The First Book of Samuel

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The First Book of Samuel

  • Authors: Samuel, Gad, Nathan
  • Place Written: Israel
  • When Written: c. 930-900 B.C.E.

CHAPTER 1

The Birth of Samuel

There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim[1] of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now this man used to go up from his town year by year[2] to worship and to sacrifice to Jehovah of hosts in Shiloh, and there the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to Jehovah. 

And when the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion;[3] for he loved Hannah, but Jehovah had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously[4] to irritate her, because Jehovah had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of Jehovah, she used to provoke her; so she wept and would not eat. And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?”

Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh.[5] Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of Jehovah. 10 She was bitter of soul and prayed to Jehovah and wept bitterly. 11 She made a vow and said, “O Jehovah of armies, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your maidservant and remember me, and not forget your maidservant, but will give your maidservant an offspring of men,[6]  then I will give him to Jehovah all the days of his life,[7] and a razor shall never come on his head.”

12 Now it came about, as she continued praying before Jehovah, that Eli was watching her mouth. 13 As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were trembling, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. 14 And Eli said unto her, “How long will you be drunk? Put away your wine from you.” 15 But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman hard-pressed in spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I poured out my soul before Jehovah. 16 Do not regard your slave girl like a worthless woman, for out of the abundance of my concern and my vexation that I have spoken until now.” 17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of him.” 18 To this she said: “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” And the woman went on her way and ate,[8] and her face was sad no more.

19 And they rose up early in the morning and worshiped before Jehovah, after which they returned and came to their house at Ramah. Elkanah now had sexual relations with Hannah[9] his wife, and Jehovah remembered her. 20 So it came about in due time[10] that Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son and named him Samuel,[11] because, said she, “it is from Jehovah that I have asked him.”

Samuel Given to Jehovah

21 And the man Elkanah, and all his household, went up to offer to Jehovah the sacrifice of the days,[12] and his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear before Jehovah and dwell there forever.”[13] 23 Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what is good in your eyes; wait until you have weaned him; only, may Jehovah establish his[14] word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull,[15] an ephah[16] of flour, and a jar of wine, and she brought him to the house of Jehovah at Shiloh. And the boy was a boy.[17] 25 Then they[18] slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. 26 And she said, “Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to Jehovah. 27 It was for this boy that I prayed, and Jehovah granted my petition that I asked of him. 28 Therefore I have lent him[19] to Jehovah. All the days that he lives,[20] he is lent to Jehovah.”

And he[21] worshiped Jehovah there.[22]

CHAPTER 2

Hannah’s Prayer

And Hannah prayed and said,

“My heart exults in Jehovah;
    my horn is exalted in Jehovah.[23]
My mouth is opened wide[24] against my enemies,
    because I rejoice in your salvation.

“There is none holy like Jehovah:
    for there is none besides you;
    nor is there any rock like our God.
Talk no more so very proudly,
    let not arrogance come out of your mouth;
for Jehovah is a God of knowledge,
    and by him[25] actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are shattered,
    but those who are stumbling do gird on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
    but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
Even the barren has given birth to seven,
    but she who had many sons has withered.
Jehovah kills and brings to life;
    he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
Jehovah makes poor and makes rich;
    he brings low and he exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust;
    he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
    and inherit a seat of honor.[26]
For the pillars of the earth are Jehovah’s,
    and on them he has set the world.

“The feet of his loyal ones he guards,
    but the wicked ones shall be silenced in darkness,
    for not by strength shall a man prevail.
10 Jehovah shall shatter those fighting against him;
    against them[27] he will thunder in heavens.
Jehovah will judge the ends of the earth;
    he will give strength to his king
    and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

11 Then Elkanah went to Ramah, to his house.[28] Now the boy was serving Jehovah before Eli the priest.

Sins of Eli’s Two Worthless Sons

12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless[29] men. They did not know Jehovah. 13 And the due right of the priests from[30] the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14 and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself.[31] This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.[32] 15 Also, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give the priest meat to roast, for he will not take boiled meat from you, only raw.” 16 And if the man said to him, “They shall surely burn the fat first, and then take as much as your soul desires,” then he would say, “No,[33] but you shall give it to me now, and if not, I will take it by force.” 17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great before Jehovah, for the men treated[34] the offering of Jehovah with contempt.

18 And Samuel was ministering before Jehovah, as a boy, girded with a linen ephod. 19 And his mother would make him a little robe and she brought it up to him year after year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, “May Jehovah give you offspring from this woman in place of the one which she[35] lent to Jehovah. And they went to their own home.[36]

21 Jehovah visited Hannah; and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before Jehovah.

Eli Rebukes His Sons

22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.[37] 23 And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? for I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. 24 No, my sons; it is no good the report that I hear spreading among the people of Jehovah. 25 If a man sins against another man, God shall judge him; but if a man sins against Jehovah, who shall intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for Jehovah was determined to put them to death.

26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with Jehovah and also with man.

Jehovah Rejects and Judges Eli’s Household

27 And there came a man of God to Eli, and said to him, “Thus says Jehovah, ‘Did I not plainly reveal myself[38] to the house of your father, when they were in Egypt as slaves[39] to the house of Pharaoh? 28 Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest,[40] to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the sons of Israel. 29 Why do you men kick at my sacrifice and my offering that I have commanded in my place of dwelling? Why do you keep honoring your sons more than me by making yourselves[41] fat from the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?’ 30 Therefore Jehovah God of Israel declares, ‘I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before me forever’; but now Jehovah declares, ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 31 Look, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32  And you shall look upon an adversary in my dwelling, amid all the good that is done to Israel, and there shall not be an old man in your house[42] forever. 33 And there is a man of yours whom I shall not cut off from my altar to cause your eyes[43] to fail and to cause your[44] soul to grieve; and all the increase of your house shall die as men.[45] 34 And this shall be the sign to you, that shall come upon your two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: on the same day they shall die both of them. 35 And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my soul. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before my anointed all the days. 36 And it shall come about, that every one that is left in your house shall come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread, and shall say, “Put me, I pray, in one of the priests’ offices, that I may eat a morsel of bread.”’”

CHAPTER 3

Jehovah Calls Samuel to Be a Prophet

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to Jehovah before Eli. And the word of Jehovah was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.

Now it came about at that time that Eli was lying in his place, and his eyes had begun to grow dim so that he was not able to see. And the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of Jehovah, where the ark of God was.

Then Jehovah called Samuel,[46] and he said, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down.

Jehovah called yet again, “Samuel!” And Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he answered, “I did not call, my son, lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know Jehovah, nor had the word of Jehovah yet been revealed to him.

And Jehovah called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that Jehovah was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Jehovah, for your servant hears.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 Then Jehovah came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” 11 Then Jehovah said to Samuel, “Look, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both the ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. 12 In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the error which he knew, because his sons were cursing God,[47] and he did not restrain them. 14 Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the error of the house of Eli shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

15 So Samuel lay down until morning.[48] Then he opened the doors of the house of Jehovah. But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16 Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he said, “Here I am.” 17 And he said, “What is the word that he has spoken to you? Please do not hide it from me. May God do so to you, and so may he add to it if you should hide from me a word of all the words that he spoke to you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is Jehovah. Let him do what seems good to him.”

19 And Samuel grew, and Jehovah was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of Jehovah. 21 And Jehovah appeared again at Shiloh, for Jehovah revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of Jehovah.

CHAPTER 4

The Philistines Capture the Ark

And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.[49]

Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines. They camped beside Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek. The Philistines drew up in battle formation to meet Israel, but the battle went badly, and Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who struck down about four thousand men[50] from the battle line in the field. And when the people came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has Jehovah defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of Jehovah here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and deliver us from the power of our enemies.” So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of Jehovah of armies, who sits above the cherubim the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.[51]

As the ark of the covenant of Jehovah came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth resounded. When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they learned that the ark of Jehovah had come into the camp. The Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come[52] into the camp.” And they said, “Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before. Woe to us! Who shall deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all sorts of plagues in the wilderness. Take courage and be men, O Philistines, or you will become slaves to the Hebrews, as they have been slaves to you; therefore, be men and fight.”

