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 the course of 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.
  2There is no one holy as Yahweh! There is no one other than you! There is no rock like our God.
  3Speak 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.
  4The bows of the mighty are shattered, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
  5Those 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.
  6Yahweh brings death and makes alive. He brings down to Sheol and brings up.
  7Yahweh makes poor and makes rich. He brings low, he also lifts up.
  8He 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.
  9He will guard the feet of his faithful ones but the wicked will become silent in darkness, for no man will prevail by strength.
  10As 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 rule 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 burned the fat into smoke, 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 burned, yes burned into smoke, 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.
  26Now the 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 burn incense and 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 sacrifices and at my offerings that I have commanded for my Dwelling, 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, but 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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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 am judging his house forever because of the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were cursing God 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 atoned for with sacrifice or offering forever.”
 

15And Samuel lay until the morning and opened the doors of the house of Yahweh. And Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision.
  16Then Eli called Samuel, and said, “Samuel, my son!” And he said, “Here I am.”
 

17And he said, “What is the word that he has spoken to you? Do not hide it from me! God do so to you, and more also, if you hide from me any word of all the words that he spoke to you.”
  18So Samuel told him all the words and hid nothing from him. And he said, “He is Yahweh. He will do whatever is good in his eyes.”
 

19And Samuel grew, and Yahweh was with him and he let none of his words fall to the ground.
  20And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of Yahweh.
  21And Yahweh continued to appear 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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1And the 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 the battle intensified, Israel was struck down before the Philistines, and they killed of the army in the field about 4,000 men.
 

3When the people had come back into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has Yahweh struck us down today before the Philistines? Let us take to ourselves the ark of the covenant of Yahweh out of Shiloh so that he will 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 land shook.
 

6When the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, “What does the noise of this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they learned that the ark of Yahweh had come into the camp.
  7Then the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “A god has come into the camp.” And 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.
  9Strengthen yourselves and be men, O Philistines, lest you have to serve the Hebrews as they have served you. Be men and fight!”
 

10So the Philistines fought and Israel was defeated and they fled, each man to his tent, and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel 30,000 foot soldiers.
  11And the ark of God was taken and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
 

The Death of Eli

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

14When Eli heard the noise of the shouting, he said, “What does the noise of this tumult mean?” And the man hurried and came and told Eli.
  15Now Eli was 98 years old, and his eyes had failed so that he could not see.
 

16And the man said to Eli, “I am the one who came from the battle line, and I fled today from the battle line.” He said, “How did things go, my son?”
 

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

19Now his 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 crouched down and gave birth, for her labor pains came suddenly upon her.
  20And about the time of her death, the women standing over her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have given birth to a son.” But she did not answer, nor did she pay attention.
  21And she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” because the ark of God had been taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband.
  22So she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God had been taken.”
 


1 Samuel Chapter 5  top  PDF  MSWord

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The Ark in Ashdod and Ekron

1Now the Philistines took the ark of God, and they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.
  2And the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.
  3And when the people of Ashdod got up early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh. So they took Dagon and set him back in his place.
  4But when they got up early the next morning, behold, Dagon had 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 and lying on the threshold. Only Dagon’s torso remained on him.
  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 the people of Ashdod, and he destroyed them and struck them with tumors, even Ashdod and its territory.
  7And when the men of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not stay with us, for his hand is severe against us and against Dagon our god.”
  8So they sent and gathered to themselves all the lords of the Philistines and said, “What should we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” And they answered, “Let the ark of the God of Israel turn toward Gath.” So they brought the ark of the God of Israel over there.
  9It was so, that after they had brought it over, the hand of Yahweh was against the city causing a very great panic; because 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. But it came to pass as the ark of God came to Ekron that the Ekronites cried out, saying, “They have brought around the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people.”
 

11So they sent and gathered to themselves all the lords of the Philistines and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel and let it go back to its own place so that it does not kill us and our people.” For there was a death-panic throughout all the city. The hand of God was very heavy there.
  12The men who did not die were afflicted with the tumors, and the city’s cry for help went up to the heavens.
 


1 Samuel Chapter 6  top  PDF  MSWord

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The Ark Returned to Israel

1And the ark of Yahweh was in the territory of the Philistines seven months.
  2And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What should we do with the ark of Yahweh? Let us know how we can send it to its place.”
 

3And they said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty, but return, yes, return to 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 gold tumors and five gold 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 are ruining 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? Was it not that when he dealt harshly with them, then they sent them away and they went away?
 

7So now take and prepare yourselves a new cart and two cows that are giving milk and on which there has never been a 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 objects of gold that you are returning to him for a trespass offering in a chest by its side, and send it away, that it may go away.
  9Then watch! If it goes up to Beth-shemesh on the road of his territory, 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 happened to us by chance.”
 

10And the men did so. And they took two cows that were giving milk and tied them to the cart and closed in their calves at home;
  11and they put the ark of Yahweh on the cart, and the chest with the gold mice and the images of their tumors.
  12The cows went straight on the road, on the road to Beth-shemesh. They stayed on one path, lowing as they went, and did not turn to the right or to the left, and the lords of the Philistines went after them to the border of Beth-shemesh.
 

13The people 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 stopped there. And a great stone was there, 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 were the objects of gold and put them on the great stone, and on that day the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices to Yahweh.
  16When the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.
 

17These are the gold tumors that the Philistines returned for a trespass offering to Yahweh: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron;
  18and the gold 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, as far as the great stone on which they set down the ark of Yahweh. To this day it is 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;a and the people mourned because Yahweh had struck the people with a great slaughter.
  20And the men of Beth-shemesh said, “Who is able to stand before Yahweh, this holy God? And to whom should he go up away from us?”
 

21And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim, saying, “The Philistines have returned the ark of Yahweh. Come down and take it up to yourselves.”
 


a[19]
“70” is the Septuagint. the Hebrew reads “70 men and 50,000 men”

1 Samuel Chapter 7  top  PDF  MSWord

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

Samuel Judges Israel

2And it came to pass, from the day that the ark stayed in Kiriath-jearim, that a long time passed, for it was twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after Yahweh.
  3Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you are returning to Yahweh with all your heart, remove 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.
 

5Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to Yahweh for you.”
  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 at 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.
  8And the children of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to Yahweh our God for us, so that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.”
 

