The Lord Rejects Saul as King

15 Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint(A) you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites(B) for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally(C) destroy[a] all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah. Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. Then he said to the Kenites,(D) “Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.

Then Saul attacked the Amalekites(E) all the way from Havilah to Shur,(F) near the eastern border of Egypt. He took Agag(G) king of the Amalekites alive,(H) and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared(I) Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves[b] and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.

10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret(J) that I have made Saul king, because he has turned(K) away from me and has not carried out my instructions.”(L) Samuel was angry,(M) and he cried out to the Lord all that night.

12 Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel.(N) There he has set up a monument(O) in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”

13 When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”

14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”

15 Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”

16 “Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”

“Tell me,” Saul replied.

17 Samuel said, “Although you were once small(P) in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ 19 Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder(Q) and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”

20 “But I did obey(R) the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”

22 But Samuel replied:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
    as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,(S)
    and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,(T)
    and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected(U) the word of the Lord,
    he has rejected you as king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned.(V) I violated(W) the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid(X) of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive(Y) my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.”

26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected(Z) the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!”

27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe,(AA) and it tore.(AB) 28 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn(AC) the kingdom(AD) of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you.(AE) 29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie(AF) or change(AG) his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”

30 Saul replied, “I have sinned.(AH) But please honor(AI) me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites.”

Agag came to him in chains.[c] And he thought, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”

33 But Samuel said,

“As your sword has made women childless,
    so will your mother be childless among women.”(AJ)

And Samuel put Agag to death before the Lord at Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel left for Ramah,(AK) but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah(AL) of Saul. 35 Until the day Samuel(AM) died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned(AN) for him. And the Lord regretted(AO) that he had made Saul king over Israel.

Samuel Anoints David

16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn(AP) for Saul, since I have rejected(AQ) him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil(AR) and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse(AS) of Bethlehem. I have chosen(AT) one of his sons to be king.”

But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show(AU) you what to do. You are to anoint(AV) for me the one I indicate.”

Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem,(AW) the elders of the town trembled(AX) when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?(AY)

Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate(AZ) yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab(BA) and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance,(BB) but the Lord looks at the heart.”(BC)

Then Jesse called Abinadab(BD) and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah(BE) pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all(BF) the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”(BG)

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

12 So he(BH) sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome(BI) features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed(BJ) him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord(BK) came powerfully upon David.(BL) Samuel then went to Ramah.

David in Saul’s Service

14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed(BM) from Saul, and an evil[d] spirit(BN) from the Lord tormented him.(BO)

15 Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre.(BP) He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.”

17 So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.”

18 One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse(BQ) of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior.(BR) He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with(BS) him.”

19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.(BT) 20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread,(BU) a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.

21 David came to Saul and entered his service.(BV) Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. 22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.”

23 Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit(BW) would leave him.

David and Goliath

17 Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled(BX) at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh(BY) and Azekah.(BZ) Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah(CA) and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.

A champion named Goliath,(CB) who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.[e] He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels[f]; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin(CC) was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod,(CD) and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.[g] His shield bearer(CE) went ahead of him.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose(CF) a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy(CG) the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.(CH) 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite(CI) named Jesse,(CJ) who was from Bethlehem(CK) in Judah. Jesse had eight(CL) sons, and in Saul’s time he was very old. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab;(CM) the second, Abinadab;(CN) and the third, Shammah.(CO) 14 David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to tend(CP) his father’s sheep(CQ) at Bethlehem.

16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.

17 Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah[h](CR) of roasted grain(CS) and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18 Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers(CT) are and bring back some assurance[i] from them. 19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.”

20 Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies,(CU) ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual(CV) defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.

25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter(CW) in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes(CX) in Israel.”

26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace(CY) from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised(CZ) Philistine that he should defy(DA) the armies of the living(DB) God?”

27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”

28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger(DC) at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.

32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart(DD) on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

33 Saul replied,(DE) “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion(DF) or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized(DG) it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion(DH) and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued(DI) me from the paw of the lion(DJ) and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with(DK) you.”

