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David Again Spares Saul

26 The Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding on the hill of Hakilah opposite Jeshimon?” Then Saul got up and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, and three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.

Now Saul was on the hill of Hakilah, which is opposite Jeshimon by the road, but David was staying in the wilderness. When he realized that Saul had come to the wilderness after him, David sent spies, and he learned that Saul had come for certain.a Then David got up and came to the place where Saul had encamped, and David saw the place where Saul was lying down, as well asb Abner the son of Ner, the commander of his army. (Now Saul was lying in the encampment, and the army was encamping around him.)

David answered and said to Ahimelech the Hittite and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah the brother of Joab, saying, “Who will go down with me to Saul, in the camp?” And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.” So David and Abishai came to the army by night, and there wasc Saul lying asleep in the encampment withd his spear thrust into the ground near his head, and Abner and the army were lying all around him. Then Abishai said to David, “God has handed over your enemy into your hand today! So then, please let me pin him to the ground with the speare one time,f and I will not strike him twice.”g But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroyh him! For who has stretched out his hand against Yahweh’s anointed one and remained blameless?” 10 And David said, “As Yahweh lives,i certainlyj Yahweh will strike him, or his day will come and he will die, or he will go down in the battle and perish.k 11 Yahweh forbid mel from stretching out my hand against Yahweh’s anointed one! So then, please take the spear that is near his head and the jar of water, and let us go.” 12 So David took the spear and the jar of water from near Saul’s head, and they went away. No one saw, no one knew, and no one awakened,m for all of them were sleeping because a deep sleep of Yahweh had fallen upon them.

13 Then David went to the other side and stood on the top of the hill at a distance; the distance was great between them. 14 David called out to the army and to Abner the son of Ner, “Will you not answer, Abner?” And Abner answered and said, “Who are you that you call to the king?” 15 So David said to Abner, “Are you not a man? And who is like you in Israel? Why did you not keep watch over your lord the king? For one of the people came to destroyn your lord the king. 16 This thing that you have done is not good. As Yahweh lives,o surely you people deserve to diep since you have not kept watch over your lord, over Yahweh’s anointed one! So then, see where the king’s spear is and the jar of water that was near his head!” 17 Then Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And David said, “It is my voice, my lord the king.” 18 Then he said, “Why is my lord pursuing after his servant? For what have I done? And what evil is in my hand? 19 And so then, please let my lord the king listen to the words of his servant: If Yahweh has incited you against me, may he delight in an offering; but if it is mortals,q may they be accursed beforer Yahweh, for they have driven me away today from sharing in the inheritance of Yahweh, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods!’ 20 And so then, do not let my blood fall to the ground away froms the presence of Yahweh, for the king of Israel has gone out to seek a single flea, as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”

21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned! Come back, David my son, for I will not harm you again, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Look, I have acted like a fool and have made a terrible mistake.”t 22 David answered and said, “Here is the king’s spear; let one of the young menu come over and take it. 23 Yahweh repays to each one 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. 24 Look, as your life was precious in my eyes this day, may my life be great in the eyes of Yahweh, and may he rescue me from all trouble.” 25 Then Saul said to David, “Blessed are you, my son David; you will not only do many things, but also will always succeed!”v Then David went on his way and Saul returned to his place.


About The Lexham English Bible

The Lexham English Bible contains a translation of the original languages into smooth, readable English. It also contains copious footnotes which address translation issues, instances of Old Testament quotations in the New Testament, and various textual-critical issues. This translation also indicates the use of idioms in the Greek and Hebrew text. In cases where a literal rendering of Greek or Hebrew would prevent a smooth English translation, footnotes indicate the literal English translation, accompanied by explanatory notes as necessary.


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