26 And the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying “David is keeping himself concealed on the sides of Hakilah Hill, in front of the Jeshimon; 2 and down went Saul to the wilderness of Ziph, and three thousand men with him, the picked men of Israel, to look for David in the wilderness of Ziph; 3 and Saul camped on the side of Hakilah Hill, in front of the Jeshimon, by the roadside; and David was living in the wilderness, and saw that Saul had come to the wilderness after him. 4 And David sent out scouts and learned that Saul had come to Nacon; 5 and David went off and came to the place where Saul was camped. And David saw the place where Saul and his general Abner the son of Ner were lying: Saul was lying in the cart-stand, and the people were camped around him. 6 And David spoke up and said to Ahimelec the Hittite and Serujah’s son Abishai, Joab’s brother, “Who will go down with me to Saul in the camp?” and Abishai said “I will go down with you.” 7 And David and Abishai came to the people in the night, and found Saul lying asleep in the cart-stand with his spear sticking in the ground at his head, and Abner and the people lying around him. 8 And Abishai said to David “God has put your enemy into your hands today; now let me pin him to the ground with his own spear at one stroke, and not give him a second.” 9 But David said to Abishai “Do him no violence; for who can lay hands on Jehovah’s anointed and go unpunished?” 10 And David said “By Jehovah, but Jehovah shall smite him, or his day shall come and he shall die, or he shall go down to a battle and meet his end. 11 Jehovah forbid the thought of my laying hands on Jehovah’s anointed; now take the spear at his head and the jug of water and let us get away.” 12 * And David took the spear and the jug of water at Saul’s head, and they made their way out, without anybody’s seeing them or knowing of it or waking up, because a trance from Jehovah had fallen on them. 13 And David went over to the other side, and stood a long way off on the top of the mountain, with a great distance between; 14 and David called out to the people and to Abner “Hallo there, Abner!” and Abner answered “Who are you, calling out to the king?” 15 And David said to Abner “You are a man that is a man, are you, and nobody equal to you in Israel? and why did you not guard his majesty? because one of the people has been in to do violence to his majesty; 16 this is not a good record you have made. By Jehovah, you are candidates for death for not having guarded your sovereign, Jehovah’s, anointed. Now see where the king’s spear is, and the jug of water that was at his head.” 17 And Saul recognized David’s voice, and said “Is that your voice, son David?” and David said “It is, your majesty.” 18 And he said “What is your majesty pursuing his servant for? what have I done, and what fault is there upon my hands? 19 * Now, your majesty, listen to your servant’s words: if Jehovah has set you on against me, let him accept an offering; but if it is men, cursed be they before Jehovah, because they have banished me from being connected with Jehovah’s, estate, as much as to say ‘Go worship other gods.’ 20 Now may my blood not fall from Jehovah’s presence to the earth; for the king of Israel has come out to seek my life as a hawk chases a partridge on the mountains.” 21 And Saul said “I did wrong; come back, son David, for I will do you no more harm, seeing that you valued my life this day; I acted foolishly, I was very deluded indeed.” 22 And David answered “Here is the king’s spear for one of the men to come over and get; 23 and Jehovah will repay each man his honesty and loyalty, when Jehovah gave you into my hands today and I would not lay hands on Jehovah’s anointed. 24 And, as I thought much of your life this day, so may Jehovah think much of mine, and deliver me out of all distress.” 25 And Saul said to David “Bless you, son David: do you shall and achieve you shall.” And David went on his way, and Saul back to his place.
The Bible in Living English