1 Samuel Chapter 26

Saul was at Gibeah when the Ziphites came to him and asked if David was hiding on Hakilah Hill facing Jeshimon. Saul decided to take 3,000 Israelite soldiers to the Desert of Ziph and look for David. He camped on the roadside near Hakilah Hill.

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David Hides from Saul

David thought Saul was there and remained in hiding. He sent four scouts to be sure, and once he knew Saul was there, he made for Saul’s camp with the Hittite called Ahimelek and Joab’s brother, Abishai. David asked which one of them would accompany him into the camp, and Abishai said he would.

David Spares Saul’s Life Again

David and Abishai entered the camp under the cover of darkness and found Saul sleeping. His spear was secured in the soil beside his head. The soldiers, including Abner, slept all around. Abishai said that God had delivered Saul and his army to David and that they should run Saul through with one thrust of his own spear.

David did not want to do this because Saul was said to be anointed by God, so the time of Saul’s death should be left to God to determine. He said they should just steal Saul’s spear and jug of water and leave, so that is what they did. They left the camp undetected because the Lord had caused Saul and all his soldiers to sleep deeply.

David Calls to Saul

Once David and Abishai were well away from the camp, David called out Abner’s name loudly and Abner replied, wondering who was calling. David questioned Abner as to why he had not awakened when someone was right there in the camp stealing the king’s water jug and spear. Saul heard David, recognized him and called to him.

David confirmed his identity and asked Saul why he was chasing him. He asked what he had done wrong. David wondered if it was the Lord or mere people who had urged Saul to pursue him. He said that if it was the Lord, he would make an offering. If it was people, they should be cursed because now David was separated from his home and his inheritance and was being hunted like an animal.

Saul Apologizes to David

Saul realized he had been foolish and sinned and called to David to come to him. He was grateful that David had spared his life; therefore, he swore not to hurt him. David said that Saul should send a soldier to come and get Saul’s spear. He said that he knew the Lord would reward him for sparing Saul’s life by protecting David’s life. Saul blessed David and wished for him to accomplish great things and enjoy a great deal of triumph. Following this, Saul returned home and David went on his way.

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1 Samuel 26 (King James Version)

1 And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon?

2 Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.

3 And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.

4 David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.

5 And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him.

6 Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.

7 So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him.

8 Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.

9 And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD’S anointed, and be guiltless?

10 David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.

11 The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’S anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.

12 So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.

13 Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them:

14 And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king?

15 And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord.

16 This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the LORD liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the LORD’S anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.

17 And Saul knew David’s voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king.

18 And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand?

19 Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve other gods.

20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.

21 Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.

22 And David answered and said, Behold the king’s spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.

23 The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’S anointed.

24 And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.

25 Then Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

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