38 Then Saul dressed David in his own(DL) tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer(DM) in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome,(DN) and he despised(DO) him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog,(DP) that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds(DQ) and the wild animals!(DR)

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,(DS) but I come against you in the name(DT) of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.(DU) 46 This day the Lord will deliver(DV) you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses(DW) of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world(DX) will know that there is a God in Israel.(DY) 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword(DZ) or spear that the Lord saves;(EA) for the battle(EB) is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling(EC) and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut(ED) off his head with the sword.(EE)

When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath[j] and to the gates of Ekron.(EF) Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim(EG) road to Gath and Ekron. 53 When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp.

54 David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem; he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent.

55 As Saul watched David(EH) going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, “Abner,(EI) whose son is that young man?”

Abner replied, “As surely as you live, Your Majesty, I don’t know.”

56 The king said, “Find out whose son this young man is.”

57 As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine’s head.

58 “Whose son are you, young man?” Saul asked him.

David said, “I am the son of your servant Jesse(EJ) of Bethlehem.”

Saul’s Growing Fear of David

18 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan(EK) became one in spirit with David, and he loved(EL) him as himself.(EM) From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant(EN) with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe(EO) he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.(EP)

Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful(EQ) that Saul gave him a high rank in the army.(ER) This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.

When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing,(ES) with joyful songs and with timbrels(ET) and lyres. As they danced, they sang:(EU)

“Saul has slain his thousands,
    and David his tens(EV) of thousands.”

Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?(EW) And from that time on Saul kept a close(EX) eye on David.

10 The next day an evil[k] spirit(EY) from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre,(EZ) as he usually(FA) did. Saul had a spear(FB) in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself,(FC) “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded(FD) him twice.(FE)

12 Saul was afraid(FF) of David, because the Lord(FG) was with(FH) David but had departed from(FI) Saul. 13 So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led(FJ) the troops in their campaigns.(FK) 14 In everything he did he had great success,(FL) because the Lord was with(FM) him. 15 When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns.(FN)

17 Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter(FO) Merab. I will give her to you in marriage;(FP) only serve me bravely and fight the battles(FQ) of the Lord.” For Saul said to himself,(FR) “I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!”

18 But David said to Saul, “Who am I,(FS) and what is my family or my clan in Israel, that I should become the king’s son-in-law?(FT) 19 So[l] when the time came for Merab,(FU) Saul’s daughter, to be given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel of Meholah.(FV)

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal(FW) was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased.(FX) 21 “I will give her to him,” he thought, “so that she may be a snare(FY) to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David, “Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law.”

22 Then Saul ordered his attendants: “Speak to David privately and say, ‘Look, the king likes you, and his attendants all love you; now become his son-in-law.’”

23 They repeated these words to David. But David said, “Do you think it is a small matter to become the king’s son-in-law?(FZ) I’m only a poor man and little known.”

24 When Saul’s servants told him what David had said, 25 Saul replied, “Say to David, ‘The king wants no other price(GA) for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge(GB) on his enemies.’” Saul’s plan(GC) was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines.

26 When the attendants told David these things, he was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. So before the allotted time elapsed, 27 David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal(GD) in marriage.

28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal(GE) loved David, 29 Saul became still more afraid(GF) of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days.

30 The Philistine commanders continued to go out to battle, and as often as they did, David met with more success(GG) than the rest of Saul’s officers, and his name became well known.

Saul Tries to Kill David

19 Saul told his son Jonathan(GH) and all the attendants to kill(GI) David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding(GJ) and stay there. I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak(GK) to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”

Jonathan spoke(GL) well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong(GM) to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. He took his life(GN) in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory(GO) for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent(GP) man like David by killing him for no reason?”

Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be put to death.”

So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.(GQ)

Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.

But an evil[m] spirit(GR) from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre,(GS) 10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded(GT) him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.

11 Saul sent men to David’s house to watch(GU) it and to kill him in the morning.(GV) But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down through a window,(GW) and he fled and escaped. 13 Then Michal took an idol(GX) and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head.

