The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Samuel 26:1–25

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

And the Ziphites come out of the dry country to Saul to the hill, saying, Behold, David hides himself with us in the hill Echela, opposite Jessemon.

THEN the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, Behold, David is hiding himself in Gibaoth-hawilah, which is before the wilderness.

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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.

And Saul rose up, and he descended into the desert of Ziph, and with him three thousand elect men of Israel, so that he might seek David in the desert of Ziph.

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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.

And Saul encamped at Gibeah on Hachilah, which was opposite the wilderness on the way. But David was living in the desert. Then, seeing that Saul had arrived after him in the wilderness,

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David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come of a certainty.

And David sent spies, and ascertained that Saul was come prepared out of Keila.

he sent explorers, and he learned that he certainly had arrived in that place.

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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 within the barricade, and the people pitched round about him.

And David rose up secretly, and he went to the place where Saul was. And when he had seen the place where Saul was sleeping, and Abner, the son of Ner, the leader of his military, and Saul sleeping in a tent, and the remainder of the common people all around him,

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.'

David spoke to Ahimelech, the Hittite, and to Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, saying, “Who will descend with me to Saul in the camp?” And Abishai said, “I will descend with you.”

So David and Abishai came to the people by night; and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the barricade, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head; and Abner and the people lay round about him.

Therefore, David and Abishai went to the people by night, and they found Saul lying down and sleeping in the tent, with his spear fixed in the ground at his head. And Abner and the people were sleeping all around him.

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

And Abessa said to David, The Lord has this day shut up thine enemy into thine hands, and now I will smite him to the earth with the spear to the ground once for all, and I will not smite him again.

And Abishai said to David: “God has enclosed your enemy this day in your hands. Now therefore, I will pierce him with my lance, through to the ground, once, and there will not need to be a second.”

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And David said to Abishai: 'Destroy him not; for who can put forth his hand against YHWH'S anointed, and be guiltless?'

But David said to Abishai, Destroy him not; for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD'S anointed, and be guiltless?

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10  And David said: 'As YHWH liveth, nay, but the YHWH shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall go down into battle, and be swept away.

10  And David said: “As the Lord lives, unless the Lord himself will strike him, or unless his day to die will have arrived, or unless, descending into battle, he will perish,

10  David said furthermore, As the LORD lives, the LORD shall smite him; or the day of his death shall come; or he will be smitten in battle and perish.

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11  YHWH forbid it me, that I should put forth my hand against YHWH'S anointed; but now take, I pray thee, the spear that is at his head, and the cruse of water and let us go.'

11  The Lord forbid it me that I should lift up my hand against the anointed of the Lord: and now take, I pray thee, the spear from his bolster, and the pitcher of water, and let us return home.

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12  So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's head; and they got them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither did any awake; for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from YHWH was fallen upon them.

12  So David took the spear, and the pitcher of water from his bolster, and they went home: and there was no one that saw, and no one that knew, and there was no one that awoke, all being asleep, for a stupor from the Lord had fallen upon them.

12  And so, David took the spear, and the cup of water that was at Saul’s head, and they went away. And there was no one who saw it, or realized it, or awakened, but they were all sleeping. For a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen over them.

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

13  So David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of a hill afar off, and there was a good distance between them.

13  And when David had crossed over to the opposite side, and had stood upon the top of the hill far away, so that there was a great interval between them,

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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?'

14  And David called to the people, and spoke to Abenner, saying, Wilt thou not answer, Abenner? and Abenner answered and said, Who art thou that callest?

14  David cried out to the people, and to Abner, the son of Ner, saying, “Will you not respond, Abner?” And responding, Abner said, “Who are you, that you would cry out and disquiet the king?”

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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 watch over thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord.

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16  This thing is not good that thou hast done. As YHWH liveth, ye deserve to die, because ye have not kept watch over your lord, the YHWH'S anointed. And now, see, where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his head.'

16  And this thing is not good which thou hast done. As the Lord lives, ye are worthy of death, ye who guard your lord the king, the anointed of the Lord: and now behold, I pray you, the spear of the king, and the cruse of water: where are the articles that should be at his head?

16  This is not good, what you have done. As the Lord lives, you are sons of death, because you have not guarded your lord, the Christ of the Lord. Now therefore, where is the king’s spear, and where is the cup of water that was at his head?”

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.'

17  And Saul recognized the voice of David, and said, Is this thy voice, son David? and David said, I am thy servant, my lord, O king.

17  Then Saul recognized the voice of David, and he said, “Is this not your voice, my son David?” And David said, “It is my voice, my lord the king.”

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

18  And he said, Why does my lord thus pursue after his servant? for in what have I sinned? and what unrighteousness has been found in me?

18  Then David said, Why does my lord pursue after his servant? For what have I done? Or what evil is in my hands?

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19  Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it be YHWH that hath stirred thee up against me, let Him accept an offering; but if it be the children of men, cursed be they before the YHWH; for they have driven me out this day that I should not cleave unto the inheritance of the LORD, saying: Go, serve other gods.

19  And now let my lord the king hear the word of his servant. If God stirs thee up against me, let thine offering be acceptable: but if the sons of men, they are cursed before the Lord, for they have cast me out this day so that I should not be established in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, Go, serve other Gods.

19  Now therefore, listen, I beg you, my lord the king, to the words of your servant. If the Lord has stirred you up against me, let him make the sacrifice fragrant. But if the sons of men have done so, they are accursed in the sight of the Lord, who has cast me out this day, so that I would not live within the inheritance of the Lord, saying, ‘Go, serve strange gods.’

20  Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of YHWH; for the king of Israel is come out to seek a single flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.'

20  And now let not my blood fall to the ground before the Lord, for the king of Israel has come forth to seek my life, as the night hawk pursues its prey in the mountains.

20  And now, let not my blood be poured out upon the earth before the Lord. For the king of Israel has gone out, so that he might seek a flea, just as the partridge is pursued amid the mountains.”

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

21  And Saul said, I have sinned: turn, son David, for I will not hurt thee, because my life was precious in thine eyes; and to-day I have been foolish and have erred exceedingly.

21  And Saul said: “I have sinned. Return, my son David. For I will never again do evil to you, because my life has been precious in your eyes this day. For it is apparent that I have acted senselessly, and have been ignorant of very many things.”

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

22  And responding, David said: “Behold, the king’s spear. Let one of the servants of the king cross over and take it.

23  And YHWH will render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; forasmuch as the YHWH delivered thee into my hand to-day, and I would not put forth my hand against the LORD'S anointed.

23  And the Lord will repay each one according to his justice and faith. For the Lord has delivered you this day into my hand, but I was not willing to extend my hand against the Christ of the Lord.

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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 YHWH, and let Him deliver me out of all tribulation.'

24  And just as your soul has been magnified this day in my eyes, so let my soul be magnified in the eyes of the Lord, and may he free me from all distress.”

24  And, behold, as your life was highly esteemed this day in my sight, so my life shall be highly esteemed in the sight of the LORD.

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25  Then Saul said to David: 'Blessed be thou, my son David; thou shalt both do mightily, and shalt surely prevail.' So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place.