9And Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it for a whole burnt offering to Yahweh, and Samuel cried out to Yahweh for Israel, and Yahweh answered him.
  10And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel, but Yahweh thundered with a loud sound on the Philistines on that day and threw them into a panic; and they were struck down before Israel.
  11Then the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them down as far as below Beth-car.
 

12Then Samuel took a stone and put it between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Yahweh helped us here.”
  13So the Philistines were subdued and they no longer came into the territory of Israel. And 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 territory out of the hand of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
 

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


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Israel Demands a King

1And it 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.
  3Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice.
 

4Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together and came to Samuel at Ramah,
  5and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old and your sons have not walked in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
 

6But the thing was evil in the eyes of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to Yahweh.
  7And Yahweh said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from reigning over them.
  8Just like all the works that they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day—they have forsaken me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also.
  9So now listen to their voice, but you must warn, yes, warn them and tell them the way of the king who will reign over them.”
 

Samuel's Warning Against Kings

10So Samuel told all the words of Yahweh to the people who asked him for a king.
  11And he said, “This will be the way of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for himself for his chariots and to be his horsemen, and they will run before his chariots.
  12And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to harvest his harvest and to make his implements of war and implements for his chariotry.
  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 the best of them, and give them to his servants.
  15And he will take the tenth of your seed and of your grape harvest and give it to his officers and to his servants.
  16And he will take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys, and make them do his work.
  17He will take a tenth of your flocks and you yourselves will be his slaves.
  18And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but Yahweh will not answer you in that day.”
 

19But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No! But a king must be over us,
  20so that we too may be like all the nations and so that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
 

21And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he spoke them into the ears of Yahweh.
  22Then Yahweh said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and make them a king.” And Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go, everyone, to his own city.”
 


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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, a handsome 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.
 

3Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to Saul his son, “Take one of the servants with you and arise, go search for the donkeys.”
  4And he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they were not found. 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!” Otherwise my father may stop caring about the donkeys and become anxious about us.”
 

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

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

8The servant answered Saul again and said, “Look, I happen to have in my hand the fourth 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 today called a prophet was formerly called a seer.)
 

10Then Saul said to his servant, “Good idea. 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?”
 

12And they answered them and said, “He is. See, he is ahead of you. Hurry now, for he has just come into the city today, for the people have a sacrifice today at the high place.
  13When you come into the city, you can find him before he goes up to the high place to eat, for the people will not eat until he comes, because he has to bless the sacrifice. Afterward, those who are invited eat. So now go up, for as for him, at this time you will find him.”
  14So they went up into the city. As they came into the midst of 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 upon my people because their cry has come to me.”
  17Now when Samuel saw Saul, Yahweh said to him, “Behold, the man who I spoke to you about! This is the one who will restrain my people.”
 

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

19And Samuel 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 send you off and will tell you everything that you are thinking.
  20As for your donkeys who were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they are found. For on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on you and on all your father’s house?”
 

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

22Then Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the banquet-room and gave them a place at the head of those who were invited, who were about thirty persons.
  23Then Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion that I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Put it aside, by you.’”
 

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

26And they arose early, and it came to pass about dawn that Samuel called to Saul on the roof, saying, “Get up, and I will send you off.” So Saul arose, and the two of them went out, he and Samuel, outside.
  27As they were going down, at the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to pass on ahead of us and when he has passed on you stay for a while so that I can make known to you the word of God.”
 


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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 as he turned his shoulder to go from Samuel, God changed his heart. And all those signs came to pass 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 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 a man from that place answered and said, “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.
 

14And Saul’s uncle said to him and to his servant, “Where did you go?” And he said, “To look for the donkeys. When we saw that they were not there, we went to Samuel.”
 

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

16And Saul said to his uncle, “He told, yes told us that the donkeys were found.” But concerning the matter of the kingship of which Samuel spoke, he did not tell him.
 

Saul Received as King

17And Samuel 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 myself 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, ‘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.
  21Then he 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 looked for him, he could not be found.
  22So they inquired further of Yahweh, “Is the man here yet?” Yahweh answered, “Behold, he has hidden himself among the equipment.”
 

23So they ran and took him from there, and when he stood among the people he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward.
  24And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the one whom Yahweh has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted and said, “Long live the king!”
 

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

26Saul also went to his house, to Gibeah, and the valiant ones whose hearts God had touched went with him.
  27But certain sons of Belial said, “How can this man save us?” They treated him with contempt and brought him no gifts. But he kept silent.
 


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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 cut a covenant with you: that all of your right eyes be gouged out; and so I will bring disgrace upon 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.”
 

4When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and spoke those words in the ears of the people, then all the people lifted up their voice and wept.
  5And behold, Saul came out of the field behind the oxen, and Saul said, “What is wrong with the people that they are crying?” Then they told him the words of the men of Jabesh.
 

6And the spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard those words, and his anger burned exceedingly.
  7And he took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, “Whoever does not come out to follow Saul and follow Samuel, so will it be done to his oxen.” And the terror of Yahweh fell on the people and they came out as one man.
 

8And he counted them in Bezek, and the children of Israel were 300,000 and the men of Judah 30,000.
  9And they said to the messengers who came, “Say this to the men of Jabesh-gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you will have deliverance.’” And the messengers came and told the men of Jabesh, and they rejoiced.
 

10So the men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you can do with us whatever seems good to you.”
 

11And the next day Saul put the people in three companies and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch and struck the Ammonites until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
 

Saul Confirmed as King

12And the people said to Samuel, “Who said, ‘Will Saul reign over us?’ Bring those men so that we may put them to death!”
 

13But Saul said, “No one will be put to death this day. For today Yahweh has brought about deliverance in Israel.”
 

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


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Samuel's Farewell Address

1And Samuel 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. Testify 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 bribe to blind my eyes with it? I will restore it to you.”
 

4They said, “You have not defrauded us nor oppressed us, nor have you taken anything from any man’s hand.”
 

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

6Then Samuel said to the people, “It is Yahweh who appointed Moses and Aaron and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.
  7So now stand still so that I may confront 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 settled them in this place.
  9But they forgot Yahweh their God, so 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.
  10Then they 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.’
  11So Yahweh sent Jerubbaal and Baraka and Jephthah and Samuel and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies all around you, and you lived in safety.
  12And when 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,’ even though Yahweh your God is your king!
 