10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and they fled, every man to his tent.[53] And there was a very great slaughter, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

The Death of Eli and His Two Sons

12 A man of Benjamin ran from the battle line and arrived at Shiloh on that day with his garments ripped apart and dirt on his head. 13 When he arrived, Eli was sitting on the seat by the roadside watching,[54] because his heart was trembling over the Ark of God. And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out. 14 When Eli heard the sound of the outcry, he said, “What does the sound of this turmoil mean?” The same man hurried and came and told Eli. 15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were set so that he could not see. 16 And the man said to Eli, “I am the one who came from the battle line. And today I fled from the battle line.” And he said, “What happened, my son?” 17 He who brought the news answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has also been a great slaughter among the people. Your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been taken.” 18 And it came about when he mentioned the ark of God, he fell from the seat backward beside the gate, and his neck was broken so that he died, for the man was old and heavy; and he had judged Israel forty years.

19 And his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and about to give birth, and she heard the report that the ark of God was captured and that her father-in-law and her husband had died. At that she bowed and gave birth, for her pains came upon her. 20 And about the time of her death, the women who stood by her said, “Do not be afraid, for it is a son that you have borne.” But she did not answer and did not set her heart on it. 21 And she named the boy Ichabod,[55] saying, “The glory is departed from Israel;” because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God[56] has been captured.”

CHAPTER 5

The Philistines and the Ark

Now the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon. When the Ashdodites rose up early the next day,[57] look, Dagon fallen facedown on the ground before the Ark of Jehovah. So they took[58] Dagon and returned him to his place. But when they rose up early on the next morning, look, Dagon had fallen face down on the ground before the ark of Jehovah, and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him.[59] Therefore neither the priests of Dagon nor all who enter the house of Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.

Philistines Scourged

Now the hand of Jehovah was heavy against the Ashdodites and he destroyed them and struck them with tumors,[60] both in Ashdod and its territories. And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for his hand is harsh on us and on Dagon our god.” So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” And they answered, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be brought around to Gath.”[61] And they brought the ark of the God of Israel there.[62] After they had brought it around, the hand of Jehovah was against the city, causing a very great confusion; and he struck the men of the city, both young and old, so that tumors broke out on them.[63] 10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came about as the ark of God came to Ekron the Ekronites cried out, saying, “They have brought around the ark of the God of Israel to kill us and our people.”[64] 11 They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return to its own place, so that it will not kill us and our people.” For there was a deadly confusion throughout the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. 12 And the men who did not die were struck with tumors and the cry of the city went up to heaven.

CHAPTER 6

The Philistines Return the Ark to Israel

The ark of Jehovah was in the country of the Philistines seven months.[65] And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of Jehovah? Tell us how we shall send it to its place.” They said, “If you send away the ark of[66] the God of Israel, do not send it empty, but by all means return him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed, and it will be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.” And they said, “What shall be the guilt offering which we shall return to him?” And they said, “Five golden tumors and five golden mice according to the number of the lords of the Philistines, for one plague was on all of you[67] and on your lords. So you shall make images of your tumors and images of your mice that ravage the land, and you shall give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps He will ease His hand from you, your gods, and your land. Why should you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? After he had dealt severely with them, did they not allow the people to go, and they departed? Now therefore, take and prepare a new cart and two milk cows on which there has never been a yoke; and hitch the cows to the cart and take their calves[68] home, away from them. Take the Ark of Jehovah and place it on the wagon and put the golden articles you are returning to him as a guilt offering in a box next to it. Then send it on its way and watch: If it goes up the road to Beth-shemesh, to its own territory, then he is the one who has done this great evil to us. But if not, we will know that it was not his hand that struck us; it happened to us by coincidence.”

10 The men did so and took two milk cows and hitched them to the cart and shut up their calves at home. 11 And they put the ark of Jehovah on the cart and the box with the golden mice and the images of their tumors. 12 And the cows took the straightway in the direction of Beth-shemesh; they went along the highway, lowing as they went, and did not turn aside to the right or to the left. And the lords of the Philistines went after them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh. 13 Now the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley, and they raised their eyes and saw the ark and were glad to see it.[69] 14 The cart came into the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite and stood there where there was a great stone; and they split the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to Jehovah. 15 And the Levites took down the ark of Jehovah and the box that was beside it, in which were the golden articles, and put them upon the great stone. And the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices on that day to Jehovah. 16 And when the five lords of the Philistines saw it, they returned to Ekron that same day.

17 These are the golden tumors which the Philistines returned for a guilt offering to Jehovah: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron, 18 and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fortified cities and of country villages. The great stone[70] on which they set the ark of Jehovah is a witness to this day in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite.

19 And he struck down some of the men of Beth-shemesh[71] because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah. He struck down among the people, fifty thousand and seventy men,[72] and the people mourned because Jehovah had struck the people with a great slaughter. 20 And the men of Beth-shemesh said, “Who is able to stand before Jehovah, this holy God? And to whom shall he go up from us?” 21 So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim, saying, “The Philistines have brought back the ark of Jehovah; come down, and take it up to you.”

CHAPTER 7

The Ark in Kiriath-Jearim

And the men of Kiriath-jearim came, and took up the ark of Jehovah, and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill,[73] and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of Jehovah. 

Samuel Exhorts: ‘Serve Only Jehovah’

From the day that the ark remained at Kiriath-jearim, the time was long, for it was twenty years; and all the house of Israel lamented after Jehovah.

Samuel Judges Israel

And Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to Jehovah with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth[74] from among you and direct your heart to Jehovah and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” So the sons of Israel removed the Baals and the Ashtaroth and served Jehovah alone.

Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to Jehovah for you.” So they gathered to Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before Jehovah,[75] and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against Jehovah.” And Samuel judged the sons of Israel at Mizpah. 

Israel Is Victorious Over Mizpah

Now when the Philistines heard that the sons of Israel had gathered to Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the sons of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. And the sons of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry to Jehovah our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it for a whole burnt offering to Jehovah; and Samuel cried to Jehovah for Israel and Jehovah answered him. 10 And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, and the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But Jehovah thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines and he threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them down, as far as below Beth-car.

12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen[76] and called its name Ebenezer;[77] for he said, “Till now Jehovah has helped us.” 13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more within the border of Israel: and the hand of Jehovah was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath; and Israel delivered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

Samuel Judges Israel

15 Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel and Gilgal, and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all these places. 17 Then his return was to Ramah, for his house was there, and there he judged Israel; and he built there an altar to Jehovah.

CHAPTER 8

Israel Demands a King

And it came about that when Samuel was old, he appointed his sons as judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. And his sons did not walk in his ways, but they followed dishonest profit and took bribes and perverted justice.

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; and they said to him, “Look, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing was displeasing in the eyes of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to Jehovah. And Jehovah said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. In accord to all the deeds that they have done,[78] since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, in that they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so they are also doing to you. And now listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the manner of the king that shall reign over them.”

Samuel’s Warning the People Against Kings

10 So Samuel spoke all the words of Jehovah to the people who had asked of him a king. 11 He said, “This will be the manner of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and they shall run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war and the equipment for his chariots. 13 And he will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. 15 He will take the tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your male slaves and female slaves and the best of your young men[79] and your donkeys and put them to his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but Jehovah will not answer you in that day.”

Jehovah Grants Israel’s Request for a King

19 But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 Now when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of Jehovah. 22 And Jehovah said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

CHAPTER 9

Saul Chosen to Be King

Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a Benjamite,[80] a mighty man of valor.[81] And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a young and handsome[82] man, and there was no man among the sons of Israel more handsome than he; from his shoulders and upward he was taller than any of the people.

Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to Saul his son, “Take one of the servants with you, and arise, go and look for the donkeys.” And he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then he[83] passed through the land of the Benjamites but did not find them.

