1 Samuel 26
David Spares Saul’s Life Again
26:1 The Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Isn’t David hiding on the hill of Hakilah near1 Jeshimon?” 26:2 So Saul arose and
went down to the desert of Ziph, accompanied by three thousand select men of Israel, to look for David in the desert of Ziph. 26:3 Saul camped by the road on the hill of Hakilah near Jeshimon, but David was staying in the desert. When he realized that Saul had come to the desert to find2 him, 26:4 David sent scouts and verified that Saul had indeed arrived.3
26:5 So David set out and went to the place where Saul was camped. David saw the place where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the general in command of his army, were sleeping. Now Saul was lying in the entrenchment, and the army was camped all around him. 26:6 David said to Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, “Who will go down with me to Saul in the camp?” Abishai replied, “I will go down with you.”
26:7 So David and Abishai approached the army at night and found Saul lying asleep in the entrenchment with his spear stuck in the ground by his head. Abner and the army were lying all around him. 26:8 Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me drive the spear4 right through him into the ground with one swift jab!5 A second jab won’t be necessary!”
26:9 But David said to Abishai, “Don’t kill him! Who can extend his hand against the
26:13 Then David crossed to the other side and stood on the top of the hill some distance away; there was a considerable distance between them.
26:14 David called to the army and to Abner son of Ner, “Won’t you answer, Abner?” Abner replied, “Who are you, that you have called to the king?”
26:15 David said to Abner, “Aren’t you a man? After all, who is like you in Israel? Why then haven’t you protected your lord the king? One of the soldiers came to kill your lord the king.
26:16 This failure on your part isn’t good!7 As surely as the
26:17 When Saul recognized David’s voice, he said, “Is that your voice, my son David?” David replied, “Yes, it’s my voice, my lord the king.”
26:18 He went on to say, “Why is my lord chasing his servant? What have I done? What wrong have I done?9
26:19 So let my lord the king now listen to the words of his servant. If the
26:21 Saul replied, “I have sinned. Come back, my son David. I won’t harm you, for you treated my life with value13 this day. I have behaved foolishly and have made a very terrible mistake!”14
26:22 David replied, “Here is the king’s spear! Let one of your servants cross over and get it.