1 Samuel 21-31 Expanded Bible (EXB)
David Goes to See Ahimelech
21 David went to Nob to see Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech ·shook with fear [trembled; C perhaps rumors of Saul’s displeasure were circulating] when he saw David, and he asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?”
2 David answered him, “The king ·gave me a special order [sent me on a mission; commissioned me]. He told me, ‘No one must know ·what I am sending you to do or what I told you to do [about the mission I am sending you on].’ I told my [L young] men ·where to meet me [to meet me at a certain place]. 3 Now, what ·food do you have with you [L is at hand]? Give me five loaves of bread or anything you find.”
4 The priest said to David, “I don’t have any ·plain [ordinary; regular] bread here, but I do have some ·holy [consecrated; holy] bread [C from the Table of Presence; Ex. 25:23–30]. You may eat it if your men have ·kept themselves from [not recently slept with] women [C sexual relations rendered a man ritually unclean; Lev. 15:16–18].”
5 David answered [L the priest and said to him], “No women have been near us ·for days [or as usual on a campaign]. My men always keep ·themselves [their bodies/L vessels] holy, even ·when we do ordinary work [on an ordinary/common journey]. And this is especially true when the ·work [journey] is holy.”
6 So the priest gave David the ·holy [consecrated] bread ·from the presence of God [—the bread of the Presence—] because there was no other. Each day the holy bread was replaced with ·hot [fresh] bread.
7 One of Saul’s servants happened to be there that day. He had been ·held there [detained] before the Lord [C for some unspecified ritual purpose]. He was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds.
8 David asked Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or sword here? The king’s business was very ·important [urgent], so I ·left without [brought neither…nor] my sword or any other weapon.”
9 The priest answered, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, the one you ·killed [L struck] in the Valley of Elah [ch. 17], is here. It is wrapped in a cloth behind the ·holy vest [ephod; Ex. 28:6–14]. If you want it, you may take it. There’s no other sword here but that one.”
David said, “There is ·no other sword [none] like it. Give it to me.”
David Goes to Gath
10 That day David ·ran away [L fled] from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath [C a major Philistine town]. 11 But the servants of Achish said to him, “·This is [L Isn’t this…?] David, the king of the ·Israelites [L land]. ·He’s [L Isn’t he…?] the man they dance and sing about, saying:
‘Saul has ·killed thousands of his enemies [T slain his thousands],
12 David ·paid attention to [L took to heart] these words and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13 So he ·pretended to be crazy in front of Achish and his servants [L changed his behavior in their eyes/presence]. ·While he was with them [L In their hands], he acted like a madman and ·clawed [scratched; scribbled] on the doors of the gate and ·let spit run [drooled] down his beard.
14 Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He’s crazy! Why do you bring him to me? 15 ·I [Don’t I…?] have enough madmen. I don’t need you to bring him here to act like this in front of me! ·Don’t let him in [Must this one come into…?] my house!”
David at Adullam and Mizpah
22 David ·left Gath [L went from there] and ·escaped to [took refuge in] the cave of Adullam [C in the lowlands of Judah, southwest of Jerusalem]. When his brothers and ·other relatives [L his father’s household] heard that he was there, they went to ·see him [join him; L him]. 2 Everyone who was in ·trouble [distress], or ·who owed money [in debt], or who was ·unsatisfied [discontented; had a grievance] gathered around David, and he became their ·leader [captain; commander]. About four hundred men were with him.
3 From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and spoke to the king of Moab. He said, “Please let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God ·is going [intends] to do for me.” 4 So he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David was hiding in the stronghold.
5 But the prophet Gad said to David, “Don’t stay in the stronghold. ·Go [Return] to the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.
Saul Destroys Ahimelech’s Family
6 Saul heard that David and his men had been ·seen [discovered; located]. Saul was sitting under the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, and all his officers were standing around him. He had a spear in his hand. 7 Saul said to them, “·Listen [Hear now], men of Benjamin! Do you think the son of Jesse will give all of you fields and vineyards? Will David make you commanders over thousands of men or hundreds of men? 8 ·You have all made plans [L Is that why you have all conspired…?] against me! No one tells me when my son makes an ·agreement [covenant; solemn pact; treaty] with the son of Jesse! No one ·cares about [feels sorry/pity for] me! No one tells me when my son has ·encouraged [stirred up; incited] my servant to ·ambush [lie in wait for] me this very day!”
9 Doeg the Edomite, who was standing there with Saul’s ·officers [officials; servants], said, “I saw the son of Jesse. He came to see Ahimelech son of Ahitub at Nob. 10 Ahimelech ·prayed to [consulted; inquired of] the Lord for David and gave him ·food [provisions] and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”
11 Then the king sent for the priest Ahimelech son of Ahitub and for all of ·Ahimelech’s relatives [L his father’s household] who were priests at Nob. And they all came to the king. 12 Saul said to Ahimelech, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.”
Ahimelech answered, “·Yes, master [L Here I am, my lord/king].”
13 Saul said, “Why ·are [have] you and Jesse’s son [L conspired] against me? You gave him bread and a sword! You ·prayed to [consulted; inquired of] God for him. David has ·turned [rebelled; conspired; L risen up] against me and is ·waiting [lying in wait/ambush] ·to attack [for] me even now!”
14 Ahimelech answered [L the king], “·You have no other servant who [L Who of all your servants…?] is as ·loyal [faithful] as David, your own son-in-law and captain of your bodyguards. Everyone in your house ·respects [honors] him. 15 ·That was not [L Was today…?] the first time I ·prayed to [consulted; inquired of] God for David. Don’t ·blame [accuse; charge] me or any of my relatives. I, your servant, know nothing about ·what is going on [all this; this whole affair].”
