1 Samuel 28; 1 Samuel 29; 1 Samuel 30; 1 Samuel 31

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1 Samuel 28

1 Later, the Philistines gathered their armies to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, "You understand that you and your men must join my army."
2 David answered, "You will see for yourself what I, your servant, can do!" Achish said, "Fine, I'll make you my permanent bodyguard."
3 Now Samuel was dead, and all the Israelites had shown their sadness for him. They had buried Samuel in his hometown of Ramah. And Saul had forced out the mediums and fortune-tellers from the land.
4 The Philistines came together and made camp at Shunem. Saul gathered all the Israelites and made camp at Gilboa.
5 When he saw the Philistine army, he was afraid, and his heart pounded with fear.
6 He prayed to the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him through dreams, Urim, or prophets.
7 Then Saul said to his servants, "Find me a woman who is a medium so I may go and ask her what will happen." His servants answered, "There is a medium in Endor."
8 Then Saul put on other clothes to disguise himself, and at night he and two of his men went to see the woman. Saul said to her, "Talk to a spirit for me. Bring up the person I name."
9 But the woman said to him, "Surely you know what Saul has done. He has forced the mediums and fortune-tellers from the land. You are trying to trap me and get me killed."
10 Saul made a promise to the woman in the name of the Lord. He said, "As surely as the Lord lives, you won't be punished for this."
11 The woman asked, "Whom do you want me to bring up?" He answered, "Bring up Samuel."
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed. She said, "Why have you tricked me? You are Saul!"
13 The king said to the woman, "Don't be afraid! What do you see?" The woman said, "I see a spirit coming up out of the ground."
14 Saul asked, "What does he look like?" The woman answered, "An old man wearing a coat is coming up." Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed facedown on the ground.
15 Samuel asked Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" Saul said, "I am greatly troubled. The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has left me. He won't answer me anymore, either by prophets or in dreams. That's why I called for you. Tell me what to do."
16 Samuel said, "The Lord has left you and has become your enemy. So why do you call on me?
17 He has done what he said he would do -- the things he said through me. He has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors, David.
18 You did not obey the Lord; you did not show the Amalekites how angry he was with them. That's why he has done this to you today.
19 The Lord will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines."
20 Saul quickly fell flat on the ground and was afraid of what Samuel had said. He was also very weak because he had eaten nothing all that day and night.
21 Then the woman came to Saul and saw that he was really frightened. She said, "Look, I, your servant, have obeyed you. I have risked my life and done what you told me to do.
22 Now please listen to me. Let me give you some food so you may eat and have enough strength to go on your way."
23 But Saul refused, saying, "I won't eat." His servants joined the woman in asking him to eat, and he listened to them. So he got up from the ground and sat on the bed.
24 At the house the woman had a fat calf, which she quickly killed. She took some flour and mixed dough with her hands. Then she baked some bread without yeast.
25 She put the food before them, and they ate. That same night they got up and left.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Samuel 29

1 The Philistines gathered all their soldiers at Aphek. Israel camped by the spring at Jezreel.
2 The Philistine kings were marching with their groups of a hundred and a thousand men. David and his men were marching behind Achish.
3 The Philistine commanders asked, "What are these Hebrews doing here?" Achish told them, "This is David. He served Saul king of Israel, but he has been with me for over a year now. I have found nothing wrong in David since the time he left Saul."
4 But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said, "Send David back to the city you gave him. He cannot go with us into battle. If he does, we'll have an enemy in our own camp. He could please his king by killing our own men.
5 David is the one the Israelites dance and sing about, saying: 'Saul has killed thousands of his enemies, but David has killed tens of thousands.'"
6 So Achish called David and said to him, "As surely as the Lord lives, you are loyal. I would be pleased to have you serve in my army. Since the day you came to me, I have found no wrong in you. But the other kings don't trust you.
7 Go back in peace. Don't do anything to displease the Philistine kings."
8 David asked, "What wrong have I done? What evil have you found in me from the day I came to you until now? Why can't I go fight your enemies, my lord and king?"
9 Achish answered, "I know you are as good as an angel from God. But the Philistine commanders have said, 'David must not go with us into battle.'
10 Early in the morning you and your master's servants should leave. Get up as soon as it is light and go."
11 So David and his men got up early in the morning and went back to the country of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Samuel 30