13“And now behold the king whom you have chosen and whom you have asked for. 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 will be following Yahweh your God.
  15But if you will not listen to the voice of Yahweh, but rebel against the mouth of Yahweh, then the hand of Yahweh will be against you as it was against your fathers.
 

16“So now stand still and see this great sign that Yahweh is about to do before your eyes.
  17Is not the wheat harvest today? I will call to Yahweh so that he will send thunder and rain, and you will know and see that your evil is great that you have done in the eyes of Yahweh in that you asked for a king for yourselves.”
  18So Samuel called to Yahweh, and Yahweh sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared Yahweh and Samuel.
 

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

20Then Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid. You have done all this evil, but now do not turn aside from following Yahweh, but serve Yahweh with all your heart.
  21Do not turn aside to go after Empty-gods that cannot profit nor rescue, for they are emptiness.
  22For because of his great name Yahweh will not forsake his people, for Yahweh was pleased to make you a people to himself.
 

23“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against Yahweh by 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 see how he has done great things with you!
  25But if you will do evil, yes, evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”
 


a[11]
The LXX has “Barak”

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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 hill country of Bethel, and 1,000 were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin, and the rest of the people he sent home, each man to his tent.
 

3And Jonathan struck the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. And Saul blew the shofar throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear!”
  4And all 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 called together after Saul to Gilgal.
 

5Now the Philistines assembled themselves together to fight with Israel, 3,000 chariotsa and 6,000 horsemen and people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, and they came up, and encamped in Michmash east 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 cisterns.
  7Now some of the Hebrews had crossed over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. But as for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.
 

Saul Loses his Kingship

8And he waited 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.
 

10But as soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him to bless him in greeting.
  11But 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,
  12so I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against 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 commanded 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

16And Saul and Jonathan his son and the people who were present with them stayed in Geba of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.
  17And the 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 territory 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 exorbitant charge was two-thirds of a shekel for the plow blades, 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 Saul and Jonathan his son had them.
 

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


a[5]
Hebrew text reads 30,000

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Jonathan Defeats the Philistines

1That same day 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.”
 

7And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you are inclined 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 we 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 with his armor-bearer behind him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed after him.
  14Now that first slaughter that Jonathan and his armor-bearer made was about twenty men, in, as it were, half a furrow length of a team of oxen plowing in a field.
 

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 saw the multitude melt away, going back and forth.
  17Then Saul said to the people who were with him, “Count now and see who has gone out 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 on that day was with the children of Israel).
  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 were assembled 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 all around into the camp, they too went to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.
  22And when all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines fled, then they also pursued them in the battle.
  23So Yahweh saved Israel that day.

Saul’s Rash Vow

The battle crossed 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 of the land came into the forest, 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 were afraid of 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 be the man who eats food this day.’” And the people grew weary.
 

29Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. Look how my eyes have been brightened because I tasted a little of this honey.
  30How much better would it have been if the people had eaten, yes, eaten today of the spoil of their enemies that they found? For now the strike against 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 slaughtered them on the ground, and the people ate them with the blood.
  33Then they told Saul, saying, “Behold, the people are sinning against Yahweh by eating with the blood.” He said, “You have been unfaithful. Roll a large stone to me at once!”
  34And Saul said, “Spread out among the people and tell them, ‘Each man is to bring here to me his ox or his sheep and slaughter them here and eat. But do not sin against Yahweh by eating with the blood.’” So all the people—each man who had had one—brought his ox with him that night and they slaughtered them there.
  35So Saul built an altar to Yahweh. This was the first time he built an altar to Yahweh.
 

36And Saul said, “Let us go down after the Philistines by night and take plunder from them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them.” And they said, “Do whatever seems good in your eyes.” But the priest said, “Let us draw near to God here.”
 

37So Saul inquired of God, “Should I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into the hand of Israel?” But he did not answer him that day.
 

38Then Saul said, “Draw near here, all you “cornerstones” of the people, and know and see what sin was committed this day.
  39For as Yahweh lives who saves Israel, even if it be Jonathan my son, he will die, yes, 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 in your eyes.”
 

41So Saul said to Yahweh, the God of Israel, “Give a perfect lot.” And Jonathan and Saul were captured, but the people were let go.
 

42Then Saul said, “Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was captured.
  43Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done!” So Jonathan told him and said, “I tasted, yes, tasted a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand, and behold, here I am, must I now die?”
 

44But Saul said, “God do so and more also, for you will die, yes die, Jonathan.”
 

45But the people said to Saul, “Must Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! As Yahweh lives, if one of his hairs falls to the ground...for he has acted with God this day!” So the people rescued Jonathan, so that he did not 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 kingship 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, he was victorious.
  48He acted valiantly, and struck down the Amalekites and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.
 

49Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan and Ishvi and Malchishua, and the names of his two daughters: the name of the firstborn was Merab and the name of the younger was Michal;
  50and the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the leader 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.
 

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


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

1And Samuel said to Saul, “Yahweh sent me to anoint you to be king over his people, over Israel. So now, listen to the voice of the words of Yahweh.
  2This is what Yahweh of Armies says, ‘I will punish what Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him on 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.’”
 

4So Saul summoned the people and counted them in Telaim, 200,000 footsoldiers and 10,000 men of Judah.
  5And Saul came to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the valley.
  6And Saul 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.
 

7Then Saul struck down the Amalekites from Havilah as far as where you come to Shur, which is next to Egypt.
  8And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive but he 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 the cattle and the fatlings and the lambs and all that was good, and did not devote them to destruction. But all the property that was contemptible and worthless, they devoted that to destruction.
 

10Then the word of Yahweh came to Samuel, saying,
  11“I regret that I have made Saul to be king, for he has turned back from following me and has not fulfilled my words.” Samuel was angry and he cried out to Yahweh all night.
 

12And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, and it was told to 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 fulfilled the word of Yahweh!”
 

14But Samuel said, “Then what is this sound of the sheep in my ears and the sound of the cattle that I hear?”
 

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

16Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Let me tell you what Yahweh said to me last night.” So he said to him, “Speak.”
 

17Then Samuel 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 mission and said, ‘Go and devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’
  19So why did you not obey the voice of Yahweh, but swooped down upon the spoils, and did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh?”
 