14 When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said,(GY) “He is ill.”

15 Then Saul sent the men back to see David and told them, “Bring him up to me in his bed so that I may kill him.” 16 But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats’ hair.

17 Saul said to Michal, “Why did you deceive me like this and send my enemy away so that he escaped?”

Michal told him, “He said to me, ‘Let me get away. Why should I kill you?’”

18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah(GZ) and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19 Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; 20 so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets(HA) prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on(HB) Saul’s men, and they also prophesied.(HC) 21 Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”

“Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said.

23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying(HD) until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped(HE) off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s(HF) presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”(HG)

David and Jonathan

20 Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged(HH) your father, that he is trying to kill me?”(HI)

“Never!” Jonathan replied. “You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn’t so!”

But David took an oath(HJ) and said, “Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, ‘Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.’ Yet as surely as the Lord lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.”

Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.”

So David said, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon feast,(HK) and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide(HL) in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow. If your father misses me at all, tell him, ‘David earnestly asked my permission(HM) to hurry to Bethlehem,(HN) his hometown, because an annual(HO) sacrifice is being made there for his whole clan.’ If he says, ‘Very well,’ then your servant is safe. But if he loses his temper,(HP) you can be sure that he is determined(HQ) to harm me. As for you, show kindness to your servant, for you have brought him into a covenant(HR) with you before the Lord. If I am guilty, then kill(HS) me yourself! Why hand me over to your father?”

“Never!” Jonathan said. “If I had the least inkling that my father was determined to harm you, wouldn’t I tell you?”

10 David asked, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?”

11 “Come,” Jonathan said, “let’s go out into the field.” So they went there together.

12 Then Jonathan said to David, “I swear by the Lord, the God of Israel, that I will surely sound(HT) out my father by this time the day after tomorrow! If he is favorably disposed toward you, will I not send you word and let you know? 13 But if my father intends to harm you, may the Lord deal with Jonathan, be it ever so severely,(HU) if I do not let you know and send you away in peace. May the Lord be with(HV) you as he has been with my father. 14 But show me unfailing kindness(HW) like the Lord’s kindness as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, 15 and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family(HX)—not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.”

16 So Jonathan(HY) made a covenant(HZ) with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account.(IA) 17 And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath(IB) out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.

18 Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon feast. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty.(IC) 19 The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid(ID) when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows(IE) to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target. 21 Then I will send a boy and say, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to him, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,’ then come, because, as surely as the Lord lives, you are safe; there is no danger. 22 But if I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond(IF) you,’ then you must go, because the Lord has sent you away. 23 And about the matter you and I discussed—remember, the Lord is witness(IG) between you and me forever.”

24 So David hid in the field, and when the New Moon feast(IH) came, the king sat down to eat. 25 He sat in his customary place by the wall, opposite Jonathan,[n] and Abner sat next to Saul, but David’s place was empty.(II) 26 Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, “Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean—surely he is unclean.(IJ) 27 But the next day, the second day of the month, David’s place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, “Why hasn’t the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?”

28 Jonathan answered, “David earnestly asked me for permission(IK) to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrifice(IL) in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there. If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.’ That is why he has not come to the king’s table.”

30 Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? 31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom(IM) will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!”

32 “Why(IN) should he be put to death? What(IO) has he done?” Jonathan asked his father. 33 But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended(IP) to kill David.

34 Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; on that second day of the feast he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father’s shameful treatment of David.

35 In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him, 36 and he said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy came to the place where Jonathan’s arrow had fallen, Jonathan called out after him, “Isn’t the arrow beyond(IQ) you?” 38 Then he shouted, “Hurry! Go quickly! Don’t stop!” The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. 39 (The boy knew nothing about all this; only Jonathan and David knew.) 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, “Go, carry them back to town.”

41 After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground.(IR) Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most.

