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1 Samuel 26

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 1 And the Ziphites came to Saul to Gibeah, saying, "Is not David hiding on the hill of Hachilah, which faces Jeshimon?"

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

 3 And Saul encamped on the hill of Hachilah, which is by the road facing Jeshimon. But David stayed in the wilderness, and when he heard that Saul had come after him into the wilderness.

 4 David therefore sent out spies, and confirmed that Saul had indeed come.

 5 So David arose, and came to the place where Saul had encamped; and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host; and Saul lay in the center with all the army camped around him.

 6 Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab,$2 asking, "Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp?" And Abishai said, "I will go down with you."

 7 So David and Abishai approached Saul's army under the cover of night, and they saw Saul laying asleep in the camp with his his spear stuck in the ground at his head; and Abner and the army lay around him.

 8 Then Abishai said to David, "God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day; now therefore, I pray you, let me strike him to the earth with his spear in one thrust, for I will not need to strike him a second time."

 9 David said to Abishai, "Do not kill him for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD's anointed and be guiltless?"

 10 Furthermore David said , "As the LORD lives, the LORD shall strike him; his day to die shall come, or he shall go down in battle and perish.

 11 The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth my hand against the LORD's anointed, but, I pray you, let us take his spear that is at his head, take his jar of water, and then leave."

 12 So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul's head, and they took them away; and no man saw it, nor knew it; neither did any awaken for they were in a deep sleep from the LORD that had fallen upon them.

 13 Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of a distant hill, with a large area left between them.

 14 And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, "Abner, Will you not answer?" Then Abner answered and said, "Who are you that cries to the king?"

 15 And David said to Abner, "Are you not a valiant man? Who is like unto you in all of Israel? Why then have you not kept your lord the king safe? For someone came in to destroy your lord the king.

 16 This thing is not good that you have done. As the LORD lives, you are worthy to die, because you have not kept safe your master, the LORD's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the jar of water that was at his head."

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

 18 And David said, "Why does my lord thus pursue after his servant? For what have I done? Or what evil is in my hand?

 19 Now therefore, I pray you, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD has stirred you up against me, let him accept an offering, but if those [who stirred you against me] are 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, do not let not my blood fall to the earth away from the face of the LORD for the king of Israel has come out to search a single flea, as when one hunts a partridge in the mountains."

 21 Then said Saul, "I have sinned. Return, my son David for I will no longer do you harm because my soul was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have played the fool, and I have erred exceedingly."

 22 And David answered and said, "Behold the king's spear! Let one of the young men come over and retrieve it.

 23 The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the LORD delivered you into my hand today, but I would not stretch forth my hand against the LORD's anointed.

 24 And, behold, as your life was much set by this day in my 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 are you, my son David; you shall both do great things and also still prevail." So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.


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1David had six brothers and two sisters, Zeruiah, and Abigail. The sons of Zeruiah were Abishai, Joab, and Asahel; all mighty men of war. Joab was David's main general and was very loyal to him throughout David's reign. Even more amazing, Abigail was the mother of Amasa, another great general. Joab killed Amasa because Amasa had supported Absalom in his insurrection against David, which David had forgiven; but Joab did not trust him and therefore killed him. So two of the three greatest commanders of this time, (Abner, Joab, and Amasa) were David's nephews. Joab killed Abner because Abner had killed Joab's brother, Asahel. David mourned Joab's killing of Abner and cursed Joab for later killing Amasa; and from his death bed David ordered Solomon to slay Joab who had supported another son of David instead of Solomon to be David's successor.

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