1 And the Ziphites come out of the dry country to Saul to the hill, saying, Behold, David hides himself with us in the hill Echela, opposite Jessemon.
2 And Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, and with him three thousand men chosen out of Israel, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.
3 And Saul encamped in the hill of Echela in front of Jessemon, by the way, and David dwelt in the wilderness: and David saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.
4 And David sent spies, and ascertained that Saul was come prepared out of Keila.
5 And David arose secretly, and goes into the place where Saul was sleeping, and there Abenner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul was sleeping in a chariot, and the people had encamped along round about him.
6 And David answered and spoke to Abimelech the Chettite, and to Abessa the son Saruia the brother of Joab, saying, Who will go in with me to Saul into the camp? And Abessa said, I will go in with thee.
7 So David and Abessa go in among the people by night: and behold, Saul was fast asleep in the chariot, and his spear was stuck in the ground near his head, and Abenner and his people slept round about him.
8 And Abessa said to David, The Lord has this day shut up thine enemy into thine hands, and now I will smite him to the earth with the spear to the ground once , and I will not smite him again.
9 And David said to Abessa, Do not lay him low, for who shall lift up his hand against the anointed of the Lord, and be guiltless?
10 And David said, the Lord lives, if the Lord smite him not, or his day come and he die, or he go down to battle and be added .
11 The Lord forbid it me that I should lift up my hand against the anointed of the Lord: and now take, I pray thee, the spear from his bolster, and the pitcher of water, and let us return home.
12 So David took the spear, and the pitcher of water from his bolster, and they went home: and there was no one that saw, and no one that knew, and there was no one that awoke, all being asleep, for a stupor from the Lord had fallen upon them.
13 So David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of a hill afar off, and a good distance between them.
14 And David called to the people, and spoke to Abenner, saying, Wilt thou not answer, Abenner? and Abenner answered and said, Who art thou that callest?
15 And David said to Abenner, not thou a man? and who like thee in Israel? Why then dost thou not guard thy lord the king? for one out of the people went in to destroy thy lord the king.
16 And this thing not good which thou hast done. the Lord lives, ye are worthy of death, ye who guard your lord the king, the anointed of the Lord: and now behold, I pray you, the spear of the king, and the cruse of water: where are the articles that should be at his head?
17 And Saul recognized the voice of David, and said, this thy voice, son David? and David said, I thy servant, lord, O king.
18 And he said, Why does my lord thus pursue after his servant? for in what have I sinned? and what unrighteousness has been found in me?
19 And now let my lord the king hear the word of his servant. If God stirs thee up against me, let thine offering be acceptable: but if the sons of men, they cursed before the Lord, for they have cast me out this day so that I should not be established in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, Go, serve other Gods.
20 And now let not my blood fall to the ground before the Lord, for the king of Israel has come forth to seek thy life, as the night hawk pursues in the mountains.
21 And Saul said, I have sinned: turn, son David, for I will not hurt thee, because my life was precious in thine eyes; and to-day I have been foolish and have erred exceedingly.
22 And David answered and said, Behold, the spear of the king: let one of the servants come over and take it.
23 And the Lord shall recompense each according to his righteousness and his truth, since the Lord delivered thee this day into my hands, and I would not lift my hand against the Lord's anointed.
24 And, behold, as thy life has been precious this very day in my eyes, so let my life be precious before the Lord, and may he protect me, and deliver me out of all affliction.
25 And Saul said to David, Blessed thou, son; and thou shalt surely do valiantly, and surely prevail. And David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.