, and another company turned toward the road of the border that looks down on the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.

19Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears,”
  20so all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, each man to sharpen his plow blade, mattock, axe and sickle,
  21and the charge was two-thirds of a shekel for the plowshares, the mattocks, the forks, and the axes, and to set the goads.
  22So it came to pass in the day of battle that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan, but they were found with Saul and with Jonathan his son.

23And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 14
Jonathan Defeats the Philistines

1Now it fell on a day that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, and let us cross over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.

2And Saul was sitting under the pomegranate tree that was at the threshing floor on the outskirts of Gibeah, and the people who were with him were about 600 men,
  3and Ahijah was wearing an ephod. He was the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas the son of Eli, the priest of Yahweh in Shiloh. And the people did not know that Jonathan was gone.

4Between the passes by which Jonathan sought to cross over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a tooth-shaped cliff on the one side and a tooth-shaped cliff on the other side, and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.
  5The one tooth-shaped cliff rose up on the north in front of Michmash and the other on the south in front of Geba.
  6And Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that Yahweh will act on our behalf, for nothing can prevent Yahweh from delivering, whether by many or by few.”

7His armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that your heart inclines to do. Behold, I am with you according to your heart.”

8Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men and we will reveal ourselves to them.
  9If they say thus to us, ‘Wait until we come to you!’ then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up to them.
  10But if they say this, ‘Come up to us!’ then we will go up, for Yahweh has given them into our hand. This will be the sign to us.”

11So the two of them revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines, and the Philistines said, “Look! The Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves!”
  12And the men of the garrison called out to Jonathan and his armor-bearer and said, “Come up to us and we will show you something!”

Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Come up after me, for Yahweh has given them into the hand of Israel.”
  13So Jonathan climbed up on his hands and on his feet and his armor-bearer climbed after him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed after him.
  14That first slaughter that Jonathan and his armor-bearer made was about twenty men, inside as it were half a furrow’s length in an acre of land.

Israel Routs the Philistines

15And there was a trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people; the garrison and the raiders, they also trembled, and the earth quaked—it was a trembling from God.
  16And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude melted away and they went here and there.
  17Then Saul said to the people who were with him, “Count now and see who is missing from us.” And when they had counted, behold, Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there.

18Then Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here” (for the ark of God was with the children of Israel at that time).
  19But it came to pass that as Saul was speaking to the priest, that the uproar that was in the camp of the Philistines went on and increased, so Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand!”

20And Saul and all the people who were with him assembled themselves and went to the battle, and behold, every man’s sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great confusion.
  21Now the Hebrews that had been with the Philistines before that time, and who went up with them into the camp from all around, they too turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.
  22Likewise, when all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines fled, they also pursued them in the battle.
  23So Yahweh saved Israel that day.

Saul’s Rash Vow

The battle went out beyond Beth-aven.
  24But the men of Israel were distressed that day, for Saul had put the people under an oath-curse, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats any food until it is evening and I have avenged myself of my enemies.” So none of the people tasted food.

25Now when all the people came into the forest, and there was honey on the open ground.
  26And when the people came into the forest, behold, the honey flowed, but no man put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath.
  27But Jonathan did not hear when his father charged the people with the oath, so he put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened.
  28Then one of the people answered and said, “Your father had the people swear, yes, swear, saying, ‘Cursed is the man who eats food this day.’” And the people grew weary.

29Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. Please look how my eyes have been brightened because I tasted a little of this honey.
  30How much more if perhaps the people had eaten, yes, eaten today of the spoil of their enemies that they found? For now the slaughter among the Philistines has not been great.”

31They struck down of the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. And the people grew exceedingly weary.
  32So the people rushed upon the spoil and took sheep and cattle and calves and killed them on the ground, and the people ate them with the blood.
  33Then they told Saul, saying, “Behold, the people are sinning against Yahweh in that they eat meat with the blood.”

He said, “You have dealt treacherously. Roll a large stone to me this day!”
  34Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people and tell them, ‘Bring me here every man his ox and every man his sheep, and kill them here and eat; and do not sin against Yahweh in eating meat with the blood.’” All the people brought every man his ox with him that night and killed them there.
  35Saul built an altar to Yahweh. This was the first altar that he built to Yahweh.

36Saul said, “Let us go down after the Philistines by night and take spoil among them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them.”

They said, “Do whatever seems good to you.”

Then the priest said, “Let us draw near here to God.”

37Saul asked counsel of God, “Should I go down after the Philistines? Will you deliver them into the hand of Israel?” But he didn’t answer him that day.

38Saul said, “Draw near here, all you chiefs of the people, and know and see in which this sin has been this day.
  39For as Yahweh lives who saves Israel, though it is in Jonathan my son, he must surely die.” But there was not a man among all the people who answered him.

40Then he said to all Israel, “You be on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side.”

The people said to Saul, “Do what seems good to you.”

41Therefore Saul said to Yahweh, the God of Israel, “Show the right.” Jonathan and Saul were chosen; but the people escaped.

42Saul said, “Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son.” Jonathan was selected.
  43Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done!”

Jonathan told him and said, “I certainly did taste a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand, and behold, I must die.”

44Saul said, “God do so and more also, for you must surely die, Jonathan.”

45The people said to Saul, “Must Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! As Yahweh lives, there will not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he has worked with God this day!” So the people rescued Jonathan, that he didn’t die.
  46Then Saul went up from following the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.

Summary of Saul’s Conquests

47Now when Saul had taken the kingdom over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab and against the children of Ammon and against Edom and against the kings of Zobah and against the Philistines, and wherever he turned himself, he defeated them.
  48He did valiantly, and struck the Amalekites and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who despoiled them.

49Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan and Ishvi and Malchishua, and the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal;
  50and the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the captain of his army was Abner the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle.
  51Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.

52There was severe war against the Philistines all the days of Saul, and when Saul saw any mighty man or any valiant man, he took him to himself.

1 Samuel Chapter 15  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 15
Yahweh Rejects Saul as King

1Samuel said to Saul, “Yahweh sent me to anoint you to be king over his people, over Israel. Now therefore listen to the voice of the words of Yahweh.
  2This is what Yahweh of Armies says, ‘I have marked what Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way, when he came up out of Egypt.
  3Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have, and do not spare them; but kill both man and woman, infant and nursing baby, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”

4Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, 200,000 footmen and 10,000 men of Judah.
  5Saul came to the city of Amalek and laid wait in the valley.
  6Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart, go down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them; for you showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.

7Saul struck the Amalekites from Havilah as you go to Shur, that is before Egypt.
  8He took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive but devoted to destruction all the people with the mouth of the sword.
  9But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep and of the cattle and of the fatlings and the lambs and all that was good, and did not devote them to destruction; but everything that was vile and worthless, that they devoted to destruction.

10Then the word of Yahweh came to Samuel, saying,
  11“It grieves me that I have set up Saul to be king, for he is turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.” Samuel was angry and he cried out to Yahweh all night.

12Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, and it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal.”
  13Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “You are blessed by Yahweh! I have performed the commandment of Yahweh.”

14Samuel said, “Then what does this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the cattle that I hear mean?”

15Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the cattle to sacrifice to Yahweh your God. We have devoted the rest to destruction.”

16Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stay, and I will tell you what Yahweh has said to me last night.”

He said to him, “Say on.”

17Samuel said, “Though you were little in your own eyes, were you not made the head of the tribes of Israel? Yahweh anointed you king over Israel,
  18and Yahweh sent you on a journey and said, ‘Go and devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’
  19Why then did you not obey the voice of Yahweh, but took the spoils, and did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh?”

20Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of Yahweh, and have gone the way that Yahweh sent me and have brought Agag the king of Amalek and have devoted the Amalekites to destruction.
  21But the people took of the spoil, sheep and cattle, the chief of the devoted things, to sacrifice to Yahweh your God in Gilgal.”

22Samuel said,

 “Has Yahweh as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices

 as in obeying the voice of Yahweh?

 Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,

 and to listen than the fat of rams.


 23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination,

 and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim.

 Because you have rejected the word of Yahweh,

 he has also rejected you from being king.”


24Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of Yahweh and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.
  25Now therefore, please pardon my sin and turn again with me, that I may worship Yahweh.”

26Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of Yahweh, and Yahweh has rejected you from being king over Israel.”
  27As Samuel turned about to go away, Saul grabbed the skirt of his robe, and it tore.
  28Samuel said to him, “Yahweh has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours who is better than you.
  29Also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent, for he is not a man, that he should repent.”

30Then he said, “I have sinned: yet please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and come back with me, that I may worship Yahweh your God.”
  31So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped Yahweh.

32Then Samuel said, “Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites!”

Agag came to him cheerfully. Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”

33Samuel said,

 “As your sword has made women childless,

 so your mother will be childless among women!”

Samuel cut Agag in pieces before Yahweh in Gilgal.

34Then Samuel went to Ramah and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.
  35Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death, for Samuel mourned for Saul; and Yahweh grieved that he had made Saul king over Israel.

1 Samuel Chapter 16  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 16
Samuel Anoints David

1Yahweh said to Samuel, “How long are you going to mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided a king for myself among his sons.”

2Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.”

Yahweh said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to Yahweh.’
  3Call Jesse to the sacrifice and I will show you what you are to do. You are to anoint to me him whom I name to you.”

4Samuel did what Yahweh said, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?”

5And he said, “In peace. I have come to sacrifice to Yahweh. Make yourselves holy and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he sanctified Jesse and his sons and called them to the sacrifice.
  6And it came to pass when they had arrived, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely Yahweh’s anointed is here before him.”

7But Yahweh said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For God does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks at the heart.”

8Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has Yahweh chosen this one.”
  9Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, “Neither has Yahweh chosen this one.”
  10And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. Samuel said to Jesse, “Yahweh has not chosen these!”
  11Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the boys you have?”

And he said, “The youngest still remains, but behold, he is tending the sheep.”

And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down until he comes here.”
  12And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and of good appearance.

Yahweh said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he!”
  13Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and the spirit of Yahweh rushed upon David from that day forward. Then Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

David in Saul's Service

14And the spirit of Yahweh had departed from Saul and an evil spirit from Yahweh terrified him.
  15Saul’s servants said to him, “See now, an evil spirit from God troubles you.
  16Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. It will come to pass that when the evil spirit from God is on you that he can play with his hand, and you will be well.”

17Saul said to his servants, “Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.”

18Then one of the young men answered and said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech and a comely person, and Yahweh is with him.”

19Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son who is with the sheep.”
  20Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread and a skin-bottle of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul.
  21David came to Saul and stood before him. He loved him greatly and he became his armor–bearer.
  22Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Please let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my eyes.”
  23It came to pass when the spirit from God was on Saul, that David took the harp and played with his hand, so Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

1 Samuel Chapter 17  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 17
David and Goliath

1Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and they were gathered together at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah in Ephes-dammim.
  2Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together and encamped in the valley of Elah, and had set their battle formations against the Philistines.

3The Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, and there was a valley between them.
  4There went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.a
  5He had a helmet of bronze on his head and he was clothed with a coat of scale-armor, and the weight of the coat was 5,000 shekels of bronze.b
  6He had bronze shin armor on his legs and a javelin of bronze between his shoulders.
  7The staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam and his spear’s head weighed 600 shekels of iron;c and his shield–bearer went in front of him.

