1 Samuel 17-24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
17 Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle; and they were gathered at Socoh which belongs to Judah, and they camped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. 2 Saul and the men of Israel were gathered and camped in the valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array to encounter the Philistines. 3 The Philistines stood on the mountain on one side while Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with the valley between them. 4 Then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six [a]cubits and a span. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was clothed with scale-armor [b]which weighed five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 He also had bronze [c]greaves on his legs and a bronze javelin slung between his shoulders. 7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and the head of his spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron; his shield-carrier also walked before him. 8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel and said to them, “Why do you come out to draw up in battle array? Am I not the Philistine and you servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and [d]kill me, then we will become your servants; but if I prevail against him and [e]kill him, then you shall become our servants and serve us.” 10 Again the Philistine said, “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 the son of [f]the Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, whose name was Jesse, and he had eight sons. And [g]Jesse was old in the days of Saul, advanced in years among men. 13 The three older sons of Jesse had [h]gone after Saul to the battle. And the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and the second to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. Now the three oldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s flock at Bethlehem. 16 The Philistine came [i]forward morning and evening for forty days and took his stand.
17 Then Jesse said to David his son, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this roasted grain and these ten loaves and run to the camp to your brothers. 18 Bring also these ten cuts of cheese to the commander of their thousand, and look into the welfare of your brothers, and bring back [j]news of them. 19 For Saul and they and all the men of Israel are in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.”
David Accepts the Challenge
20 So David arose early in the morning and left the flock with a keeper and took the supplies and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the circle of the camp while the army was going out in battle array shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines drew up in battle array, army against army. 22 Then David left his baggage in the [k]care of the baggage keeper, and ran to the battle line and entered in order to greet his brothers. 23 As he was talking with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine from Gath named Goliath, was coming up from the army of the Philistines, and he spoke these same words; and David heard them.
24 When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him and were greatly afraid. 25 The men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who is coming up? Surely he is coming up to defy Israel. And it will be that the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house [l]free in Israel.”
26 Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” 27 The people [m]answered him in accord with this word, saying, “Thus it will be done for the man who kills him.”
28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger burned 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 insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle.” 29 But David said, “What have I done now? Was it not just a [n]question?” 30 Then he turned [o]away from him to another and said the same thing; and the people answered the same thing as [p]before.
David Kills Goliath
31 When the words which David spoke were heard, they told them [q]to Saul, and he sent for him. 32 David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went out after him and [r]attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and [s]struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has [t]killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you.” 38 Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor. 39 David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” And David took them [u]off. 40 He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.
41 Then the Philistine came on and approached David, with the shield-bearer in front of him. 42 When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance. 43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.”
48 Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.
50 Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine 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, they fled. 52 The men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines [v]as far as the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the slain Philistines [w]lay along the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath and Ekron. 53 The sons of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines and plundered their camps. 54 Then David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his weapons in his tent.
55 Now when Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this young man?” And Abner said, “By your life, O king, I do not know.” 56 The king said, “You inquire whose son the youth is.” 57 So when David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the Philistine’s head in his hand. 58 Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”
Jonathan and David
18 Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. 2 Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt. 5 So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and [x]prospered; and Saul set him over the men of war. And it was pleasing in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.
6 It happened as they were coming, when David returned from killing the Philistine, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy and with [y]musical instruments. 7 The women sang as they [z]played, and said,
“Saul has slain his thousands,
8 Then Saul became very angry, for this saying [aa]displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9 Saul looked at David with suspicion from that day on.
Saul Turns against David
10 Now it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved in the midst of the house, while David was playing the harp with his hand, [ab]as usual; and [ac]a spear was in Saul’s hand. 11 Saul hurled the spear for he thought, “I will [ad]pin David to the wall.” But David [ae]escaped from his presence twice.
12 Now Saul was afraid of David, for the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 13 Therefore Saul removed him from [af]his presence and appointed him as his commander of a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people. 14 David was [ag]prospering in all his ways for the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw that he was [ah]prospering greatly, he dreaded him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, and he went out and came in before them.
17 Then Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab; I will give her to you as a wife, only be a valiant man for me and fight the Lord’s battles.” For Saul thought, “My hand shall not be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” 18 But David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my life or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be the king’s son-in-law?” 19 So it came about at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel the Meholathite for a wife.