When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come, and let us return, lest my father will cease to care about the donkeys and will become anxious about us.” But he said to him, “Look now, there is a man of God in this city, and he is a man who is held in honor; all that he says surely comes true. Now let us go there, perhaps he can tell us about the journey on which we have set out.” Then Saul said to his servant, “But look, if we go, what shall we bring the man? For the bread is gone from our sack and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?” The servant answered Saul again and said, “Look, I have in my hand a fourth of a shekel[84] of silver; I will[85] give it to the man of God to tell us our way.” (In former times in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he would say, “Come let us go to the seer.” For the prophet of today was formerly called a seer.) 10 Then Saul said to his servant, “Well said; come, let us go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.

11 As they went up the ascent to the city, they found young women going out to draw water and said to them, “Is the seer here?” 12 And they answered them, and said, “He is look, he is ahead of you: hurry now, for today he has come to the city; for the people have a sacrifice today on the high place. 13 As soon as you come into the city, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not eat until he comes, for he is the one who blesses the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat. Now go up immediately, for you will find him.” 14 So they went up to the city. As they came into the city, look, Samuel was coming out toward them to go up to the high place.

15 Now Jehovah had revealed to the ear of[86] Samuel a day before Saul came, saying, 16 “About this time tomorrow, I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be leader over my people Israel; and he shall deliver my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen[87] my people, because their cry has come to me.” 17 When Samuel saw Saul, Jehovah said[88] to him, “Look, the man of whom I spoke to you! This is the one who shall rule over My people.” 18 Then Saul approached Samuel in the middle of the gate and said, “Tell me, please, where is the house of the seer?” 19 Samuel answered Saul and said, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and in the morning I will let you go, and I will tell you all that is in your heart. 20 As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found. And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s household?” 21 Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjaminite of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? So why have you spoken to me in this way?”

22 Then Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those invited, and they were about thirty men. 23 And Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion which I gave to you, of which I said to you, ‘Set it aside.’” 24 And the cook took up the thigh, and that which was on it, and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, “Look that which has been reserved! Set it before you and eat; because it has been kept for you until the appointed time, for I said, I have invited the people.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25 When they came down from the high place to the city, he spoke with Saul on the housetop.[89] 26 And they arose early; and at daybreak Samuel called to Saul on the housetop, saying, “Get up, that I may send you away.” So Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went out into the street. 27 As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to pass on before us (and he passed on), but you, stand still now, so that I may let you hear the word of God.”

CHAPTER 10

Saul Anointed to Be King

10 Then Samuel then took the flask of oil and poured it out on his head, kissed him and said, “Has not Jehovah[90] anointed you as a leader over his inheritance? When you depart from me today, you will find two men near the tomb of Rachel in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went to look for have been found, and look, your father has ceased to care about the donkeys and is anxious for you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?”’ Then you shall go on from there until you come to the big tree of Tabor, where you will meet three men going up to God at Bethel, one carrying three young goats, one carrying three loaves of bread, and one carrying an animal skin[91] of wine. And they will greet you and give you two[92] loaves of bread, which you shall accept from their hand. After that you shall come to the hill of God,[93] where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And it shall come to pass, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, and they will be prophesying. Then the Spirit of Jehovah will rush upon you, and you shall prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. And it shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what your hand finds to do, for God is with you. And you shall go down before me to Gilgal, and look! I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”

As soon as Saul turned around to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. 10 And when they came[94] there to the hill, look, a band of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11 And it came to pass, when all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” 12 And a man of the place answered, “And who is their father?” Therefore it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13 When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.

14 Now Saul’s uncle said to him and to his servant, “Where did you go?” And he said, “To seek the donkeys. And when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel.” 15 And Saul’s uncle said, “Please tell me what Samuel said to you.” 16 And Saul said to his uncle, “He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found.” But about the matter of the kingdom, he did not tell him anything, of which Samuel had spoken.

Saul Proclaimed King

17 Now Samuel called the people together to Jehovah at Mizpah. 18 And he said to the sons of Israel, “Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel, ‘I brought Israel up from Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ 19 But you have this day rejected your God, who delivers you from all your calamities and your distresses; yet you have said, ‘No, but[95] set a king over us!’ Now therefore, present yourselves before Jehovah by your tribes and by your thousands.”

20 Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. 21 Then he brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the family of the Matrites was taken.[96] And Saul the son of Kish was taken; but when they sought him, he could not be found. 22 Therefore they asked of Jehovah further, “Is there a man to come here yet?” And Jehovah said, “Look, he has hidden himself among the baggage.” 23 So they ran and took him from there, and when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. 24 And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom Jehovah has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted and said, “Long live the king!”

25 Then Samuel told the people the rightful due of the kingship, and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before Jehovah. Then Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his house. 26 Saul also went to his house at Gibeah; and the valiant men whose hearts God had touched went with him. 27 But certain sons of wickedness said, “How can this man deliver us?” And they despised him and brought him no present. And he was like someone speechless.[97]

CHAPTER 11

Saul Defeats the Ammonites

11 Now[98] Nahash the Ammonite came up and besieged Jabesh-gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a covenant with us and we will serve you.” Then Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “On this condition I shall conclude it with you, on the condition of boring out every right eye of yours, and I will make it a reproach upon all Israel.” And the elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days’ respite, that we may send messengers throughout all the territory of Israel; and then, if there is no one to deliver us, we will come out to you.” Then the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and spoke these words in the ear of the people, and all the people lifted up their voices and wept.

Now look, Saul was coming from the field behind the oxen, and he said, “What is the matter with the people that they weep?” So they told him the words of the men of Jabesh. And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was kindled greatly.[99] He took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces and sent them throughout the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, “Whoever does not come out after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen.” Then the dread of Jehovah fell on the people, and they came out as one man. He numbered them in Bezek; and the sons of Israel were three hundred thousand,[100] and the men of Judah thirty thousand.[101] And they said to the messengers who had come, “Thus shall you say to the men of Jabesh-gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have deliverance.’” When the messengers came and told the men of Jabesh, and they were glad. 10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do to us whatever seems good to you.” 11 The next morning Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp at the morning watch and struck down the Ammonites until the heat of the day. And those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

The Kingdom Saul Is Renewed

12 Then the people said to Samuel, “Who is it that said, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Give the men, that we may put them to death.” 13 But Saul said, “Not a man shall be put to death this day, for this day Jehovah has provided deliverance in Israel.” 14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come and let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there.” 15 So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before Jehovah in Gilgal. There they also offered sacrifices of peace offerings before Jehovah; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

CHAPTER 12

Samuel’s Farewell Address

12 And Samuel said to all Israel, “Look, I have listened to your voice in all that you have said to me and have made a king over you. And now, look, the king walks before you, and I am old and gray; and look, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day. Here I am bear witness against me before Jehovah and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Or[102] whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it?[103] Testify against me and I will restore it to you.” They said, “You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man’s hand.” And he said to them, “Jehovah is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day that you have found nothing in my hand.” And they[104] said, “He is witness.”[105]

And Samuel said to the people, “It is Jehovah[106] who appointed Moses and Aaron and who brought your forefathers up out of the land of Egypt. Now therefore stand still that I may plead with you before Jehovah concerning all the righteous acts of Jehovah which he did for you and for your forefathers. When Jacob[107] went into Egypt[108] and your forefathers cried out to Jehovah, then Jehovah sent Moses and Aaron who brought your forefathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place. But they forgot Jehovah their God, and he sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of[109] Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 10 And they cried out to Jehovah and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken Jehovah and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. But now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, that we may serve you.’ 11 And Jehovah sent Jerubbaal and Bedan[110] and Jephthah and Samuel[111] and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and you dwelt in safety. 12 And when you saw that Nahash the king of the sons of Ammon came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ when Jehovah your God was your king. 13 Now therefore look the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked for, and look, Jehovah has set a king over you. 14 If you will fear Jehovah and serve him and listen to his voice and not rebel against the commandment of Jehovah, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow Jehovah your God, it will be well. 15 But if you will not listen to the voice of Jehovah, but rebel against the commandment of Jehovah, then the hand of Jehovah will be against you, as it was against your fathers.[112] 16 Now therefore stand still and see this great thing, which Jehovah will do before your eyes. 17 Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call to Jehovah, that he may send thunder and rain; and you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the eyes of Jehovah, in asking for yourselves a king. 18 So Samuel called to Jehovah; and Jehovah sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared Jehovah and Samuel.

