Saul Defeats the Ammonites

11 (A)Then Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged (B)Jabesh-gilead, and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, (C)“Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you.” But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “On this condition I will make a treaty with you, (D)that I gouge out all your right eyes, and thus (E)bring disgrace on all Israel.” The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days' respite that we may send messengers through all the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to save us, we will give ourselves up to you.” When the messengers came to (F)Gibeah of Saul, they reported the matter in the ears of the people, (G)and all the people wept aloud.

Now, behold, Saul was coming from the field behind the oxen. And Saul said, “What is wrong with the people, that they are weeping?” So they told him the news of the men of Jabesh. (H)And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled. He took a yoke of oxen (I)and cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hand of the messengers, saying, (J)“Whoever does not come out after Saul and Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen!” Then the dread of the Lord fell upon the people, and they came out (K)as one man. When he mustered them at (L)Bezek, (M)the people of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. And they said to the messengers who had come, “Thus shall you say to the men of Jabesh-gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have (N)salvation.’” When the messengers came and told the men of Jabesh, they were glad. 10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, (O)“Tomorrow we will give ourselves up to you, and you may do to us whatever seems good to you.” 11 (P)And the next day Saul put the people (Q)in three companies. And they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch and struck down the Ammonites until the heat of the day. And those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

The Kingdom Is Renewed

12 Then the people said to Samuel, (R)“Who is it that said, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ (S)Bring the men, that we may put them to death.” 13 But Saul said, (T)“Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today (U)the Lord has worked (V)salvation in Israel.” 14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingdom.” 15 So all the people went to (W)Gilgal, and there they made Saul king (X)before the Lord in Gilgal. There (Y)they sacrificed peace offerings before the Lord, and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

Samuel's Farewell Address

12 And Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have obeyed (Z)your voice in all that you have said to me (AA)and have made a king over you. And now, behold, the king (AB)walks before you, (AC)and I am old and gray; and behold, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day. Here I am; testify against me before the Lord and before (AD)his anointed. (AE)Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? Testify against me[a] and I will restore it to you.” They said, “You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man's hand.” And he said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and (AF)his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything (AG)in my hand.” And they said, “He is witness.”

And Samuel said to the people, (AH)“The Lord is witness,[b] who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. Now therefore stand still that I may plead with you before the Lord concerning all the righteous deeds of the Lord that he performed for you and for your fathers. (AI)When Jacob went into Egypt, and the Egyptians oppressed them,[c] (AJ)then your fathers cried out to the Lord and (AK)the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, (AL)who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place. But (AM)they forgot the Lord their God. (AN)And he sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor,[d] (AO)and into the hand of the Philistines, (AP)and into the hand of the king of Moab. And they fought against them. 10 (AQ)And they cried out to the Lord and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord (AR)and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. But now (AS)deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, that we may serve you.’ 11 And the Lord sent (AT)Jerubbaal (AU)and Barak[e] (AV)and Jephthah and (AW)Samuel and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in safety. 12 And when you saw that (AX)Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, (AY)you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ (AZ)when the Lord your God was your king. 13 And now (BA)behold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, (BB)the Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you will (BC)fear the Lord and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well. 15 But (BD)if you will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then (BE)the hand of the Lord will be against you and (BF)your king.[f] 16 Now therefore (BG)stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes. 17 (BH)Is it not wheat harvest today? (BI)I will call upon the Lord, that he may send thunder and rain. And you shall know and see that (BJ)your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking for yourselves a king.” 18 So Samuel called upon the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day, (BK)and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.

19 And all the people said to Samuel, (BL)“Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” 20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet (BM)do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And (BN)do not turn aside after (BO)empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 22 (BP)For the Lord will not forsake his people, (BQ)for his great name's sake, because (BR)it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing (BS)to pray for you, (BT)and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24 (BU)Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider (BV)what great things he has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, (BW)you shall be swept away, (BX)both you and your king.”

