1 Samuel 23:13-29 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
13 So David and his men, numbering about 600, left Keilah at once and moved from place to place. When it was reported to Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he called off the expedition. 14 David then stayed in the wilderness strongholds and in the hill country of the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul searched for him every day, but God did not hand David over to him.
A Renewed Covenant
15 David was in the Wilderness of Ziph in Horesh when he saw that Saul had come out to take his life. 16 Then Saul’s son Jonathan came to David in Horesh and encouraged him in his faith in God, 17 saying, “Don’t be afraid, for my father Saul will never lay a hand on you. You yourself will be king over Israel, and I’ll be your second-in-command. Even my father Saul knows it is true.” 18 Then the two of them made a covenant in the Lord’s presence. Afterward, David remained in Horesh, while Jonathan went home.
David’s Narrow Escape
19 Some Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah and said, “David is[a] hiding among us in the strongholds in Horesh on the hill of Hachilah south of Jeshimon. 20 Now, whenever the king wants to come down, let him come down. Our part will be to hand him over to the king.”
21 “May you be blessed by the Lord,” replied Saul, “for you have taken pity on me. 22 Go and check again. Investigate and watch carefully where he goes[b] and who has seen him there; they tell me he is extremely cunning. 23 Look and find out all the places where he hides. Then come back to me with accurate information, and I’ll go with you. If it turns out he really is in the region, I’ll search for him among all the clans[c] of Judah.” 24 So they went to Ziph ahead of Saul.
Now David and his men were in the wilderness near Maon in the Arabah south of Jeshimon, 25 and Saul and his men went to look for him. When David was told about it, he went down to the rock and stayed in the Wilderness of Maon. Saul heard of this and pursued David there.
26 Saul went along one side of the mountain and David and his men went along the other side. Even though David was hurrying to get away from Saul, Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them. 27 Then a messenger came to Saul saying, “Come quickly, because the Philistines have raided the land!” 28 So Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to engage the Philistines. Therefore, that place was named the Rock of Separation. 29 [d]From there David went up and stayed in the strongholds of En-gedi.
Psalm 54 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Prayer for Deliverance
For the choir director: with stringed instruments. A Davidic Maskil. When the Ziphites went and said to Saul, “Is David not hiding among us?”
1 God, save me by Your name,
4 God is my helper;
6 I will sacrifice a freewill offering to You.
1 Samuel 24-25 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
David Spares Saul
24 When Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the wilderness near En-gedi.” 2 So Saul took 3,000 of Israel’s choice men and went to look for David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 3 When Saul came to the sheep pens along the road, a cave was there, and he went in to relieve himself.[a] David and his men were staying in the back of the cave, 4 so they said to him, “Look, this is the day the Lord told you about: ‘I will hand your enemy over to you so you can do to him whatever you desire.’” Then David got up and secretly cut off the corner of Saul’s robe.
5 Afterward, David’s conscience bothered[b] him because he had cut off the corner of Saul’s robe.[c] 6 He said to his men, “I swear before the Lord: I would never do such a thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed. I will never lift my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.” 7 With these words David persuaded[d] his men, and he did not let them rise up against Saul.
Then Saul left the cave and went on his way. 8 After that, David got up, went out of the cave, and called to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed to the ground in homage. 9 David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of people who say, ‘Look, David intends to harm you’? 10 You can see with your own eyes that the Lord handed you over to me today in the cave. Someone advised me to kill you, but I[e][f] took pity on you and said: I won’t lift my hand against my lord, since he is the Lord’s anointed. 11 See, my father! Look at the corner of your robe in my hand, for I cut it off, but I didn’t kill you. Look and recognize that there is no evil or rebellion in me. I haven’t sinned against you even though you are hunting me down to take my life.
12 “May the Lord judge between you and me, and may the Lord take vengeance on you for me, but my hand will never be against you. 13 As the old proverb says, ‘Wickedness comes from wicked people.’ My hand will never be against you. 14 Who has the king of Israel come after? What are you chasing after? A dead dog? A flea? 15 May the Lord be judge and decide between you and me. May He take notice and plead my case and deliver[g] me from you.”
16 When David finished saying these things to him, Saul replied, “Is that your voice, David my son?” Then Saul wept aloud 17 and said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have done what is good to me though I have done what is evil to you. 18 You yourself have told me today what good you did for me: when the Lord handed me over to you, you didn’t kill me. 19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him go unharmed?[h] May the Lord repay you with good for what you’ve done for me today.
20 “Now I know for certain you will be king, and the kingdom of Israel will be established[i] in your hand. 21 Therefore swear to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s family.” 22 So David swore to Saul. Then Saul went back home, and David and his men went up to the stronghold.