20But Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of Yahweh, and have gone on the mission that Yahweh sent me on 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 best of the devoted things, to sacrifice to Yahweh your God in Gilgal.”
 

22But Samuel said, “Has Yahweh as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of Yahweh? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice; to listen than the fat of rams.
  23For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and stubbornness is as wickedness and teraphim.a Because you have rejected the word of Yahweh, he has also rejected you from being king.”
 

24Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of Yahweh and your words because I was afraid of the people and obeyed their voice.
  25So now, please forgive my sin and return with me so that I can bow downb before Yahweh.”
 

26But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of Yahweh, so Yahweh has rejected you from being king over Israel.”
  27As Samuel turned to go, Saul grabbed the edge of his cloak, and it tore.
  28And Samuel 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 Eternal One of Israel does not lie or change His mind, for he is not a human being, who changes his mind.”
 

30Then he said, “I have sinned, yet please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me so that I can bow down before Yahweh your God.”
  31So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul bowed down before Yahweh.
 

32Then Samuel said, “Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites!” Agag came to him confidently. Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”
 

33And Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so your mother will be childless among women!” Then Samuel slashed Agag to death before Yahweh in Gilgal.
 

34Then Samuel went to Ramah and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul.
  35And Samuel did not go again to see Saul until the day of his death, for Samuel mourned for Saul. And Yahweh regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.
 


a[23]
Teraphim were household gods
b[25]
Or, “worship”

1 Samuel Chapter 16  top  PDF  MSWord

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Samuel Anoints David

1Yahweh said to Samuel, “How long are you going to mourn for Saul since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go! I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have seen among his sons a king for me.”
 

2But Samuel 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.’
  3Then call Jesse to the sacrifice and I will show you what you are to do. You are to anoint for me the one whom I tell you.”
 

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

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 when they had come, he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely Yahweh’s anointed is 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 sees the outward appearance, but Yahweh sees the heart.”
 

8Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Yahweh has not chosen this one either.”
  9Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Yahweh has not chosen this one either.”
  10And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “Yahweh has not chosen these!”
  11Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the boys you have?” And he said, “There is still the youngest, but behold, he is shepherding the flock.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down to eat until he comes here.”
  12So he sent and brought him. 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

14Now the spirit of Yahweh had departed from Saul and an evil spirit from Yahweh terrorized him.
  15Then Saul’s servants said to him, “See now, an evil spirit from God is terrorizing 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. And when an evil spirit from God is on you then he can play it with his hand, and it will be good for you.”
 

17So Saul said to his servants, “Look for a man for me 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 knows how to play music, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech and a handsome man, and Yahweh is with him!”
 

19So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son who is with the flock.”
  20So Jesse 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.
  21So David came to Saul and stood before him, and he loved him greatly and he became his armor–bearer.
  22And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my eyes.”
  23And whenever the spirit from God was on Saul, David took the harp and played it with his hand, so Saul would find relief and it would be good for him, and the evil spirit would depart 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 forces 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 gathered and camped in the Valley of Elah, and had set their battle formations against the Philistines.
 

3The Philistines stood on the hills on the one side and Israel stood on the hills on the other side, and there was a valley between them.
  4And a champion went out from the camps of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.a
  5And he had a helmet of bronze on his head and he was clothed with a coat of scale-armor, and the weight of the armor was 5,000 shekels of bronze.b
  6He had greaves of bronze on his legs and a javelin of bronze between his shoulders.
  7The shaft 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.”
  10And the Philistine said, “I mock 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 old in the days of Saul, advanced in years among men.
  13Now they had gone—the three eldest sons of Jesse—had gone after Saul to the battle, and the name of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and his second Abinadab, and the third Shammah.
  14Now David was the youngest, and the three eldest had followed Saul.
  15Now David went back and forth from Saul to shepherd his father’s flock at Bethlehem.
 

16And the Philistine drew near morning and evening for forty days and took his stand.
  17Now Jesse said to David his son, “Take to your brothers an ephah of this parched grain and these ten loaves, and run them quickly to the camp to your brothers,
  18and bring these ten cut pieces of cheese to the leader of their 1,000 and see how your brothers are doing, and bring back assurance from them,
  19because Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel are in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.”
 

20So David rose up early in the morning and left the flock with a keeper, and took the supplies and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the perimeter of the camp just as the army was going out to the battle line shouting the battle cry.
  21And Israel and the Philistines set up their battle formations, army opposite army.
  22And David left the supplies in the hand of the keeper of the supplies and ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers.
  23And as he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the army of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before, and David heard them.
  24Now all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were greatly afraid.
 

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

26And David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this mocking from upon Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he has mocked the armies of the living God?”
 

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

28Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men, and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David and he said, “Why have you come down and with whom have you left that little flock in the wilderness? I know your pride and the wickedness of your heart, for you have come down in order to see the battle.”
 

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

31When the words that David spoke were heard, they told them in the presence of Saul, and he sent for him.
  32And David said to Saul, “Do not let anyone’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
 

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

34But David said to Saul, “Your servant was a shepherd for his father’s flock, and when a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock,
  35I went out after him and struck him and rescued it out of his mouth. When he arose against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him.
  36Your servant struck both the lion and the bear, and this uncircumcised Philistine will be as one of them, because he has mocked the armies of the living God.”
  37And David 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.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may Yahweh be with you.”
 

38Then Saul dressed David with his fighting attire. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and he clothed him with armor.
  39And David strapped his sword on his fighting attire and he tried to walk, for he was not used to them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I am not used to them.” So David took them off.
  40And he 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, namely in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.
 

41The Philistine advanced and drew near to David, and the man carrying the shield was before him.
  42When the Philistine looked and saw David, he had contempt for him because he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance.
  43And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
  44Then the 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 mocked.
  46This day Yahweh will deliver you into my hand and I will strike you down and remove your head from 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, so that all the earth will know that there is a God in Israel
  47and all this assembly will know that Yahweh does not save with sword and spear. For the battle is Yahweh‘s, and he will give all of you into our hand.”
 

48When the Philistine rose up and came and drew near to meet David, then David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
  49And David put his hand into his bag and 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 overcame 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.
  52Then the men of Israel and of Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines to the valley and as far as Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, as far as Gath and as far as Ekron.
 

53The children of Israel returned from a hot pursuit 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 commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.”
 

