David Takes Consecrated Bread

21 Then David came to (A)Nob, to Ahimelech the priest; and Ahimelech (B)came trembling to meet David and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has commissioned me with a matter and has said to me, ‘(C)No one is to 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.’ Now then, what [a]do you have on hand? Give [b]me five loaves of bread, or whatever can be found.” The priest answered David and said, “There is no ordinary bread [c]on hand, but there is (D)consecrated bread, if only the young men have (E)kept themselves from women.” David answered the priest and said to him, “(F)Be assured, women have been denied to us as previously when I left and the [d](G)bodies of the young men were consecrated, though it was an ordinary journey; how much more then will [e]their bodies be consecrated today?” So (H)the priest gave him consecrated bread; for there was no bread there except the (I)bread of the Presence which was removed from its place before the Lord, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day it was taken away.

Now one of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord; and his name was (J)Doeg the Edomite, the (K)chief of Saul’s shepherds.

David said to Ahimelech, “Now is there no spear or sword [f]on hand? For I brought neither my sword nor my weapons [g]with me, because the king’s matter was urgent.” Then the priest said, “(L)The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you [h]killed (M)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 set out and fled that day from Saul, and went to (N)Achish king of Gath. 11 But the (O)servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David, the king of the land? (P)Did they not sing of this one as they danced, saying,

‘Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands’?”

12 David (Q)took these words [i]to heart and greatly feared Achish king of Gath. 13 So he (R)disguised his sanity while in their sight and acted insanely in their [j]custody, and he scribbled on the doors of the gate, and drooled on his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see the man is behaving like an insane person. Why do you bring him to me? 15 Do I lack insane people, that you have brought this one to behave like an insane person in my presence? Shall this one come into my house?”

Priests Killed at Nob

22 So David departed from there and (S)escaped to (T)the cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father’s household heard about it, they went down there to him. Then everyone who was in distress, and everyone who [k]was in debt, and everyone who was [l]discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Now there were (U)about four hundred men with him.

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.” Then he [m]left them with the king of Moab; and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold. But (V)Gad the prophet said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold; leave, and go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went into the forest of Hereth.

Then Saul heard that David and the men who were with him had been discovered. Now (W)Saul was in Gibeah, sitting under the tamarisk tree on the height with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing in front of him. Saul said to his servants who were standing in front of him, “Hear now, you Benjaminites! Will the son of Jesse really give all of you fields and vineyards? (X)Will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? For all of you have conspired against me so that there is no one who [n]informs me (Y)when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you (Z)who cares about me or [o]informs me that my son has stirred up my servant against me to lie in ambush, as it is this day.” Then (AA)Doeg the Edomite, who was [p]standing in front of the servants of Saul, responded and said, “(AB)I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to (AC)Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10 And (AD)he inquired of the Lord for him, (AE)gave him provisions, and (AF)gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

11 Then the king sent a messenger 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 [q]replied, “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 (AG)by lying in ambush as it is this day?”

14 (AH)Then Ahimelech answered the king and said, “And who among all your servants is as faithful as David, the king’s own son-in-law, who [r]is commander over your bodyguard, and is honored in your house? 15 Did I just begin (AI)to inquire of God for him today? Far be it from me! (AJ)Do not let the king impute anything against his servant or against any of the household of my father, because your servant knows nothing [s]at all of this whole affair.” 16 But the king said, “You shall certainly die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s household!” 17 And (AK)the king said to the [t]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 [u]inform me.” But the (AL)servants of the king were unwilling to reach out with their hands to [v]attack the priests of the Lord. 18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You, turn around and [w]attack the priests!” And Doeg the Edomite turned around and [x]attacked the priests, and (AM)he killed on that day eighty-five men (AN)who wore the linen ephod. 19 (AO)He also struck Nob the city of the priests with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and infants; he also struck oxen, donkeys, and sheep with the edge of the sword.

20 But (AP)one son of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, (AQ)escaped and fled [y]to David. 21 Abiathar informed David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when (AR)Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would certainly tell Saul. I myself [z]have turned against every person in your father’s household. 23 Stay with me; do not be afraid, [aa]even though (AS)he who is seeking my life is seeking your life. For you are safe with me.”

David Saves Keilah

23 Then they informed David, saying, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against (AT)Keilah and are plundering the threshing floors.” So David (AU)inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and [ab]attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and [ac]attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are fearful here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the ranks of the Philistines?” So David inquired of the Lord once more. And the Lord answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for (AV)I am going to hand the Philistines over to you.” Then David and his men went to Keilah and fought the Philistines; and he drove away their livestock and struck them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

Now it came about, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech (AW)fled to David at Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand. When it was reported to Saul that David had come to Keilah, Saul said, “God has handed him over to me, for he shut himself in by entering a city with double gates and bars.” So Saul summoned all the people for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men. But David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him; so he said to (AX)Abiathar the priest, “(AY)Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then David said, “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 citizens of Keilah hand me over to him? Will Saul come down just as Your servant has heard? Lord God of Israel, please, tell Your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the citizens of Keilah hand me and my men over to Saul?” And the Lord said, “(AZ)They will hand you over.” 13 Then David and his men, (BA)about six hundred, rose up and departed from Keilah, and they went (BB)wherever they could go. When it was reported to Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up [ad]the pursuit. 14 David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of (BC)Ziph. And Saul searched for him every day, but (BD)God did not hand him over to him.