David, Nabal, and Abigail
25 Samuel died, and all Israel assembled to mourn for him, and they buried him by his home in Ramah. David then went down to the Wilderness of Paran.[j]
2 A man in Maon had a business in Carmel; he was a very rich man with 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats and was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 The man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name, Abigail. The woman was intelligent and beautiful, but the man, a Calebite, was harsh and evil in his dealings.
4 While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep, 5 so David sent 10 young men instructing them, “Go up to Carmel, and when you come to Nabal, greet him in my name.[k] 6 Then say this: ‘Long life to you,[l] and peace to you, to your family, and to all that is yours. 7 I hear that you are shearing.[m] When your shepherds were with us, we did not harass them, and nothing of theirs was missing the whole time they were in Carmel. 8 Ask your young men, and they will tell you. So let my young men find favor with you, for we have come on a feast[n] day. Please give whatever you can afford to your servants and to your son David.’”
9 David’s young men went and said all these things to Nabal on David’s behalf,[o] and they waited.[p] 10 Nabal asked them, “Who is David? Who is Jesse’s son? Many slaves these days are running away from their masters. 11 Am I supposed to take my bread, my water, and my meat that I butchered for my shearers and give them to these men? I don’t know where they are from.”
12 David’s men retraced their steps. When they returned to him, they reported all these words. 13 He said to his men, “All of you, put on your swords!” So David and all his men put on their swords. About 400 men followed David while 200 stayed with the supplies.
14 One of Nabal’s young men informed Abigail, Nabal’s wife: “Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he yelled at them. 15 The men treated us well. When we were in the field, we weren’t harassed and nothing of ours was missing the whole time we were living among them. 16 They were a wall around us, both day and night, the entire time we were herding the sheep. 17 Now consider carefully what you must do, because there is certain to be trouble for our master and his entire family. He is such a worthless fool nobody can talk to him!”
18 Abigail hurried, taking 200 loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five butchered sheep, a bushel[q] of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 Then she said to her male servants, “Go ahead of me. I will be right behind you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.
20 As she rode the donkey down a mountain pass hidden from view, she saw David and his men coming toward her and met them. 21 David had just said, “I guarded everything that belonged to this man in the wilderness for nothing. He was not missing anything, yet he paid me back evil for good. 22 May God punish me[r] and do so severely if I let any of his men[s] survive until morning.”
23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off the donkey and fell with her face to the ground in front of David. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “The guilt is mine, my lord, but please let your servant speak to you directly. Listen to the words of your servant. 25 My lord should pay no attention to this worthless man Nabal, for he lives up to his name:[t] His name is Nabal,[u] and stupidity is all he knows.[v] I, your servant, didn’t see my lord’s young men whom you sent. 26 Now my lord, as surely as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, it is the Lord who kept you from participating in bloodshed and avenging yourself by your own hand. May your enemies and those who want trouble for my lord be like Nabal. 27 Accept this gift your servant has brought to my lord, and let it be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the Lord is certain to make a lasting dynasty for my lord because he fights the Lord’s battles. Throughout your life, may evil[w] not be found in you.
29 “When someone pursues you and attempts to take your life, my lord’s life will be tucked safely in the place[x] where the Lord your God protects the living. However, He will fling away your enemies’ lives like stones from a sling. 30 When the Lord does for my lord all the good He promised and appoints you ruler over Israel, 31 there will not be remorse or a troubled conscience for my lord because of needless bloodshed or my lord’s revenge. And when the Lord does good things for my lord, may you remember me your servant.”
32 Then David said to Abigail, “Praise to the Lord God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! 33 Your discernment is blessed, and you are blessed. Today you kept me from participating in bloodshed and avenging myself by my own hand. 34 Otherwise, as surely as the Lord God of Israel lives, who prevented me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, Nabal wouldn’t have had any men[y] left by morning light.” 35 Then David accepted what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. See, I have heard what you said and have granted your request.”
39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise the Lord who championed my cause against Nabal’s insults and restrained His servant from doing evil. The Lord brought Nabal’s evil deeds back on his own head.”
Then David sent messengers to speak to Abigail about marrying him. 40 When David’s servants came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David sent us to bring you to him as a wife.”
41 She stood up, then bowed her face to the ground and said, “Here I am, your servant, to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” 42 Then Abigail got up quickly, and with her five female servants accompanying her, rode on the donkey following David’s messengers. And so she became his wife.
43 David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and the two of them became his wives. 44 But Saul gave his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Palti son of Laish, who was from Gallim.