David Marries Saul’s Daughter
20 Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David. When they told Saul, the thing was agreeable [ai]to him. 21 Saul thought, “I will give her to him that she may become a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David, “For a second time you may be my son-in-law today.” 22 Then Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David secretly, saying, ‘Behold, the king delights in you, and all his servants love you; now therefore, become the king’s son-in-law.’” 23 So Saul’s servants spoke these words [aj]to David. But David said, “Is it trivial in your sight to become the king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man and lightly esteemed?” 24 The servants of Saul reported to him [ak]according to these words which David spoke. 25 Saul then said, “Thus you shall say to David, ‘The king does not desire any dowry except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to take vengeance on the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul planned to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26 When his servants told David these words, [al]it pleased David to become the king’s son-in-law. [am]Before the days had expired 27 David rose up and went, he and his men, and struck down two hundred men among the Philistines. Then David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. So Saul gave him Michal his daughter for a wife. 28 When Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him, 29 then Saul was even more afraid of David. Thus Saul was David’s enemy continually.
30 Then the commanders of the Philistines went out to battle, and it happened as often as they went out, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul. So his name was highly esteemed.
David Protected from Saul
19 Now Saul told Jonathan his son and all his servants to put David to death. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, greatly delighted in David. 2 So Jonathan told David saying, “Saul my father is seeking to put you to death. Now therefore, please be on guard in the morning, and stay in a secret place and hide yourself. 3 I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father about you; if I [an]find out anything, then I will tell you.” 4 Then Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Do not let the king sin against his servant David, since he has not sinned against you, and since his deeds have been very [ao]beneficial to you. 5 For he took his life in his hand and struck the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great deliverance for all Israel; you saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by putting David to death without a cause?” 6 Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan, and Saul vowed, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” 7 Then Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all these words. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as formerly.
8 When there was war again, David went out and fought with the Philistines and [ap]defeated them with great slaughter, so that they fled before him. 9 Now there was an evil spirit from the Lord on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was playing the harp with his hand. 10 Saul tried to [aq]pin David to the wall with the spear, but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, so that he [ar]stuck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night.
11 Then Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him, in order to put him to death in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, “If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be put to death.” 12 So Michal let David down through a window, and he went out and fled and escaped. 13 Michal took the [as]household idol and laid it on the bed, and put a quilt of goats’ hair at its head, and covered it with clothes. 14 When Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.” 15 Then Saul sent messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me on [at]his bed, that I may put him to death.” 16 When the messengers entered, behold, the [au]household idol was on the bed with the quilt of goats’ hair at its head. 17 So Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?” And Michal said to Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go! Why should I put you to death?’”
18 Now David fled and escaped and came to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth. 19 It was told Saul, saying, “Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David, but when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing and presiding over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul; and they also prophesied. 21 When it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. So Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Then he himself went to Ramah and came as far as the large well that is in Secu; and he asked and said, “Where are Samuel and David?” And someone said, “Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah.” 23 He [av]proceeded there to Naioth in Ramah; and the Spirit of God came upon him also, so that he went along prophesying continually until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 He also stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and [aw]lay down [ax]naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
David and Jonathan Covenant
20 Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said [ay]to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity? And what is my sin before your father, that he is seeking my life?” 2 He said to him, “Far from it, you shall not die. Behold, my father does nothing either great or small [az]without disclosing it to me. So why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so!” 3 Yet David vowed again, [ba]saying, “Your father knows well that I have found favor in your sight, and he has said, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, or he will be grieved.’ But truly as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is [bb]hardly a step between me and death.” 4 Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever [bc]you say, I will do for you.” 5 So David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I ought to sit down to eat with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field until the third evening. 6 If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city, because it is the yearly sacrifice there for the whole family.’ 7 If he [bd]says, ‘It is good,’ your servant will be safe; but if he is very angry, know that he has decided on evil. 8 Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the Lord with you. But if there is iniquity in me, put me to death yourself; for why then should you bring me to your father?” 9 Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! For if I should indeed learn that evil has been decided by my father to come upon you, then would I not tell you about it?” 10 Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me [be]if your father answers you harshly?” 11 Jonathan said to David, “Come, and let us go out into the field.” So both of them went out to the field.
12 Then Jonathan said to David, “The Lord, the God of Israel, be witness! When I have sounded out my father about this time tomorrow, or the third day, behold, if there is good feeling toward David, shall I not then send to you and [bf]make it known to you? 13 If it please my father to do you harm, may the Lord do so to Jonathan and more also, if I do not [bg]make it known to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. And may the Lord be with you as He has been with my father. 14 If I am still alive, will you not show me the lovingkindness of the Lord, that I may not die? 15 You shall not cut off your lovingkindness from my house forever, not even when the Lord cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord require it at the hands of David’s enemies.” 17 Jonathan made David vow again because of his love for him, because he loved him as he loved his own life.
18 Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed because your seat will be empty. 19 When you have stayed for three days, you shall go down quickly and come to the place where you hid yourself on that eventful day, and you shall remain by the stone Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows to the side, as though I shot at a target. 21 And behold, I will send the lad, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I specifically say to the lad, ‘Behold, the arrows are on this side of you, get them,’ then come; for there is safety for you and [bh]no harm, as the Lord lives. 22 But if I [bi]say to the youth, ‘Behold, the arrows are beyond you,’ go, for the Lord has sent you away. 23 As for the [bj]agreement of which you and I have spoken, behold, the Lord is between you and me forever.”