19 And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to Jehovah your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” 20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have done all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following Jehovah, but serve Jehovah with all your heart. 21 You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which cannot profit or deliver, because they are futile.  22 For Jehovah will not abandon his people for the sake of his great name, because Jehovah has been pleased to make you a people for himself. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against Jehovah by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24 Only fear Jehovah, and serve him faithfully with all your heart, for see what great things he has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, both you and your king will be swept away.”

CHAPTER 13

Saul Selects an Army and Fights the Philistines

13 Saul was […][113] years old when he began to reign, and for […][114] he reigned over Israel. Saul chose three thousand men of Israel. Two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the people he sent home, every man to his tent. Jonathan defeated the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.” And all Israel heard the news that Saul had defeated the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel had become a stench to the Philistines. And the people were called out to join Saul at Gilgal.

Saul Acts Arrogantly and Disrespectfully

And the Philistines assembled to fight with Israel, thirty thousand[115] chariots and six thousand horsemen and troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude. They came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of Beth-aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble (for the people were hard pressed), the people hid themselves in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs[116] and in cisterns. Also some of the Hebrews crossed the Jordan into the land of Gad and Gilead. But as for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.

Saul’s Unlawful Sacrifice

Now he waited seven days, according to the appointed time set by Samuel,[117] but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. 

Samuel Reprimands Saul

10 As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him and to greet him. 11 But Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the appointed days, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, 12 therefore I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and the face of Jehovah I have not softened.’[118] So I forced myself and offered the burnt offering.” 13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of Jehovah your God, with which he commanded you. For then Jehovah would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. Jehovah has sought out a man after his own heart, and Jehovah has appointed him as leader over his people, because you have not kept what Jehovah commanded you.” 

Israel Without Weapons

15 Then Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal[119] to Gibeah of Benjamin.

And Saul numbered the people who were present with him, about six hundred men. 16 And Saul and Jonathan his son and the people who were present with them were staying in Geba of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped in Michmash. 17 And raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three divisions. One division turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual; 18 another division turned toward Beth-horon; and another division turned toward the border that looks down on the Valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.

19 Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears.” 20 And all the Israelites would go down to the Philistines to get each man his plowshare or his mattock or his ax or his sickle[120] sharpened.[121] 21 And the charge was a pim[122] for the plowshares and for the mattocks, for the three-pronged fork, for the axes, and for fixing the oxgoad. 22 So it came about on the day of battle that neither sword nor spear was found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan, but Saul and his son Jonathan had them. 23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.

CHAPTER 14

Jonathan Defeats the Philistines

14 One day Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. And Saul was dwelling at the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree that is in Migron. And the people that were with him were about six hundred men, and Ahijah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of Jehovah at Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. And between the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side, and a rocky crag on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The one crag rose on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba.

And Jonathan[123] said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come and let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that Jehovah will work for us, for nothing can hinder Jehovah from saving by many or by few.” And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart: turn for yourself,[124] look, I am with you according to your heart.”[125] Then Jonathan said, “Look, we will cross over to the men and reveal ourselves to them. If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you;’ then we will stand in our place and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for Jehovah has given them into our hand. And this shall be the sign to us.” 11 So both of them revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines, the Philistines said, “Look, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” 12 And the men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armor-bearer and said, “Come up to us, and we will show you a thing.” And Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Come up after me, for Jehovah has given them into the hand of Israel.” 13 Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, and his armor-bearer after him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer put them to death behind him. 14 And that first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made was about twenty men within about half the plowing line in a span of a field.[126] 

Israel’s Enemies Routed by God

15 And there was a trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even the raiders trembled, and the earth quaked so that it became a great trembling. 16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and behold, the multitude melted away, and they went here and there.[127] 17 Then Saul said to the people who were with him, “Number now and see who has gone from us.” And when they had numbered, look, Jonathan and his armor bearer were not there. 18 So Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here.” For the ark of God was at that time with the sons of Israel.[128] 19 And it came to pass, while Saul talked to the priest, the tumult in the camp of the Philistines continued and increased; so, Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” 20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him gathered and came to the battle; and look, every man’s sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion. 21 Now the Hebrews who were with the Philistines before that time, who went up with them into the camp round about, even they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.[129] 22 Likewise, when all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines had fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle. 23 So Jehovah delivered Israel that day, and the battle passed beyond Beth-aven.[130]

Saul’s Rash Vow

24 And the men of Israel were hard-pressed on that day, for Saul had put the people under oath,[131] saying, “Cursed be the man who eats bread before evening, and until I have taken vengeance on my enemies.” So none of the people tasted food. 25 And all those of the land came into the forest; and there was honey upon the ground. 26 And when the people entered the forest, look, the honey was dropping, but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard when his father charge the people with the oath, therefore he put out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened. 28 Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food this day.’ ” And the people were faint. 29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. See now, how my eyes have brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much more, if only the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found! For now, the slaughter among the Philistines has not been great.”

31 They struck down the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. And the people were very faint. 32 The people rushed greedily upon the spoil, and took sheep and oxen and calves, and slaughtered them on the ground; and the people ate them with the blood. 33 Then they told Saul, saying, “Look, the people are sinning against Jehovah by eating with the blood.” And he said, “You have dealt treacherously; roll a great stone to me this day.”[132] 34 And Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people and say to them, ‘Let every man bring his ox or his sheep and slaughter them here and eat, and do not sin against Jehovah by eating with the blood.’” So all the people that night brought each one his ox with him and slaughtered it there. 35 And Saul built an altar to Jehovah; it was the first altar that he built to Jehovah.

36 Then Saul said, “Let us go down after the Philistines by night and take spoil among them until the morning light and let us not leave a man of them.” And they said, “Do whatever seems good to you.” But the priest said, “Let us draw near to God here.” 37 And Saul inquired of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into the hand of Israel?” But he did not answer him that day. 38 And Saul said, “Come here, all you cornerstones[133] of the people, and know and see how this sin has arisen this day. 39 For as Jehovah lives, who delivers Israel, though it is in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die.” But there was not a man among all the people who answered him. 40 Then he said to all Israel, “You shall be on one side and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side.” And the people said to Saul, “Do what seems good to you.” 41 And Saul said to Jehovah, “O God of Israel,[134] do give Thummim!”[135] Then Jonathan and Saul were taken, and the people themselves went out. 42 Saul said, “Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son.”[136] And Jonathan was taken.

43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” So Jonathan told him and said, “I certainly did taste a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am, I must die!” 44 And Saul said, “God do so to me and more also; you shall surely die, Jonathan.” 45 But the people said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Far from it! As Jehovah lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people ransomed[137] Jonathan and he did not die. 46 Then Saul went up from pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.

Saul Fights Israel’s Enemies; His Family

47 Now when Saul had taken the kingdom over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, the sons of Ammon, Edom, the kings of Zobah,[138] and the Philistines; and wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment.[139] 48 And he did valiantly and struck the Amalekites and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.

49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan and Ishvi and Malchi-shua; and the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn Merab and the name of the younger Michal. 50 And the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. And the name of the captain of his army was Abner the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle. 51 Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son[140] of Abiel.

52 And there was fierce war against the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any mighty man or any valiant man, he took him to himself.

CHAPTER 15

Jehovah Rejects Saul Who Disobediently Spares Agag

15 And Samuel said to Saul, “Jehovah sent me to anoint you king over his people, over Israel; now therefore listen to the words of Jehovah. Thus says Jehovah of armies, ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way when he came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction[141] all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”

Then Saul summoned the army and mustered them at Telaim; two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to the city of Amalek and set an ambush by the wadi.[142] Then Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart; go down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the sons of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. And Saul defeated the Amalekites from Havilah as far as Shur, which is in front of Egypt.[143] And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive and devoted to destruction all the people with the edge[144] of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the second born animals,[145] the lambs, and everything that was good, and were unwilling to devote them to destruction; but everything despicable and weak,[146] that they devoted to destruction.

