1 Samuel 17-25
New International Version
David and Goliath
17 Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled(A) at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh(B) and Azekah.(C) 2 Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah(D) and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.
4 A champion named Goliath,(E) who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.[a] 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels[b]; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin(F) was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod,(G) and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.[c] His shield bearer(H) went ahead of him.
8 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(I) a man and have him come down to me. 9 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(J) the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.(K)” 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(L) named Jesse,(M) who was from Bethlehem(N) in Judah. Jesse had eight(O) 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;(P) the second, Abinadab;(Q) and the third, Shammah.(R) 14 David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to tend(S) his father’s sheep(T) 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[d](U) of roasted grain(V) 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(W) are and bring back some assurance[e] 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,(X) 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(Y) 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(Z) in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes(AA) 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(AB) from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised(AC) Philistine that he should defy(AD) the armies of the living(AE) 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(AF) 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(AG) on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
33 Saul replied,(AH) “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(AI) 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(AJ) it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion(AK) 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(AL) me from the paw of the lion(AM) 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(AN) you.”
38 Then Saul dressed David in his own(AO) 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(AP) 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,(AQ) and he despised(AR) him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog,(AS) 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(AT) and the wild animals!(AU)”
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,(AV) but I come against you in the name(AW) of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.(AX) 46 This day the Lord will deliver(AY) you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses(AZ) of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world(BA) will know that there is a God in Israel.(BB) 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword(BC) or spear that the Lord saves;(BD) for the battle(BE) 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(BF) and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
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[f] and to the gates of Ekron.(BI) Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim(BJ) 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.
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(BM) of Bethlehem.”
Saul’s Growing Fear of David
18 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan(BN) became one in spirit with David, and he loved(BO) him as himself.(BP) 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant(BQ) with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe(BR) he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.(BS)
6 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,(BV) with joyful songs and with timbrels(BW) and lyres. 7 As they danced, they sang:(BX)
“Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens(BY) of thousands.”
8 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?(BZ)” 9 And from that time on Saul kept a close(CA) eye on David.
10 The next day an evil[g] spirit(CB) from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre,(CC) as he usually(CD) did. Saul had a spear(CE) in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself,(CF) “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded(CG) him twice.(CH)
12 Saul was afraid(CI) of David, because the Lord(CJ) was with(CK) David but had departed from(CL) Saul. 13 So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led(CM) the troops in their campaigns.(CN) 14 In everything he did he had great success,(CO) because the Lord was with(CP) 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.(CQ)
17 Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter(CR) Merab. I will give her to you in marriage;(CS) only serve me bravely and fight the battles(CT) of the Lord.” For Saul said to himself,(CU) “I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!”
18 But David said to Saul, “Who am I,(CV) and what is my family or my clan in Israel, that I should become the king’s son-in-law?(CW)” 19 So[h] when the time came for Merab,(CX) Saul’s daughter, to be given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel of Meholah.(CY)
20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal(CZ) was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased.(DA) 21 “I will give her to him,” he thought, “so that she may be a snare(DB) 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?(DC) 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(DD) for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge(DE) on his enemies.’” Saul’s plan(DF) 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(DG) in marriage.
30 The Philistine commanders continued to go out to battle, and as often as they did, David met with more success(DJ) than the rest of Saul’s officers, and his name became well known.
Saul Tries to Kill David
19 Saul told his son Jonathan(DK) and all the attendants to kill(DL) David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David 2 and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding(DM) and stay there. 3 I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak(DN) to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”
4 Jonathan spoke(DO) well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong(DP) to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. 5 He took his life(DQ) in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory(DR) for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent(DS) man like David by killing him for no reason?”
6 Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be put to death.”
7 So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.(DT)
8 Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.
9 But an evil[i] spirit(DU) 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,(DV) 10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded(DW) 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(DX) it and to kill him in the morning.(DY) 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,(DZ) and he fled and escaped. 13 Then Michal took an idol(EA) 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,(EB) “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(EC) 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(ED) prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on(EE) Saul’s men, and they also prophesied.(EF) 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(EG) until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped(EH) off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s(EI) presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”(EJ)
David and Jonathan
2 “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!”
3 But David took an oath(EM) 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.”
4 Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.”
5 So David said, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon feast,(EN) and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide(EO) in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow. 6 If your father misses me at all, tell him, ‘David earnestly asked my permission(EP) to hurry to Bethlehem,(EQ) his hometown, because an annual(ER) sacrifice is being made there for his whole clan.’ 7 If he says, ‘Very well,’ then your servant is safe. But if he loses his temper,(ES) you can be sure that he is determined(ET) to harm me. 8 As for you, show kindness to your servant, for you have brought him into a covenant(EU) with you before the Lord. If I am guilty, then kill(EV) me yourself! Why hand me over to your father?”
9 “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(EW) 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,(EX) if I do not let you know and send you away in peace. May the Lord be with(EY) you as he has been with my father. 14 But show me unfailing kindness(EZ) 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(FA)—not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.”