16 But the king said, “Ahimelech, you and all your ·relatives [L father’s household] ·must [will surely] die!” 17 Then he told the ·guards [or bodyguard] at his side, “·Go [Turn; Forward] and kill the priests of the Lord, because ·they are on David’s side [L their hand is with David]. They knew he was running away, but they didn’t ·tell [warn] me.”
But the king’s ·officers [L servants] refused to ·kill [attack; raise a hand against] the priests of the Lord.
18 Then the king ordered Doeg, “·Go [Turn; Forward] and ·kill [attack; strike] the priests.” So Doeg the Edomite ·went [turned] and ·killed [attacked; struck] the priests. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ·holy vest [ephod; C a distinctively priestly garment; Ex. 28:6–14]. 19 He also ·killed [struck; put to the sword] the people of Nob, the city of the priests. With the sword he killed men, women, children, babies, ·cattle [oxen], donkeys, and sheep.
20 But Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech, who was the son of Ahitub, escaped. He ·ran away [fled] and joined David. 21 He told David that Saul had killed the Lord’s priests. 22 Then David told him, “Doeg the Edomite was there at Nob that day. I knew he would surely tell Saul. So I ·am responsible for [caused] the death of all your father’s ·family [household]. 23 Stay with me. Don’t be afraid. The man who ·wants to kill you [L seeks your life] also ·wants to kill me [L seeks my life]. You will be safe with me.”
David Saves the People of Keilah
23 ·Someone told [News came to; L They told] David, “Look, the Philistines are fighting ·against [at] Keilah and ·stealing grain from [L robbing; plundering; looting] the threshing floors.”
2 David ·asked [inquired of] the Lord, “Should I go and ·fight [attack; L strike] these Philistines?”
The Lord answered him, “Go. ·Attack [L Strike] the Philistines, and ·save [rescue; deliver] Keilah.”
3 But David’s men said to him, “We’re afraid here in Judah. We will be more afraid if we go to Keilah ·where the Philistine army is [L against the ranks of the Philistines].”
4 David ·again asked [inquired again of] the Lord, and the Lord [L again] answered, “Go down to Keilah. I will ·help you defeat [L give into your hand] the Philistines.” 5 So David and his men went to Keilah and fought the Philistines and took their cattle. David ·killed [slaughtered] many Philistines and ·saved [rescued; delivered] the people of Keilah. 6 (Now Abiathar son of Ahimelech had brought the ·holy vest [ephod] ·with him [L in his hand] when he came to David at Keilah [C the ephod probably held the Urim and Thummim used to determine God’s will; Ex. 28:30].)
Saul Chases David
7 Someone told Saul that David was now at Keilah. Saul said, “God has ·handed David over to me [L made a stranger of him into my hand; C the Hebrew is obscure]! He has ·trapped [imprisoned] himself, because he has entered a town with gates and bars [C Saul could lay siege to such a town].” 8 Saul called all his army together for battle, and they prepared to go down to Keilah to ·attack [L besiege] David and his men.
9 David learned Saul was ·making evil plans [plotting evil] against him. So he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ·holy vest [ephod].” 10 David prayed, “Lord, God of Israel, ·I have [L your servant has] heard that Saul plans to come to Keilah to destroy the town because ·of me [I am here]. 11 Will the ·leaders [citizens; men] of Keilah ·hand me over [surrender/betray me] to Saul? Will Saul come down to Keilah, as I heard? Lord, God of Israel, tell me, your servant!”
The Lord answered, “Saul will come down.”
12 Again David asked, “Will the ·leaders [citizens; men] of Keilah ·hand [surrender; betray] me and my men over to Saul?”
The Lord answered, “They will [L surrender/betray you].”
13 So David and his six hundred men left Keilah and ·kept moving from place to place [L went/roamed wherever they could]. When Saul found out that David had escaped from Keilah, he ·did not go there [gave up pursuit/the campaign].
14 David stayed in the ·desert [wilderness] ·hideouts [strongholds] and in the hills of the ·Desert [Wilderness] of Ziph. Every day Saul looked for David, but the Lord did not ·surrender David to him [L give David into his hand].
15 While David was at Horesh in the ·Desert [Wilderness] of Ziph, he learned that Saul was coming to kill him. 16 But Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and ·strengthened his faith [encouraged him; L strengthened his hand] in God. 17 Jonathan told him, “Don’t be afraid, because [L the hand of] my father Saul won’t ·touch [L find] you. You will be king of Israel, and I will be ·second [next] to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” 18 The two of them ·made [L cut] an ·agreement [covenant; solemn pact] before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David stayed at Horesh.
19 The people from Ziph went to Saul at Gibeah and told him, “David is hiding in our land. He’s at the ·hideouts [strongholds] of Horesh, on the hill of Hakilah, ·south of [in the southern part of] Jeshimon. 20 Now, our king, come down ·anytime you want [whenever you’re ready]. It’s our duty to hand David over to you.”
21 Saul answered, “The Lord bless you for ·helping [L showing concern for; having compassion on] me. 22 Go and ·learn more about him [make sure]. ·Find out [Investigate] where he is staying and who has seen him there. I have heard that he is ·clever [very cunning/crafty]. 23 Find all the hiding places he uses, and come back ·and tell me everything [when you are sure; with definite information]. Then I’ll go with you. If David is in the ·area [land], I will ·track him down [search him out] among all the ·families [clans; or thousands] in Judah.”
