Then the Ziphitescame to Saul at Gibeah, saying, "1Is not Davidhiding on the hill of Hachilah, which is beforeaJeshimon ?"
So Saularose and wentdown to the wilderness of Ziph, having with him 2threethousandchosenmen of Israel, to search for David in the wilderness of Ziph.
3Saulcamped in the hill of Hachilah, which is beforebJeshimon, 3beside the road, and David was staying in the wilderness. When 4he saw that Saulcameafter him into the wilderness,
4Davidsent out spies, and he knew that Saul was definitelycoming.
5David then arose and came to the placewhereSaul had camped. And Davidsaw the placewhereSaullay, and 5Abner the son of Ner, the commander of his army ; and Saul was lying in the circle of the camp, and the people were campedaround him.
Then Davidsaid to Ahimelech6the Hittite and to 7Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab'sbrother, saying, "Who8will godown with me to Saul in the camp ?" And Abishaisaid, "I will godown with you."
So David and Abishaicame to the people by night, and behold, Saullaysleeping inside the circle of the camp with his spearstuck in the ground at his head ; and Abner and the people were lyingaround him.
Then Abishaisaid to David, "TodayGod has delivered your enemy into your hand ; now therefore, please let me strike him with the spearcto the ground with onestroke, and I will not dstrike him the secondtime."
But Davidsaid to Abishai, "Do not destroy him, for 9who can stretch out his hand against the LORD'Sanointed and be withoutguilt ?"
10David also said, "As the LORDlives, 10surely the LORD will strike him, or11his day will come that he dies, or12he will godown into battle and perish.
"13The LORDforbid that I should stretch out my hand against the LORD'Sanointed ; but nowpleasetake the spear that is at his head and the jug of water, and let us go."
So Davidtook the spear and the jug of water from beside Saul'shead, and they went away, but noonesaw or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were allasleep, because14a soundsleep from the LORD had fallen on them.
Then Davidcrossedover to the otherside and stood on top of the mountain at a distance with a largeareabetween them.
14Davidcalled to the people and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, "Will you not answer, Abner ?" Then Abnerreplied, "Who are you who calls to the king ?"
So Davidsaid to Abner, "Are you not a man ? And who is like you in Israel ? Why then have you not guarded your lord the king ? For one of the peoplecame to destroy the king your lord.
16"Thisthing that you have done is not good. As the LORDlives, all of you e15mustsurelydie, because you did not guard your lord, the LORD'Sanointed. And now, seewhere the king'sspear is and the jug of water that was at his head."
Then SaulrecognizedDavid'svoice and said, "16Is this your voice, my sonDavid ?" And Davidsaid, "It is my voice, my lord the king."
He also said, "17Whythen is my lordpursuing his servant ? For what have I done ? Or whatevil is in my hand ?
19"Now therefore, please let my lord the kinglisten to the words of his servant. If18the LORD has stirred you up against me, 19let Him faccept an offering ; but 20if it is gmen , cursed are they before the LORD, for 21they have driven me out todayso that I would have noattachment with the inheritance of the LORD, saying, 'Go, serveothergods.'
20"Now then, do not let my bloodfall to the groundaway from the presence of the LORD ; for the king of Israel has come out to search for 22a singleflea, just as one hunts a partridge in the mountains."
Then Saulsaid, "23I have sinned. Return, my sonDavid, for I will not harm you againbecause my life was precious in your sightthisday. Behold, I have played the fool and have committed a seriouserror."
22Davidreplied, "Behold the spear of the king ! Now let one of the youngmencomeover and take it.
"24The LORD will repayeachman for his righteousness and his faithfulness ; for the LORDdelivered you into my handtoday, but 25I refused to stretch out my hand against the LORD'Sanointed.
"Now behold, as your life was 26highlyvalued in my sightthisday, so may my life be highlyvalued in the sight of the LORD, and may He 27deliver me from alldistress."
Then Saulsaid to David, "28Blessed are you, my sonDavid ; you will bothaccomplishmuch and surelyprevail." So 29Davidwent on his way, and Saulreturned to his place.