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

57As David returned from striking down the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.
  58And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” David answered, “The son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”
 


a[4]
Roughly 9 feet, 9 inches tall
b[5]
About 125 pounds
c[7]
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 bound together with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
  2And Saul 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 tunic that was on him and gave it to David, and his fighting attire, including his sword and his bow and his belt.
 

Saul is Jealous of David’s Success

5And David went out wherever Saul sent him and was successful, so 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.
 

6And it came to pass upon their coming back, 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 celebrating women answered one another and said, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”
 

8But Saul was very angry and this saying was evil in his eyes, 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 kingship?”
  9And Saul 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 midst of the house. David was playing the harp 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 to the wall!” But David escaped from his presence twice.
 

12And Saul was afraid of David because Yahweh was with him and had departed from Saul.
  13So Saul removed him from his presence and made him his commander over 1,000, and he went out and came in before the people.
  14And David was successful in all his activities because 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.
  17Then Saul said to David, “Here is my oldest daughter Merab, I will give her to you as a wife. Only be a son of valor for me and fight Yahweh’s battles.” For Saul said to himself, “Let not my hand be on him, but let the hand of the Philistines be on him.”
 

18And David said to Saul, “Who am I, and who are my living-relatives, my father’s clan in Israel, that I should become son-in-law to the king?”
  19But at the time for giving Merab, Saul’s daughter, to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.
 

David Marries Michal

20But Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David, and they told Saul and the matter was good in his eyes.
  21And Saul said to himself, “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.” So Saul said to David, “Through the second one you can this day be my son-in-law.”
 

22So Saul commanded his servants, “Talk with David secretly and say, ‘Look, the king delights in you, and all his servants love you, so now be the king’s son-in-law.’”
 

23So Saul’s servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, “Does it seem 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.”
 

25And Saul 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 was good in David’s eyes to become the king’s son-in-law. Not many days later
  27David arose and went, he and his men, and struck down of the Philistines 200 men, and David brought their foreskins and they gave them in full number to the king to become the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter as a wife.
  28Saul saw and knew that Yahweh was with David, and Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him.
  29And Saul became even more afraid of David, and Saul was hostile towards David continually.
 

30Then the commanders of the Philistines went out to battle, and it was, as often as they went out, that David was more successful than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was highly esteemed.
 


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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 greatly in David.
  2So Jonathan told David, saying, “Saul my father is seeking to kill you. So now, be on your guard in the morning and stay 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 whatever I find out I will tell you.”
 

4So Jonathan spoke well 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 deeds have been very beneficial to you,
  5for he took his life in his hand and struck down the Philistine, and Yahweh worked a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. So why would 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.”
  7So Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all those words. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.
 

8And there was war again. So David went out and fought with the Philistines and struck them down with a great slaughter, and they fled from before him.
 

9But an evil spirit from Yahweh came upon Saul as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was playing the harp with his hand.
  10And Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he escaped from the presence of Saul so that he struck the spear into the wall. And David fled and got away that night.
  11And Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him and to kill him in the morning. And 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. And he went, fled, and got away.
  13Michal took the teraphima and laid it in the bed, and put a tangle of goats’ hair at its head and covered it with clothes.
  14When Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.”
 

15Then Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed, so that I can put him to death.”
  16But when the messengers came in, behold, the teraphim was in the bed with the tangle of goats’ hair at its head.
 

17Then Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this and let my enemy go, so that he got away?” And Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go! Why should I kill you?’”
 

18And David fled and escaped and came to Samuel to Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth.
 

19And it was told to Saul, saying, “Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.”
  20Then Saul sent messengers to take David, and they saw the company of the prophets prophesying and Samuel standing there, stationed over them. And the spirit of God came on the messengers of Saul and they prophesied—they too.
  21When it was told to Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied.
  22Then he also went to Ramah, and came to the large cistern that is in Secu, and he asked and said, “Where are Samuel and David?” And someone 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, going along and prophesying until he came to Naioth in Ramah.
  24And he also stripped off his clothes and he also prophesied before Samuel, and he lay down naked all that day and all that night. That is why they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
 


a[13]
Teraphim were household gods

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David and Jonathan

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

2But he said to him, “Far from it! You will not die. Behold, my father does nothing either great or small without making it known to me, so why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so.”
 

3But David swore again and said, “Your father knows, yes, knows that I have found favor in your eyes, and he said to himself, ‘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 do it for you.”
 

5So David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I am to sit, yes, sit with the king to eat, but let me go so that I can hide myself in the field until the third day at evening.
  6If your father notices, yes, notices my absence, then say, ‘David asked, yes, asked me if he could run to Bethlehem, his city, for it is the yearly sacrifice there for the entire clan.’
  7If he says, ‘Good,” then it is well with your servant. But if he becomes angry, yes, angry, then know that evil has been decided by him.
  8So deal faithfully 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. Why should you bring me to your father?”
 

9But Jonathan said, “Heaven forbid!” For if I were to know, yes, know that evil has been decided by my father to come upon you, then would I not tell that to you?”
 

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

11Jonathan said to David, “Come and let us go out into the field.” So they both went out into the field.
  12Jonathan said to David, “By Yahweh the God of Israel, when I have investigated 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 make it known to you?
  13Yahweh do so to Jonathan, and more also, should it please my father to do you evil, if I do not make it known to you and send you away, so that you can go in peace, and Yahweh be with you as he has been with my father.
  14Will you not, while I am still alive, will you not deal with me according to the faithfulness of Yahweh, so that I do not die?
  15And also do not cut off your faithfulness from my house forever, no, not even when Yahweh has cut off the enemies of David—every one of them—from the face of the ground.”
  16So Jonathan cut a covenant with the house of David, saying, “Let Yahweh seek it from the hand of David’s enemies.”
  17And Jonathan made David swear an oath again because of the love that he had for 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 noticed because your empty place will be noticed.
  19When you have stayed away three days, go down quickly and come to the place where you hid yourself when this started, and wait by the stone Ezel.
  20I will shoot three arrows to its side as though I shot at a target.
  21Behold, I will send the boy, saying, ‘Go find the arrows!’ If I say to the boy, ‘Behold, the arrows are on this side of you, get them,’ then come, for as Yahweh lives there is peace to you and no problem.
  22But if I say this to the boy, ‘Behold, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go, for Yahweh has sent you away.
  23And as for the matter about which you and I have spoken, 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 down at the feast to eat.
  25The king sat on his seat as at other times, 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 because he said to himself, “It is an accident. He is not ritually clean. Surely he is not clean.”
 