42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace,(IS) for we have sworn friendship(IT) with each other in the name of the Lord,(IU) saying, ‘The Lord is witness(IV) between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.(IW)’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.[o]

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 15:3 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verses 8, 9, 15, 18, 20 and 21.
  2. 1 Samuel 15:9 Or the grown bulls; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  3. 1 Samuel 15:32 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  4. 1 Samuel 16:14 Or and a harmful; similarly in verses 15, 16 and 23
  5. 1 Samuel 17:4 That is, about 9 feet 9 inches or about 3 meters
  6. 1 Samuel 17:5 That is, about 125 pounds or about 58 kilograms
  7. 1 Samuel 17:7 That is, about 15 pounds or about 6.9 kilograms
  8. 1 Samuel 17:17 That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms
  9. 1 Samuel 17:18 Or some token; or some pledge of spoils
  10. 1 Samuel 17:52 Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew of a valley
  11. 1 Samuel 18:10 Or a harmful
  12. 1 Samuel 18:19 Or However,
  13. 1 Samuel 19:9 Or But a harmful
  14. 1 Samuel 20:25 Septuagint; Hebrew wall. Jonathan arose
  15. 1 Samuel 20:42 In Hebrew texts this sentence (20:42b) is numbered 21:1.

28 In those days the Philistines gathered(A) their forces to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “You must understand that you and your men will accompany me in the army.”

David said, “Then you will see for yourself what your servant can do.”

Achish replied, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard(B) for life.”

Saul and the Medium at Endor

Now Samuel was dead,(C) and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah.(D) Saul had expelled(E) the mediums and spiritists(F) from the land.

The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem,(G) while Saul gathered all Israel and set up camp at Gilboa.(H) When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror(I) filled his heart. He inquired(J) of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams(K) or Urim(L) or prophets.(M) Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium,(N) so I may go and inquire of her.”

“There is one in Endor,(O)” they said.

So Saul disguised(P) himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult(Q) a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.”

But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off(R) the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap(S) for my life to bring about my death?”

10 Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this.”

11 Then the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

“Bring up Samuel,” he said.

12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me?(T) You are Saul!”

13 The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”

The woman said, “I see a ghostly figure[a] coming up out of the earth.”(U)

14 “What does he look like?” he asked.

“An old man wearing a robe(V) is coming up,” she said.

Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.

15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

“I am in great distress,” Saul said. “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has departed(W) from me. He no longer answers(X) me, either by prophets or by dreams.(Y) So I have called on you to tell me what to do.”

16 Samuel said, “Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has departed from you and become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done what he predicted through me. The Lord has torn(Z) the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David. 18 Because you did not obey(AA) the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath(AB) against the Amalekites,(AC) the Lord has done this to you today. 19 The Lord will deliver both Israel and you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons(AD) will be with me. The Lord will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.”

20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel’s words. His strength was gone, for he had eaten nothing all that day and all that night.

21 When the woman came to Saul and saw that he was greatly shaken, she said, “Look, your servant has obeyed you. I took my life(AE) in my hands and did what you told me to do. 22 Now please listen to your servant and let me give you some food so you may eat and have the strength to go on your way.”

23 He refused(AF) and said, “I will not eat.”

But his men joined the woman in urging him, and he listened to them. He got up from the ground and sat on the couch.

24 The woman had a fattened calf(AG) at the house, which she butchered at once. She took some flour, kneaded it and baked bread without yeast. 25 Then she set it before Saul and his men, and they ate. That same night they got up and left.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 28:13 Or see spirits; or see gods

Saul Takes His Life(A)

31 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa.(B) The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons,(C) and they killed his sons Jonathan,(D) Abinadab and Malki-Shua.(E) The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded(F) him critically.

Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through,(G) or these uncircumcised(H) fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.”

But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him. So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died(I) together that same day.

When the Israelites along the valley and those across the Jordan saw that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled. And the Philistines came and occupied them.

The next day, when the Philistines(J) came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. They cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and they sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news(K) in the temple of their idols and among their people.(L) 10 They put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths(M) and fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.(N)

11 When the people of Jabesh Gilead(O) heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their valiant men(P) marched through the night to Beth Shan. They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and went to Jabesh, where they burned(Q) them. 13 Then they took their bones(R) and buried them under a tamarisk(S) tree at Jabesh, and they fasted(T) seven days.(U)