24 So they went back to Ziph ahead of Saul. Now David and his men were in the ·Desert [Wilderness] of Maon[a] in the ·desert [wilderness] area south of Jeshimon. 25 Saul and his men went to look for David, but David heard about it and went down to ·a [the great] rock and stayed in the ·Desert [Wilderness] of Maon. When Saul heard that, he ·followed [pursued] David into the ·Desert [Wilderness] of Maon.
26 Saul was going along one side of the mountain, and David and his men were on the other side. They were hurrying to get away from Saul, because Saul and his men were ·closing in on [surrounding] them. 27 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Come quickly! The Philistines are ·attacking [raiding] our land!” 28 So Saul stopped chasing David and went to ·challenge [meet; oppose] the Philistines. That is why people call this place Rock of ·Parting [Escape; or Separations]. 29 David also left the ·Desert [Wilderness] of Maon and stayed in the ·hideouts [strongholds] of En Gedi.
David Shames Saul
24 After Saul returned from chasing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the ·Desert [Wilderness] of En Gedi.” 2 So he took three thousand ·chosen men [elite soldiers] from all Israel and began looking for David and his men near the ·Rocks [Crags] of the ·Wild [Mountain] Goats.
3 Saul came to the sheep ·pens [folds] ·beside the road [along the way]. A cave was there, and he went in to ·relieve himself [L cover his feet]. Now David and his men were hiding ·far back in [in the inner recesses of] the cave. 4 The men said to David, “Today is the day the Lord spoke of when he said, ‘I will give your enemy ·over to you [L into your hand]. ·Do anything you want with him [Deal with him as you wish/as is good in your eyes].’”
Then David crept up to Saul and ·quietly [secretly; stealthily] cut off ·a corner [the border/edge/hem] of Saul’s robe. 5 Later ·David felt guilty [David’s conscience bothered him; L the heart/mind of David struck him] because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 6 He said to his men, “May the Lord ·keep [forbid; preserve] me from doing such a thing to my master! Saul is the Lord’s ·appointed king [anointed]. I should not ·do anything [raise/L send my hand] against him, because he is the Lord’s ·appointed king [anointed]!” 7 David used these words to ·stop [restrain; persuade; rebuke; scold] his men; he did not let them attack Saul. Then Saul left the cave and went his way.
8 When David came out of the cave, he ·shouted [called] to Saul, “My ·master [lord] ·and [the] king!” Saul looked back, and David bowed ·facedown [prostrate] on the ground. 9 He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when people say, ‘David wants to harm you’? 10 You have seen ·something with [with] your own eyes today. ·The […how the] Lord ·put you in my power [L gave you into my hand] in the cave. ·They [Some] said I should kill you, but I ·was merciful [pitied/spared you]. I said, ‘I won’t ·harm [raise/L send my hand against] my master, because he is the Lord’s ·appointed king [anointed].’ 11 My father, look at this ·piece [border; edge; hem] of your robe in my hand! I cut off the ·corner [border; edge; hem] of your robe, but I didn’t kill you. ·Now understand and know [This proves] ·I am not planning any evil [there is no wrong or rebellion/treason] against you. I ·did nothing wrong to [have not sinned against] you, but you are hunting me to ·kill me [L take my life]. 12 May the Lord judge between us, and may he ·punish [avenge me on] you for the wrong you have done to me! But I ·am not against you [will not harm you/lay a hand on you]. 13 There is an old ·saying [proverb]: ‘Evil ·things [deeds] come ·from [out of] evil people.’ ·But [So] I ·am not [will not harm/raise my hand] against you. 14 Whom is the king of Israel ·coming out against [attacking]? Whom are you ·chasing [pursuing]? ·It’s as if you are chasing a [A…?] dead dog or a flea. 15 May the Lord be our judge and decide ·between you and me [which of us is right]. May he ·support me [consider/see me] and ·show that I am right [uphold/plead my cause]. May he ·save [rescue; deliver] me from ·you [L your hand/power]!”
16 When David finished saying these words, Saul asked, “Is that your voice, David my son?” And he cried loudly. 17 He said, “You are ·a better man [more righteous] than I am. You have ·been good [behaved well; L repaid good] to me, but I have ·done wrong [behaved badly; L repaid evil] to you. 18 You [L have just] told me what good things you did [L to me]. The Lord handed me over to you, but you did not kill me. 19 ·People don’t normally let an enemy get away like this, do they [L For who has found his enemy and sends him on his way safely]? May the Lord reward you ·because you were good to [or with good for what you have done for] me today. 20 I [L now] know you will surely be king, and ·you will rule [in your hand will be established] the kingdom of Israel. 21 Now swear to me by the Lord that you will not ·kill [L cut off] my ·descendants [L seed] and that you won’t wipe out my name from my father’s ·family [household; C by killing all Saul’s children].”
22 So David ·made the promise [swore] to Saul. Then Saul went back home, and David and his men went up to their ·hideout [stronghold].
Nabal Insults David
25 Now Samuel died, and all the Israelites ·met [L gathered; assembled] and ·had a time of sadness [mourned] for him. Then they buried him at his home in Ramah.
