Now it had happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the [a]Philistine, that (A)the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. So the women (B)sang as they danced, and said:

(C)“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.”

Then Saul was very angry, and the saying (D)displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but (E)the kingdom?” So Saul [b]eyed David from that day forward.

10 And it happened on the next day that (F)the distressing spirit from God came upon Saul, (G)and he prophesied inside the house. So David (H)played music with his hand, as at other times; (I)but there was a spear in Saul’s hand. 11 And Saul (J)cast the spear, for he said, “I will pin David to the wall!” But David escaped his presence twice.

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  1. 1 Samuel 18:6 Philistines
  2. 1 Samuel 18:9 Viewed with suspicion

14 And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and (A)the Lord was with him.

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Saul Persecutes David

19 Now Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill (A)David; but Jonathan, Saul’s son, (B)delighted greatly in David.

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David Spares Saul

24 Now it happened, (A)when Saul had returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, “Take note! David is in the Wilderness of En Gedi.” Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and (B)went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats. So he came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave; and (C)Saul went in to (D)attend to his needs. ((E)David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave.) (F)Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’ ” And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Now it happened afterward that (G)David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe. And he said to his men, (H)“The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.” So David (I)restrained his servants with these words, and did not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul got up from the cave and went on his way.

David also arose afterward, went out of the cave, and called out to Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed down. And David said to Saul: (J)“Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Indeed David seeks your harm’? 10 Look, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 Moreover, my father, see! Yes, see the corner of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the corner of your robe, and did not kill you, know and see that there is (K)neither evil nor rebellion in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you (L)hunt my life to take it.

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Then Abishai said to David, (A)“God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore, please, let me strike him [a]at once with the spear, right to the earth; and I will not have to strike him a second time!”

But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him; (B)for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?” 10 David said furthermore, “As the Lord lives, (C)the Lord shall strike him, or (D)his day shall come to die, or he shall (E)go out to battle and perish.

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  1. 1 Samuel 26:8 Or one time

Then David said to him, (A)“How did the matter go? Please tell me.”

And he answered, “The people have fled from the battle, many of the people are fallen and dead, and Saul and (B)Jonathan his son are dead also.”

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11 Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and (A)tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. 12 And they (B)mourned and wept and (C)fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, for the (D)people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

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David’s Administration(A)

15 So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered judgment and justice to all his people.

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David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may (A)show him [a]kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was (B)Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”

He said, “At your service!”

Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show (C)the kindness of God?”

And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is (D)lame in his feet.”

So the king said to him, “Where is he?”

And Ziba said to the king, “Indeed he is in the house of (E)Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.”

Then King David sent and brought him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo Debar.

Now when (F)Mephibosheth[b] the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, had come to David, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. Then David said, “Mephibosheth?”

And he answered, “Here is your servant!”

So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.”

Then he bowed himself, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such (G)a dead dog as I?”

And the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, (H)“I have given to your master’s son all that belonged to Saul and to all his house. 10 You therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work the land for him, and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master’s son may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s son (I)shall eat bread at my table always.” Now Ziba had (J)fifteen sons and twenty servants.

11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king has commanded his servant, so will your servant do.”

“As for Mephibosheth,” said the king, “he shall eat at [c]my table like one of the king’s sons.” 12 Mephibosheth had a young son (K)whose name was Micha. And all who dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, (L)for he ate continually at the king’s table. And he (M)was lame in both his feet.

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  1. 2 Samuel 9:1 covenant faithfulness
  2. 2 Samuel 9:6 Or Merib-Baal
  3. 2 Samuel 9:11 LXX David’s table