Saul Pursues David

15 Now David saw 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, set out and went to David at Horesh, and [ae](BE)encouraged him in God. 17 He said to him, “(BF)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 second in command to you; and (BG)Saul my father knows that as well.” 18 So (BH)the two of them made a covenant before the Lord; and David stayed at Horesh, while Jonathan went to his house.

19 Then (BI)Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not keeping himself hidden with us in the strongholds at Horesh, on (BJ)the hill of Hachilah, which is south of [af]Jeshimon? 20 Now then, O king, come down, [ag]since you fully desire to [ah]do so; and (BK)our part shall be to hand him over to the king.” 21 Saul said, “May you be blessed of the Lord, (BL)since you have had compassion on me. 22 Go now, be more persistent, and investigate and see his place where [ai]he is hiding, 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 keeps himself hidden, 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 So they set out and went to Ziph ahead of Saul. Now David and his men were in the wilderness of (BM)Maon, in the Arabah to the south of [aj]Jeshimon. 25 When Saul and his men went to seek him, they informed David, and he came down to the rock and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard about 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, while Saul and his men (BN)were surrounding David and his men to apprehend them. 27 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have launched an attack against the land!” 28 So Saul returned from pursuing David and went to confront the Philistines; therefore they called that place [ak]the Rock of Division. 29 [al]And David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of (BO)Engedi.

David Spares Saul’s Life

24 [am]Now (BP)when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, (BQ)it was reported to him, saying, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.” Then (BR)Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and went to search for David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Mountain Goats. And he came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul (BS)went in to [an]relieve himself. Now (BT)David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave. Then David’s men said to him, “Behold, (BU)this is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold; (BV)I am about to hand your enemy over to you, and you shall do to him as it seems good [ao]to you.’” Then David got up and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe secretly. But it came about afterward that (BW)David’s [ap]conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe. So he said to his men, “(BX)Far be it from me because of the Lord that I would do this thing to my lord, the Lords anointed, to reach out with my hand against him, since he is the Lords anointed.” And David rebuked his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. And Saul got up, [aq]left the cave, and went on his way.

Afterward, however, David got up and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, (BY)David bowed with his face to the ground and prostrated himself. And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men [ar]who say, ‘Behold, David is seeking [as]to harm you’? 10 (BZ)Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord had handed you over to me today in the cave, and (CA)someone said to kill you, but [at]I spared you; and I said, ‘I will not reach out with my hand against my lord, because he is the Lords anointed.’ 11 So, (CB)my father, look! Indeed, look at the edge of your robe in my hand! For by the fact that I cut off the edge of your robe but did not kill you, know and understand that there is no evil or [au]rebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you (CC)are lying in wait for my life, to take it. 12 (CD)May the Lord judge between [av]you and me, and may the Lord take vengeance on you for me; but my hand shall not be against you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘(CE)Out of the wicked comes wickedness’; but my hand shall not be against you. 14 After whom has the king of Israel gone out? Whom are you pursuing? (CF)A dead dog, (CG)a single flea? 15 May (CH)the Lord therefore be judge and decide between [aw]you and me; and may He see and (CI)plead my cause and save me from your hand.”

16 When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “(CJ)Is this your voice, my son David?” Then Saul raised his voice and wept. 17 (CK)And he said to David, “You are more righteous than I; for (CL)you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt maliciously with you. 18 You have declared today that you have done good to me, that (CM)the Lord handed me over to you and yet you did not kill me. 19 Though if a man (CN)finds his enemy, will he let him go away [ax]unharmed? May the Lord therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day. 20 Now, behold, (CO)I know that you will certainly be king, and that (CP)the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand. 21 So now (CQ)swear to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my [ay]descendants after me, and that you will not eliminate my name from my father’s household.” 22 And David swore an oath to Saul. Then Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to (CR)the stronghold.

Samuel’s Death

25 (CS)Then Samuel died; and all Israel assembled and (CT)mourned for him, and they (CU)buried him at his house in Ramah. And David set out and went down to the (CV)wilderness of Paran.