David moved to the ·Desert [Wilderness] of Maon.[b] 2 A man in Maon who had ·land [business] at Carmel was very rich. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. He was ·cutting the wool off his sheep [having his sheep shorn] at Carmel. 3 His name was Nabal [C meaning “Fool” in Hebrew], and he was a descendant of Caleb [Num. 13:6, 30; 14:6, 24, 30; Josh. 14:6; 15:14; Judg. 1:12–20]. His wife was named Abigail. She was ·wise [intelligent; clever; sensible] and beautiful, but Nabal was ·cruel [harsh; crude; surly] and mean. He was a Calebite.
4 While David was in the ·desert [wilderness], he heard that Nabal was ·cutting the wool from [shearing] his sheep. 5 So he sent ten young men and told them, “Go to Nabal at Carmel, and greet him ·for me [L in my name]. 6 Say to Nabal, ‘May you and your ·family [L house] and all who belong to you have ·good health [long life; peace; prosperity]! 7 I have heard that you are ·cutting the wool from [shearing] your sheep. When your shepherds were with us, we did not ·harm [mistreat] them. All the time your shepherds were at Carmel, ·we stole nothing from them [they missed/lost nothing]. 8 Ask your ·servants [L young men], and they will tell you. We come at a ·happy time [feast day; festive time], so ·be kind [show favor] to my young men. Please give anything [C provisions] you ·can find [have at hand] for them and for your son David.’”
9 When David’s men arrived, they gave the message to Nabal [L in David’s name], ·but Nabal insulted them [L and then waited]. 10 He answered them, “Who is David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many ·slaves [servants] are running away from their masters ·today [these days]! 11 I have bread and water, and I have meat that I ·killed [slaughtered] for my ·servants who cut the wool [shearers]. ·But I won’t give it to men I don’t know [L Why should I give it to men from who knows where?].”
12 David’s men went back and told him all Nabal had said. 13 Then David said to them, “·Put [Strap; Buckle; T Gird] on your swords!” So they ·put [strapped; buckled; T girded] on their swords, and David put [strapped; buckled; T girded] on his also. About four hundred men went with David, but two hundred men stayed with the ·supplies [equipment; baggage].
14 One of Nabal’s ·servants [young men] said to Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the ·desert [wilderness] to greet our master, but Nabal ·insulted [scorned] them. 15 These men were very good to us. They did not ·harm [mistreat] us. ·They stole nothing from us [Nothing was missing] during all the time we were out in the field with them. 16 Night and day they ·protected us. They were […were] like a wall around us while we were with them ·caring for [tending; minding] the sheep. 17 Now ·think about it [make up your mind], and ·decide [consider] what you ·can [should] do. ·Terrible trouble is coming to [Disaster is certain for; Evil is fated for] our master and all his ·family [household]. Nabal is such a ·wicked [ill-tempered; quarrelsome] man that no one can even talk to him.”
18 Abigail hurried. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two ·leather bags [wineskins] full of wine, five ·cooked [prepared; slaughtered] sheep, ·a bushel [five measures/L seahs] of ·cooked [roasted] grain, a hundred ·cakes [clusters] of raisins, and two hundred cakes of pressed figs and ·put [loaded] all these on donkeys. 19 Then she told her ·servants [L young men], “Go on [L ahead]. I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.
20 Abigail rode her donkey and came down toward ·the [a] mountain ·hideout [ravine]. There she met David and his men coming down toward her.
21 David had just said, “·It’s been useless! [In vain have ] I ·watched over [guarded; protected] Nabal’s property in the ·desert [wilderness]. I made sure ·none of his sheep was missing [nothing was stolen]. I did good to him, but he has paid me back with evil. 22 May God punish ·me [L David][c] even more than my enemies if I leave even one of Nabal’s ·men [L one who urinates against a wall] alive until morning.
23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and ·bowed facedown on the ground [prostrated herself] before him. 24 She fell at David’s feet and said, “My ·master [lord], let the ·blame [guilt] be on me! Please let ·me [L your maidservant] talk to you. Listen to what ·I [L your maidservant has to] say. 25 My ·master [lord], [L please] don’t ·pay attention to [L set your heart/mind on] this worthless man Nabal. He is like his name. His name means ·‘fool’ [‘brute’], and he is truly a ·fool [brute]. But I, your servant, didn’t see the men you sent. 26 The Lord has kept you from killing and ·punishing anyone [taking revenge/vengeance by your own hand]. As surely as the Lord lives and as surely as you live, may your enemies [L and those who seek to harm my lord] become like Nabal! 27 ·I [L Your maidservant] have brought a gift to you for the men who follow you. 28 Please forgive ·my [L your maidservant’s] ·wrong [offense; transgression]. The Lord will certainly ·let your family have many kings [make a lasting/enduring dynasty/house for my lord; 2 Sam. 7], because you fight ·his [L the Lord’s] battles. As long as you live, ·may you do nothing bad [L no evil/wrong will be found in you]. 29 Should someone try to chase you to ·kill you [L seek your life], the Lord your God will ·keep you alive [L wrap/bind you up with the living]. He will ·throw [sling; hurl; fling] away your enemies’ lives as ·he would throw a stone from [L the pocket of] a sling. 30 When the Lord has done all the good he promised, he will make you ·leader [ruler; prince] over Israel. 31 Then you won’t feel ·guilty [grieved; anxious] or ·troubled [remorse] because you ·killed innocent people and punished them [L shed blood without cause and avenged yourself]. Please remember ·me [L your maidservant] when the Lord ·brings you success [has done well by you].”
