And the Ziphitescame unto Saul to Gibeah,saying , Doth not Davidhide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is beforeJeshimon?2
Then Saularose , and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having threethousandchosenmen of Israel with him, to seekDavid in the wilderness of Ziph.3
And Saulpitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is beforeJeshimon, by the way. But Davidabode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saulcameafter him into the wilderness.4David therefore sent outspies , and understood that Saul was come in very deed .
And Davidarose , and came to the place where Saul had pitched : and Davidbeheld the place where Saullay , and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saullay in the trench,a and the peoplepitched round about him.
Then answeredDavid and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah,brother to Joab,saying , Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishaisaid , I will go down with thee.
So David and Abishaicame to the people by night: and, behold, Saullaysleeping within the trench, and his spearstuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the peoplelay round about him.
Then saidAbishai to David,God hath deliveredb thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once , and I will not smite him the second time .
And Davidsaid to Abishai,Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD'Sanointed, and be guiltless ?
10Davidsaid furthermore, As the LORDliveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die ; or he shall descend into battle, and perish .
The LORDforbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD'Sanointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go .
So Davidtook the spear and the cruse of water from Saul'sbolster; and they gat them away , and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked : for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.
Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a greatspace being between them:
And Davidcried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner,saying , Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abneranswered and said , Who art thou that criest to the king?15
And Davidsaid to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there cameone of the people in to destroy the king thy lord.16
This thing is not good that thou hast done . As the LORDliveth, ye are worthy to die,c because ye have not kept your master, the LORD'Sanointed. And now see where the king'sspear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.17
And SaulknewDavid'svoice, and said , Is this thy voice, my sonDavid? And Davidsaid , It is my voice, my lord, O king.18
And he said , Wherefore doth my lord thus pursueafter his servant? for what have I done ? or what evil is in mine hand?19
Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the kinghear the words of his servant. If the LORD have stirred thee up against me, let him acceptd an offering: but if they be the children of men,cursed be they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD,saying , Go , serveothergods.20
Now therefore, let not my bloodfall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seekaflea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.21
Then saidSaul, I have sinned : return , my sonDavid: for I will no more do thee harm , because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool , and have erredexceedingly .
And Davidanswered and said , Behold the king'sspear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.
The LORDrender to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORDdelivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD'Sanointed.24
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.25
Then Saulsaid to David,Blessed be thou, my sonDavid: thou shalt both dogreat things, and also shalt stillprevail . So Davidwent on his way, and Saulreturned to his place.