8He stood and cried out to the armies of Israel and said to them, “Why have you come out to set up your battle lines? Am I not a Philistine, and you servants to Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me.
  9If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then will we be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you will be our servants and serve us.”
  10The Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day! Give me a man so we can fight each other!”
  11When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

12Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah whose name was Jesse, and he had eight sons; and the man was an old man in the days of Saul, stricken among men.
  13The three eldest sons of Jesse had gone after Saul to the battle, and the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.
  14David was the youngest, and the three eldest followed Saul.
  15Now David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.

16The Philistine drew near morning and evening and presented himself forty days.
  17Jesse said to David his son, “Now take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers;
  18and bring these ten cheeses to the captain of their 1,000 and see how your brothers are doing, and bring back news.”
  19Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.

20David rose up early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper, and took the supplies and went, as Jesse had commanded him.

And he came to the place of the wagons as the army that was going forth to the fight shouted for the battle.
  21Israel and the Philistines set up their battle formations, army against army.
  22David left his baggage in the hand of the keeper of the baggage and ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers.
  23As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke according to the same words; and David heard them.
  24All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were terrified.

25The men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who is coming up? Surely he is coming up to defy Israel. It will be that the man who kills him the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house exempt from taxes in Israel.”

26David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What will be done to the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

27The people answered him in this way, saying, “That is what will be done to the man who kills him.”

28Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men, and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David and he said, “Why have you come down? With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the wickedness of your heart, for you have come down so that you might see the battle.”

29David said, “What have I now done? Was it not just a question?”
  30He turned away from him toward another and spoke like that again, and the people answered him again the same way.

31When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him.
  32David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”

33Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.”

34David said to Saul, “Your servant was keeping his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock,
  35I went out after him and struck him and rescued it out of his mouth. When he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him.
  36Your servant struck both the lion and the bear. This uncircumcised Philistine will be as one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.”
  37David said, “Yahweh who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and may Yahweh be with you.”

38Saul dressed David with his fighting attire. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and he clad him with a coat of mail.
  39David strapped his sword on his fighting attire and he tried to move, for he had not tested it. David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” David took them off.
  40He took his staff in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones out of the brook and put them in the shepherd’s bag that he had, even in his pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine.

41The Philistine came on and drew near to David; and the man who carried the shield went before him.
  42When the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, and ruddy and with a fair face.
  43The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” The Philistine cursed David by his gods.
  44The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the animals of the field.”

45Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin: but I come to you in the name of Yahweh of Armies, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied.
  46Today, Yahweh will deliver you into my hand. I will strike you and take your head from off you. I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel
  47and that all this assembly may know that Yahweh does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is Yahweh‘s, and he will give you into our hand.”

48It came to pass when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
  49David put his hand in his bag, took a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead; and the stone sank into his forehead and he fell on his face to the earth.
  50So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone and struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
  51Then David ran and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
  52The men of Israel and of Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines until you come to Gai and to the gates of Ekron. The wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath and to Ekron.

53The children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines and they plundered their camp.
  54David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent.

55When Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?”

Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I cannot tell.”

56The king said, “Inquire whose son the young man is!”

57As David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.
  58Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, you young man?”

David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

Roughly 9 feet, 9 inches tall
About 125 pounds
Fifteen or sixteen pounds

1 Samuel Chapter 18  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 18
The Friendship of David and Jonathan

1It came to pass when he had made an end of speaking to Saul that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
  2Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father’s house.

3Then Jonathan and David cut a covenant because he loved him as his own soul.
  4Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his fighting attire, even to his sword and to his bow and to his belt.

5David went out wherever Saul sent him and was successful, and Saul set him over the men of war, and it was good in the eyes of all the people and also in the eyes of Saul’s servants.

Saul Jealous of David’s Success

6It came to pass as they came, when David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel singing and dancing to meet king Saul, with tambourines, with joy and with musical instruments.
  7The women sang one to another as they celebrated and said,

 “Saul has slain his thousands,

 David his tens of thousands.”


8Saul was very angry and this saying displeased him and he said, “They have ascribed to David tens of thousands, but to me they have ascribed only thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom?”
  9Saul eyed David from that day and forward.

Saul Attempts to Kill David

10It came to pass on the next day that an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he prophesied in the middle of the house. David was playing the lyre with his hand as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand
  11and Saul threw the spear, for he said, “I will pin David even to the wall!” David escaped from his presence twice.

12Saul was afraid of David because Yahweh was with him and was departed from Saul.
  13Therefore Saul removed him from his presence and made him his captain over a 1,000; and he went out and came in before the people.
  14David continued to be successful in all his activities, and Yahweh was with him.
  15When Saul saw that he was very successful, he was afraid of him.
  16But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them.
  17Saul said to David, “Behold, my oldest daughter Merab, I will give her to you as wife. Only be valiant for me and fight Yahweh’s battles.” For Saul said, “Do not let my hand be on him, but let the hand of the Philistines be on him.”

18David said to Saul, “Who am I, and who are my relatives, my father’s clan in Israel, that I should be son–in–law to the king?”
  19But it came to pass at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as wife.

David Marries Michal

20Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David; and they told Saul and it pleased him.
  21And Saul said, “I will give her to him, so that she will be a snare to him and that the hand of the Philistines will be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David, “You can this day be my son–in–law a second time.”

22Saul commanded his servants, “Talk with David secretly and say, ‘Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you; now therefore be the king’s son–in–law.’”

23Saul’s servants spoke those words in the ears of David. David said, “Does it seems to you a light thing to be the king’s son–in–law, since I am a poor man and lightly esteemed?”