32 David answered Abigail, “·Praise [Blessed be] the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today. 33 May you be blessed for your ·wisdom [good sense/judgment; discernment]. You have kept me from ·killing [bloodshed] or ·punishing people [L avenging myself with my own hand] today. 34 As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, he has kept me from ·hurting [harming] you. If you hadn’t come quickly to meet me, not one of Nabal’s ·men [L those who urinate against a wall] would ·have lived until [still be alive in the] morning.”
35 Then David ·accepted Abigail’s gifts [L received from her hand that which she had brought]. He told her, “Go home in peace. I have heard your words, and ·I will do what you have asked [granted your request/petition].”
36 When Abigail went back to Nabal, he was in the house, ·eating [feasting; drinking] like a king. He was very drunk and in ·a good mood [high spirits]. So she told him nothing until ·the next morning [daybreak; dawn]. 37 In the morning when ·he was not drunk [L the wine had left him], his wife told him everything. ·His heart stopped [He had a stroke], and he became like stone. 38 About ten days later the Lord struck Nabal and he died.
39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “·Praise [Blessed be] the Lord! Nabal insulted me, but the Lord has ·supported me [avenged me; pleaded/judged my case; upheld my cause]! He has kept ·me [L his servant] from doing ·wrong [evil]. The Lord has ·punished Nabal for his wrong [L returned Nabal’s evildoing on his own head].”
Then David sent a ·message [proposal] to Abigail, asking her to be his wife. 40 His servants went to Carmel and said to Abigail, “David sent us to take you so you can become his wife.”
41 Abigail ·bowed facedown [prostrated herself] on the ground and said, “·I am [L Your maidservant is] your ·servant [slave]. I’m ready to serve you and to wash the feet of my ·master’s [lord’s] servants.” 42 Abigail quickly got on a donkey and went with David’s messengers, with her five ·maids [servant-girls] following her. And she became David’s wife.
43 David also had married Ahinoam of Jezreel. So they were both David’s wives. 44 Saul’s daughter Michal was also David’s wife [18:20–29], but Saul had given her to Paltiel son of Laish, who was from Gallim.
David Shames Saul Again
26 The people of Ziph went to Saul at Gibeah and said to him, “David is hiding on the hill of Hakilah ·opposite [overlooking; facing] ·Jeshimon [or the wasteland].”
2 So Saul went down to the ·Desert [Wilderness] of Ziph with three thousand ·chosen men [elite soldiers] of Israel to look for David ·there [L in the Desert/Wilderness of Ziph]. 3 Saul made his camp beside the road on the hill of Hakilah ·opposite [overlooking; facing] ·Jeshimon [or the wasteland], but David stayed in the ·desert [wilderness]. When he heard Saul had followed him [L into the desert/wilderness], 4 he sent out ·spies [scouts] and learned for certain that Saul had come to Hakilah.
5 Then David went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of Saul’s army, were sleeping. Saul was sleeping ·in [within] the ·middle [circle; ring] of the camp with all the army around him.
6 David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, “Who will go down into Saul’s camp with me?”
Abishai answered, “I’ll go with you.”
7 So that night David and Abishai went ·into Saul’s camp [L amidst the army]. Saul was asleep ·in [within] the ·middle [circle; ring] of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the army were sleeping around Saul. 8 Abishai said to David, “Today God has ·handed [delivered] your enemy ·over to you [L into your hand]. Let me pin Saul to the ground with my spear. I’ll only have to do it once. I won’t need to ·hit [L strike] him twice.”
9 But David said to Abishai, “Don’t ·kill [L destroy] Saul! ·No one [Who…?] can ·harm [raise a hand against] the Lord’s ·appointed king [anointed] and still be ·innocent [without guilt]! 10 As surely as the Lord lives, the Lord himself will ·punish Saul [strike him]. ·Maybe Saul will die naturally [L His day to die will come], or maybe he will go into battle and be killed. 11 But may the Lord ·keep me from [forbid my] ·harming [raising my hand against] his ·appointed king [anointed]! Take the spear and water jug that are near Saul’s head. Then let’s go.”
12 So David took the spear and water jug that were near Saul’s head, and they left. No one saw them or knew about it or woke up, because ·the Lord had put them sound asleep [L a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen on them].
13 David crossed over to the other side of the hill and stood on top of the mountain far from Saul’s camp. They were a long way away from each other. 14 David ·shouted [called] to the army and to Abner son of Ner, “Won’t you answer me, Abner?”
Abner answered, “Who is calling for the king? Who are you [L that calls on the king]?”
15 David said, “You’re ·the greatest man [L a man unlike any] in Israel. Isn’t that true? Why didn’t you ·guard [protect] your ·master [lord] the king? Someone came into your camp to kill your ·master [lord] the king! 16 ·You have not done well [L This thing you’ve done is not good]. As surely as the Lord lives, you and your men ·should [must] die. You haven’t guarded your ·master [lord], the Lord’s ·appointed king [anointed]. Look! Where are the king’s spear and water jug that were near his head?”
17 Saul ·knew [recognized] David’s voice. He said, “Is that your voice, David my son?”
David answered, “Yes, it is [L my voice], my ·master [lord] and king.” 18 David also said, “Why are you ·chasing me [pursuing your servant], my ·master [lord]? What wrong have I done? What ·evil [crime] ·am I guilty of [L is in my hand]? 19 My ·master [lord] and king, listen to me. If the Lord ·made you angry with [L stirred you up/incited you against] me, let him accept an offering. But if people did it, may the Lord curse them! They have ·made me leave [driven me out today from] ·the land the Lord gave me [L my share in the Lord’s inheritance/heritage]. They have told me, ‘Go and ·serve [worship] other gods.’ 20 Now don’t let ·me die [L my blood fall to the ground so] far away from the Lord’s presence. The king of Israel has come out looking for a [L single] flea! You’re just hunting a ·bird [L partridge] in the mountains!”