24 So David hid in the field; and when the new moon came, the king sat down to eat food. 25 The king sat on his seat as usual, the seat by the wall; then Jonathan rose up and Abner sat down by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty. 26 Nevertheless Saul did not speak anything that day, for he thought, “It is an accident, he is not clean, surely he is not clean.” 27 It came about the next day, the second day of the new moon, that David’s place was empty; so Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has the son of Jesse not come to the meal, either yesterday or today?” 28 Jonathan then answered Saul, “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem, 29 for he said, ‘Please [bk]let me go, since our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to attend. And now, if I have found favor in your sight, please let me get away that I may see my brothers.’ For this reason he has not come to the king’s table.”
Saul Is Angry with Jonathan
30 Then Saul’s anger burned against Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you are choosing the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? 31 For [bl]as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Therefore now, send and bring him to me, for he [bm]must surely die.” 32 But Jonathan answered Saul his father and said to him, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33 Then Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him down; so Jonathan knew that his father had decided to put David to death. 34 Then Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did not eat food on the second day of the new moon, for he was grieved over David because his father had dishonored him.
35 Now it came about in the morning that Jonathan went out into the field for the appointment with David, and a little lad was with him. 36 He said to his lad, “Run, find now the arrows which I am about to shoot.” As the lad was running, he shot [bn]an arrow past him. 37 When the lad reached the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the lad and said, “Is not the arrow beyond you?” 38 And Jonathan called after the lad, “Hurry, be quick, do not stay!” And Jonathan’s lad picked up the arrow and came to his master. 39 But the lad was not aware of anything; only Jonathan and David knew about the matter. 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to his lad and said to him, “Go, bring them to the city.” 41 When the lad was gone, David rose from the south side and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed three times. And they kissed each other and wept together, but David wept the more. 42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in safety, inasmuch as we have sworn to each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord will be between me and you, and between my [bo]descendants and your [bp]descendants forever.’” [bq]Then he rose and departed, while Jonathan went into the city.
David Takes Consecrated Bread
21 Then David came to Nob to Ahimelech the priest; and Ahimelech came trembling to meet David and said to him, “Why are you alone and no one with you?” 2 David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has commissioned me with a matter and has said to me, ‘Let no one know anything about the matter on which I am sending you and with which I have commissioned you; and I have directed the young men to a certain place.’ 3 Now therefore, what [br]do you have on hand? Give [bs]me five loaves of bread, or whatever can be found.” 4 The priest answered David and said, “There is no ordinary bread [bt]on hand, but there is consecrated bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5 David answered the priest and said to him, “Surely women have been kept from us as previously when I set out and the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was an ordinary journey; how much more then today will [bu]their vessels be holy?” 6 So the priest gave him consecrated bread; for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence which was removed from before the Lord, in order to put hot bread in its place when it was taken away.
7 Now one of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord; and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds.
8 David said to Ahimelech, “Now is there not a spear or a sword [bv]on hand? For I brought neither my sword nor my weapons [bw]with me, because the king’s matter was urgent.” 9 Then the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you [bx]killed in the valley of Elah, behold, it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you would take it for yourself, take it. For there is no other except it here.” And David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”
10 Then David arose and fled that day from Saul, and went to Achish king of Gath. 11 But the servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of this one as they danced, saying,
‘Saul has slain his thousands,
12 David took these words [by]to heart and greatly feared Achish king of Gath. 13 So he disguised his sanity before them, and acted insanely in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down into his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man behaving as a madman. Why do you bring him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this one to act the madman in my presence? Shall this one come into my house?”
The Priests Slain at Nob
22 So David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father’s household heard of it, they went down there to him. 2 Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who [bz]was in debt, and everyone who was [ca]discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Now there were about four hundred men with him.
3 And David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother come and stay with you until I know what God will do for me.” 4 Then he left them with the king of Moab; and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold. 5 The prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.
6 Then Saul heard that David and the men who were with him had been discovered. Now Saul was sitting in Gibeah, under the tamarisk tree on the height with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing around him. 7 Saul said to his servants who stood around him, “Hear now, O Benjamites! Will the son of Jesse also give to all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? 8 For all of you have conspired against me so that there is no one who [cb]discloses to me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you who is sorry for me or [cc]discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me to lie in ambush, as it is this day.” 9 Then Doeg the Edomite, who was [cd]standing by the servants of Saul, said, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10 He inquired of the Lord for him, gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”
11 Then the king sent someone to summon Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s household, the priests who were in Nob; and all of them came to the king. 12 Saul said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.” And he [ce]answered, “Here I am, my lord.” 13 Saul then said to him, “Why have you and the son of Jesse conspired against me, in that you have given him bread and a sword and have inquired of God for him, so that he would rise up against me by lying in ambush as it is this day?”