Samuel Reproves Saul

10 Then the word of Jehovah came to Samuel, saying, 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not carried out my words.” And Samuel was angry,[147] and he cried out to Jehovah all night. 12 And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning. And it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul came to Carmel, and look, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal.” 13 And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed be you to Jehovah. I have carried out the word of Jehovah.” 14 And Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of[148] the sheep in my ears and the lowing of[149] the oxen that I hear?” 15 Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to Jehovah your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction.” 16 At this Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what Jehovah said to me this night.” So he[150] said to him, “Speak.”

17 And Samuel said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? Jehovah anointed you king over Israel. 18 And Jehovah sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until you[151] have finished[152] them.’ 19 So why did you not obey the voice of Jehovah? Instead, you rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah! 

20 And Saul said to Samuel, “I have listened to[153] the voice of Jehovah. I have gone on the mission on which Jehovah sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to Jehovah your God in Gilgal.” 22 And Samuel said,

“Has Jehovah as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
    as in listening to[154] the voice of Jehovah?
Look, to listen[155] is better than sacrifice,
    and to pay attention[156] than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
    and presumption is as wickedness and teraphim.[157]
Because you have rejected the word of Jehovah,
    he[158] has also rejected you from being king.”[159]

Saul Rejected as King

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of Jehovah and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may bow down to Jehovah.” 26 And Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of Jehovah, and Jehovah has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 27 As Samuel turned to go, he[160] seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. 28 And Samuel said to him, “Jehovah has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. 29 And also the Glory[161] of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.”

Samuel Kills Agag

30 Then he[162] said, “I have sinned; yet honor me, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may bow to Jehovah your God.” 31 So Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul bowed down to Jehovah. 32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag, the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him reluctantly.[163] And Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”[164] 33 And Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces before Jehovah in Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. 35 And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel mourned over Saul. And Jehovah regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.

CHAPTER 16

David Anointed King

16 Now Jehovah said to Samuel, “How long are you going to mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And Jehovah said, “Take a heifer in your hand and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to Jehovah.’ You shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice; then I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I designate to you.” 

So Samuel did what Jehovah said and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, “Do you come in peace?” And he said, “I come in peace to sacrifice to Jehovah. Sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” He also sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely here before Jehovah stands his anointed one.” But Jehovah said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For Jehovah sees not as man sees;[165] man looks with the eyes,[166] but Jehovah looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has Jehovah chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has Jehovah chosen this one.” 10 And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “Jehovah has not chosen these.” 

11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but look, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him, for we will not sit down until he comes here.” 12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And Jehovah said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed[167] him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of Jehovah rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

David in Saul’s Service – God’s Spirit Removed from Saul

14 Now the Spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Jehovah terrorized him. 15 And Saul’s servants then said to him, “Look now, an evil spirit from God is terrorizing you. 16 Let our lord, please, command your servants before you that they should seek out a skilled man playing upon the harp. And it shall come about, when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he shall play it, and you shall be well.” 17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.”

David Becomes Harpist for Saul

18 One of the young men answered, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, and a man of war, and prudent in speech, and a man of good appearance, and Jehovah is with him.” 19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.” 20 And Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread and a skin of wine and one young goat and sent them to Saul by the hand of David his son. 21 And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. 22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David now stand before me, for he has found favor in my eyes.” 23 And it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

CHAPTER 17

David Defeats Goliath

17 Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle. And they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in line of battle against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. 

And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him. 

Goliath Taunts Israel

He stood and shouted to the battle lines of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, “I taunt the battle lines of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” 

11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

12 [168]Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man was an old man in the days of Saul, advanced in years among men.[169] 13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle. And the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. The three eldest followed Saul, 

15 but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 16 And the Philistine came near morning and evening and presented himself forty days.

17 And Jesse said to David his son, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this roasted grain and these ten loaves and run to the camp to your brothers. 18 And take these ten cheeses[170] to the commander of the thousand and look into the welfare of your brothers and bring back some token from them.” 19 Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 

20 And David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper and took the provisions and went, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the encampment as the army was going out to the battle line, shouting a battle cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines drew up battle line to meet battle line. 22 And David left his baggage in the hand of the keeper of the baggage, and ran to the battle line, and asked about the welfare of his brothers. 

23 As he talked with them, look, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the battle lines of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him. 24 All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were very much afraid. 25 And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely, he has come up to defy Israel. And it shall be that the man who kills him, the king will enrich him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.” 

26 And David said to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the battle lines of the living God?”[171] 27 And the people answered him according to this word, saying, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.” 28 Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumptuousness and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” 29 To this David said, “What have I done now? Was it not just a word?” 30 And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke the same word as before, and the people answered him again as before.

David Accepts the Challenge

31 And when the words were heard that David spoke, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him.[172] 32 And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s[173] heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. And when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went out after him and struck him, and delivered it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lion and bear, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has taunted[174] the battle lines of the living God.” 37 And David said,[175] “Jehovah who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and Jehovah shall be with you.”

38 Then Saul clothed David with his garments. He put a copper helmet on his head, and he clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David girded his sword over his armor and tried go, for he had not tested them.[176] So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” And David took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.

41 And the Philistine came on and approached David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the heavens and to the beasts of the field.” 

David Fights in the Name of Jehovah

45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of Jehovah of armies, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 This day Jehovah will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines[177] this day to the birds of the heavens and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,[178] 47 and that all this assembly may know that Jehovah does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is Jehovah’s and he will give you into our hand.”

48 Then it came to pass when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead,[179] and he fell on his face to the ground. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 

52 And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley[180] and the gates of Ekron,[181] so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim even to Gath and Ekron. 53 And the sons of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. 

54 And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent.

55 [182]Now when Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this young man?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.” 56 And the king said, “Inquire whose son this young man is.” 57 So when David returned from striking down the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul. The head of the Philistine was in his hand. 58 And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

CHAPTER 18

David and Jonathan’s Friendship

18 And it came about, when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was bound with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. And David went out and acted wisely wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

Saul’s Jealousy of David’s Victories

And it came about as they were coming, when David returned from striking down the Philistine,[183] that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul,[184] with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang as they played,

“Saul has struck down his thousands,
    and David his ten thousands.”

And Saul became very angry, for this saying was bad in his eyes; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” And Saul eyed David from that day forward.

Saul Attempts to Kill David

10 And it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved[185] in the midst of the house, while David was playing the harp with his hand, as usual; and a spear was in Saul’s hand. 11 And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David turned aside from before him twice.

12 And Saul was afraid of David, because Jehovah was with him but had departed from Saul. 13 So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. And he went out and came in before the people. 14 And David acted very wisely in all his ways; and Jehovah was with him. 15 And when Saul saw that he acted very wisely, he stood fearful of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them.

David Marries Saul’s Daughter Michal

17 Then Saul said to David, “Here is my elder daughter Merab. I will give her to you for a wife, only be a valiant son for me and fight Jehovah’s battles.” For Saul thought, “Let not my hand be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” 18 But David said to Saul, “Who am I, and who are my relatives, or my father’s kinsmen in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” 19 But it came about at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel the Meholathite for a wife.

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing was right in his eyes. 21 Saul thought, “I will give her to him that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore, Saul said to David, “You shall this day be my son-in-law a second time.”[186] 22 Then Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David in private and say, ‘Look, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now therefore become the king’s son-in-law.’ ” 23 And Saul’s servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, “Is it trivial in your eyes to become the king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man and lightly esteemed?” 24 And the servants of Saul told him, saying: “It was with words like these that David spoke.” 25 Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king does not desire any bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to take revenge on the enemies of the king.’” Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26 And when his servants told David these words, it was right in David’s eyes to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the days had expired, 27 David rose up and went, he and his men, and struck down two hundred[187] men of the Philistines. Then David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him Michal his daughter as his wife. 28 But when Saul saw and knew that Jehovah was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him, 29 then Saul was even more afraid of David. So Saul was David’s enemy continually.[188]

30 [189]Then the commanders of the Philistines came out to battle, and as often as they came out David acted more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was highly esteemed.