21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Today you ·respected [valued; considered precious] my life, so I will not try to hurt you. I have been very ·stupid [wrong; mistaken] and foolish.”
22 David answered, “·Here is [T Behold] your spear [L O king]. Let one of your young men come here and get it. 23 The Lord ·rewards us for the things we do right [repays each one for his righteousness] and for our ·loyalty [faithfulness] to him. The Lord ·handed you over to me [L placed you in my hand] today, but I wouldn’t ·harm [raise a hand against] the Lord’s ·appointed king [anointed]. 24 As I ·respected [valued; considered precious] your life today, may the Lord also ·respect [value; consider precious] my life and ·save [rescue; deliver] me from all ·trouble [tribulation].”
25 Then Saul said to David, “·You are [May you be] blessed, my son David. You will do great things and ·succeed [surely prevail/triumph].”
So David went on his way, and Saul went back home.
David Lives with the Philistines
27 But David ·thought to himself [L said in his heart], “·Saul will catch me someday [L Eventually I will die/perish at Saul’s hands]. The best thing I can do is escape to the land of the Philistines. Then he will give up looking for me in Israel, and I can ·get away from him [L escape from his hand].”
2 So David and his six hundred men ·left Israel and went [L crossed over] to Achish son of Maoch, king of Gath. 3 David, his men, and their ·families [households] made their home in Gath with Achish. David had his two wives with him—Ahinoam of Jezreel [25:43] and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal [25:1–42]. 4 When Saul heard that David had run away to Gath, he stopped ·looking [searching; hunting] for him.
5 Then David said to Achish, “If ·you are pleased with me [L I have found favor in your eyes/sight], give me a place in one of the country towns where I can live. ·I don’t need to [L Why should your servant…?] live in the royal city with you.”
6 That day Achish gave David the town of Ziklag, and Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah ·ever since [to this day]. 7 David lived in the Philistine land a year and four months.
8 David and his men raided the people of Geshur, Girzi, and Amalek. (These people had lived ·for a long time [since ancient times] in the land ·that reached to [near] Shur ·in the direction of [or as far as] Egypt.) 9 When David ·fought [attacked; L struck] them, he ·killed [L did not let live] all the men and women and took their sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothes. Then he returned to Achish.
10 Achish would ask David, “Where did you go raiding today?” And David would tell him ·that he had gone to the southern part [against the Negev] of Judah, or [against the Negev of] Jerahmeel, or ·to the land [against the Negev] of the Kenites. 11 David never brought a man or woman alive to Gath. He thought, “If we bring people alive, they may tell Achish, ‘This is what David really did.’” David did this all the time he lived in the Philistine land. 12 So Achish trusted David and said to himself, “·David’s own people, the Israelites, now hate him very much [L He has made himself detested/abhorrent/odious to his people Israel]. He will ·serve me [L be my servant] forever.”
Saul and the Medium of Endor
28 ·Later [L In those days], the Philistines ·gathered [mobilized; mustered] their armies [for war] to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “You understand that you and your men must ·join [go out with; accompany] my army.”
2 David answered, “You will see for yourself what I, your servant, can do!”
Achish said, “Fine, I’ll make you my ·permanent [lifelong] ·bodyguard [L protector/guard of my head].”
3 Now Samuel was dead, and all the Israelites had ·shown their sadness [mourned; lamented] for him. They had buried Samuel in his hometown of Ramah.
4 The Philistines ·came together [assembled; mobilized] and made camp at Shunem. Saul gathered all the Israelites and made camp at Gilboa. 5 When he saw the Philistine army, he was afraid, and his heart ·pounded with fear [trembled violently]. 6 He ·prayed to [inquired of] the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him through dreams, Urim [C devices carried by the High Priest to inquire of God; Ex. 28:30], or prophets. 7 Then Saul said to his ·servants [advisers; attendants], “Find me a woman who ·is a medium [is a necromancer; T has a familiar spirit] so I may go and ·ask her what will happen [inquire of/consult her].”
His servants answered, “There is a ·medium [a necromancer; T woman with a familiar spirit] in Endor.”
8 Then Saul put on other clothes to disguise himself, and at night he and two of his men went to see the woman. Saul said to her, “·Talk to [Consult] a spirit for me. ·Bring [Conjure] up the person I name.”
9 But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has ·forced [outlawed; L cut off] the mediums and ·fortune-tellers [wizards; spiritists] from the land. ·You are [Why are you…?] trying to trap me and get me killed.”
10 Saul made a ·promise [vow; oath] to the woman in the name of the Lord. He said, “As surely as the Lord lives, you won’t be ·punished [blamed] for this.”
11 The woman asked, “Whom do you want me to ·bring up [conjure]?”
He answered, “·Bring [Conjure] up Samuel.”
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed. She said, “Why have you ·tricked [deceived] me? You are Saul!”
13 The king said to the woman, “Don’t be afraid! What do you see?”
The woman said, “I see a ·spirit [ghost; god; divine being] coming up out of the ·ground [earth].”
14 Saul asked, “What ·does he look like [is his appearance/form]?”
The woman answered, “An old man wearing a ·coat [robe; cloak] is coming up.”
Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he ·bowed facedown [prostrated himself] on the ground [and paid homage/did obeisance].