16 So Jonathan(FB) made a covenant(FC) with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account.(FD)” 17 And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath(FE) 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.(FF) 19 The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid(FG) when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows(FH) 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(FI) 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(FJ) between you and me forever.”
24 So David hid in the field, and when the New Moon feast(FK) came, the king sat down to eat. 25 He sat in his customary place by the wall, opposite Jonathan,[j] and Abner sat next to Saul, but David’s place was empty.(FL) 26 Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, “Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean—surely he is unclean.(FM)” 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(FN) to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrifice(FO) 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(FP) will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!”
32 “Why(FQ) should he be put to death? What(FR) 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(FS) 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(FT) 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.(FU) Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most.
42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace,(FV) for we have sworn friendship(FW) with each other in the name of the Lord,(FX) saying, ‘The Lord is witness(FY) between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.(FZ)’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.[k]
David at Nob
2 David answered Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”
5 David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual(GF) whenever[m] I set out. The men’s bodies are holy(GG) even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!” 6 So the priest gave him the consecrated bread,(GH) since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.
8 David asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king’s mission was urgent.”
9 The priest replied, “The sword(GK) of Goliath(GL) the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah,(GM) is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.”
David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”
David at Gath
10 That day David fled from Saul and went(GN) to Achish king of Gath. 11 But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances:
“‘Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands’?”(GO)
12 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13 So he pretended to be insane(GP) in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.
14 Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? 15 Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?”
David at Adullam and Mizpah
22 David left Gath and escaped to the cave(GQ) of Adullam.(GR) When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. 2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered(GS) around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.
3 From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, “Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God will do for me?” 4 So he left them with the king of Moab,(GT) and they stayed with him as long as David was in the stronghold.
Saul Kills the Priests of Nob
6 Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And Saul was seated,(GW) spear in hand, under the tamarisk(GX) tree on the hill at Gibeah, with all his officials standing at his side. 7 He said to them, “Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders(GY) of thousands and commanders of hundreds? 8 Is that why you have all conspired(GZ) against me? No one tells me when my son makes a covenant(HA) with the son of Jesse.(HB) None of you is concerned(HC) about me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he does today.”
9 But Doeg(HD) the Edomite, who was standing with Saul’s officials, said, “I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelek son of Ahitub(HE) at Nob.(HF) 10 Ahimelek inquired(HG) of the Lord for him; he also gave him provisions(HH) and the sword(HI) of Goliath the Philistine.”
11 Then the king sent for the priest Ahimelek son of Ahitub and all the men of his family, who were the priests at Nob, and they all came to the king. 12 Saul said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.”
“Yes, my lord,” he answered.
13 Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired(HJ) against me, you and the son of Jesse, giving him bread and a sword and inquiring of God for him, so that he has rebelled against me and lies in wait for me, as he does today?”
14 Ahimelek answered the king, “Who(HK) of all your servants is as loyal as David, the king’s son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly respected in your household? 15 Was that day the first time I inquired of God for him? Of course not! Let not the king accuse your servant or any of his father’s family, for your servant knows nothing at all about this whole affair.”
16 But the king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelek, you and your whole family.(HL)”
17 Then the king ordered the guards at his side: “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me.”
But the king’s officials were unwilling(HM) to raise a hand to strike the priests of the Lord.
18 The king then ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests.”(HN) So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod.(HO) 19 He also put to the sword(HP) Nob,(HQ) the town of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep.
20 But one son of Ahimelek son of Ahitub,(HR) named Abiathar,(HS) escaped and fled to join David.(HT) 21 He told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “That day, when Doeg(HU) the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your whole family. 23 Stay with me; don’t be afraid. The man who wants to kill you(HV) is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.”
David Saves Keilah
23 When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah(HW) and are looting the threshing floors,”(HX) 2 he inquired(HY) of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?”
The Lord answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.”
3 But David’s men said to him, “Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!”
4 Once again David inquired(HZ) of the Lord, and the Lord answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines(IA) into your hand.(IB)” 5 So David and his men went to Keilah, fought the Philistines and carried off their livestock. He inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the people of Keilah. 6 (Now Abiathar(IC) son of Ahimelek had brought the ephod(ID) down with him when he fled to David at Keilah.)
Saul Pursues David
7 Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, and he said, “God has delivered him into my hands,(IE) for David has imprisoned himself by entering a town with gates and bars.”(IF) 8 And Saul called up all his forces for battle, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.
9 When David learned that Saul was plotting against him, he said to Abiathar(IG) the priest, “Bring the ephod.(IH)” 10 David said, “Lord, God of Israel, your servant has heard definitely that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me. 11 Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? Lord, God of Israel, tell your servant.”
And the Lord said, “He will.”
12 Again David asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah surrender(II) me and my men to Saul?”
And the Lord said, “They will.”