CHAPTER 19

Saul Tries to Kill David

19 And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants about putting David to death. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David. So Jonathan told David saying, “Saul my father is seeking to put you to death. Now therefore, please be on guard in the morning, and dwell in a secret place and hide yourself. And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father about you; if I find out anything, I will tell you.” And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Do not let the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you. For he took his soul in his hand and struck the Philistine, and Jehovah brought about a great deliverance[190] for all Israel; you saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by having David put to death without a cause?” And Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan. Saul swore, “As Jehovah lives, he shall not be put to death.” And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all these words. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.

And there was war again. And David went out and fought with the Philistines and struck them with a great slaughter, so that they fled before him. And an evil spirit from Jehovah was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand; and David was playing music with his hand. 10 And Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, so that he struck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night.

11 Then Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him, in order to put him to death in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, “If you do not save your soul tonight, tomorrow you will be put to death.” 12 So Michal let David down through a window, and he went out and fled and escaped. 13 Michal took the household teraphim[191] and laid it on the bed and put a quilt of goats’ hair at its head and covered it with clothes. 

David Escapes from Saul

14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.” 15 Then Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may put him to death.” 16 And when the messengers came in, look, the household teraphim[192] was in the bed, with the pillow of goats’ hair at its head. 17 So Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?” And Michal said to Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go! Why should I put you to death?’”

18 Now David fled and escaped and came to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth. 19 And it was told Saul, saying, “Look, David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David, and when they saw the company[193] of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as head over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. 21 When it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Then he himself went to Ramah and came to the great well that is in Secu.[194] And he asked and said, “Where are Samuel and David?” And one said, “Look, they are at Naioth in Ramah.” 23 And he went there to Naioth in Ramah. And the Spirit of God came upon him also, and as he walked along, he prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 And he too stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

CHAPTER 20

Jonathan Warns David

20 Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came and said before Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my error? And what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my soul?” And he said to him, “Far from it! You shall not die. Look, my father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me. And why should my father hide this matter from me? It is not so.” But David vowed again, saying, “Your father knows well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he thinks, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.’ But truly, as Jehovah lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.” Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever your soul says,[195] I will do for you.” David said to Jonathan, “Look, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit at table with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field until the third[196] day at evening. If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the kinsmen.’ If he says, ‘Good!’ your servant shall have peace, but if he is angry, then know that evil is determined by him. Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of Jehovah with you. But if there is error in me, kill me yourself, for why should you bring me to your father?” And Jonathan said, “Far be it from you; for if I should at all know that evil were determined by my father to come upon you, then would not I tell it you?” 10 Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?” 11 Jonathan said to David, “Come, and let us go out into the field.” So both of them went out to the field.

12 And Jonathan said to David, “Jehovah, the God of Israel, be witness![197] When I have sounded out my father, about this time tomorrow, or the third day, look, if he is well disposed toward David, shall I not then send and disclose it to you? 13 But if my father intends to harm you, may Jehovah do that and more to Jonathan if I do not disclose it to you and send you away in peace. May Jehovah be with you, just as he was with my father. 14 If I am still alive, show me the loyal love of Jehovah, that I may not die; 15 but also you shall not[198] cut off your loyal love from my house forever, not even when Jehovah cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying,[199] “May Jehovah require it at the hand of David’s enemies.” 17 So Jonathan had David swear again[200] by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul.

18 Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19 And on the third day you will be missed very much; and you must come to the place where you hid yourself on the working day, and you must dwell beside the stone Ezel.[201] 20 And I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark. 21 And look, I will send the boy, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you, take them,’ then you are to come, for, as Jehovah lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. 22 But if I say to the youth, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go, for Jehovah has sent you away. 23 And as for the matter of which you and I have spoken, look, Jehovah is[202] between you and me forever.”

24 So David hid in the field; and when the new moon came, the king took his seat at the meal[203] to eat. 25 The king sat on his seat, as at other times, on the seat by the wall; then Jonathan rose up,[204] and Abner was sitting beside Saul, but David’s place was empty.

26 Nevertheless Saul did not speak anything that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean.”[205] 27 It came about the next day, the second day of the new moon, that David’s place was empty; so Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has the son of Jesse not come to the meal, either yesterday or today?” 28 And Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Let me go, for our kinsmen holds a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. So now, if I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away and see my brothers.’ For this reason, he has not come to the king’s table.”

30 Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen[206] the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he is a son of death.”[207] 32 But Jonathan answered Saul his father and said to him, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33 But Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him. So Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death. 34 And Jonathan rose from the table in fierce anger and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had humiliated him.

35 Now it came about in the morning that Jonathan went out into the field for the appointment with David, and a young servant was with him. 36 And he said to his servant: “Please run and find the arrows that I shoot.” The servant ran, and Jonathan shot the arrow beyond him. 37 And when the servant came to the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the servant and said, “Is not the arrow beyond you?” 38 And Jonathan called after the servant, “Hurry! Be quick! Do not stay!” So Jonathan’s servant gathered up the arrows and came to his master. 39 But the servant did not know anything; only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40 And Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, “Go and carry them to the city.” 41 When the servant had gone, David rose up from a place nearby that was to the south.[208] Then he fell with his face to the ground and bowed three times, and they kissed each other and wept for each other, but David wept the most. 42 Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of Jehovah, saying, ‘Jehovah shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.’”[209] And he[210] rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.

CHAPTER 21

David and the Holy Bread

21  Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. Now then, what do you have on hand?[211] Give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or[212] whatever is here.” The priest answered David and said, “There is no ordinary bread here on hand;[213] there is only holy bread, but only if the young men have kept themselves from women.” And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy? So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence,[214] which is removed from before Jehovah, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.

Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before Jehovah. His name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds.

David said to Ahimelech, “Now is there not a spear or a sword on hand? For I brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s matter was urgent.” And the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in the Valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it, for there is none but that here.” And David said, “There is none like that; give it to me.”

David Flees to Gath

10 And David rose and fled that day from Saul and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances, saying,

‘Saul has struck down his thousands,
    and David his ten thousands’?”

12 And David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and scribbled[215] on the doors of the gate and let his saliva run down into his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”

CHAPTER 22

David at the Cave of Adullam and Mizpeh

22 So David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father’s household heard of it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became commander over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.

And David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab. And he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother stay with[216] you, until I know what God will do for me.” And he left them with the king of Moab, and they dwelt with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.[217] Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not keep dwelling in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.

Saul Kills the Priests at Nob

Now Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men who were with him. Saul was sitting at Gibeah under the tamarisk tree on the high place[218] with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him. And Saul said to his servants who stood about him, “Hear now, you Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, that all of you have conspired against me, and no one discloses to me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you who is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait,[219] as at this day.” Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who stood by the servants of Saul, said, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, 10 and he inquired of Jehovah[220] for him and gave him provisions and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

11 Then the king sent to summon Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s household, the priests who were at Nob, and all of them came to the king. 12 Saul said, “Listen please, son of Ahitub.” He said, “Here I am, my lord.” 13 Then Saul said to him, “Why did you conspire against me, you and the son of Jesse, when you gave to him bread and a sword, and by inquiring of God for him, so that he has risen against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?” 14 Then Ahimelech answered the king, “And who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, and captain over your bodyguard, and honored in your house? 15 Is today the first time that I have inquired of God for him? Far be it from me! Let not the king impute anything to his servant or to all the household of my father, for your servant has known nothing of all this, much or little.” 16 And the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s household.” 17 And the king said to the guard who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of Jehovah, because their hand also is with David, and they knew that he was fleeing and did not disclose it to me.” But the servants of the king would not put out their hand to strike the priests of Jehovah. 18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn and attack the priests!” So Doeg the Edomite turned and attacked the priests himself, and on that day, he killed eighty-five[221] men who wore the linen[222] ephod. 19 And Nob, the city of the priests, he put to the sword; both man and woman, child and infant, ox, donkey and sheep, he put to the edge of the sword.

Abiathar Escapes

20 But one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21 And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of Jehovah. 22 And David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have turned against[223] every soul in your father’s household. 23 Dwell with me; do not be afraid, for he who seeks my soul seeks your soul. You shall be safe with me.”