Saul Fights the Philistines

13 Saul lived for one year and then became king, and when he had reigned for two years over Israel,[g] Saul chose three thousand men of Israel. Two thousand were with Saul in (BY)Michmash and the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in (BZ)Gibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the people he sent home, every man to his tent. Jonathan defeated (CA)the garrison of the Philistines that was (CB)at Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul (CC)blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.” And all Israel heard it said that Saul had defeated the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel had become a stench to the Philistines. And the people were called out to join Saul at Gilgal.

And the Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen and troops (CD)like the sand on the seashore in multitude. They came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of (CE)Beth-aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble (for the people were hard pressed), the people hid themselves (CF)in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns, and some Hebrews crossed the fords of the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul was still at Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.

Saul's Unlawful Sacrifice

(CG)He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. 10 As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him. 11 Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, 12 I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” 13 And Samuel said to Saul, (CH)“You have done foolishly. (CI)You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now (CJ)your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man (CK)after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince[h] over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” 15 And Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal. The rest of the people went up after Saul to meet the army; they went up from Gilgal[i] to (CL)Gibeah of Benjamin.

And Saul numbered the people who were present with him, (CM)about six hundred men. 16 And Saul and Jonathan his son and the people who were present with them stayed in (CN)Geba of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped in Michmash. 17 And (CO)raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies. One company turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual; 18 another company turned toward (CP)Beth-horon; and another company turned toward the border that looks down on the Valley of (CQ)Zeboim toward the wilderness.

19 (CR)Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears.” 20 But every one of the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, or his sickle,[j] 21 and the charge was two-thirds of a shekel[k] for the plowshares and for the mattocks, and a third of a shekel[l] for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads.[m] 22 So on the day of the battle (CS)there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan, but Saul and Jonathan his son had them. 23 And (CT)the garrison of the Philistines went out to the (CU)pass of (CV)Michmash.

Jonathan Defeats the Philistines

14 One day Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah in the pomegranate cave[n] at (CW)Migron. The people who were with him were about (CX)six hundred men, including (CY)Ahijah the son of Ahitub, (CZ)Ichabod's brother, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord (DA)in Shiloh, (DB)wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. Within (DC)the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistine garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side and a rocky crag on the other side. The name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The one crag rose on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of (DD)Geba.

Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these (DE)uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, (DF)for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish.[o] Behold, I am with you heart and soul.” Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will show ourselves to them. If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place, and we will not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the Lord has given them into our hand. And this shall be the sign to us.” 11 So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines. And the Philistines said, “Look, Hebrews are coming (DG)out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” 12 And the men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armor-bearer and said, “Come up to us, and we will show you a thing.” And Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Come up after me, for the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.” 13 Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, and his armor-bearer after him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed them after him. 14 And that first strike, which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, killed about twenty men within as it were half a furrow's length in an acre[p] of land. 15 And there was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even (DH)the raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic.[q]

16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude (DI)was dispersing here and there.[r] 17 Then Saul said to the people who were with him, “Count and see who has gone from us.” And when they had counted, behold, Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there. 18 So Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here.” For the ark of God went at that time with the people[s] of Israel. 19 Now (DJ)while Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the camp of the Philistines increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” 20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and went into the battle. And behold, (DK)every Philistine's sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion. 21 Now the Hebrews who had been with the Philistines before that time and who had gone up with them into the camp, (DL)even they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 Likewise, when all the men of Israel (DM)who had hidden themselves (DN)in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they too followed hard after them in the battle. 23 (DO)So the Lord saved Israel that day. And the battle passed beyond (DP)Beth-aven.

Saul's Rash Vow

24 And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, (DQ)so Saul had laid an oath on the people, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies.” So none of the people had tasted food. 25 Now when all the people[t] came to the forest, behold, there was honey on the ground. 26 And when the people entered the forest, behold, the honey was dropping, but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath, (DR)so he put out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes became bright. 28 Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food this day.’” And the people were (DS)faint. 29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. See how my eyes have become bright because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies that they found. For now the defeat among the Philistines has not been great.”