24The servants of Saul told him, saying, “David spoke like this.”

25Saul said, “You are to tell David, ‘The king desires no dowry except 100 foreskins of the Philistines to be avenged of the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.

26When his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son–in–law. The days were not expired,
  27and David arose and went, he and his men, and killed of the Philistines 200 men; and David brought their foreskins and they gave them in full number to the king, that he might be the king’s son–in–law. Saul gave him Michal his daughter as wife.
  28Saul saw and knew that Yahweh was with David; and Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him.
  29Saul was yet the more afraid of David, and Saul was David’s enemy continually.

30Then the officials of the Philistines went forth, and it came to pass, as often as they went forth that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was highly esteemed.

1 Samuel Chapter 19  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 19
David Delivered from Saul

1Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David.
  2Jonathan told David, saying, “Saul my father seeks to kill you. Now therefore, please take care of yourself in the morning and live in a secret place and hide yourself.
  3I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will talk with my father about you; and if I see anything, I will tell you.”

4Jonathan spoke good of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Do not let the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you and because his works have been very good toward you;
  5for he put his life in his hand and struck the Philistine, and Yahweh worked a great victory for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood to kill David without a cause?”

6Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan, and Saul swore, “As Yahweh lives, he will not be put to death.”
  7Jonathan called David and Jonathan showed him all those things. Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.

8There was war again. David went out and fought with the Philistines and killed them with a great slaughter, and they fled before him.

9An evil spirit from Yahweh was on Saul as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was playing with his hand.
  10Saul sought to pin David even to the wall with the spear; but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and he stuck the spear into the wall. David fled and escaped that night.
  11Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him and to kill him in the morning. Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, “If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.”
  12So Michal let David down through the window. He went, fled, and escaped.
  13Michal took the teraphim and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats’ hair at its head and covered it with the clothes.
  14When Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.”

15Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.”
  16When the messengers came in, behold, the teraphim was in the bed with the pillow of goats’ hair at its head.

17Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me thus and let my enemy go, so that he is escaped?”

Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go! Why should I kill you?’”

18Now David fled and escaped and came to Samuel to Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. He and Samuel went and lived in Naioth.

19It was told Saul, saying, “Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.”
  20Saul sent messengers to take David; and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying and Samuel standing as head over them, the spirit of God came on the messengers of Saul and they also prophesied.
  21When it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied.
  22Then went he also to Ramah, and came to the great well that is in Secu, and he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”

One said, “Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah.”

23And he went there to Naioth in Ramah; and the spirit of God came on him also, and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah.
  24He also stripped off his clothes and he also prophesied before Samuel, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 20
David and Jonathan

1David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came and said before Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity? What is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?”

2He said to him, “Far from it; you will not die. Behold, my father does nothing either great or small but that he discloses it to me, and why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so.”

3But David swore again and said, “Your father knows well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he says, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved,’ but truly as Yahweh lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.”

4Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever your soul desires, I will even do it for you.”

5David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to dine with the king; but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field to the third day at evening.
  6If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city, for it is the yearly sacrifice there for all the family.’
  7If he says, ‘It is well;’ your servant will have peace; but if he be angry, then know that evil is determined by him.
  8Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of Yahweh with you. But if there is iniquity in me, kill me yourself; for why should you bring me to your father?”

9Jonathan said, “Far be it from you; for if I should at all know that evil were determined by my father to come on you, then would not I tell you that?”

10Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if perchance your father answers you roughly?”

11Jonathan said to David, “Come and let us go out into the field.” They both went out into the field.
  12Jonathan said to David, “By Yahweh the God of Israel, when I have sounded my father about this time tomorrow or the third day, behold, if there is good toward David, will I not then send to you and disclose it to you?
  13Yahweh do so to Jonathan, and more also, should it please my father to do you evil, if I do not disclose it to you and send you away, that you may go in peace; and Yahweh be with you as he has been with my father.
  14You will not only while yet I live show me the loving kindness of Yahweh, that I not die,
  15but also you will not cut off your kindness from my house forever; no, not when Yahweh has cut off the enemies of David everyone from the surface of the earth.”
  16So Jonathan cut a covenant with the house of David, saying, “Yahweh will require it at the hand of David’s enemies.”
  17Jonathan caused David to swear again for the love that he had to him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.

18Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed because your seat will be empty.
  19When you have stayed three days, you are to go down quickly and come to the place where you hid yourself when this started, and are to remain by the stone Ezel.
  20I will shoot three arrows on its side as though I shot at a mark.
  21Behold, I will send the boy, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows!’ If I tell the boy, ‘Behold, the arrows are on this side of you. Take them,’ then come, for there is peace to you and no hurt, as Yahweh lives.
  22But if I say this to the boy, ‘Behold, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go your way; for Yahweh has sent you away.
  23Concerning the matter that you and I have spoken of, behold, Yahweh is between you and me forever.”
  24So David hid himself in the field.

And when the new moon had come, the king sat him down to eat food.
  25The king sat on his seat as at other times, even on the seat by the wall; and Jonathan stood up and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty.
  26Nevertheless Saul did not say anything that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to him. He is not clean. Surely he is not clean.”

27It came to pass on the next day after the new moon, the second day, that David’s place was empty. Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has the son of Jesse not come to eat either yesterday or today?”

28Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem.
  29He said, ‘Please let me go, for our family has a sacrifice in the city. My brother has commanded me to be there. Now, if I have found favor in your eyes, please let me go away and see my brothers.’ Therefore he has not come to the king’s table.”

30Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness?
  31For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you will not be established, nor your kingdom. Therefore now send and bring him to me, for he will surely die!”

32Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said to him, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?”

33Saul cast his spear at him to strike him. By this Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death.
  34So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David because his father had done him shame.

35It came to pass in the morning that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little boy with him.
  36He said to his boy, “Run, find now the arrows that I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
  37When the boy had come to the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried out after the boy, and said, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?”
  38Jonathan cried out after the boy, “Go fast! Hurry! Do not delay!” Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows and came to his master.
  39But the boy did not know anything. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter.
  40Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, “Go, carry them to the city.”

41As soon as the boy was gone, David arose out of the south and fell on his face to the ground and bowed himself three times. They kissed one another and wept one with another, and David wept the most.

42Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have both sworn in the name of Yahweh, saying, ‘Yahweh will be between me and you, and between my seed and your seed forever.’” He arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 21
David and the Holy Bread

1Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech came to meet David trembling and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no man with you?”

2David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has commanded me a business and has said to me, ‘Let no man know anything of the business about which I send you and what I have commanded you; and I have appointed the young men to such and such a place.’
  3Now therefore what is under your hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand or whatever there is present.”

4The priest answered David and said, “There is no common bread under my hand, but there is holy bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women.”

5David answered the priest and said to him, “Truly, women have been kept from us about these three days. When I came out, the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was but a common journey. How much more then today can their vessels be holy?”
  6So the priest gave him holy bread, for there was no bread there but the Bread of the Presence that was taken from before Yahweh, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.

7Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before Yahweh; and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the best of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul.

8David said to Ahimelech, “Isn’t there here under your hand spear or sword? For I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.”

9The priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine whom you killed in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it; for there is no other except that here.”

David said, “There is none like that. Give it to me.”

David Flees to Gath

10David arose and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.
  11The servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David the king of the land? Didn’t they sing one to another about him in dances, saying,

 ‘Saul has slain his thousands,

 David his 10,000’s?’”


12David laid up these words in his heart and was very afraid of Achish the king of Gath.
  13He changed his behavior before them and pretended to be mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate and let his saliva fall down on his beard.

14Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me?
  15Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Will this fellow come into my house?”

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 22
David at Adullam and Mizpah

1David therefore departed there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him.
  2Everyone who was in distress and everyone who was in debt and everyone who was discontented gathered themselves to him, and he became captain over them; and there were with him about 400 men.

3David went there to Mizpeh of Moab, and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother come out with you until I know what God will do for me.”
  4He brought them before the king of Moab, and they lived with him all the while that David was in the stronghold.

5The prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Depart and go into the land of Judah.” Then David departed and came into the forest of Hereth.

Saul Kills the Priests at Nob

6Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men who were with him. Now Saul was sitting in Gibeah under the tamarisk tree in Ramah with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him.
  7Saul said to his servants who stood about him, “Hear now, you Benjamites! Will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, will he make you all captains of thousands and captains of hundreds,
  8that all of you have conspired against me and there is none who discloses to me when my son makes a treaty with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you who is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me to lie in wait, as he is even today?”

9Then Doeg the Edomite who stood by the servants of Saul answered and said, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.
  10He inquired of Yahweh for him, gave him food and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

11Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests who were in Nob; and they came all of them to the king.
  12Saul said, “Hear now, you son of Ahitub.”

He answered, “Here I am, my lord.”

13Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword and have inquired of God for him, that he should rise against me to lie in wait, as he is even today?”

14Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, “Who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king’s son–in–law and is taken into your council and is honorable in your house?
  15Have I today begun to inquire of God for him? Be it far from me! Do not let the king impute anything to his servant, nor to all the house of my father; for your servant knows nothing of all this, less or more.”

16The king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house.”

17The king said to the guard who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of Yahweh, because their hand also is with David, and because they knew that he fled and didn’t disclose it to me.” But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall on the priests of Yahweh.

18The king said to Doeg, “Turn and attack the priests!” Doeg the Edomite turned, and he attacked the priests, and he killed on that day 85 people who wore a linen ephod.
  19He struck Nob, the city of the priests, with the mouth of the sword, both men and women, children and nursing babies and cattle and donkeys and sheep with the mouth of the sword.

20One of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub named Abiathar escaped, and fled after David.
  21Abiathar told David that Saul had slain Yahweh’s priests.
  22David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of all the persons of your father’s house.
  23Stay with me, do not be afraid; for he who seeks my life seeks your life. For with me you will be in safeguard.”

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 23
David Saves the City of Keilah

1David was told, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.”

2Therefore David inquired of Yahweh, saying, “Should I go and strike these Philistines?”

Yahweh said to David, “Go strike the Philistines and save Keilah.”

3David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?”

4Then David inquired of Yahweh yet again. Yahweh answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.”
  5David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their livestock and killed them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
  6It came to pass when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah that he came down with an ephod in his hand.

7It was told Saul that David had come to Keilah. Saul said, “God has given him into my hand, for he is shut in by entering into a town that has gates and bars.”
  8Saul summoned all the people to war to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.

9David knew that Saul was devising mischief against him, and he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.”

10Then David said, “O Yahweh, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake.
  11Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? Yahweh, the God of Israel, I beg you, tell your servant.”

Yahweh said, “He will come down.”

12Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?”

Yahweh said, “They will deliver you up.”

13Then David and his men, who were about 600, arose and departed out of Keilah and went wherever they could go. It was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah and he gave up going there.
  14David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God didn’t deliver him into his hand.

David and Jonathan’s Covenant

15David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh.
  16Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David into the woods and strengthened his hand in God.
  17He said to him, “Do not be afraid, for the hand of Saul my father will not find you; and you will be king over Israel, and I will be next to you; and that also Saul my father knows.”
  18They both cut a covenant before Yahweh; and David stayed at Horesh and Jonathan went to his house.