Nabal and Abigail

Now there was a man in (CW)Maon whose business was in (CX)Carmel; and the man was very [az]rich, and he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And it came about while (CY)he was shearing his sheep in Carmel (now the man’s name was Nabal, and his (CZ)wife’s name was Abigail. And the woman was [ba]intelligent and beautiful in appearance, but the man was harsh and evil in his dealings, and he was (DA)a Calebite), that David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. So David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel and [bb]visit Nabal, and greet him in my name; and this is what you shall say: ‘[bc]Have a long life, (DB)peace to you, and peace to your house, and peace to all that you have! Now then, I have heard (DC)that you have shearers. Now, your shepherds have been with us; we have not harmed them, (DD)nor has anything of theirs gone missing all the days they were in Carmel. Ask your young men and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we have come on (DE)a [bd]festive day. Please give whatever you find at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”

When David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal in accordance with all these words in David’s name; then they waited. 10 But Nabal answered David’s servants and said, “(DF)Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants today who are each breaking away from his master. 11 Shall I then (DG)take my bread and my water and my meat that I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men [be]whose origin I do not know?” 12 So David’s young men made their way back and returned; and they came and informed him in accordance with all these words. 13 Then David said to his men, “Each of you strap on his sword.” So each man strapped on his sword. And David also strapped on his sword, and about (DH)four hundred men went up behind David, while two hundred (DI)stayed with the baggage.

14 Now one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Behold, David sent messengers from the wilderness to [bf](DJ)greet our master, and he spoke to them in anger. 15 Yet the men were very good to us, and we were not (DK)harmed, nor did anything go missing [bg]as long as we went with them, while we were in the fields. 16 (DL)They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the time we were with them tending the sheep. 17 Now then, be aware and [bh]consider what you should do, because harm is plotted against our master and against all his household; and he is such a [bi]worthless man that no one can speak to him.”

Abigail Intercedes

18 Then Abigail hurried and (DM)took two hundred loaves of bread and two jugs of wine, and five sheep already prepared and five measures of roasted grain, and a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and she loaded them on donkeys. 19 Then she said to her young men, “(DN)Go on ahead of me; behold, I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 And it happened as she was riding on her donkey and coming down by the hidden part of the mountain, that behold, David and his men were coming down toward her; so she met them. 21 Now David had said, “It is certainly for nothing that I have guarded everything that this man has in the wilderness, so that nothing has gone missing of all that belonged to him! For he has (DO)returned me evil for good. 22 (DP)May God do so to the enemies of David, and more so, (DQ)if by morning I leave alive as much as one [bj]male of any who belong to him.”

23 When Abigail saw David, she hurried and dismounted from her donkey, and fell on her face in front of David (DR)and bowed herself to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “On me [bk]alone, my lord, be the blame. And please let your slave speak [bl]to you, and listen to the words of your slave. 25 Please do not let my lord [bm]pay attention to this [bn]worthless man, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. [bo]Nabal is his name, and stupidity is with him; but I your slave did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent.

26 “Now then, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, since the Lord has restrained you from [bp]shedding blood, and (DS)from [bq]avenging yourself by your own hand, now then, (DT)may your enemies and those who seek evil against my lord, be like Nabal. 27 And now let (DU)this [br]gift which your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who [bs]accompany my lord. 28 Please forgive (DV)the offense of your slave; for (DW)the Lord will certainly make for my lord an [bt]enduring house, because my lord is (DX)fighting the battles of the Lord, and (DY)evil will not be found in you all your days. 29 Should anyone rise up to pursue you and to seek your [bu]life, then the [bv]life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God; but the [bw]lives of your enemies (DZ)He will sling out [bx]as from the hollow of a sling. 30 And when the Lord does for my lord in accordance with all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and (EA)appoints you ruler over Israel, 31 this will not become an obstacle to you, or a [by]troubled heart to my lord, both by having shed blood without cause and by my lord’s having [bz]avenged himself. (EB)When the Lord deals well with my lord, then remember your slave.”

32 Then David said to Abigail, “(EC)Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me, 33 and blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, (ED)who have kept me this day from [ca]bloodshed and from [cb]avenging myself by my own hand. 34 Nevertheless, as the Lord God of Israel lives, (EE)who has restrained me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, there certainly would not have been left to Nabal until the morning light as much as one [cc]male.” 35 So David accepted from her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, “(EF)Go up to your house in peace. See, I have listened to [cd]you and [ce](EG)granted your request.”

36 Then Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was having (EH)a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was cheerful within him, (EI)for he was very drunk; so (EJ)she did not tell him anything [cf]at all until the morning light. 37 But in the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him so that he became like a stone. 38 About ten days later, (EK)the Lord struck Nabal and he died.

David Marries Abigail

39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has (EL)pleaded the cause of the shame inflicted on me by the hand of Nabal, and (EM)has kept back His servant from evil. The Lord has also returned the evildoing of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent [cg](EN)a proposal to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40 When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.” 41 And she got up (EO)and bowed with her face to the ground, and said, “Behold, your slave is a servant (EP)to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” 42 Then (EQ)Abigail got up quickly, and rode on a donkey, with her five female attendants who [ch]accompanied her; and she followed the messengers of David and became his wife.

