1 Samuel 26
David Spares Saul Again1 aThen the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding himself on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the east of Jeshimon?” 2So Saul arose and went down to bthe wilderness of Ziph with cthree thousand chosen men of Israel to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. 3And Saul encamped on the hill of Hachilah, which is beside the road on the east of Jeshimon. But David remained in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness, 4David sent out spies and learned that Saul had indeed come. 5Then David rose and came to the place where Saul had encamped. And David saw the place where Saul lay, with dAbner the son of Ner, the commander of his army. Saul was lying within ethe encampment, while the army was encamped around him.
6Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Joab’s brother fAbishai the son of Zeruiah, g“Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?” And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.” 7So David and Abishai went to the army by night. And there lay Saul sleeping within hthe encampment, with his spear stuck in the ground iat his head, and Abner and the army lay around him. 8Then Abishai said to David, j“God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear, and I will not strike him twice.” 9But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand kagainst the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?” 10And David said, l“As the Lord lives, mthe Lord will strike him, or nhis day will come to die, oor he will go down into battle and perish. 11 pThe Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. But take now the spear that is qat 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. No man saw it or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because ra deep sleep from the Lord had fallen upon them.
13Then David went over to the other side and stood far off on the top of the hill, with a great space between them. 14And David called to the army, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Will you not answer, Abner?” Then Abner answered, “Who are you who calls to the king?” 15And David said to Abner, “Are you not 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 that you have done is not good. sAs the Lord lives, you deserve to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, the Lord’s anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is and the jar of water that was tat his head.”
17Saul recognized David’s voice and said, u“Is this your voice, my son David?” And David said, “It is my voice, my lord, O king.” 18And he said, v“Why does my lord pursue after his servant? For what have I done? What evil is on my hands? 19Now therefore let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it is the Lord who has stirred you up against me, may he accept an offering, but if it is men, may they be cursed before the Lord, wfor they have driven me out this day that I should have no share in xthe heritage of the Lord, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ 20Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of the Lord, for the king of Israel has come out to seek ya single flea like one who hunts a partridge in the mountains.”
21Then Saul said, z“I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have acted foolishly, and have made a great mistake.” 22And David answered and said, “Here is the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and take it. 23 aaThe Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the Lord gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. 24Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation.” 25Then Saul said to David, “Blessed be you, my son David! You will do many things and will absucceed in them.” So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place.
Copyright information for ESV