Saul Pursues David

19Then the Ziphites came up to Saul to Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding himself with us in the strongholds at Horesh, in the hill of Hachilah that is on the south of Jeshimon?
  20Now therefore, O king, come down, according to all the desire of your soul to come down, and our part will be to deliver him up into the king’s hand.”

21Saul said, “You are blessed by Yahweh, for you have had compassion on me.
  22Please go make yet more sure, and know and see his place where his haunt is and who has seen him there; for it is told me that he deals very subtly.
  23See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hides himself, and come again to me with certainty and I will go with you; and it will happen, if he is in the land, that I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.”
  24They arose and went to Ziph before Saul.

But David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah on the south of the desert.
  25Saul and his men went to seek him. When David was told, he went down to the rock and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. When Saul heard that, he pursued David in the wilderness of Maon.

26Saul went on this side of the mountain and David and his men on that side of the mountain, and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men surrounded David and his men to take them.
  27But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid on the land!”
  28So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines; therefore they called that place Sela Hammahlekoth.
  29David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of En-gedi.

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 24
David Spares Saul’s Life

1It came to pass when Saul was returned from following the Philistines that it was told him, saying, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of En-gedi.”
  2Then Saul took 3,000 chosen men out of all Israel and went to seek David and his men on the rocks of the wild goats.
  3He came to the sheep pens by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were abiding in the innermost parts of the cave.
  4The men of David said to him, “Behold, the day of which Yahweh said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand and you will do to him as it will seem good to you.’” Then David arose and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe secretly.

5It came to pass afterward that David’s heart struck him because he had cut off Saul’s skirt.
  6He said to his men, “Yahweh forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, Yahweh’s anointed, to put forth my hand against him, since he is Yahweh’s anointed.”
  7So David checked his men with these words and didn’t allow them to rise against Saul.

Saul rose up out of the cave and went on his way.
  8David also arose afterward and went out of the cave and cried out after Saul, saying, “My lord the king!”

When Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth, and showed respect.
  9David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to men’s words, saying, ‘Behold, David seeks your hurt?’
  10Behold, this day your eyes have seen that Yahweh had given you into my hand today in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you and I said, ‘I will not put forth my hand against my lord, for he is Yahweh’s anointed.’
  11Moreover, my father, behold, yes, see the skirt of your robe in my hand; for in that I cut off the skirt of your robe and didn’t kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor disobedience in my hand and I have not sinned against you, though you hunt for my life to take it.

12“May Yahweh judge between me and you and may Yahweh avenge me of you; but my hand will not be on you.
  13As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness,’ but my hand will not be on you.
  14Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea?
  15May Yahweh therefore be judge and give sentence between me and you, and see and plead my cause, and deliver me out of your hand.”

16It came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” Saul lifted up his voice and wept.
  17He said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have done good to me whereas I have done evil to you.
  18You have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, because when Yahweh had given me up into your hand, you did not kill me.
  19For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away unharmed? Therefore may Yahweh reward you good for what you have done to me this day.

20“Now, behold, I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand.
  21Swear now therefore to me by Yahweh that you will not cut off my seed after me and that you will not destroy my name out of my father’s house.”
  22David swore to Saul. Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 25
The Death of Samuel

1Samuel died, and all Israel gathered themselves together and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. David arose and went down to the wilderness of Paran.

David, Nabal, and Abigail

2There was a man in Maon whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats, and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
  3Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. And the woman was intelligent and had a beautiful figure, but the man was harsh and evil in his dealings. And he was of the house of Caleb.

4David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep.
  5David 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.
  6You are to tell him, ‘Long life to you! Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.
  7Now I have heard that you have shearers. Your shepherds have now been with us, and we didn’t hurt them, neither was there anything missing from them all the while they were in Carmel.
  8Ask your young men and they will tell you. Therefore let the young men find favor in your eyes, for we come in a good day. Please give whatever comes to your hand to your servants, and to your son David.’”

9When David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David and ceased.
  10Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants who break away from their masters these days.
  11Should I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men who I do not know where they come from?”

12So David’s young men turned on their way and went back and came and told him according to all these words.
  13David said to his men, “Every man put on his sword!” Every man put on his sword. David also put on his sword. About 400 men followed David, and 200 stayed by the baggage.

14But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them.
  15But the men were very good to us and we were not hurt, neither missed we anything as long as we went with them when we were in the fields.
  16They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.
  17Now therefore know and consider what you will do; for evil is determined against our master and against all his house, for he is such a son of Belial that one cannot speak to him.”

18Then Abigail hurried and took 200 loaves of bread, two bottles of wine, five sheep ready dressed, five measures of parched grain, 100 clusters of raisins and 200 cakes of figs and laid them on donkeys.
  19She said to her young men, “Go on before me. Behold, I come after you.” But she didn’t tell her husband Nabal.

20It was so, as she rode on her donkey and came down by the covert of the mountain, that behold, David and his men came down toward her and she met them.
  21Now David had said, “Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained to him. He has returned me evil for good.
  22God do so to the enemies of David, and more also, if I leave of all that belongs to him by the morning light so much as one who pisses against a wall.”

23When Abigail saw David, she hurried and alighted from her donkey and fell before David on her face and bowed herself to the ground.
  24She fell at his feet and said, “On me, my lord, on me be the iniquity, and please let your servant speak in your ears. Hear the words of your servant.
  25Please do not let my lord regard this son of Belial, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name and folly is with him. But I your servant didn’t see the young men of my lord whom you sent.
  26Now therefore, my lord, as Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, since Yahweh has withheld you from blood guiltiness, and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now therefore let your enemies and those who seek evil to my lord be as Nabal.
  27Now this present that your servant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord.
  28Please forgive the trespass of your servant girl. For Yahweh will certainly make my lord a sure house because my lord fights the battles of Yahweh. Throughout your days may evil not be found in you.

