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1 Samuel 26 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

26 1 David was discovered unto Saul by the Ziphites. 12 David taketh away Saul’s spear, and a pot of water that stood at his head. 21 Saul confesseth his sin.

Again the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself [a]in the hill of Hachilah before [b]Jeshimon?

Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand [c]chosen men of Israel with him, for to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.

And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon by the wayside. Now David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.

(For David had sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come [d]in very deed.)

Then David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched, and when David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner which was his chief captain, (for Saul lay in the fort, and the people pitched round about him.)

Then spake David, and said to Ahimelech the [e]Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to [f]Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the host? Then Abishai said, I will go down with thee.

So David and Abishai came down to the people by night: and behold, Saul lay sleeping within the fort, and his spear did stick in the ground at his [g]head: and Abner and the people lay round about him.

¶ Then said Abishai to David, God hath closed thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore, I pray thee, let me smite him once with a spear to the earth, and I will not smite him [h]again.

And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can lay his hand [i]on the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?

10 Moreover David said, As the Lord liveth, either the Lord shall smite him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall descend into battle, and perish.

11 The Lord keep me from laying mine hand upon the Lord’s anointed: but, I pray thee, take now the spear that is at his head, and the pot of water, and let us go hence.

12 So David took the spear and the pot of water from Saul’s head, and they got them away, and no man saw it, nor marked it, neither did any awake, but they were all asleep: for [j]the Lord had sent a dead sleep upon them.

13 Then David went unto the other side, and stood on the top of an hill a far off, a great space being between them.

14 And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, [k]Hearest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered, and said, Who art thou that cryest to the King?

15 ¶ And David said to Abner, Art not thou a [l]man? and who is like thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy Lord the King? for there came one of the folk in to destroy the king thy lord.

16 This is not well done of thee: as the Lord liveth, ye are [m]worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master the Lord’s anointed: and now see where the King’s spear is, and the pot of water that was at his head.

17 And Saul knew David’s voice, and said, Is this thy voice, [n]my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O King.

18 And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus persecute his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand?

19 Now therefore, I beseech thee, let my Lord the King hear the words of his servant. If the Lord have stirred thee up against me, [o]let him smell the savor of a sacrifice: but if the children of men have done it, cursed be they before the Lord: for they have cast me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, Go, serve [p]other gods.

20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the Lord: for the King of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as one would hunt a partridge in the mountains.

21 Then said Saul, I have sinned: Come again, my son David: for I will do thee no more harm, because my soul was [q]precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have done foolishly, and have erred exceedingly.

22 Then David answered, and said, Behold the King’s spear, let one of the young men come over and fet it.

23 And let the Lord reward every man according to his [r]righteousness and faithfulness: for the Lord had delivered thee into mine hands this day, but I would not lay mine hand upon the Lord’s anointed.

24 And behold, like as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes: so let my life be set by in the eyes of the Lord, that he may deliver me out of all tribulation.

25 Then Saul said to David, Blessed art thou, my son David: for thou shalt do great things, and also prevail. So David went his way, and Saul returned to his [s]place.


  1. 1 Samuel 26:1 Or, in Gibeah.
  2. 1 Samuel 26:1 Or, the wilderness.
  3. 1 Samuel 26:2 That is, of the most skillful and valiant soldiers.
  4. 1 Samuel 26:4 Or, to a certain place.
  5. 1 Samuel 26:6 Who was a stranger, and not an Israelite.
  6. 1 Samuel 26:6 Who afterward was David’s chief captain.
  7. 1 Samuel 26:7 Or, bolster.
  8. 1 Samuel 26:8 Meaning, he would make him sure at one stroke.
  9. 1 Samuel 26:9 To wit, in his own private cause: for Jehu slew two Kings at God’s appointment, 2 Kings 9:24.
  10. 1 Samuel 26:12 Hebrew, the heavy sleep of the Lord was fallen upon them.
  11. 1 Samuel 26:14 Hebrew, Answerest.
  12. 1 Samuel 26:15 Esteemed most valiant and meet to save the King?
  13. 1 Samuel 26:16 Hebrew, sons of death.
  14. 1 Samuel 26:17 Hereby it appeareth, that the hypocrite persecuted David against his own conscience, and contrary to his promise.
  15. 1 Samuel 26:19 Let his anger toward us be pacified by a sacrifice.
  16. 1 Samuel 26:19 As much as lay in them, they compelled him to idolatry because they forced him to flee to the idolaters.
  17. 1 Samuel 26:21 Because thou savedst my life this day.
  18. 1 Samuel 26:23 Thus he protesteth his innocency toward Saul, not defending his justice in the sight of God, in whose presence none is righteous, Ps 14:3 and 130:3.
  19. 1 Samuel 26:25 To Gibeah of Benjamin.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.

1 Samuel 26 New International Version (NIV)

David Again Spares Saul’s Life

26 The Ziphites went to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Is not David hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which faces Jeshimon?

So Saul went down to the Desert of Ziph, with his three thousand select Israelite troops, to search there for David. Saul made his camp beside the road on the hill of Hakilah facing Jeshimon, but David stayed in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul had followed him there, he sent out scouts and learned that Saul had definitely arrived.

Then David set out and went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of the army, had lain down. Saul was lying inside the camp, with the army encamped around him.

David then asked Ahimelek the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, “Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?”

“I’ll go with you,” said Abishai.

So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him.

Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t strike him twice.”

But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? 10 As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.”

12 So David took the spear and water jug near Saul’s head, and they left. No one saw or knew about it, nor did anyone wake up. They were all sleeping, because the Lord had put them into a deep sleep.

13 Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of the hill some distance away; there was a wide space between them. 14 He called out to the army and to Abner son of Ner, “Aren’t you going to answer me, Abner?”

Abner replied, “Who are you who calls to the king?”

15 David said, “You’re a man, aren’t you? And who is like you in Israel? Why didn’t you guard your lord the king? Someone came to destroy your lord the king. 16 What you have done is not good. As surely as the Lord lives, you and your men must die, because you did not guard your master, the Lord’s anointed. Look around you. Where are the king’s spear and water jug that were near his head?”

17 Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “Is that your voice, David my son?”

David replied, “Yes it is, my lord the king.” 18 And he added, “Why is my lord pursuing his servant? What have I done, and what wrong am I guilty of? 19 Now let my lord the king listen to his servant’s words. If the Lord has incited you against me, then may he accept an offering. If, however, people have done it, may they be cursed before the Lord! They have driven me today from my share in the Lord’s inheritance and have said, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ 20 Now do not let my blood fall to the ground far from the presence of the Lord. The king of Israel has come out to look for a flea—as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.

21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Because you considered my life precious today, I will not try to harm you again. Surely I have acted like a fool and have been terribly wrong.”

22 “Here is the king’s spear,” David answered. “Let one of your young men come over and get it. 23 The Lord rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness. The Lord delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. 24 As surely as I valued your life today, so may the Lord value my life and deliver me from all trouble.”

25 Then Saul said to David, “May you be blessed, David my son; you will do great things and surely triumph.”

So David went on his way, and Saul returned home.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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