14 Then Ahimelech answered the king and said, “And who among all your servants is as faithful as David, even the king’s son-in-law, who [cf]is captain over your guard, and is honored in your house? 15 Did I just begin to inquire of God for him today? Far be it from me! Do not let the king impute anything to his servant or to any of the household of my father, for your servant knows nothing [cg]at all of this whole affair.” 16 But the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s household!” 17 And the king said to the [ch]guards who were attending him, “Turn around and put the priests of the Lord to death, because their hand also is with David and because they knew that he was fleeing and did not [ci]reveal it to me.” But the servants of the king were not willing to put forth their hands to [cj]attack the priests of the Lord. 18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn around and [ck]attack the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned around and [cl]attacked the priests, and he killed that day eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19 And he struck Nob the city of the priests with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and infants; also oxen, donkeys, and sheep he struck with the edge of the sword.
20 But one son of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21 Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have brought about the death of every person in your father’s household. 23 Stay with me; do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life, for you are [cm]safe with me.”
David Delivers Keilah
23 Then they told David, saying, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are plundering the threshing floors.” 2 So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and [cn]attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and [co]attack the Philistines and deliver Keilah.” 3 But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the ranks of the Philistines?” 4 Then David inquired of the Lord once more. And the Lord answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines; and he led away their livestock and struck them with a great slaughter. Thus David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah.
6 Now it came about, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand. 7 When it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah, Saul said, “God has [cp]delivered him into my hand, for he shut himself in by entering a city with double gates and bars.” 8 So Saul summoned all the people for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men. 9 Now David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him; so he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then David said, “O Lord God of Israel, Your servant has heard for certain that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to destroy the city on my account. 11 Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down just as Your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will surrender you.” 13 Then David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he [cq]gave up the pursuit. 14 David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand.
Saul Pursues David
15 Now David [cr]became aware that Saul had come out to seek his life while David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 16 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David at Horesh, and [cs]encouraged him in God. 17 Thus he said to him, “Do not be afraid, because the hand of Saul my father will not find you, and you will be king over Israel and I will be next to you; and Saul my father knows that also.” 18 So the two of them made a covenant before the Lord; and David stayed at Horesh while Jonathan went to his house.
19 Then Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not hiding with us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the [ct]south of [cu]Jeshimon? 20 Now then, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to [cv]do so; and our part shall be to surrender him into the king’s hand.” 21 Saul said, “May you be blessed of the Lord, for you have had compassion on me. 22 Go now, make more sure, and investigate and see his place where his [cw]haunt is, and who has seen him there; for I am told that he is very cunning. 23 So look, and learn about all the hiding places where he hides himself and return to me with certainty, and I will go with you; and if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.”
24 Then they arose and went to Ziph before Saul. Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah to the [cx]south of [cy]Jeshimon. 25 When Saul and his men went to seek him, they told David, and he came down to the rock and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard it, he pursued David in the wilderness of Maon. 26 Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain; and David was hurrying to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were surrounding David and his men to seize them. 27 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid on the land.” 28 So Saul returned from pursuing David and went to meet the Philistines; therefore they called that place [cz]the Rock of Escape. 29 [da]David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of Engedi.
David Spares Saul’s Life
24 Now when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, saying, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.” 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 3 He came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to [db]relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave. 4 The men of David said to him, “Behold, this is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good [dc]to you.’” Then David arose and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe secretly. 5 It came about afterward that David’s [dd]conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe. 6 So he said to his men, “Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.” 7 David [de]persuaded his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. And Saul arose, [df]left the cave, and went on his way.
8 Now afterward David arose and went out of the cave and called after Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the ground and prostrated himself. 9 David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men, saying, ‘Behold, David seeks [dg]to harm you’? 10 Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord had given you today into my hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 Now, my father, see! Indeed, see the edge of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the edge of your robe and did not kill you, know and perceive that there is no evil or [dh]rebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait for my life to take it. 12 May the Lord judge between [di]you and me, and may the Lord avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness’; but my hand shall not be against you. 14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, a single flea? 15 The Lord therefore be judge and decide between [dj]you and me; and may He see and plead my cause and [dk]deliver me from your hand.”
16 When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” Then Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 He said to David, “You are more righteous than I; for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt wickedly with you. 18 You have declared today that you have done good to me, that the Lord delivered me into your hand and yet you did not kill me. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away [dl]safely? May the Lord therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day. 20 Now, behold, I know that you will surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand. 21 So now swear to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my [dm]descendants after me and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s household.” 22 David swore to Saul. And Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.
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