CHAPTER 23

David Saves the City of Keilah

23 Then they told David, saying, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.” Therefore David inquired of Jehovah, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And Jehovah said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and deliver Keilah.” But David’s men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” Then David inquired of Jehovah again. And Jehovah answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great slaughter. So David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah.

Now it came about, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand. Now it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah. And Saul said, “God has delivered[224] him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars.” And Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men. David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him. And he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then David said, “O Jehovah, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account. 11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O Jehovah, the God of Israel, please tell your servant.” And Jehovah said, “He will come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And Jehovah said, “They will deliver you.” 

Saul Pursues David

13 Then David and his men, who were about six hundred,[225] arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, and so he gave up going out. 14 And David dwelt in the strongholds in the wilderness, and he remained in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand. 15 David saw that Saul had come out to seek his soul. David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 16 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in Jehovah.[226] 17 And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.” 18 And the two of them made a covenant before Jehovah. David dwelt at Horesh, and Jonathan went home.

David Barely Escapes Saul

19 Then the Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding with us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon? 20 Now then, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to do so; and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand.” 21 And Saul said, “May you be blessed by Jehovah, for you have had compassion on me. 22 Go, please, make yet more sure. Know and see the place where his foot is, and who has seen him there, for it has been said to me that he himself is very cunning. 23 And see and ascertain about all the hiding places where he hides himself; and you must return to me with certainty, and I will go with you; and if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.” 24 And they arose and went to Ziph before Saul. Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah to the south of Jeshimon. 25 And Saul and his men went to seek him. And they told David, so he went down to the rock and dwelt[227] in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon. 26 Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain; and David was hurrying to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were surrounding David and his men to capture them. 27 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid on the land.” 28 So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines; therefore, they called that place the Rock of Escape. 

29  And David went up from thence and dwelt in the strongholds of Engedi.

CHAPTER 24

David Spares Saul’s Life

24  When Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “Look, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.” 

Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve himself.[228] Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. And the men of David said to him, “Look, this is the day of which Jehovah said to you, ‘Look; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.’ ” Then David arose and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe secretly. It came about afterward that David’s heart struck him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe.[229] So he said to his men, “Far be it from me because of Jehovah that I should do this thing to my lord, the anointed of Jehovah, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the anointed of Jehovah.” So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way.

David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, saying, “My lord the king.” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed down low with his face to the ground and prostrated himself. And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Look, David seeks to harm you’? 10 Look, this day your eyes have seen how Jehovah delivered you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you, but my eye took pity on you.[230] I said, ‘I will not put out my hand against my lord, for he is Jehovah’s anointed.’ 11 See, my father, see the edge of your robe in my hand. For by the fact that I cut off the edge of your robe and did not kill you, you may know and see that there is no evil or rebellion in my hand. I have not sinned against you, though you hunt my soul to take it. 12 May Jehovah judge between me and you, may Jehovah avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes wickedness.’ But my hand shall not be against you. 14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? After a dead dog? After a flea? 15 May Jehovah therefore be judge and give sentence between me and you and see to it and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand.”

16 And it came about that as David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 Then he said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me the good, but I have repaid you the evil. 18 And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me; in that you did not kill me when Jehovah delivered me into your hand. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safely? May Jehovah therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day. 20 And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. 21 Swear to me therefore by Jehovah that you will not cut off my offspring[231] after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father’s household.” 22 And David swore to Saul. And Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

CHAPTER 25

The Death of Samuel

25 And Samuel died. And all Israel gathered themselves together, and mourned him, and buried him at his house[232] in Ramah. And David rose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.[233]

David and Abigail

Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel;[234] and the man was very rich, and he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And it happened he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was discerning and beautiful, but the man was harsh and behaved badly; he was a Calebite. David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. So David sent ten young men, and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel and go to Nabal and greet him in my name. And thus you shall say, ‘May you live long, and may you have peace and peace be to your household, and peace be to all that you have. And now I have heard that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us, and we did them no harm, nor was there anything missing of theirs, all the days they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. May the young men find favor in your eyes, for we have come on a good day.[235] Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”

When David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in David’s name, and then they waited. 10 And Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, “Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? Nowadays there are many servants who are breaking away every man from his master. 11 Shall I take my bread and my water[236] and my meat that I have slaughtered for my shearers and give it to men who come from who knows where?” 12 So David’s young men returned and, on their way back, they came and told him according to all these words. 13 And David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every man of them strapped on his sword. David also strapped on his sword. And about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred stayed with the baggage.

Abigail’s Wise Action

14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, and he screamed at them. 15 Yet the men were very good unto us, and we were not harmed, and we did not miss anything, as long as we went with them while we were in the fields 16 They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. 17 Now therefore know this and consider what you should do, for calamity has been determined against our master and against all his household, and he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak to him.”

18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs[237] of roasted grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs and laid them on donkeys. 19 And she said to her young men, “Go on before me; behold, I come after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 It came about as she rode on the donkey and came down under cover of the mountain, that look, David and his men were coming down toward her; so she met them. 21 Now David had said, “Surely in vain I have guarded all that this man has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him; and he has returned me evil for good. 22 May God do so to the enemies of David, and more also,[238] if by morning I leave one who urinates against a wall[239] of any who belong to him.”

23 When Abigail saw David, she hurried down off the donkey, and fell on her face before David and bowed herself to the ground. 24 She then fell at his feet and said, “My lord, let the blame be on me; let your slave girl speak in your ears, and listen to the words of your slave girl. 25 Please, do not let my lord set his heart upon this worthless man Nabal, for, as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name, and senselessness is with him. As for me your slave girl, I did not see my lord’s young men whom you had sent. 26 Now therefore, my lord, as Jehovah lives, and as your soul lives, since Jehovah has restrained you from bloodguilt, and from avenging yourself by your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. 27 And now let this present that your slave girl has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive the transgression of your slave girl, for Jehovah will certainly make for my lord a lasting house, because my lord is fighting the wars of Jehovah, and no evil has been found in you all your days. 29 When man rises up to pursue you and seek your soul, the soul of my lord shall be wrapped up in the bag of life[240] with Jehovah your God; but, as for the soul of your enemies, he shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling. 30 And when Jehovah has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you leader over Israel. 31 And this shall be no grief or a stumbling block to the heart of my lord, both by the shedding of blood without cause and by my lord having avenged himself. And when Jehovah has dealt well with my lord, then remember your slave girl.”

32 Then David said to Abigail, “Blessed be Jehovah God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! 33 Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from avenging myself with my own hand. 34 For as surely as Jehovah the God of Israel who has restrained me from harming you is living, if you had not come quickly to meet me, by morning there would not have remained one urinating against a wall[241] belonging to Nabal.” 35 Then David received from her hand what she had brought him. And he said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have listened to your voice, and I have granted your request.”

Useless Nabal Struck by Jehovah

36 And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until the morning light. 37 But in the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him so that he became as a stone. 38 And about ten days later Jehovah struck Nabal, and he died.

Abigail Becomes David’s Wife

39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be Jehovah who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal and has kept back his servant from evil. Jehovah has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent and spoke to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40 When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you to take you as his wife.” 41 And she rose and bowed with her face to the ground and said, “Look, your handmaid is a slave girl to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” 42 And Abigail hurried and rose and mounted a donkey, and her five young women attended her; and she followed the messengers of David and became his wife.

43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and both of them became his wives. 44 Now Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim.

CHAPTER 26

David Spares Saul Again

26 Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding himself[242] on the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon?” So Saul arose and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having with him three thousand chosen men of Israel to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul camped in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, beside the road. But David remained in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness, So David sent spies that he might know that Saul had indeed come. Then David rose 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 within the encampment, while the army was camped around him.