31 They struck down the Philistines that day from (DT)Michmash to (DU)Aijalon. And the people were very (DV)faint. 32 The people (DW)pounced on the spoil and took sheep and oxen and calves and slaughtered them on the ground. And the people ate them (DX)with the blood. 33 Then they told Saul, “Behold, the people are sinning against the Lord by eating (DY)with the blood.” And he said, “You have dealt treacherously; roll a great stone to me here.”[u] 34 And Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people and say to them, ‘Let every man bring his ox or his sheep and slaughter them here and eat, and do not sin against the Lord by eating with the blood.’” So every one of the people brought his ox with him that night and they slaughtered them there. 35 And Saul (DZ)built an altar to the Lord; it was the first altar that he built to the Lord.

36 Then Saul said, “Let us go down after the Philistines by night and plunder them until the morning light; let us not leave a man of them.” And they said, “Do whatever seems good to you.” But (EA)the priest said, “Let us draw near to God here.” 37 And Saul inquired of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into the hand of Israel?” (EB)But he did not answer him that day. 38 And Saul said, “Come here, all you leaders of the people, and know and see how this sin has arisen today. 39 For (EC)as the Lord lives who saves Israel, (ED)though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die.” But there was not a man among all the people who answered him. 40 Then he said to all Israel, “You shall be on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side.” And the people said to Saul, “Do what seems good to you.” 41 Therefore Saul said, “O Lord God of Israel, why have you not answered your servant this day? If this guilt is in me or in Jonathan my son, O Lord, God of Israel, give Urim. But if this guilt is in your people Israel, give Thummim.”[v] (EE)And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped. 42 Then Saul said, (EF)“Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan.” And Jonathan was taken.

43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, (EG)“Tell me what you have done.” And Jonathan told him, (EH)“I tasted a little honey with the tip of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am; I will die.” 44 And Saul said, (EI)“God do so to me and more also; (EJ)you shall surely die, Jonathan.” 45 Then the people said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! (EK)As the Lord lives, (EL)there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people ransomed Jonathan, so that he did not die. 46 Then Saul went up from pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.

Saul Fights Israel's Enemies

47 When Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, (EM)against the Ammonites, against Edom, against the kings of (EN)Zobah, and against the Philistines. Wherever he turned he routed them. 48 And he did valiantly (EO)and struck the Amalekites and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.

49 (EP)Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchi-shua. And the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn was (EQ)Merab, and the name of the younger Michal. 50 And the name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. (ER)And the name of the commander of his army was Abner the son of Ner, (ES)Saul's uncle. 51 (ET)Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of (EU)Abiel.

52 There was hard fighting against the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, (EV)he attached him to himself.

The Lord Rejects Saul

15 And Samuel said to Saul, (EW)“The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel (EX)in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and (EY)devote to destruction[w] all that they have. Do not spare them, (EZ)but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”

So Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand men on foot, and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to the city of Amalek and lay in wait in the valley. Then Saul said to (FA)the Kenites, “Go, depart; go down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. (FB)For you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. (FC)And Saul defeated the Amalekites from (FD)Havilah as far as (FE)Shur, which is east of Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive (FF)and devoted to destruction all the people with the edge of the sword. (FG)But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves[x] and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction.

10 The word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 (FH)“I regret[y] that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and (FI)has not performed my commandments.” And Samuel was angry, and he cried to the Lord all night. 12 And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning. And it was told Samuel, “Saul came to (FJ)Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal.” 13 And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, (FK)“Blessed be you to the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” 14 And Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?” 15 Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, (FL)for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction.” 16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me this night.” And he said to him, “Speak.”

17 And Samuel said, (FM)“Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? (FN)Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” 20 And Saul said to Samuel, (FO)“I have obeyed the voice of the Lord. I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. 21 (FP)But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” 22 And Samuel said,

(FQ)“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
    as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, (FR)to obey is better than sacrifice,
    and to listen than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
    and presumption is as iniquity and (FS)idolatry.
Because (FT)you have rejected the word of the Lord,
    (FU)he has also rejected you from being king.”

24 Saul said to Samuel, (FV)“I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin and (FW)return with me that I may bow before the Lord.” 26 And Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you. (FX)For you have rejected the word of the Lord, (FY)and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 27 (FZ)As Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his robe, and it tore. 28 And Samuel said to him, (GA)“The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. 29 And also the Glory of Israel (GB)will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.” 30 Then he said, “I have sinned; yet (GC)honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, (GD)and return with me, that I may bow before the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul bowed before the Lord.