15 Samuel asked Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by ·bringing [conjuring] me up?”
Saul said, “I am ·greatly troubled [L in great trouble/distress]. The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has ·left [abandoned; departed/turned away from] me. He won’t answer me anymore, either by prophets or in dreams. That’s why I ·called for [summoned] you. Tell me what to do.”
16 Samuel said, “The Lord has ·left [abandoned; departed/turned away from] you and has become your enemy. So why do you ·call on [ask; consult] me? 17 He has done what he ·said he would do [predicted; foretold]—the things he said ·through me [L by my hand; 15:27–29]. He has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors, David [16:1–13]. 18 You did not obey the [L voice of the] Lord; you did not ·show the Amalekites how angry he was with them [carry out/execute his fierce anger/wrath on Amalek; 15:10–23]. That’s why he has done this to you today. 19 The Lord will hand over both Israel and you ·to [L into the hands of] the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines.”
20 Saul ·quickly [immediately] fell flat on the ground and was ·afraid [terrified] of what Samuel had said. ·He was also very weak [And his strength was gone] because he had eaten nothing all that day and night.
21 Then the woman came to Saul and saw that he was really ·frightened [terrified; shaken; distraught]. She said, “Look, I, your servant, have obeyed you. I have ·risked my life [L taken my life in my hands] and ·done [listened to] what you told me to do. 22 Now please also listen to me. Let me give you some ·food [bread] so you may eat and have enough strength to go on your way.”
23 But Saul refused, saying, “I won’t eat.”
His servants joined the woman in ·asking [urging] him to eat, and he listened to them. So he got up from the ground and sat on the ·bed [couch].
24 At the house the woman had a fat calf, which she quickly ·killed [slaughtered]. She took some flour and kneaded dough with her hands. Then she baked some ·bread without yeast [unleavened bread]. 25 She put the food before Saul and his servants, and they ate. That same night they got up and left.
David Goes Back to Ziklag
29 The Philistines ·gathered [mobilized; mustered] all their soldiers at Aphek. Israel camped by the spring at Jezreel. 2 The Philistine ·kings [rulers; lords] were marching with their groups of ·a hundred [hundreds] and ·a thousand men [thousands]. David and his men were marching ·behind [or at the rear with] Achish. 3 The Philistine commanders asked, “What are these Hebrews doing here?”
Achish told them, “·This is David. He [L Is this not David who…?] served Saul king of Israel, but he has been with me for ·over a year now [L days and years]. I have found nothing wrong in David since the time he ·left Saul [L deserted until today].”
4 But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said, “Send David back to the ·city you gave him [place you assigned him]. He cannot go with us into battle. If he does, ·we’ll have an enemy in our own camp [L he may become an adversary to us]. He could ·please [make himself acceptable to/reconcile himself to] his king ·by killing our own [with the heads of these] men. 5 ·David is [L Is not David…?] the one the Israelites dance and sing about, saying:
“‘Saul has ·killed thousands of his enemies [T slain his thousands],
6 So Achish called David and said to him, “As surely as the Lord lives, you ·are loyal [have been trustworthy/reliable/honest]. I would be pleased to have you ·serve in my army [march into battle]. Since the day you came to me [L until the present], I have found no ·wrong [fault; evil] in you. But the other ·kings [rulers; lords] don’t ·trust [approve of] you. 7 Go back in peace. Don’t do anything ·to displease [L evil in the eyes/sight of] the Philistine ·kings [rulers; lords].”
8 David asked, “What ·wrong have [have] I done? What ·evil have [have] you found in ·me [L your servant] from the day I came to you until now? Why can’t I go fight your enemies, my lord ·and [the] king?”
9 Achish answered, “I know you are as ·good [pleasing to me] as an angel from God. But the Philistine commanders have said, ‘David must not go with us into battle.’ 10 Early in the morning you and your master’s servants should leave. Get up as soon as it is light and go.”
11 So David and his men got up early in the morning and went back to the country of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
David’s War with the Amalekites
30 ·On the third day [Three days later], when David and his men arrived at Ziklag, he found that the Amalekites had raided ·southern Judah [the Negev] and Ziklag, ·attacking [crushing; sacking; L striking] Ziklag and burning it. 2 They captured the women and everyone, ·young and old [L small and great], but they had not killed anyone. They had only ·taken [carried] them away.
3 When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found the town had been burned and their wives, sons, and daughters had been taken ·as prisoners [captive]. 4 Then David and his ·army [people] cried loudly until they were too weak to cry anymore. 5 David’s two wives had also been taken—Ahinoam of Jezreel [25:43] and Abigail the widow of Nabal from Carmel [25:1–42]. 6 The men in the army ·were threatening to kill David with stones [talked of stoning him], which greatly ·upset [endangered] David. Each man was ·sad and angry [embittered] because his sons and daughters had been captured, but David found ·strength [courage] in the Lord his God. 7 David said to Abiathar the priest [L the son of Ahimelech], “Bring me the ·holy vest [ephod; Ex. 28:6–14].” So Abiathar brought the ephod [C the ephod contained the means to inquiry of God; 23:6].
8 Then David asked the Lord, “Should I ·chase the people who took our families [L pursue them]? Will I ·catch [overtake] them?”
The Lord answered, “·Chase [Pursue] them. You will catch them, and you will ·succeed in saving your families [certainly rescue them all].”
9 David and the six hundred men with him came to the Besor ·Ravine [Valley; Wadi; Brook], where some of the men stayed [L behind]. 10 David and four hundred men kept up the chase. The other two hundred men stayed behind because they were too ·tired [exhausted] to cross the ·ravine [valley].
