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1 Samuel chapter 26

New International Version

1 The Ziphites went to Saul at Gibeah and said, 'Is not David hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which faces Jeshimon?'
2 So Saul went down to the Desert of Ziph, with his three thousand select Israelite troops, to search there for David. 3 Saul made his camp beside the road on the hill of Hakilah facing Jeshimon, but David stayed in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul had followed him there, 4 he sent out scouts and learned that Saul had definitely arrived.
5 Then David set out and went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of the army, had lain down. Saul was lying inside the camp, with the army encamped around him.
6 David then asked Ahimelek the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, 'Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?' 'I'll go with you,' said Abishai.
7 So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him.
8 Abishai said to David, 'Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won't strike him twice.'
9 But David said to Abishai, 'Don't destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD's anointed and be guiltless? 10 As surely as the LORD lives,' he said, 'the LORD himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD's anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let's go.'
12 So David took the spear and water jug near Saul's head, and they left. No one saw or knew about it, nor did anyone wake up. They were all sleeping, because the LORD had put them into a deep sleep.
13 Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of the hill some distance away; there was a wide space between them.
14 He called out to the army and to Abner son of Ner, 'Aren't you going to answer me, Abner?' Abner replied, 'Who are you who calls to the king?'
15 David said, 'You're a man, aren't you? And who is like you in Israel? Why didn't you guard your lord the king? Someone came to destroy your lord the king. 16 What you have done is not good. As surely as the LORD lives, you and your men must die, because you did not guard your master, the LORD's anointed. Look around you. Where are the king's spear and water jug that were near his head?'
17 Saul recognized David's voice and said, 'Is that your voice, David my son?' David replied, 'Yes it is, my lord the king.' 18 And he added, 'Why is my lord pursuing his servant? What have I done, and what wrong am I guilty of? 19 Now let my lord the king listen to his servant's words. If the LORD has incited you against me, then may he accept an offering. If, however, people have done it, may they be cursed before the LORD! They have driven me today from my share in the LORD's inheritance and have said, 'Go, serve other gods.' 20 Now do not let my blood fall to the ground far from the presence of the LORD. The king of Israel has come out to look for a flea--as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.'
21 Then Saul said, 'I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Because you considered my life precious today, I will not try to harm you again. Surely I have acted like a fool and have been terribly wrong.'
22 Here is the king's spear,' David answered. 'Let one of your young men come over and get it. 23 The LORD rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness. The LORD delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the LORD's anointed. 24 As surely as I valued your life today, so may the LORD value my life and deliver me from all trouble.'
25 Then Saul said to David, 'May you be blessed, David my son; you will do great things and surely triumph.' So David went on his way, and Saul returned home.
English Standard Version

1 Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding himself on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the east of Jeshimon?” 2 So Saul arose and went down to the wilderness of Ziph 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 beside the road on the east of Jeshimon. But David remained in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness, 4 David sent out spies and learned that Saul had indeed come. 5 Then David rose and came to the place where Saul had encamped. And David saw the place where Saul lay, with Abner the son of Ner, the commander of his army. Saul was lying within the encampment, while the army was encamped around him.
6 Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Joab’s brother Abishai the son of Zeruiah, “Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?” And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.” 7 So David and Abishai went to the army by night. And there lay Saul sleeping within the encampment, with 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 given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear, and I will not strike him twice.” 9 But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless?” 10 And David said, “As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. 11 The LORD forbid that I should put out my hand against the LORD’s anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go.” 12 So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul’s head, and they went away. No man saw it or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen upon them.
13 Then David went over to the other side and stood far off on the top of the hill, with a great space between them. 14 And David called to the army, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Will you not answer, Abner?” Then Abner answered, “Who are you who calls to the king?” 15 And David said to Abner, “Are you not a man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not kept watch over your lord the king? For one of the people came in to destroy the king your lord. 16 This thing that you have done is not good. As the LORD lives, you deserve to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, 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 recognized 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 he said, “Why does my lord pursue after his servant? For what have I done? What evil is on my hands? 19 Now therefore let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it is the LORD who has stirred you up against me, may he accept an offering, but if it is men, may they be cursed before the LORD, for they have driven me out this day that I should have no share in the heritage of the LORD, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ 20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of the LORD, for the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea like one who hunts a partridge in the mountains.”
21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have acted foolishly, and have made a great mistake.” 22 And David answered and said, “Here is the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and take it. 23 The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the LORD gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the LORD’s anointed. 24 Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the LORD, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation.” 25 Then Saul said to David, “Blessed be you, my son David! You will do many things and will succeed in them.” So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place.
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.
New American Standard Bible