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

28Jonathan answered Saul, “David asked, yes, asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem.
  29He said, ‘Please let me go, for our clan has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. So now, if I have found favor in your eyes, please let me go away and see my brothers.’ That is why 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 rebellion! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your 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. So now send and bring him to me, for he must die!”a
 

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

33Then Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him down, and so Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death.
  34So Jonathan arose from the table in blazing anger and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was pained for David because his father had dishonored him.
 

35So in the morning Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a young boy was with him.
  36And he said to his lad, “Run, find the arrows that I shoot.” As the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
  37When the boy had come to the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called to the boy and said, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?”
  38Jonathan called out to the boy, “Go fast! Hurry! Do not stop!” So Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows and came to his lord.
  39But the boy did not know anything. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter.
  40Then Jonathan 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 from the south of the stone Ezel and fell with his face to the ground and bowed downb three times. They kissed one another and wept with one another, and David continued weeping a great deal.
 

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


a[31]
Heb. “he is a son of death”
b[41]
Or, “worshiped”

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David and the Holy Bread

1Then David came to Nob to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech trembled when he met David, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one is with you?”
 

2David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything about the matter on which I am sending you and what I have charged you.’ And I have directed the young men to such and such a place.”
  3So now, what is under your hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand or whatever is here.”
 

4And the priest answered David and said, “There is no common bread in my possession, but there is holy bread, provided that the young men have kept themselves from women.”
 

5David answered the priest and said to him, “Truly, women have been kept from us 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 so today will 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 in order to put hot bread in its place on 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 chief of the shepherds of Saul.
 

8And David said to Ahimelech, “Is there not here in your possession a spear or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me because the king’s business required haste.”
 

9And the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine whom you struck down 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.” And David said, “There is none like that. Give it to me.”
 

David Flees to Gath

10So David arose and fled that day from Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.
  11The servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David, the king of the land? Did they not sing one to another about him in dances, saying, ‘Saul has slain his thousands and David his 10,000’s?’”
 

12And David took these words to heart and was very afraid in the presence of Achish the king of Gath.
  13So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be mad in their hands, and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his saliva run down on his beard.
 

14Then Achish said to his servants, “Look! You see the man is mad. Why have you brought him to me?
  15Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this one to act the madman around me? Should this one come into my house?”
 


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David at Adullam and Mizpah

1So David left 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.
  2And everyone who was in distress and everyone who was in debt and everyone who was discontented gathered themselves to him, and he became the leader over them, and there were about 400 men with him.
 

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

5But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Leave, and go into the land of Judah.” So David left and came into the forest of Hereth.
 

Saul Kills the Priests at Nob

6And Saul heard that David was discovered, and also the men who were with him. Now Saul was sitting in Gibeah under the tamarisk tree on the hill with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing in attendance around him.
  7Saul said to his servants who were standing around him, “Now listen, O Benjamites! Will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds,
  8that all of you have conspired against me and there is none who reveals to me when my son cuts a covenant with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you who is sorry for me or reveals to me that my son has caused my servant to rise up against me to lie in ambush, as he is today?”
 

9Then Doeg the Edomite who was standing in attendance with the servants of Saul answered and said, “I saw the son of Jesse come to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.
  10He inquired of Yahweh for him, gave him provisions and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”
 

11Then the king sent messengers to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house who were in Nob, the priests, and all of them came to the king.
  12And Saul said, “Now listen, O son of Ahitub.” And he answered, “Here I am, my lord.”
 

13And Saul 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, so that he has risen against me to lie in ambush, as he is 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 commander over your bodyguard and is honorable in your house?
  15Is today the first time that I have inquired of God for him? Be it far from me! May the king not lay an accusation against his servant, nor against any of the house of my father, for your servant knows nothing of all this, either small or great.”
 

16But the king said, “You will die, yes, die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house!”
 

17Then the king said to the guards who were standing around him, “Turn and kill the priests of Yahweh, because their hand also is with David, and because they knew that he was fleeing and did not reveal it to me.” But the servants of the king would not stretch forth their hand to attack the priests of Yahweh.
 

18Then the king said to Doeg, “Turn and attack the priests!” So Doeg the Edomite turned and attacked the priests, and he killed on that day 85 people who wore a linen ephod.
  19And he 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.
 

20But one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub named Abiathar escaped and fled to David.
  21And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of Yahweh.
  22And David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would tell, yes, tell Saul. I myself have turned against the life of all the people of your father’s house.
  23Stay with me and do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life. For with me you are protected.”
 


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David Saves the City of Keilah

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

2So David inquired of Yahweh, saying, “Should I go and strike these Philistines?” And Yahweh said to David, “Go strike the Philistines and save Keilah.”
 

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

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

7It was told to Saul that David had come to Keilah. And Saul said, “God has made him known and 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 go down to war at Keilah, to besiege David and his men.
 

9When David knew that Saul was planning evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.”
 

10Then David said, “O Yahweh, God of Israel, your servant has heard, yes, heard that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to bring ruin to the city because of me.
  11Will the men of Keilah betray me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O Yahweh, God of Israel, please tell your servant.” And Yahweh said, “He will come down.”
 

12Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah betray me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And Yahweh said, “They will betray you.”
 

13Then David and his men, who were about 600, arose and departed out of Keilah and went wherever they could go. It was told to Saul that David had escaped from Keilah and he ceased going out there.
  14And David stayed in the wilderness, in the strongholds, and stayed in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.
 

David and Jonathan’s Covenant

15And David 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 at Horesh and strengthened his hand in God.
  17And he 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 second-in-command to you. My father Saul knows this also.”
  18Then the two of them cut a covenant before Yahweh, and David stayed at Horesh and Jonathan went to his house.
 

Saul Pursues David

19Then some 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?
  20So now, O king, come down, according to all your soul’s desire to come down, and our part will be to hand him over into the king’s hand.”
 

21And Saul said, “You are blessed by Yahweh, for you have taken pity on me.
  22Please go make sure once more, and know and see the place where his foot is and who has seen him there, for they have said to me that he is crafty, yes, crafty.”
  23So see and find out about all of the hiding places where he hides himself, and come again to me with dependable information and I will go with you, and it will be that if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.”
  24So they arose and went to Ziph ahead of Saul. Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of Jeshimon.
  25And Saul 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.
 