1 On the third day, when David and his men arrived at Ziklag, he found that the Amalekites had raided southern Judah and Ziklag, attacking Ziklag and burning it.
2 They captured the women and everyone, young and old, but they had not killed anyone. They had only taken them away.
3 When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found the town had been burned and their wives, sons, and daughters had been taken as prisoners.
4 Then David and his army cried loudly until they were too weak to cry anymore.
5 David's two wives had also been taken -- Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal from Carmel.
6 The men in the army were threatening to kill David with stones, which greatly upset David. Each man was sad and angry because his sons and daughters had been captured, but David found strength in the Lord his God.
7 David said to Abiathar the priest, "Bring me the holy vest."
8 Then David asked the Lord, "Should I chase the people who took our families? Will I catch them?" The Lord answered, "Chase them. You will catch them, and you will succeed in saving your families."
9 David and the six hundred men with him came to the Besor Ravine, where some of the men stayed.
10 David and four hundred men kept up the chase. The other two hundred men stayed behind because they were too tired to cross the ravine.
11 They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave the Egyptian some water to drink and some food to eat.
12 And they gave him a piece of a fig cake and two clusters of raisins. Then he felt better, because he had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and nights.
13 David asked him, "Who is your master? Where do you come from?" He answered, "I'm an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. Three days ago my master left me, because I was sick.
14 We had raided the southern area of the Kerethites, the land of Judah, and the southern area of Caleb. We burned Ziklag, as well.
15 David asked him, "Can you lead me to the people who took our families?" He answered, "Yes, if you promise me before God that you won't kill me or give me back to my master. Then I will take you to them."
16 So the Egyptian led David to the Amalekites. They were lying around on the ground, eating and drinking and celebrating with the things they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah.
17 David fought them from sunset until the evening of the next day. None of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode off on their camels.
18 David got his two wives back and everything the Amalekites had taken.
19 Nothing was missing. David brought back everyone, young and old, sons and daughters. He recovered the valuable things and everything the Amalekites had taken.
20 David took all the sheep and cattle, and his men made these animals go in front, saying, "They are David's prize."
21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too tired to follow him, who had stayed at the Besor Ravine. They came out to meet David and the people with him. When he came near, David greeted the men at the ravine.
22 But the evil men and troublemakers among those who followed David said, "Since these two hundred men didn't go with us, we shouldn't give them any of the things we recovered. Just let each man take his wife and children and go."
23 David answered, "No, my brothers. Don't do that after what the Lord has given us. He has protected us and given us the enemy who attacked us.
24 Who will listen to what you say? The share will be the same for the one who stayed with the supplies as for the one who went into battle. All will share alike."
25 David made this an order and rule for Israel, which continues even today.
26 When David arrived in Ziklag, he sent some of the things he had taken from the Amalekites to his friends, the leaders of Judah. He said, "Here is a present for you from the things we took from the Lord's enemies."
27 David also sent some things to the leaders in Bethel, Ramoth in the southern part of Judah, Jattir,
28 Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa,
29 Racal, the cities of the Jerahmeelites and the Kenites,
30 Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athach,
31 Hebron, and to the people in all the other places where he and his men had been.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Samuel 31

1 The Philistines fought against Israel, and the Israelites ran away from them. Many Israelites were killed on Mount Gilboa.
2 The Philistines fought hard against Saul and his sons, killing his sons Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malki-Shua.
3 The fighting was heavy around Saul. The archers shot him, and he was badly wounded.
4 He said to the officer who carried his armor, "Pull out your sword and kill me. Then those uncircumcised men won't make fun of me and kill me." But Saul's officer refused, because he was afraid. So Saul took his own sword and threw himself on it.
5 When the officer saw that Saul was dead, he threw himself on his own sword, and he died with Saul.
6 So Saul, his three sons, and the officer who carried his armor died together that day.
7 When the Israelites who lived across the Jezreel Valley and those who lived across the Jordan River saw how the Israelite army had run away, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they left their cities and ran away. Then the Philistines came and lived there.
8 The next day when the Philistines came to take all the valuable things from the dead soldiers, they found Saul and his three sons dead on Mount Gilboa.
9 They cut off Saul's head and took off his armor. Then they sent messengers through all the land of the Philistines to tell the news in the temple of their idols and to their people.
10 They put Saul's armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and hung his body on the wall of Beth Shan.
11 When the people living in Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul,
12 the brave men of Jabesh marched all night and came to Beth Shan. They removed the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and brought them to Jabesh. There they burned the bodies.
13 They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh. Then the people of Jabesh gave up eating for seven days.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.