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him cheerfully.[z] Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” 33 And Samuel said, (GE)“As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord (GF)in Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel went (GG)to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house in (GH)Gibeah of Saul. 35 (GI)And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, (GJ)but Samuel grieved over Saul. (GK)And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.

David Anointed King

16 The Lord said to Samuel, (GL)“How long will you grieve over Saul, since (GM)I have rejected him from being king over Israel? (GN)Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, (GO)for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, (GP)‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. (GQ)And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you.” Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city (GR)came to meet him trembling and said, (GS)“Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. (GT)Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came, he looked on (GU)Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord's anointed is before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, (GV)“Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, (GW)but the Lord looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called (GX)Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made (GY)Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, (GZ)“There remains yet the youngest,[aa] but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, (HA)“Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 And he sent and brought him in. Now he was (HB)ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, (HC)“Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took (HD)the horn of oil (HE)and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. (HF)And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

David in Saul's Service

14 (HG)Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, (HH)and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him. 15 And Saul's servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord now command your servants (HI)who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will (HJ)play it, and you will be well.” 17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.” 18 One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, (HK)a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, (HL)and the Lord is with him.” 19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, (HM)who is with the sheep.” 20 (HN)And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. 21 And David came to Saul (HO)and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. 22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” 23 And (HP)whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre (HQ)and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.

David and Goliath

17 Now the Philistines (HR)gathered their armies for battle. And they were gathered at (HS)Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and (HT)Azekah, in (HU)Ephes-dammim. And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and encamped in (HV)the Valley of Elah, and drew up in line of battle against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named (HW)Goliath of (HX)Gath, whose height was six[ab] cubits[ac] and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels[ad] of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a (HY)javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. (HZ)And his shield-bearer went before him. He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and (IA)are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants (IB)and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, (IC)“I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

12 Now David was (ID)the son of an (IE)Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, (IF)named Jesse, (IG)who had eight sons. In the days of Saul the man was already old and advanced in years.[ae] 13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle. And (IH)the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14 (II)David was the youngest. The three eldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul (IJ)to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem. 16 For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening.

17 And Jesse said to David his son, “Take for your brothers an ephah[af] of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers. 18 (IK)Also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. (IL)See if your brothers are well, and bring some token from them.”

19 Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20 And David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper and took the provisions and went, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to (IM)the encampment as the host was going out to the battle line, shouting the war cry. 21 And Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. 22 And David left the (IN)things in charge of the keeper of the (IO)baggage and ran to the ranks and went and greeted his brothers. 23 As he talked with them, behold, (IP)the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke (IQ)the same words as before. And David heard him.

24 All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. 25 And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to (IR)defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches (IS)and will give him his daughter and make his father's house free in Israel.” 26 And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away (IT)the reproach from Israel? For who is this (IU)uncircumcised Philistine, that he should (IV)defy the armies of (IW)the living God?” 27 And the people answered him in the same way, (IX)“So shall it be done to the man who kills him.”

28 Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” 29 And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?” 30 And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke (IY)in the same way, and the people answered him again as before.

31 When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. 32 And David said to Saul, (IZ)“Let no man's heart fail because of him. (JA)Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, (JB)for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, (JC)“The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, (JD)and the Lord be with you!”

38 Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, 39 and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd's pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.

41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, (JE)with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, (JF)ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I (JG)a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh (JH)to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with (JI)a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, (JJ)whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. (JK)And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day (JL)to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, (JM)that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that (JN)the Lord saves not with sword and spear. (JO)For the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand.”

48 When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.

50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine (JP)and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, (JQ)they fled. 52 And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath[ag] and the gates of (JR)Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from (JS)Shaaraim as far as (JT)Gath and Ekron. 53 And the people of Israel came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. 54 And David took (JU)the head of the Philistine (JV)and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent.

55 As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, (JW)the commander of the army, “Abner, (JX)whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, (JY)“As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.” 56 And the king said, “Inquire whose son the boy is.” 57 And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul (JZ)with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58 And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, (KA)“I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

David and Jonathan's Friendship

18 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan (KB)loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day (KC)and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because (KD)he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. And David went out (KE)and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul's servants.