26And Saul went on this side of the hill and David and his men on the other side of the hill, and David hurried to get away for fear of Saul, for Saul and his men were surrounding David and his men to catch them.
  27But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid on the land!”
  28So Saul turned back from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines, so they called that place the Rock of Separation.
  29Then David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of En-gedi.
 


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David Spares Saul’s Life

1It came to pass when Saul returned from following the Philistines that it was told to 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 face of the cliffs of the wild goats.
  3He came to the sheep pens along the path, and there was a cave there, and Saul went in to cover his feet. Now David and his men were staying in the innermost recesses of the cave.
  4And David’s men said to him, “Behold, the day of which Yahweh said to you, ‘Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand and you will do to him as is good in your eyes.’” Then David arose and secretly cut off the corner of Saul’s cloak.
 

5But it came to pass afterward that David’s heart struck him because he had cut off the corner of Saul’s cloak.
  6He said to his men, “Yahweh forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, Yahweh’s anointed,a to stretch out my hand against him, since he is Yahweh’s anointed.”
  7So David restrained his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. Then Saul rose up out of the cave and went on down the path.
  8Then David rose up afterward and went out of the cave and called out after Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David kneeled and bowed down with his face to the earth.
  9And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to men’s words, saying, ‘Behold, David is seeking to do you harm?’
  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 had compassion on you and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is Yahweh’s anointed.’
  11Moreover, my father, see! Indeed, see the corner of your cloak in my hand. By the fact that I cut off the corner of your cloak but did not 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 against you, but my hand will not be upon you.
  13As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘From the wicked comes out wickedness,’ so my hand will not be upon you.
  14After whom has the king of Israel come out? After whom are you pursuing? After a dead dog? After a flea?
  15May Yahweh be the judge and pass judgment between me and you, and see and plead my cause, and judge to deliver me out of your hand.”
 

16And when David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept.
  17And he 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 told me this day how you have dealt well with me; how Yahweh gave me over into your hand, yet you did not kill me.
  19For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away unharmed? So may Yahweh reward you good in return for what you have done to me this day.
 

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


a[6]
“Anointed” is the word transliterated as “Messiah”

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The Death of Samuel

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

David, Nabal, and Abigail

2There was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel. And the man was very wealthy, 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 was 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.
 

4Now David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep.
  5So David 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, ‘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. Now your shepherds have been with us and we did not mistreat them, nor was there anything missing from them the whole time they were in Carmel.
  8Ask your young men and they will tell you. So let the young men find favor in your eyes, for we come at a festive time. Please give whatever your hand finds to your servants and to your son David.’”
 

9So David’s young men came and spoke to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and then they waited.
  10Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? These days there are many servants who break away, each one from his lord.
  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 are from I do not know where?”
 

12So David’s young men turned back on their path and returned and came and told him according to all these words.
  13Then David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every man strapped on his sword, and David also strapped on his sword. About 400 men followed David and 200 stayed by the supplies.
 

14But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Behold, David sent messengers from the wilderness to give a greeting of blessing to our lord, but he shrieked at them.
  15But the men were very good to us and we were not mistreated, nor did we miss anything the whole time we went around with them when we were in the fields.
  16They were a wall around us both by night and by day all the days we were with them keeping the sheep.
  17So now know this and consider what you will do, for evil is determined against our lord 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 skins of wine, five sheep already prepared, five measures of parched grain, 100 clusters of raisins and 200 cakes of figs and put them on donkeys.
  19Then she said to her young men, “Go on before me. Behold, I come after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.
 

20It was so, just as she rode on her donkey and came down under the cover of the mountain, that behold, David and his men came down toward her, and she met them.
  21Now David had said, “Surely in vain I have guarded all that this man has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him. He has returned to 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 so much as one who pisses against a wall.”
 

23When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from her donkey and fell on her face before David and bowed down to the earth.
  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 pay any mind to this man of Belial, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name and folly is with him. But as for me, your servant, I did not see my lord’s young men, whom you sent.
  26And now, my lord, as Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, since Yahweh has prevented you from coming into blood-guilt and from saving yourself by your own hand, so now let your enemies and those who seek evil against my lord be as Nabal.
  27Now this token-of-blessing that your servant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who are going about in the footsteps of my lord.
  28Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For Yahweh will make, yes, make my lord a lasting house because my lord fights the battles of Yahweh. May no evil be found in you all your days!
 

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. But the souls of your enemies, those he will sling out 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 has commissioned you ruler over Israel
  31that this will be no obstacle to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause or that my lord has saved himself. And when Yahweh has done good to my lord, then remember your servant.”
 

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

36And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was having a banquet in his house like the banquet of a king. Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk. So she told him not a word, neither small nor big, until the morning light.
 

37But then in the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things and his heart died inside him and he became like a stone.
  38And it came to pass about ten days later that Yahweh struck Nabal and he died.
 

39And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed is Yahweh who has upheld my cause against the insult that came from the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from evil. Yahweh has returned the evildoing of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent and spoke with Abigail about taking her to himself as a 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 a wife.”
 

41Then she arose and bowed down with her face to the earth and said, “Behold, your servant is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.”
  42And Abigail hurried and arose and rode on a donkey with five young women of hers who followed her, and she went after the messengers of David and became a wife to him.
 

43And David had taken Ahinoam of Jezreel, and both, the two of them, were 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

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

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

9But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put forth his hand against Yahweh’s anointed and be guiltless?”
  10And David said, “As Yahweh lives, Yahweh will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and be swept away.
  11Yahweh forbid that I should stretch out my hand against Yahweh’s anointed. But now take the spear that is by his head and the jar of water, and let 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, or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep because a deep sleep from Yahweh had fallen upon them.
  13Then David crossed over to the other side and stood far off, on the top of the mountain, a great space being between them,
  14and David called out to the people and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Will you not answer, Abner?” Then Abner answered, “Who are you who called to the king?”
 

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

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

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

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

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


a[19]
Lit. “smell”

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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, yes, escape into the land of the Philistines, and Saul will give up seeking for me any more in all the territory of Israel. So I will escape out of his hand.”
  2So David arose and crossed over, he and the 600 men who were with him, to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath.
  3And David stayed with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household. David was 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.
 