43 David had also taken Ahinoam of (ER)Jezreel, and (ES)they both became his wives.

44 But Saul had given his daughter (ET)Michal, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was from (EU)Gallim.

David Again Spares Saul

26 Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “(EV)Is David not keeping himself hidden on the hill of Hachilah, which is opposite [ci]Jeshimon?” So Saul set out and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, [cj]taking with him (EW)three thousand chosen men of Israel, to search for David in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul camped on the hill of Hachilah, which is opposite [ck]Jeshimon, (EX)beside the road, and David was staying in the wilderness. When (EY)he saw that Saul had come after him into the wilderness, David sent out spies, and he learned that Saul was definitely coming. David then set out and came to the place where Saul had camped. And David saw the place where Saul lay, and (EZ)Abner the son of Ner, the commander of his army; and Saul was lying in the circle of the camp, and the people were camped around him.

Then David said to Ahimelech (FA)the Hittite and to (FB)Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, saying, “Who (FC)will go down with me to Saul in the camp?” And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.” So David and Abishai came to the people by night, and behold, Saul lay sleeping inside the circle of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground at his head; and Abner and the people were lying around him. Then Abishai said to David, “Today God has handed your enemy over to you; now then, please let me [cl]pin him with the spear to the ground with one thrust, and I will not [cm]do it to him a second time.” But David said to Abishai, “Do not [cn]kill him, for (FD)who can reach out with his hand against the Lords anointed and remain innocent?” 10 David also said, “As the Lord lives, (FE)the Lord certainly will strike him, or (FF)his day will come that he dies, or (FG)he will go down in battle and [co]perish. 11 (FH)The Lord forbid that I would reach out with my hand against the Lords anointed! But now please take the spear that is at his head and the jug of water, and let’s go.” 12 So David took the spear and the jug of water that were at Saul’s head, and they left; and no one saw or knew about it, nor did anyone awaken, for they were all asleep, because (FI)a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen on them.

13 Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of the mountain at a distance with a large area between them. 14 And David called to the people and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Will you not answer, Abner?” Then Abner replied, “Who are you who calls to the king?” 15 So David said to Abner, “Are you not a man? And who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not guarded your lord the king? For one of the people came to [cp]kill the king your lord! 16 This thing that you have done is not good. As the Lord lives, all of you undoubtedly [cq](FJ)must die, because you did not guard your lord, the Lords anointed. And now, see where the king’s spear is and the jug of water that was at his head!”

17 Then Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “(FK)Is this your voice, my son David?” And David said, “It is my voice, my lord the king.” 18 He also said, “(FL)Why then is my lord pursuing his servant? For what have I done? Or what evil is in my hand? 19 Now then, please let my lord the king listen to the words of his servant. If (FM)the Lord has incited you against me, (FN)may He [cr]accept an offering; but (FO)if it is [cs]people, cursed [ct]are they before the Lord, because (FP)they have driven me out today so that I would have no share in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ 20 Now then, do not let my blood fall to the ground far from the presence of the Lord; for the king of Israel has come out to search for (FQ)a single flea, just as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”

21 Then Saul said, “(FR)I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will not harm you again since my life was precious in your sight this day. Behold, I have played the fool and have made a very great mistake.” 22 David replied, “Behold, the spear of the king! Now have one of the young men come over and take it. 23 And (FS)the Lord will repay each man for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the Lord handed you over to me today, but (FT)I refused to reach out with my hand against the Lords anointed. 24 Therefore behold, just as your life was (FU)highly valued in my sight this day, so may my life be highly valued in the sight of the Lord, and may He (FV)rescue me from all distress.” 25 Then Saul said to David, “(FW)Blessed are you, my son David; you will both accomplish much and assuredly prevail.” So (FX)David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

David Flees to the Philistines

27 Then David said to [cu]himself, “Now I will [cv]perish one day by the hand of Saul. (FY)There is nothing better for me than to safely escape into the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of searching for me anymore in all the territory of Israel, and I will escape from his hand.” So David set out and went over, he and (FZ)the six hundred men who were with him, to (GA)Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath. And David lived with Achish in Gath, he and his men, (GB)each with his own household—David with (GC)his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s [cw]widow. Now it was reported to Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he no longer searched for him.

Then David said to Achish, “If now I have found favor in your sight, have them give me a place in one of the cities in the country, so that I may live there; for why should your servant live in the royal city with you?” So Achish gave him Ziklag that day; therefore (GD)Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah to this day. The number of days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was (GE)a year and four months.

