1
THEN the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, Behold, David is hiding himself in Gibaoth-hawilah, which is before the wilderness.
2
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.
3
And Saul encamped in Gibaoth-hawilah, which is before the wilderness by the wayside.
But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him in the wilderness.
4
David therefore sent out spies, and learned that Saul had come after him.
5
And David arose and came to the place where Saul was encamped;
and David saw the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the commander of Saul’s army, was lying in the path, and the people were encamped round about him.
6
Then David said to Ahimeleck the Hittite and to Abishai the son of Zoriah, Joab’s brother, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul’s camp?
And Abishai said, I will go down with you.
7
So David and Abishai came to the people by night;
and, behold, Saul lay asleep in the path, with his spear lying on the ground by his bedside;
and Abner and the people lay round about him.
8
Then said Abishai to David, Your God has delivered your enemy into your hands this day;
now therefore let me smite him just once with this spear which is on the ground, and I will not smite him the second time.
9
But David said to Abishai, Destroy him not;
for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD’S anointed, and be guiltless?
10
David said furthermore, As the LORD lives, the LORD shall smite him;
or the day of his death shall come;
or he will be smitten in battle and perish.
11
The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth my hand against the LORD’S anointed;
but now take the spear that is by his bedside, and the jug of water, and let us go.
12
So David took the spear and the jug of water from Saul’s bedside;
and they went away, and no man saw it nor knew it, neither awaked, for they were all asleep;
because a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen upon them.
13
Then David went over to the other side from Saul, and stood on the top of a hill afar off, a great space being between them;
14
And David called to the king and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Will you not answer, Abner?
Then Abner answered and said, Who are you that calls to the king?
15
And David said to Abner, Are you not a valiant man?
And who is like you in all Israel?
Why then have you not guarded your lord the king?
For there came in one of the people today to destroy your lord the king.
16
This thing that you have done is not good.
As the LORD lives, you are worthy to die, because you have not guarded your master, the LORD’S anointed.
And now see where the king’s spear is, and the jug of water that was at his bedside.
17
And Saul heard David’s voice, and said to him, Is this your voice, my son David?
And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king.
18
Then David said, Why does my lord pursue after his servant?
For what have I done?
Or what evil is in my hands?
19
Now therefore, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant.
If the LORD has stirred you up against me, let us make an offering;
but if it be of men, cursed be they before the LORD;
for they have driven me out, that I should have no shelter in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve other gods.
20
Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth far off from the face of the LORD;
for the king of Israel has come out to seek a flea, as one who pursues a partridge in the mountain.
21
Then Saul said to David, 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 played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.
22
And David answered and said, Behold the king’s spear!
Let one of the young men come over and take it.
23
The LORD renders to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness;
for the LORD delivered you into my hands today, but I would not stretch forth my hand against the LORD’S anointed.
24
And, behold, as your life was highly esteemed this day in my sight, so my life shall be highly esteemed in the sight of the LORD.
25
Then Saul said to David, Blessed be you, my son;
you have surely done great things, and also you have surely prevailed.
So David went on his way, and Saul also returned to his house.