11 They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave the Egyptian some water to drink and some ·food [bread] to eat. 12 And they gave him a piece of a fig cake and two clusters of raisins. Then ·he felt better [he revived; L his spirit returned to him], because he had not eaten any ·food [bread] or drunk any water for three days and nights.
13 David asked him, “Who ·is your master [do you belong to]? Where do you come from?”
He answered, “I’m an [L young] Egyptian, the ·slave [servant] of an Amalekite. Three days ago my master ·left [abandoned] me, because I was sick. 14 We had raided the ·southern area [Negev] of the Kerethites, the ·land [territory] of Judah, and the ·southern area [Negev] of Caleb. We burned Ziklag, as well.”
15 David asked him, “Can you lead me to ·the people who took our families [L this band of raiders]?”
He answered, “·Yes, if you promise me [Swear; Take an oath] before God that you won’t kill me or ·give [hand] me back to my master. Then I will take you to ·them [L this band of raiders].”
16 So the Egyptian led David to the Amalekites. They were ·lying around [L spread out] on the ground, eating and drinking and ·celebrating [dancing] with the ·things [great plunder/spoil] they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah. 17 David ·fought [slaughtered; L struck] them from ·sunset [twilight; dusk] until the evening of the next day. None of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode off on their camels. 18 David ·got his two wives back [rescued his two wives] and [recovered] everything the Amalekites had taken. 19 Nothing was missing. David brought back everyone, ·young and old [L great and small], sons and daughters. He ·recovered [brought back] the ·valuable things [plunder; spoil] and everything the Amalekites had taken. 20 David took all the sheep and cattle, and his men made these animals go in front, saying, “They are David’s ·prize [plunder; spoil].”
21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too ·tired [exhausted] to follow him, who had stayed at the Besor ·Ravine [Valley; Wadi; Brook]. They came out to meet David and the people with him. When he came near, David greeted the men at the ravine.
22 But the ·evil men [rogues; corrupt] and ·troublemakers [scoundrels; worthless] among those who followed David said, “Since these two hundred men didn’t go with us, we shouldn’t give them any of the ·things we recovered [plunder; spoil]. Just let each man take his wife and children and ·go [be off/gone].”
23 David answered, “No, my brothers. Don’t do that after what the Lord has given us. He has ·protected [preserved; kept] us and ·given [handed over to] us the ·enemy [raiders] who attacked us. 24 Who will listen ·to what you say [when you speak this way]? The share will be the same for the one who stayed with the ·supplies [equipment; baggage] as for the one who went into battle. All will share alike.” 25 David made this an ·order [statute; ordinance; requirement] and ·rule [regulation] for Israel, which continues even today.
26 When David arrived in Ziklag, he sent some of the ·things he had taken from the Amalekites [plunder; spoil] to his friends, the ·leaders [elders] of Judah. He said, “Here is a ·present [gift] for you from the ·things [plunder; spoil] we took from the Lord’s enemies.”
27 David also sent some things to the leaders in Bethel, Ramoth in the ·southern part of Judah [Negev], Jattir, 28 Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, 29 Racal, the cities of the Jerahmeelites and the Kenites, 30 Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athach, 31 Hebron, and to the people in all the other places where he and his men had ·been [roamed; visited].
The Death of Saul
31 The Philistines fought against Israel, and the ·Israelites [L men of Israel] ·ran away from [fled before] them. Many Israelites ·were killed [L fell slain] on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines ·fought hard against [overtook; closed in/bore down on] Saul and his sons, killing his sons Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malki-Shua. 3 The fighting was ·heavy [fierce] around Saul. The archers ·shot [L found] him, and he was ·badly [severely; critically] wounded. 4 He said to ·the officer who carried his armor [his armor bearer], “·Pull out [Draw] your sword and ·kill me [run me through]. Then those ·uncircumcised men [pagans] won’t ·make fun of [taunt; abuse] me and ·kill me [run me through].” But Saul’s ·officer [armor bearer] refused, because he was ·afraid [terrified]. So Saul took his own sword and ·threw himself [L fell] on it. 5 When ·the officer [his armor bearer] saw that Saul was dead, he ·threw himself [L fell] on his own sword, and he died with Saul. 6 So Saul, his three sons, ·and the officer who carried his armor [his armor bearer] and all his men died together that day.
7 When the Israelites who lived across the Jezreel Valley and those who lived across the Jordan River saw how the Israelite army had ·run away [fled], and that Saul and his sons were dead, they ·left [abandoned] their cities and ran away. Then the Philistines came and ·lived there [occupied them].
8 The next day when the Philistines came to ·take all the valuable things from the dead soldiers [L strip the dead/corpses], they found Saul and his three sons ·dead [fallen; lying] on Mount Gilboa. 9 They cut off Saul’s head and ·took [stripped] off his armor. Then they sent messengers through all the land of the Philistines to tell the [L good] news in the ·temple [L houses] of their idols and to their people. 10 They put Saul’s armor in the ·temple [L house] of the Ashtoreths [or Astarte; C a pagan deity] and ·hung [fastened] his body on the wall of Beth Shan.
11 When the people living in Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 the ·brave men [valiant/mighty warriors] of Jabesh ·marched [walked; traveled] all night and came to Beth Shan. They ·removed [took] the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and brought them to Jabesh. There they burned the bodies. 13 They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh. Then the people of Jabesh fasted for seven days.
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