Now David and his men went up and attacked (GF)the Geshurites, the Girzites, and (GG)the Amalekites; for they were the inhabitants of the land from ancient times, as you come to (GH)Shur even as far as the land of Egypt. David [cx]attacked the land and did not leave a man or a woman alive, and he (GI)took the sheep, the cattle, the donkeys, the camels, and the clothing. Then he returned and came to Achish. 10 Now Achish said, “[cy]Where did you (GJ)carry out an attack today?” And David said, “Against the [cz]Negev of Judah, against the [da]Negev of (GK)the Jerahmeelites, and against the [db]Negev of (GL)the Kenites.” 11 And David did not leave a man or a woman alive to bring to Gath, saying, “Otherwise they will tell about us, saying, ‘This is what David has done, and this has been his practice all the time that he has lived in the country of the Philistines.’” 12 So Achish believed David, saying, “He has undoubtedly made himself repulsive among his people Israel; therefore he will become my servant forever.”

Saul and the Spirit Medium

28 Now it came about in those days that (GM)the Philistines gathered their armed camps for war, to fight against Israel. And Achish said to David, “Know for certain that you will go out with me in the camp, you and your men.” David said to Achish, “Very well, you will learn what your servant can do.” So Achish said to David, “Then I will assuredly make you [dc]my bodyguard (GN)for [dd]life!”

Now (GO)Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned him and buried him (GP)in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had removed the (GQ)mediums and spiritists from the land. So the Philistines assembled and came and camped (GR)in Shunem; and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they camped in (GS)Gilboa. When Saul saw the camp of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly. (GT)So Saul inquired of the Lord, but (GU)the Lord did not answer him, either in (GV)dreams, or by the (GW)Urim, or by the prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, “Find for me a woman who is a medium, so that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, (GX)there is a woman who is a medium at (GY)En-dor.”

Then Saul (GZ)disguised himself by putting on different clothes, and went, he and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night; and he said, “(HA)Consult the spirit for me, please, and (HB)bring up for me the one whom I shall [de]name for you.” But the woman said to him, “Behold, you know (HC)what Saul has done, that he has eliminated the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why are you then setting a trap for my life, to bring about my death?” 10 So Saul swore an oath to her by the Lord, saying, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” 11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” 12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice; and the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!” 13 But the king said to her, “Do not be afraid; but what do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a [df]divine being coming up from the earth.” 14 He said to her, “[dg]How does he appear?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and (HD)he is wrapped in a robe.” Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, and (HE)he bowed with his face to the ground and paid [dh]homage.

15 And Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul replied, “I am very distressed, for the Philistines are waging war against me, and (HF)God has abandoned me and (HG)no longer answers me, either through prophets or in dreams; therefore I have called you, so that you may let me know what I should do.” 16 Samuel said, “But why ask me, since the Lord has abandoned you and has become your enemy? 17 And the Lord has done [di]just (HH)as He spoke through me; for the Lord has torn the kingdom from your hand and given it to your neighbor, to David. 18 Just as (HI)you did not [dj]obey the Lord and did not execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, so the Lord has done this thing to you this day. 19 Furthermore, the Lord will also hand Israel along with you over to the Philistines; so tomorrow (HJ)you and your sons will be with me. Indeed, the Lord will hand the army of Israel over to the Philistines!”

20 Then Saul immediately fell full length to the ground and was very afraid because of Samuel’s words; there was no strength in him either, because he had eaten no [dk]food all day and all night. 21 The woman came to Saul and saw that he was utterly horrified, and she said to him, “Behold, your servant has [dl]obeyed you, and (HK)I have [dm]taken my life in my hand and have listened to your words which you spoke to me. 22 So now you too, please listen to the voice of your servant, and let me serve you a piece of bread, and eat it, so that you will have strength when you go on your way.” 23 But he refused and said, “(HL)I will not eat.” (HM)However, his servants together with the woman urged him, and he listened to [dn]them. So he got up from the ground and sat on (HN)the bed. 24 Now the woman had a (HO)fattened calf in the house, and she quickly slaughtered it; then she (HP)took flour, kneaded it and baked unleavened bread from it. 25 She then served it to Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they got up and left that night.

The Philistines Mistrust David

29 Now (HQ)the Philistines gathered together all their armies to (HR)Aphek, while the Israelites were camping by the spring which is in (HS)Jezreel. And the governors of the Philistines were proceeding on, leading hundreds and thousands, and (HT)David and his men were proceeding in the back with Achish. Then the commanders of the Philistines said, “What are these Hebrews doing here?” And Achish said to the commanders of the Philistines, “Is this not David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, (HU)who has been with me these days, or rather these years, and (HV)I have found nothing at all suspicious in him since the day he [do]deserted to me to this day?” But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him, and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Make the man go back, so that he will return (HW)to his place where you have assigned him, and do not let him go down to battle with us, (HX)or in the battle he may become an adversary to us. For how could this man find favor with his lord? Would it not be with the heads of [dp]these men? Is this not David, (HY)of whom they sing in the dances, saying,

‘Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands’?”