13 So David and his men,(IJ) about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he did not go there.
15 While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that[n] Saul had come out to take his life.(IO) 16 And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength(IP) in God. 17 “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king(IQ) over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” 18 The two of them made a covenant(IR) before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.
19 The Ziphites(IS) went up to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Is not David hiding among us(IT) in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hakilah,(IU) south of Jeshimon? 20 Now, Your Majesty, come down whenever it pleases you to do so, and we will be responsible for giving(IV) him into your hands.”
21 Saul replied, “The Lord bless(IW) you for your concern(IX) for me. 22 Go and get more information. Find out where David usually goes and who has seen him there. They tell me he is very crafty. 23 Find out about all the hiding places he uses and come back to me with definite information. Then I will go with you; if he is in the area, I will track(IY) him down among all the clans of Judah.”
24 So they set out and went to Ziph ahead of Saul. Now David and his men were in the Desert of Maon,(IZ) in the Arabah south of Jeshimon.(JA) 25 Saul and his men began the search, and when David was told about it, he went down to the rock and stayed in the Desert of Maon. When Saul heard this, he went into the Desert of Maon in pursuit of David.
26 Saul(JB) was going along one side of the mountain, and David and his men were on the other side, hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his forces were closing in on David and his men to capture them, 27 a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Come quickly! The Philistines are raiding the land.” 28 Then Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to meet the Philistines. That is why they call this place Sela Hammahlekoth.[o] 29 And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds(JC) of En Gedi.[p](JD)
David Spares Saul’s Life
24 [q]After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi.(JE)” 2 So Saul took three thousand able young men from all Israel and set out to look(JF) for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.
3 He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave(JG) was there, and Saul went in to relieve(JH) himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. 4 The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke(JI) of when he said[r] to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’”(JJ) Then David crept up unnoticed and cut(JK) off a corner of Saul’s robe.
5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken(JL) for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed,(JM) or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” 7 With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.
8 Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.(JN) 9 He said to Saul, “Why do you listen(JO) when men say, ‘David is bent on harming(JP) you’? 10 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared(JQ) you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut(JR) off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. See that there is nothing in my hand to indicate that I am guilty(JS) of wrongdoing(JT) or rebellion. I have not wronged(JU) you, but you are hunting(JV) me down to take my life.(JW) 12 May the Lord judge(JX) between you and me. And may the Lord avenge(JY) the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. 13 As the old saying goes, ‘From evildoers come evil deeds,(JZ)’ so my hand will not touch you.
14 “Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Who are you pursuing? A dead dog?(KA) A flea?(KB) 15 May the Lord be our judge(KC) and decide(KD) between us. May he consider my cause and uphold(KE) it; may he vindicate(KF) me by delivering(KG) me from your hand.”
16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked, “Is that your voice,(KH) David my son?” And he wept aloud. 17 “You are more righteous than I,”(KI) he said. “You have treated me well,(KJ) but I have treated you badly.(KK) 18 You have just now told me about the good you did to me; the Lord delivered(KL) me into your hands, but you did not kill me. 19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the Lord reward(KM) you well for the way you treated me today. 20 I know that you will surely be king(KN) and that the kingdom(KO) of Israel will be established in your hands. 21 Now swear(KP) to me by the Lord that you will not kill off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s family.(KQ)”
22 So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.(KR)
David, Nabal and Abigail
2 A certain man in Maon,(KV) who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy.(KW) He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing(KX) in Carmel. 3 His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail.(KY) She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.(KZ)
4 While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. 5 So he sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name. 6 Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health(LA) to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!(LB)
7 “‘Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat(LC) them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing.
- 1 Samuel 17:4 That is, about 9 feet 9 inches or about 3 meters
- 1 Samuel 17:5 That is, about 125 pounds or about 58 kilograms
- 1 Samuel 17:7 That is, about 15 pounds or about 6.9 kilograms
- 1 Samuel 17:17 That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms
- 1 Samuel 17:18 Or some token; or some pledge of spoils
- 1 Samuel 17:52 Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew of a valley
- 1 Samuel 18:10 Or a harmful
- 1 Samuel 18:19 Or However,
- 1 Samuel 19:9 Or But a harmful
- 1 Samuel 20:25 Septuagint; Hebrew wall. Jonathan arose
- 1 Samuel 20:42 In Hebrew texts this sentence (20:42b) is numbered 21:1.
- 1 Samuel 21:1 In Hebrew texts 21:1-15 is numbered 21:2-16.
- 1 Samuel 21:5 Or from us in the past few days since
- 1 Samuel 23:15 Or he was afraid because
- 1 Samuel 23:28 Sela Hammahlekoth means rock of parting.
- 1 Samuel 23:29 In Hebrew texts this verse (23:29) is numbered 24:1.
- 1 Samuel 24:1 In Hebrew texts 24:1-22 is numbered 24:2-23.
- 1 Samuel 24:4 Or “Today the Lord is saying
- 1 Samuel 25:1 Hebrew and some Septuagint manuscripts; other Septuagint manuscripts Maon