29“Though men may rise up to pursue you and to seek your soul, yet the soul of my lord will be bound in the bundle of life with Yahweh your God. He will sling out the souls of your enemies as from the pouch of a sling.
  30It will come to pass when Yahweh has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and will have appointed you ruler over Israel
  31that this will be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause or that my lord has avenged himself. When Yahweh has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant girl.”

32David said to Abigail, “Blessed is Yahweh the God of Israel who sent you this day to meet me!
  33Blessed is your discretion and blessed are you, that have kept me this day from blood guiltiness and from avenging myself with my own hand.
  34For indeed, as Yahweh, the God of Israel lives who has withheld me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely there would not have been left to Nabal by the morning light so much as one who pisses against a wall.”
  35So David received of her hand what she had brought him and he said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. Behold, I have listened to your voice and have granted your request.”

36Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he held a banquet in his house like the banquet of a king. Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken. Therefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.

37It came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, that his wife told him these things and his heart died inside him and he became like a stone.
  38It came to pass about ten days after that Yahweh struck Nabal so that he died.

39When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed is Yahweh who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal and has kept back his servant from evil. Yahweh has returned the evildoing of Nabal on his own head.”

David sent and spoke concerning Abigail to take her to him as wife.
  40When the servants of David had come to Abigail to Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as wife.”

41She arose and bowed herself with her face to the earth and said, “Behold, your servant girl is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.”
  42Abigail hurried and arose and rode on a donkey with five ladies of hers who followed her, and she went after the messengers of David and became his wife.

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

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David Again Spares Saul’s Life

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.”

17Saul knew David’s voice and said, “Is this your voice, my son David?”

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.”

21Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was prized in your eyes this day. Behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.”

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.”

25Then Saul said to David, “You are blessed, my son David. You will do many things and will succeed in them.” So David went his way and Saul returned to his place.

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David Flees to the Philistines

1Now David said in his heart, “I will now perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the land of the Philistines, and Saul will despair of me, to seek me any more in all the borders of Israel. So will I escape out of his hand.”
  2David arose and passed over, he and the 600 men who were with him, to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath.
  3David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s wife.
  4It was reported to Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he did not search for him any more.

5David said to Achish, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in one of the cities in the country, that I may dwell there. For why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?”
  6Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day; therefore Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah to this day.
  7The number of the days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.

8David and his men went up and made a raid on the Geshurites and the Girzites and the Amalekites, for those were the inhabitants of the land who were of old, as you go to Shur, even to the land of Egypt.
  9David struck the land and saved neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep and the cattle and the donkeys and the camels and the clothing; and he returned and came to Achish.
  10Achish said, “Against whom have you made a raid today?”

David said, “Against the Negev of Judah, against the Negev of the Jerahmeelites, and against the Negev of the Kenites.”

11David saved neither man nor woman alive to bring them to Gath, saying, “Lest they should tell of us, saying, ‘David did this, and this has been his way all the time he has lived in the country of the Philistines.’”
  12Achish believed David, saying, “He has made his people Israel utterly to abhor him. Therefore he will be my servant forever.”

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1It came to pass in those days that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare to fight with Israel. Achish said to David, “Know, yes, know that you are to go out with me in the army, you and your men.”

2David said to Achish, “Very well, you will come to know what your servant can do.”

Achish said to David, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard from now on.”

Saul and the Medium at Endor

3Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. Saul had put away out of the land those who had familiar spirits or consulted spirits of the dead.
  4The Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and encamped at Shunem, and Saul gathered all Israel together and they encamped at Mount Gilboa.
  5When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly.
  6And when Saul inquired of Yahweh, Yahweh did not answer him; not by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
  7Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who has a familiar spirit, that I may go to her and inquire of her.”

His servants said to him, “Behold, there is a woman who has a familiar spirit at Endor.”

8So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothing and went, he and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Please divine for me by the familiar spirit and bring me up whomever I will name to you.”

9And the woman said to him, “Behold, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off those who have familiar spirits and those who consult spirits of the dead out of the land. Why then do you lay a snare for my life to cause me to die?”

10Saul swore to her by Yahweh, saying, “As Yahweh lives, no punishment will happen to you for this thing.”

11Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

He said, “Bring Samuel up for me.”

12And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice; and the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”

13But the king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What do you see?”

The woman said to Saul, “I see a god coming up out of the earth.”

14He said to her, “What does he look like?”

She said, “An old man comes up. He is covered with a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and showed respect.

15Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

Saul answered, “I am very distressed, for the Philistines are making war against me, and God has departed from me and answers me no more; not by prophets nor by dreams. So I have called you to make known to me what I should do.”

16Samuel said, “Why then do you ask of me, since Yahweh has departed from you and has become your adversary?
  17Yahweh has done to you as he spoke by me. Yahweh has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, even to David.
  18Because you did not obey the voice of Yahweh and did not execute his fierce wrath on Amalek, therefore Yahweh has done this thing to you this day.
  19Moreover Yahweh will deliver Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines; and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. Yahweh will deliver the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.”

20Then immediately Saul fell full length on the ground and was terrified because of the words of Samuel, and there was no strength in him because he had eaten no bread all that day nor all that night.
  21And the woman came to Saul and saw that he was terrified and said to him, “Behold, your servant has listened to your voice, and I have put my life in my hand and have listened to your words that you spoke to me.
  22Now therefore, please listen also to the voice of your servant and let me set a morsel of bread before you; and eat, so that you will have strength when you go on your way.”