Then Achish called David and said to him, “As the Lord lives, you have indeed been honest, and (HZ)your [dq]going out and your coming in with me in the army are pleasing in my sight; (IA)for I have not found evil in you since the day of your coming to me to this day. Nevertheless, you are not pleasing in the sight of the governors. Now then, return and go in peace, so that you will not do anything wrong in the sight of the governors of the Philistines.” However, David said to Achish, “(IB)But what have I done? And what have you found in your servant since the day that I came before you, to this day, that I cannot go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?” But Achish replied to David, “I know that you are pleasing in my sight, (IC)like an angel of God; nevertheless (ID)the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He must not go up with us into the battle.’ 10 Now then, rise early in the morning (IE)with the servants of your lord who have come with you, and as soon as you have risen early in the morning and have light, leave.” 11 So David got up early, he and his men, to leave in the morning to return to the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

David’s Victory over the Amalekites

30 Then it happened, when David and his men came to (IF)Ziklag on the third day, that (IG)the Amalekites had carried out an attack on the [dr]Negev and on (IH)Ziklag, and had [ds]overthrown Ziklag and burned it with fire; and they took captive the women and all who were in it, from the small to the great, [dt](II)without killing anyone, and drove them off and went their way. When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire, and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him (IJ)raised their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. Now (IK)David’s two wives had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the [du]widow of Nabal the Carmelite. Also, David was in great distress because (IL)the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were [dv]embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But (IM)David felt strengthened in the Lord his God.

Then (IN)David said to (IO)Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. And (IP)David inquired of the Lord, saying, “(IQ)Shall I pursue this band of raiders? Will I overtake them?” And He said to him, “Pursue, for you will certainly overtake them, (IR)and you will certainly rescue everyone.” So David left, (IS)he and the six hundred men who were with him, and they came to the brook Besor, where some who were left behind stayed. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men, for (IT)two hundred who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor stayed behind.

11 Now they found an Egyptian in the field and brought him to David, and gave him bread and he ate, and they provided him water to drink. 12 They also gave him a slice of fig cake and two cakes of raisins, and he ate; (IU)then his spirit [dw]revived. For he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13 Then David said to him, “To whom do you belong? And where are you from?” And he said, “I am a young man of Egypt, a servant of an Amalekite; and my master abandoned me when I became sick three days ago. 14 We carried out an attack on (IV)the [dx]Negev of the Cherethites, and on that which belongs to Judah, and on (IW)the [dy]Negev of Caleb, and (IX)we burned Ziklag with fire.” 15 Then David said to him, “Will you bring me down to this band of raiders?” And he said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master, and I will bring you down to this band.”

16 Now when he had brought him down, behold, they were dispersed over all the land, (IY)eating and drinking and celebrating because of (IZ)all the great plunder that they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17 And David [dz]slaughtered them (JA)from the twilight [ea]until the evening of [eb]the next day; and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on (JB)camels and fled. 18 So David (JC)recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and [ec]rescued his two wives. 19 And nothing of theirs was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, plunder, or anything that they had taken for themselves; (JD)David brought it all back. 20 So David had [ed]captured all the sheep and the cattle which the people drove ahead of [ee]the other livestock, and they said, “(JE)This is David’s plunder.”

The Plunder Is Divided

21 When (JF)David came to the two hundred men who were too exhausted to follow David and [ef]had been left behind at the brook Besor, and they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him, then David approached the people and greeted them. 22 Then all the wicked and [eg]worthless men among those who went with David said, “Since they did not go with [eh]us, we will not give them any of the spoils that we have recovered, except to every man his wife and his children, so that they may lead them away and leave.” 23 But David said, “You must not do so, my brothers, with what the Lord has given us, for He has protected us and handed over to us the band of raiders that came against us. 24 And who will listen to you in this matter? For (JG)as is the share of the one who goes down into the battle, so shall be the share of the one who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.” 25 So it has been from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.

26 Now when David came to Ziklag, he sent some of the spoils to the elders of Judah, to his friends, saying, “Behold, (JH)a [ei]gift for you from the spoils of (JI)the enemies of the Lord: 27 to those who were in (JJ)Bethel, to those who were in (JK)Ramoth of the [ej]Negev, to those who were in (JL)Jattir, 28 to those who were in (JM)Aroer, to those who were in Siphmoth, to those who were in (JN)Eshtemoa, 29 to those who were in Racal, to those who were in the cities of (JO)the Jerahmeelites, to those who were in the cities of (JP)the Kenites, 30 to those who were in (JQ)Hormah, to those who were in (JR)Bor-ashan, to those who were in Athach, 31 to those who were in (JS)Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men (JT)walked.”