1 Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, 'Is David not keeping himself hidden on the hill of Hachilah, which is opposite Jeshimon?' 2 So Saul set out and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, taking with him three thousand chosen men of Israel, to search for David in the wilderness of Ziph. 3 And Saul camped on the hill of Hachilah, which is opposite Jeshimon, beside the road, and David was staying in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul had come after him into the wilderness, 4 David sent out spies, and he learned that Saul was definitely coming. 5 David then set out and came to the place where Saul had camped. And David saw the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the commander of his army; and Saul was lying in the circle of the camp, and the people were camped around him.
6 Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, saying, 'Who will go down with me to Saul in the camp?' And Abishai said, 'I will go down with you.' 7 So David and Abishai came to the people by night, and behold, Saul lay sleeping inside the circle of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground at his head; and Abner and the people were lying around him. 8 Then Abishai said to David, 'Today God has handed your enemy over to you; now then, please let me pin him with the spear to the ground with one thrust, and I will not do it to him a second time.' 9 But David said to Abishai, 'Do not kill him, for who can reach out with his hand against the LORD’S anointed and remain innocent?' 10 David also said, 'As the LORD lives, the LORD certainly will strike him, or his day will come that he dies, or he will go down in battle and perish. 11 The LORD forbid that I would reach out with my hand against the LORD’S anointed! But now please take the spear that is at his head and the jug of water, and let’s go.' 12 So David took the spear and the jug of water that were at Saul’s head, and they left; and no one saw or knew about it, nor did anyone awaken, for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen on them.
13 Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of the mountain at a distance with a large area between them. 14 And David called to the people and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, 'Will you not answer, Abner?' Then Abner replied, 'Who are you who calls to the king?' 15 So David said to Abner, 'Are you not a man? And who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not guarded your lord the king? For one of the people came to kill the king your lord! 16 This thing that you have done is not good. As the LORD lives, all of you undoubtedly must die, because you did not guard your lord, the LORD’S anointed. And now, see where the king’s spear is and the jug of water that was at his head!'
17 Then Saul recognized David’s voice and said, 'Is this your voice, my son David?' And David said, 'It is my voice, my lord the king.' 18 He also said, 'Why then is my lord pursuing his servant? For what have I done? Or what evil is in my hand? 19 Now then, please let my lord the king listen to the words of his servant. If the LORD has incited you against me, may He accept an offering; but if it is people, cursed are they before the LORD, because they have driven me out today so that I would have no share in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ 20 Now then, do not let my blood fall to the ground far from the presence of the LORD; for the king of Israel has come out to search for a single flea, just as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.'
21 Then Saul said, 'I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will not harm you again since my life was precious in your sight this day. Behold, I have played the fool and have made a very great mistake.' 22 David replied, 'Behold, the spear of the king! Now have one of the young men come over and take it. 23 And the LORD will repay each man for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the LORD handed you over to me today, but I refused to reach out with my hand against the LORD’S anointed. 24 Therefore behold, just as your life was highly valued in my sight this day, so may my life be highly valued in the sight of the LORD, and may He rescue me from all distress.' 25 Then Saul said to David, 'Blessed are you, my son David; you will both accomplish much and assuredly prevail.' So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.
New Living Translation

1 Now some men from Ziph came to Saul at Gibeah to tell him, 'David is hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which overlooks Jeshimon.'
2 So Saul took 3,000 of Israel's elite troops and went to hunt him down in the wilderness of Ziph. 3 Saul camped along the road beside the hill of Hakilah, near Jeshimon, where David was hiding. When David learned that Saul had come after him into the wilderness, 4 he sent out spies to verify the report of Saul's arrival.
5 David slipped over to Saul's camp one night to look around. Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of his army, were sleeping inside a ring formed by the slumbering warriors.
6 'Who will volunteer to go in there with me?' David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother. 'I'll go with you,' Abishai replied. 7 So David and Abishai went right into Saul's camp and found him asleep, with his spear stuck in the ground beside his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying asleep around him.
8 'God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time!' Abishai whispered to David. 'Let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won't need to strike twice!'
9 'No!' David said. 'Don't kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the LORD's anointed one? 10 Surely the LORD will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle. 11 The LORD forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But take his spear and that jug of water beside his head, and then let's get out of here!'
12 So David took the spear and jug of water that were near Saul's head. Then he and Abishai got away without anyone seeing them or even waking up, because the LORD had put Saul's men into a deep sleep.
13 David climbed the hill opposite the camp until he was at a safe distance.
14 Then he shouted down to the soldiers and to Abner son of Ner, 'Wake up, Abner!' 'Who is it?' Abner demanded.
15 'Well, Abner, you're a great man, aren't you?' David taunted. 'Where in all Israel is there anyone as mighty? So why haven't you guarded your master the king when someone came to kill him? 16 This isn't good at all! I swear by the LORD that you and your men deserve to die, because you failed to protect your master, the LORD's anointed! Look around! Where are the king's spear and the jug of water that were beside his head?'
17 Saul recognized David's voice and called out, 'Is that you, my son David?' And David replied, 'Yes, my lord the king. 18 Why are you chasing me? What have I done? What is my crime? 19 But now let my lord the king listen to his servant. If the LORD has stirred you up against me, then let him accept my offering. But if this is simply a human scheme, then may those involved be cursed by the LORD. For they have driven me from my home, so I can no longer live among the LORD's people, and they have said, 'Go, worship pagan gods.' 20 Must I die on foreign soil, far from the presence of the LORD? Why has the king of Israel come out to search for a single flea? Why does he hunt me down like a partridge on the mountains?'
21 Then Saul confessed, 'I have sinned. Come back home, my son, and I will no longer try to harm you, for you valued my life today. I have been a fool and very, very wrong.'
22 'Here is your spear, O king,' David replied. 'Let one of your young men come over and get it. 23 The LORD gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal, and I refused to kill you even when the LORD placed you in my power, for you are the LORD's anointed one. 24 Now may the LORD value my life, even as I have valued yours today. May he rescue me from all my troubles.'
25 And Saul said to David, 'Blessings on you, my son David. You will do many heroic deeds, and you will surely succeed.' Then David went away, and Saul returned home.
Christian Standard Bible

