THE FIRST BOOK OF
1 Samuel 26 ©
Saul, having intelligence by means of the Ziphites where David was, seeks him, v. 1, etc. David coming to hear of it, spies out Saul’s camping-place, and takes away his spear, and water cup, or bottle; but will not suffer him to be hurt, 4. After that upbraids Abner with his negligence, 13. Admonishes Saul, 18. Who acknowledges his own fault, and David’s innocence, 21. They part in friendship, 25.
AND the 1Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, 2Doth not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon?
Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.
And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.
David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.
¶And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay in the 3trench, and 4the people pitched round about him.
Then 5answered David and said to Ahimelech the 6Hittite, and to Abishai the son of 7Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.
So David and Abishai came to 8the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him.
Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth 9at once, and I will not smite him the second time.
And David said to Abishai, 10Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against 11the LORD’S anointed, and be 12guiltless?
David said furthermore, 13As the LORD liveth, 14the LORD shall smite him; or 15his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.
The LORD forbid 16that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD's anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.
So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because 17a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.
¶Then David went over to the other side, and stood 18on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them:
And David cried 19to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou 20that criest to the king?
And David said to Abner, 21Art not thou a valiant man? and 22who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord.
This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the LORD liveth, 23ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the LORD's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.
And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king.
And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after 24his servant? for what have I done? or 25what evil is in mine hand?
Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD have 26stirred thee up against me, 27let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day 28from abiding 29in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, 30Go, serve other gods.
Now therefore, let not 31my blood fall to the earth 32before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, asa when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.
¶Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, 33because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.
And David answered and said, Behold the king's spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.
The LORD render to every man his 34righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against 35the LORD’S anointed.
And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.
Then Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David: 36thou shalt both do great things, and also 37shalt still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.