Saul and His Sons Killed in Battle

31 (JU)Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from the Philistines but fell fatally wounded (JV)on Mount Gilboa. And the Philistines also overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines [ek]killed (JW)Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. (JX)The battle went heavily against Saul, and the archers found him; and he was gravely wounded by the archers. (JY)Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword and pierce me through with it, otherwise (JZ)these uncircumcised Philistines will come and pierce me through, and abuse me.” But his armor bearer was unwilling, because he was very fearful. (KA)So Saul took [el]his sword and fell on it. When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died with him. So Saul died with his three sons, his armor bearer, and all his men on that day together.

Now when the people of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, with those who were beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled; then the Philistines came and settled in them.

It came about on the next day, when the Philistines came to strip those killed, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. They cut off his head and stripped off his weapons, and sent them [em]throughout the land of the Philistines, (KB)to bring the good news (KC)to the house of their idols and to the people. 10 They put his weapons in the [en]temple of (KD)Ashtaroth, and (KE)they nailed his body to the wall of (KF)Beth-shan. 11 Now when (KG)the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard [eo]what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 (KH)all the valiant men got up and walked all night, and they took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh and (KI)burned them there. 13 And they took their bones and (KJ)buried them under (KK)the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and (KL)fasted for seven days.


  1. 1 Samuel 21:3 Lit is there under your hand?
  2. 1 Samuel 21:3 Lit into my hand
  3. 1 Samuel 21:4 Lit under my hand
  4. 1 Samuel 21:5 Lit vessels
  5. 1 Samuel 21:5 Lit it be holy in the vessel
  6. 1 Samuel 21:8 Lit under your hand
  7. 1 Samuel 21:8 Lit in my hand
  8. 1 Samuel 21:9 Lit struck
  9. 1 Samuel 21:12 Lit in his
  10. 1 Samuel 21:13 Lit hand
  11. 1 Samuel 22:2 Lit had a creditor
  12. 1 Samuel 22:2 Lit bitter of soul
  13. 1 Samuel 22:4 Probable reading of the Heb; MT brought them before
  14. 1 Samuel 22:8 Lit uncovers my ear
  15. 1 Samuel 22:8 Lit uncovers my ear
  16. 1 Samuel 22:9 Or set over
  17. 1 Samuel 22:12 Lit said
  18. 1 Samuel 22:14 As in LXX; MT turns aside to
  19. 1 Samuel 22:15 Lit small or great
  20. 1 Samuel 22:17 Lit runners
  21. 1 Samuel 22:17 Lit uncover my ear
  22. 1 Samuel 22:17 Lit fall upon
  23. 1 Samuel 22:18 Lit fall upon
  24. 1 Samuel 22:18 Lit fell upon
  25. 1 Samuel 22:20 Lit after
  26. 1 Samuel 22:22 LXX am responsible for
  27. 1 Samuel 22:23 Or because he
  28. 1 Samuel 23:2 Lit strike
  29. 1 Samuel 23:2 Lit strike
  30. 1 Samuel 23:13 Lit going out
  31. 1 Samuel 23:16 Lit strengthened his hand
  32. 1 Samuel 23:19 Or the desert
  33. 1 Samuel 23:20 Lit according to all your soul’s desire
  34. 1 Samuel 23:20 Lit come down
  35. 1 Samuel 23:22 Lit his foot is
  36. 1 Samuel 23:24 Or the desert
  37. 1 Samuel 23:28 Heb Sela-hammahlekoth; meaning uncertain, possibly Rock of Smoothness (i.e., “Slippery Rock”)
  38. 1 Samuel 23:29 Ch 24:1 in Heb
  39. 1 Samuel 24:1 Ch 24:2 in Heb
  40. 1 Samuel 24:3 Lit cover his feet
  41. 1 Samuel 24:4 Lit in your eyes
  42. 1 Samuel 24:5 Lit heart struck
  43. 1 Samuel 24:7 Lit from
  44. 1 Samuel 24:9 Lit saying
  45. 1 Samuel 24:9 Lit your harm
  46. 1 Samuel 24:10 As in ancient versions; MT, my eye had pity on
  47. 1 Samuel 24:11 Lit offense
  48. 1 Samuel 24:12 Lit me and you
  49. 1 Samuel 24:15 Lit me and you