1 Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah saying, "David is hiding on the hill of Hachilah opposite Jeshimon." 2 So Saul, accompanied by three thousand of the fit young men of Israel, went immediately to the Wilderness of Ziph to search for David there. 3 Saul camped beside the road at the hill of Hachilah opposite Jeshimon. David was living in the wilderness and discovered Saul had come there after him. 4 So David sent out spies and knew for certain that Saul had come. 5 Immediately, David went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw the place where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of his army, were lying down. Saul was lying inside the inner circle of the camp with the troops camped around him.
6 Then David asked Ahimelech the Hethite and Joab's brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, "Who will go with me into the camp to Saul? ""I'll go with you," answered Abishai.
7 That night, David and Abishai came to the troops, and Saul was lying there asleep in the inner circle of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground by his head. Abner and the troops were lying around him. 8 Then Abishai said to David, "Today God has delivered your enemy to you. Let me thrust the spear through him into the ground just once. I won't have to strike him twice! "
9 But David said to Abishai, "Don't destroy him, for who can lift a hand against the Lord's anointed and be innocent? " 10 David added, "As the Lord lives, the Lord will certainly strike him down: either his day will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 However, as the Lord is my witness, I will never lift my hand against the Lord's anointed. Instead, take the spear and the water jug by his head, and let's go."
12 So David took the spear and the water jug by Saul's head, and they went their way. No one saw them, no one knew, and no one woke up; they all remained asleep because a deep sleep from the Lord came over them. 13 David crossed to the other side and stood on top of the mountain at a distance; there was a considerable space between them.
14 Then David shouted to the troops and to Abner son of Ner, "Aren't you going to answer, Abner? ""Who are you who calls to the king? " Abner asked.
15 David called to Abner, "You're a man, aren't you? Who in Israel is your equal? So why didn't you protect your lord the king when one of the people came to destroy him? 16 What you have done is not good. As the Lord lives, all of you deserve to die since you didn't protect your lord, the Lord's anointed. Now look around; where are the king's spear and water jug that were by his head? "
17 Saul recognized David's voice and asked, "Is that your voice, my son David? ""It is my voice, my lord and king," David said. 18 Then he continued, "Why is my lord pursuing his servant? What have I done? What crime have I committed? 19 Now, may my lord the king please hear the words of his servant: If it is the Lord who has incited you against me, then may he accept an offering. But if it is people, may they be cursed in the presence of the Lord, for today they have banished me from sharing in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, 'Go and worship other gods.' 20 So don't let my blood fall to the ground far from the Lord's presence, for the king of Israel has come out to search for a single flea, like one who pursues a partridge in the mountains."
21 Saul responded, "I have sinned. Come back, my son David, I will never harm you again because today you considered my life precious. I have been a fool! I've committed a grave error."
22 David answered, "Here is the king's spear; have one of the young men come over and get it. 23 The Lord will repay every man for his righteousness and his loyalty. I wasn't willing to lift my hand against the Lord's anointed, even though the Lord handed you over to me today. 24 Just as I considered your life valuable today, so may the Lord consider my life valuable and rescue me from all trouble."
25 Saul said to him, "You are blessed, my son David. You will certainly do great things and will also prevail." Then David went on his way, and Saul returned home.

What does 1 Samuel chapter 26 mean?

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