Saul's Jealousy of David

As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, (KF)the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments.[ah] And the women (KG)sang to one another as they celebrated,

(KH)“Saul has struck down his thousands,
    and David his ten thousands.”

And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but (KI)the kingdom?” And Saul eyed David from that day on.

10 The next day (KJ)a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and (KK)he raved within his house while David was (KL)playing the lyre, as he did day by day. (KM)Saul had his spear in his hand. 11 And Saul (KN)hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice.

12 (KO)Saul was afraid of David because (KP)the Lord was with him (KQ)but had departed from Saul. 13 So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. (KR)And he went out and came in before the people. 14 And David (KS)had success in all his undertakings, (KT)for the Lord was with him. 15 And when Saul saw that (KU)he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. 16 (KV)But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them.

David Marries Michal

17 Then Saul said to David, “Here is (KW)my elder daughter Merab. (KX)I will give her to you for a wife. Only be valiant for me (KY)and fight the Lord's battles.” For Saul thought, “Let not my hand be against him, (KZ)but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” 18 And David said to Saul, (LA)“Who am I, and who are my relatives, my father's clan in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” 19 But at the time when Merab, Saul's daughter, should have been given to David, she was given to (LB)Adriel the (LC)Meholathite for a wife.


  1. 1 Samuel 12:3 Septuagint; Hebrew lacks Testify against me
  2. 1 Samuel 12:6 Septuagint; Hebrew lacks is witness
  3. 1 Samuel 12:8 Septuagint; Hebrew lacks and the Egyptians oppressed them
  4. 1 Samuel 12:9 Septuagint the army of Jabin king of Hazor
  5. 1 Samuel 12:11 Septuagint, Syriac; Hebrew Bedan
  6. 1 Samuel 12:15 Septuagint; Hebrew fathers
  7. 1 Samuel 13:1 Hebrew Saul was one year old when he became king, and he reigned two years over Israel; some Greek manuscripts give Saul's age when he began to reign as thirty years
  8. 1 Samuel 13:14 Or leader
  9. 1 Samuel 13:15 Septuagint; Hebrew lacks The rest of the people… from Gilgal
  10. 1 Samuel 13:20 Septuagint; Hebrew plowshare
  11. 1 Samuel 13:21 Hebrew was a pim
  12. 1 Samuel 13:21 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
  13. 1 Samuel 13:21 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain
  14. 1 Samuel 14:2 Or under the pomegranate [tree]
  15. 1 Samuel 14:7 Septuagint Do all that your mind inclines to
  16. 1 Samuel 14:14 Hebrew a yoke
  17. 1 Samuel 14:15 Or became a panic from God
  18. 1 Samuel 14:16 Septuagint; Hebrew they went here and there
  19. 1 Samuel 14:18 Hebrew; Septuagint “Bring the ephod.” For at that time he wore the ephod before the people
  20. 1 Samuel 14:25 Hebrew land
  21. 1 Samuel 14:33 Septuagint; Hebrew this day
  22. 1 Samuel 14:41 Vulgate and Septuagint; Hebrew Therefore Saul said to the Lord, the God of Israel, “Give Thummim.”
  23. 1 Samuel 15:3 That is, set apart (devote) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction); also verses 8, 9, 15, 18, 20, 21
  24. 1 Samuel 15:9 The meaning of the Hebrew term is uncertain
  25. 1 Samuel 15:11 See also verses 29, 35
  26. 1 Samuel 15:32 Or haltingly (compare Septuagint); the Hebrew is uncertain
  27. 1 Samuel 16:11 Or smallest
  28. 1 Samuel 17:4 Hebrew; Septuagint, Dead Sea Scroll and Josephus four
  29. 1 Samuel 17:4 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
  30. 1 Samuel 17:5 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
  31. 1 Samuel 17:12 Septuagint, Syriac; Hebrew advanced among men
  32. 1 Samuel 17:17 An ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters
  33. 1 Samuel 17:52 Septuagint; Hebrew Gai
  34. 1 Samuel 18:6 Or triangles, or three-stringed instruments

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