  50. 1 Samuel 24:19 Lit on a good road
  51. 1 Samuel 24:21 Lit seed
  52. 1 Samuel 25:2 Lit great
  53. 1 Samuel 25:3 Lit of good understanding
  54. 1 Samuel 25:5 Lit come to
  55. 1 Samuel 25:6 Lit To life
  56. 1 Samuel 25:8 Lit good
  57. 1 Samuel 25:11 Lit from where they are
  58. 1 Samuel 25:14 Lit bless
  59. 1 Samuel 25:15 Lit all the days
  60. 1 Samuel 25:17 Lit see
  61. 1 Samuel 25:17 Lit son of Belial
  62. 1 Samuel 25:22 Lit who urinates against the wall
  63. 1 Samuel 25:24 Lit myself
  64. 1 Samuel 25:24 Lit in your ears
  65. 1 Samuel 25:25 Lit set his heart to
  66. 1 Samuel 25:25 Lit man of Belial
  67. 1 Samuel 25:25 I.e., fool
  68. 1 Samuel 25:26 Lit coming in with blood
  69. 1 Samuel 25:26 Lit helping
  70. 1 Samuel 25:27 Lit blessing
  71. 1 Samuel 25:27 Lit walk at the feet of
  72. 1 Samuel 25:28 Or permanent
  73. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit soul
  74. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit soul
  75. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit soul
  76. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit in the midst of
  77. 1 Samuel 25:31 Lit stumbling of heart
  78. 1 Samuel 25:31 Lit helped
  79. 1 Samuel 25:33 Lit coming into blood
  80. 1 Samuel 25:33 Lit helping
  81. 1 Samuel 25:34 Lit who urinates against the wall
  82. 1 Samuel 25:35 Lit your voice
  83. 1 Samuel 25:35 Lit lifted up your face
  84. 1 Samuel 25:36 Lit small or large
  85. 1 Samuel 25:39 Lit and spoke
  86. 1 Samuel 25:42 Lit walked at her feet
  87. 1 Samuel 26:1 Or the desert
  88. 1 Samuel 26:2 Lit and with him
  89. 1 Samuel 26:3 Or the desert
  90. 1 Samuel 26:8 Lit strike him...even into
  91. 1 Samuel 26:8 Lit repeat it to him
  92. 1 Samuel 26:9 Lit destroy
  93. 1 Samuel 26:10 Lit be carried away
  94. 1 Samuel 26:15 Lit destroy
  95. 1 Samuel 26:16 Lit are sons of death
  96. 1 Samuel 26:19 Lit smell
  97. 1 Samuel 26:19 Lit the sons of mankind
  98. 1 Samuel 26:19 Or may they be
  99. 1 Samuel 27:1 Lit his heart
  100. 1 Samuel 27:1 Lit be carried away
  101. 1 Samuel 27:3 Lit wife
  102. 1 Samuel 27:9 Lit struck
  103. 1 Samuel 27:10 DSS indicate Against whom
  104. 1 Samuel 27:10 I.e., South country
  105. 1 Samuel 27:10 I.e., South country
  106. 1 Samuel 27:10 I.e., South country
  107. 1 Samuel 28:2 Lit guardian of my head
  108. 1 Samuel 28:2 Lit all the days
  109. 1 Samuel 28:8 Lit say
  110. 1 Samuel 28:13 Or god
  111. 1 Samuel 28:14 Lit What is his form
  112. 1 Samuel 28:14 I.e., great respect and honor to a superior
  113. 1 Samuel 28:17 Lit for Himself just; another reading is to you just
  114. 1 Samuel 28:18 Lit listen to the voice of
  115. 1 Samuel 28:20 Lit bread
  116. 1 Samuel 28:21 Lit listened to your voice
  117. 1 Samuel 28:21 Lit put
  118. 1 Samuel 28:23 Lit their voice
  119. 1 Samuel 29:3 Lit fell
  120. 1 Samuel 29:4 Lit those
  121. 1 Samuel 29:6 I.e., performance of duties
  122. 1 Samuel 30:1 I.e., South country
  123. 1 Samuel 30:1 Lit struck
  124. 1 Samuel 30:2 Lit they did not kill
  125. 1 Samuel 30:5 Lit wife
  126. 1 Samuel 30:6 Lit bitter of soul
  127. 1 Samuel 30:12 Lit returned to him
  128. 1 Samuel 30:14 I.e., South country
  129. 1 Samuel 30:14 I.e., South country
  130. 1 Samuel 30:17 Lit struck
  131. 1 Samuel 30:17 Lit even until
  132. 1 Samuel 30:17 Lit their
  133. 1 Samuel 30:18 Lit David rescued
  134. 1 Samuel 30:20 Lit taken
  135. 1 Samuel 30:20 Lit those livestock
  136. 1 Samuel 30:21 Lit they left them
  137. 1 Samuel 30:22 Lit sons of Belial
  138. 1 Samuel 30:22 Lit me
  139. 1 Samuel 30:26 Lit blessing
  140. 1 Samuel 30:27 I.e., South country
  141. 1 Samuel 31:2 Lit struck
  142. 1 Samuel 31:4 Lit the sword
  143. 1 Samuel 31:9 Lit into...Philistines on all sides
  144. 1 Samuel 31:10 Lit house
  145. 1 Samuel 31:11 Lit about him, what

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