23But he refused and said, “I will not eat.” But his servants, together with the woman, constrained him, and he listened to their voice. So he arose from the earth and sat on the bed.

24The woman had a fattened calf in the house. She hurried and killed it, and she took flour and kneaded it and baked unleavened bread of it.
  25She brought it before Saul and before his servants, and they ate. Then they rose up and went away that night.

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The Philistines Reject David

1Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek, and the Israelites encamped by the spring that is in Jezreel.
  2The lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men passed on in the rear with Achish.
  3Then the officials of the Philistines said, “What about these Hebrews?”

Achish said to the officials of the Philistines, “Isn’t this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or rather these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell away to this day?”

4But the officials of the Philistines were angry with him, and the officials of the Philistines said to him, “Make the man return, that he may go back to his place where you have appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For with what should this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Should it not be with the heads of these men?
  5Is not this David of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying,

 ‘Saul has slain his thousands,

 David his 10,000’s?’”


6Then Achish called David and said to him, “As Yahweh lives, you have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the army is good in my eyes, for I have not found evil in you since the day of your coming to me to this day. Nevertheless, the lords do not favor you.
  7Therefore now return, and go in peace, so that you not displease the lords of the Philistines.”

8David said to Achish, “But what have I done? What have you found in your servant so long as I have been before you to this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”

9Achish answered David, “I know that you are good in my eyes, like an angel of God. Notwithstanding the officials of the Philistines have said, ‘He must not go up with us to the battle.’
  10Therefore now rise up early in the morning with the servants of your lord who have come with you, and as soon as you are up early in the morning and have light, depart.”
  11So David rose up early, he and his men, to depart in the morning to return into the land of the Philistines. The Philistines went up to Jezreel.

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 30
David's Wives Are Captured

1It came to pass when David and his men had come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev and on Ziklag, and had struck Ziklag and burned it with fire
  2and had taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They did not kill any, but carried them off and went their way.

3When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives and their sons and their daughters were taken captive.
  4Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voice and wept until they had no more power to weep.
  5David’s two wives were taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
  6David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David strengthened himself in Yahweh his God.

7David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring the ephod here to me.” Abiathar brought the ephod to David.
  8David inquired of Yahweh, saying, “If I pursue after this troop, will I overtake them?”

He answered him, “Pursue, for you will surely overtake them and will without fail recover all.”

9So David went, he and the 600 men who were with him, and came to the brook Besor where those who were left behind stayed.
  10But David pursued, he and 400 men; for 200 stayed behind who were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor.

11They found an Egyptian in the field and brought him to David and gave him bread, and he ate; and they gave him water to drink.
  12They gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. When he had eaten, his spirit came again to him, for he had eaten no bread nor drunk any water three days and three nights.

13David asked him, “To whom do you belong? Where are you from?”

He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me because three days ago I fell sick.
  14We made a raid on the Negev of the Cherethites and on what belongs to Judah, and on the Negev of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire.”

15David said to him, “Will you bring me down to this troop?”

He said, “Swear to me by God that you will neither kill me nor deliver me up into the hands of my master, and I will bring you down to this troop.”

David Defeats the Amalekites

16When he had brought him down, behold, they were spread around over all the ground, eating, drinking and dancing because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines and out of the land of Judah.
  17David struck them from the twilight even to the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped from there except 400 young men who rode on camels and fled.

18David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives.
  19There was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil nor anything that they had taken to them. David brought back all.
  20David took all the flocks and the herds that they drove before those other livestock and said, “This is David’s spoil.”

21David came to the 200 men who were so faint that they could not follow David whom also they had made to stay at the brook Besor, and they went forth to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. When David came near to the people, he greeted them.
  22Then all the wicked men, even sons of Belial of those who went with David, answered and said, “Because they did not go with us we will not give them anything of the spoil that we have recovered except to every man his wife and his children so that he may lead them away and depart.”

23Then David said, “You must not do this, my brothers, with what Yahweh has given to us. He has preserved us and gave the troop that came against us into our hand.
  24Who will listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so is to be his share who tarries by the baggage; they will share alike.”
  25It was so from that day forward that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.

26When David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil to the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, “Behold, a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of Yahweh.”
  27He sent it to those who were in Bethel and to those who were in Ramoth of the Negev and to those who were in Jattir,
  28and to those who were in Aroer and to those who were in Siphmoth and to those who were in Eshtemoa
  29and to those who were in Racal, and to those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to those who were in the cities of the Kenites,
  30and to those who were in Hormah and to those who were in Borashan and to those who were in Athach
  31and to those who were in Hebron and to all the places where David himself and his men used to stay.

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The Death of Saul and His Sons

1Now the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines and fell down slain on Mount Gilboa.
  2The Philistines followed hard on Saul and on his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.
  3The battle went hard against Saul and the archers overtook him, and he was greatly distressed by reason of the archers.
  4Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through and abuse me!” But his armor-bearer would not do it, for he was terrified. Therefore Saul took his sword and fell on it.
  5When his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he likewise fell on his sword and died with him.
  6So Saul died, and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men that same day together.

7When the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley and those who were beyond the Jordan saw that the men of Israel fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities and fled, and the Philistines came and lived in them.

8It came to pass on the next day when the Philistines came to strip the slain that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa.
  9They cut off his head and stripped off his armor and sent into the land of the Philistines all around, to carry the news to the house of their idols and to the people.
  10They put his armor in the house of the Ashtaroth and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.

11Now when the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul,
  12all 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 and burned them there.
  13They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh and fasted seven days.

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