1 Samuel 26

1Saul, informed by the Ziphites of David's abode, cometh against him to Hachilah. 5David coming into the trench findeth Saul and his servants asleep; he stayeth Abishai from killing Saul, but taketh his spear and cruse. 13David reproveth Abner's negligence, protesteth his own innocency, and exhorteth Saul to desist from pursuing him. 21Saul acknowledgeth his sin, and returneth home.

1AND the 1Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, 2Doth not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon?

1 This is the second treachery of the Ziphites, the first is described, 1 Sam. 23:19.

2 As if they would say: Yea certainly, he is come again to us, and hides himself on, etc.

2Then 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.

3And 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.

4David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.

5¶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.

3 See the annotation 1 Sam. 17:20.

4 Other, men of war.

6Then 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.

5 That is, spoke, for there is no question before it.

6 Namely, by descent, but by religion an Israelite or proselyte. They are properly called Hittites that descended from Heth, the son of Canaan: See Gen. 10:15; 15:20.

7 This was David’s sister, she had three sons, namely, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel, who from the mother are called the sons of Zeruiah, here, and 1 Chron. 2:16, in respect of David’s fame or renown; but no mention is made of their father.

7So 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.

8 Namely, in the camp of Saul.

8Then 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.

9 Or, with one blow. As if Abishai would say: I shall strike him with the first blow as such that I shall surely kill him outright, and shall not need to smite him the second time.

9And David said to Abishai, 10Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against 11the LORD’S anointed, and be 12guiltless?

10 That is, do not kill him.

11 See 1 Sam. 24:7 in the annotation.

12 That is, unpunished.

10David 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.

13 Understand in addition, I will not permit it.

14 As if David would say: I will let the Lord do with him what pleases Him; as for me, I will not lay my hand on him.

15 That is, the time which God has appointed and ordered him to die his natural death. See Job 15 on verse 32.

11The 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.

16 Hebr. from laying mine hand.

12So 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.

17 That is, a very deep sleep sent from God.

13¶Then David went over to the other side, and stood 18on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them:

18 Hebr. on the head.

14And 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?

19 Namely, to Saul’s soldiers.

20 As if Abner would say: Who art thou, that thus criest, roarest, that thou even sparest not the king himself, but awakest him also out of his sleep?

15And 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.

21 This question affirms, as elsewhere besides. As if he would say: Abner, thou art indeed a stout man, a hero, valiant and courageous.

22 As if he had said: No man is like to thee in strength, and valor.

16This 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.

23 That is, ye have deserved death.

17And 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.

18And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after 24his servant? for what have I done? or 25what evil is in mine hand?

24 That is, me.

25 That is, what evil have I done? See the annotation 1 Sam. 24:12.

19Now 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.

26 Namely, by His command, or special ordinance.

27 Or thus: He will smell the meat offering. Some do understand this thus: If God hath commanded thee to do this, then He will accept thy meat offering. Others thus: then will I appease the Lord with sacrifice for the sin, whereby I have deserved it.

28 That is, so that I cannot constantly dwell where the service and worship of God is performed, but am constrained to rove continually about and to flee from place to place.

29 That is, with the people of the Lord, which are as dear unto Him as an inheritance can be to any man.

30 That is, they move me as much as in them lies, to fall away from the true worship of God to the idolatry of the Gentiles.

20Now 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.

31 As if he had said: The Lord before Whose face I walk uprightly, suffer thee not to spill my blood.

32 That is, the Lord does see it, and does punish it. Other, from before the face of the Lord.

a 1 Sam. 24:15.

21¶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.

33 That is, because thou hast spared me, and hast not taken away my life, whereas indeed thou couldst have done it.

22And David answered and said, Behold the king's spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.

23The 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.

34 That is, according as everyone has walked uprightly, and has kept faith and truth.

35 That is, against thee, who art the Lord’s anointed.

24And, 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.

25Then 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.

36 Hebr. doing thou shalt do it, and prevailing thou shalt prevail.

37 That is, Thou shalt be too strong for thine enemies, and thou shalt overpower them. Others take it in this sense: Go on in like manner in all thy affairs with righteousness and faithfulness, as thou doest towards me, and doubt not but thou shalt prevail, and get the upper-hand, and attain to the kingly honor and dignity.