5And David said to Achish, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, let me be given 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?”
  6So Achish gave him Ziklag that day; so 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 year and four months.
 

8And David 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, as far as the land of Egypt.
  9And David struck the land and did not leave alive a man or woman, and took away the sheep and the cattle and the donkeys and the camels and the clothing, and he returned and came to Achish.
  10And Achish said, “Where have you made a raid today?” And David said, “Against the Negev of Judah, against the Negev of the Jerahmeelites, and against the Negev of the Kenites.”
 

11David did not leave alive a man or a woman to bring to Gath, saying, “Lest they report about us, saying, ‘This is what David did, and this has been his way the whole time he has lived in the country of the Philistines.’”
  12So Achish came to trust David, saying, “He has made himself a stench, yes, a stench among his people Israel, and so he will be my servant forever.”
 


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1Now it came about in those days that the Philistines gathered their armies together into an armed force to fight with Israel. And Achish said to David, “Know, yes, know that you will go out with me in the army, you and your men.”
 

2Then David said to Achish, “Then you will come to know what your servant can do.” And Achish said to David, “Then 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, in his own city, and Saul had removed from the land those who inquired of spirits or had familiar spirits.
  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 asked 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 possesses 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 En-dor.”
 

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

9And the woman said to him, “Behold, you know what Saul has done, how he has removed from the land those who inquire of spirits or have familiar spirits. So why do you lay a snare for my life to cause me to die?”
 

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

11Then the woman said, “Whom do you want me to bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel 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 did you see?” The woman said to Saul, “I saw gods coming up out of the earth.”
 

14Then he said to her, “What is his appearance?” And she said, “An old man is coming up. He is covered with a cloak.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he kneeled and bowed down with his face to the ground.
 

15And Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul answered, “I am exceedingly distressed, for the Philistines are making war against me, and God has turned away from me and no longer answers me; not by prophets nor by dreams. So I have called you to make known to me what I should do.”
 

16Then Samuel said, “So why do you ask of me, since Yahweh has turned away from you and has become your foe?
  17Yahweh has done to you as he spoke by my hand. Yahweh has torn the kingdom out of your hand and has given it to your neighbor, even to David.
  18Because you did not obey the voice of Yahweh and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore Yahweh has done this thing to you this day.
  19And Yahweh will give Israel as well as you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. Yahweh will also give the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.”
 

20Then immediately Saul fell full stature on the ground and was exceedingly afraid because of the words of Samuel, and there was no strength in him because he had eaten no food all that day nor all that night.
  21And the woman came to Saul and saw that he was exceedingly 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.
  22So now please listen also to the voice of your servant and let me set a piece 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, compelled him, and he listened to their voice. So he arose from the earth and sat on the bed.
 

24Now the woman had a fattened calf in the house. So she hurried and slaughtered it, and she took flour and kneaded it and baked unleavened bread from 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 proceeded on by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men proceeded on in the rear with Achish.
  3Then the commanders of the Philistines said, “What about these Hebrews?” And Achish said to the commanders of the Philistines, “Is this not David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, who has been with me now for days and years, and from the day he fell in with me until this day I have found no fault in him.”
 

4But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him, and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Make the man return, so that he goes back to his place, which you have assigned to him. He must not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For how would this man reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of these men?
  5Is not this David about whom they sang to each other as they danced, 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. But in the eyes of the Philistine lords you are not good.
  7So now return, and go in peace, so that you do not do evil in the eyes of the lords of the Philistines.”
 

8But David said to Achish, “But what have I done? What have you found in your servant from the first day that I was before you to this day, that I cannot go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”
 

9And Achish answered David, “I know that you are good in my eyes, like an angel of God. Even so, the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He must not go up with us to the battle.’
  10So 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, go.”
  11So David rose up early, he and his men, to go in the morning and return to the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
 


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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 they took captive the women and all who were in it, both young and old. They did not put any to death, 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 strength in them to weep.
  5And David’s two wives had been 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 all the people were bitter of soul, each man for his sons and for his daughters, but David found strength in Yahweh his God.
 

7David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring the ephod here to me.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David.
  8And David asked of Yahweh, saying, “Should I pursue after this troop? Will I overtake them?” And he answered him, “Pursue, for you will overtake, yes, overtake, and will rescue, yes, rescue.”
 

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.
 

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

13And David asked him, “To whom do you belong? Where are you from?” He said, “I am a young servant from Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my lord 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.”
 

15And David said to him, “Will you bring me down to this troop?” He said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me over into the hand of my lord, and I will bring you down to this troop.”
 

David Defeats the Amalekites

16And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread out over all the land, eating, drinking, and celebrating because of all the large amount of spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah.
  17And David struck them from the evening breeze to the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped from there except 400 young servants who rode on camels and fled.
 

18So David rescued all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives as well.
  19There was nothing of theirs missing; neither young nor old, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil nor anything that they had taken for themselves. David brought back everything.
  20And David took all the flocks and the herds, and they drove them ahead of the other livestock and they said, “This is David’s spoil.”
 

21David came to the 200 men who were so faint that they could not follow David—who were made to stay at the brook Besor—they went out 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, men of Belial, of those who went with David, answered and said, “Because they did not go with me, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered except to each 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 protected us and gave the troop that came against us into our hand.
  24Who will listen to you in this matter? For as is the share of the one who goes down to the battle, so is the share of the one who remains by the supplies; they will share alike.”
  25And it was so from that day forward that he made it a law and an ordinance for Israel to this day.
 

26When David came to Ziklag, he sent some of the spoil to his friends, to the elders of Judah, saying, “Behold, a blessing for you from 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 go.
 


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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 31
 
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.
  2And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchishua, sons of Saul.
  3The battle was heavy around Saul and the shooters—the men of the bow—found him, and he was severely wounded by 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 torture me!” But his armor-bearer would not do it, for he was terrified. So Saul took the 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 three of his sons and his armor-bearer and all his men that same day together.
 

7And when 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 settled 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.
  9Then they cut off his head and stripped off his armor and sent word all around to the land of the Philistines, to declare the good news in the house of their idols and to the people.
  10And they put his armor in the house of the Ashtaroth and they nailed 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.
  13Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh and fasted seven days.
 


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