Then David answered and said to Ahimelech the Hittite and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah the brother of Joab, saying, “Who will go down with me to Saul, in the camp?” And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.” So David and Abishai came to the army by night, and there was Saul lying asleep in the encampment with his spear thrust into the ground near his head, and Abner and the army were lying all around him. Then Abishai said to David, “Today God[243] has delivered your enemy into your hand; now therefore, please let me strike him with the spear to the ground with one stroke, and I will not strike him the second time.” But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against the anointed of Jehovah and be without guilt?” 10 David also said, “As Jehovah lives, surely Jehovah will strike him, or his day will come that he dies, or he will go down into battle and perish. 11 Jehovah forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the anointed of Jehovah; but now please take the spear that is at his head and the jug of water, and let us go.” 12 So David took the spear and the jug of water from beside Saul’s head, and they went away, but no one saw or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because a sound sleep from Jehovah had fallen on 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 David called to the people 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 So David said to Abner, “Are you not a man? And who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not kept watch over your lord the king? For one of the people came to destroy the king your lord. 16 This thing that you have done is not good. As Jehovah lives, you are the sons of death,[244] because you have not kept watch over your lord, Jehovah’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 And he said, “Why does my lord pursue after his servant? For what have I done? Or what evil is in my hand? 19 Now therefore, please, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it is Jehovah who has stirred you up against me, let him accept[245] an offering; but if it is the sons of man, cursed be they before Jehovah; for they have driven me out this day that I should not have a share in the inheritance of Jehovah, saying, Go, serve other gods.’ 20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of Jehovah: for the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea,[246] as when one does hunt a partridge in the mountains.”[247]

21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my soul was precious in your eyes this day. Look, I have played the fool, and have made a terrible mistake.” 22 And David answered and said, “Look the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and take it. 23 And Jehovah will render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; forasmuch as Jehovah delivered you into my hand this day, and I would not put out my hand against Jehovah’s anointed. 24 And, look, as your soul was precious this day in my eyes, so let my soul be precious in the eyes of Jehovah, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.” 25 Then Saul said to David, “Blessed be you, my son David. You shall surely do great things, and you shall surely prevail.” So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place.

CHAPTER 27

David Flees to the Philistines

27 Then David said in his heart, “I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of looking for me any more in all the borders of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand.” So David rose and crossed over, he and the six hundred men who were with him, to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath. And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s widow. And it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he no longer sought him.

Then David said to Achish, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in one of the cities in the country, that I may live there. For why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?” So Achish gave him Ziklag that day; therefore Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah to this day. And the number of the days that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.

Now David and his men went up, and made a raid on the Geshurites, and the Girzites, and the Amalekites; for those nations were the inhabitants of the land from of old,[248] as you go to Shur, even to the land of Egypt. And David struck the land, and saved neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the donkeys, the camels, and the garments, and come back to Achish. 10 And Achish said, “Against whom[249] have you made a raid this day?” And David said, “Against the Negev[250] of Judah,” or, “Against the Negev of the Jerahmeelites,” or, “Against the Negev of the Kenites.” 11 And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring them to Gath, saying, “lest they should tell about us, saying, ‘This is the way David did.’” And this has been his practice all the days that he dwelt in the countryside of the Philistines. 12 And Achish believed David, saying, “He has surely become a stench among his people Israel; therefore he shall be my servant forever.”

CHAPTER 28

Saul and the Medium of En-dor

28 And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. And Achish said to David, “Know assuredly that you shall go out with me in the army,[251] you and your men.” David said to Achish, “Therefore you yourself[252] shall know what your servant can do.” And Achish said to David, “Therefore I shall make you as guardian of my head all the days.”

Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. As for Saul, he had removed the mediums[253] and the diviners[254] of events from the land. And the Philistines gathered themselves together and came and camped in Shunem. And Saul gathered all Israel together, and they camped in Gilboa. When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when Saul inquired of Jehovah, Jehovah did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium,[255] that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Look, there is a medium[256] at En-dor.”

So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Divine[257] for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you.” The woman said to him, “You must know what Saul did, how he removed the mediums[258] and the diviners[259] from the land. Why, then, are you trying to trap my soul to have me put to death?” 10 And Saul swore to her by Jehovah, saying, “As Jehovah lives, there no punishment shall happen to you for this thing.” 11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” 12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul.”[260] 13 The king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a god coming up out of the earth.” 14 He said to her, “What is his form?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped with a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and prostrated himself.

15 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul answered, “I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God himself has departed from me and has answered me no more, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to let me know what I should do.”[261] 16 And Samuel said, “Why then do you ask of me, seeing Jehovah has departed from you and has become your adversary?[262] 17 And Jehovah has done for himself,[263] as he spoke by my hand, for Jehovah has torn the kingdom out of your hand and has given it to your neighbor, to David. 18 Because you did not obey the voice of Jehovah and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore Jehovah has done this thing to you this day. 19 Moreover, Jehovah will deliver Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me.[264] Jehovah will deliver the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.”

20 Then Saul immediately fell full length upon the ground and was very afraid because of the words of Samuel; and there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no food all day and all night. 21 And the woman came to Saul, and when she saw that he was terrified, she said to him, “Look, your servant has obeyed you. I have taken my soul in my hand and have listened to what you have said to me. 22 Now therefore, please, listen also to the voice of your servant, and let me set a morsel of bread before you; and eat, that you may have strength, when you go on your way.” 23 He refused and said, “I will not eat.” But his servants, together with the woman, urged him, and he listened to their words. So he arose from the earth and sat on the bed. 24 Now the woman had a fattened calf in the house, and she quickly slaughtered it, and she took flour and kneaded it and baked unleavened bread from it, 25 and she brought it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they arose and went away that night.

CHAPTER 29

The Philistines Reject David

29 Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies at Aphek. And the Israelites were camped by the spring which is in Jezreel. As the lords of the Philistines were passing on by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were passing on in the rear with Achish. Then the commanders of the Philistines said, “What are these Hebrews doing here?” And Achish said to the commanders of the Philistines, “Is this not David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, who has been with me these days,[265] or rather these years, and I have found no fault in him from the day he deserted to me to this day?” But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him, and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Make the man go back, that he may return to his place where you have assigned him, and do not let him go down to battle with us, or in the battle he may become an adversary to us. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of these men? Is not this David, of whom they sing to one another in dances,

‘Saul has struck down his thousands,
    and David his ten thousands’?”

Then Achish called David and said to him, “As Jehovah lives, you have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the army are pleasing in my eyes; for I have not found evil in you from the day of your coming to me to this day. Nevertheless, you are not pleasing in the eyes of the lords. And now return and go in peace, that you may not displease the lords of the Philistines.” However, David said to Achish, “But what have I done? And what have you found in your servant from the day when I came before you to this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?” And Achish answered David and said, “I know that you are as blameless in my eyes as an angel of God. Nevertheless, the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us to the battle.’ 10 Now then rise up early in the morning with the servants of your lord who have come with you, and you men must rise up early in the morning when it has become light for you, depart.” 11 So David rose early, he and his men, to depart in the morning to return to the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

CHAPTER 30

Amalekites Attack and Burn Ziklag

30 Then it came about when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev[266] and on Ziklag and had attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire; and had taken captive the women and all who[267] were in it, both small and great. They killed no one but carried them off and went their way. And when David and his men came to the city, look, it was burned with fire, and their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David’s two wives had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, for the soul of all the people had become bitter, each man for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in Jehovah his God.

David Defeats the Amalekites

And David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. And David inquired of Jehovah, saying, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and shall without fail rescue all.” So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those left behind stayed. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men. Two hundred stayed behind, who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor.

11 Now they found an Egyptian in the field and brought him to David, and gave him bread and he ate, and they gave him water to drink. 12 And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. And when he had eaten, his spirit revived, for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13 And David said to him, “To whom do you belong? And where are you from?” He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago. 14 We made a raid on the Negev[268] of the Cherethites, and on that which belongs to Judah, and on the Negev of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire.” 15 And David said to him, “Will you bring me down to this marauder band?” And he said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring you down to this marauder band.”[269]

16 And when he had taken him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17 And David slaughtered them from the twilight until the evening of the next day; and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled. 18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives. 19 And there was nothing of theirs lacking, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor anything that they had taken for themselves. David brought back all. 20 David also captured all the flocks and herds, which they drove before the other livestock, and said, “This is David’s spoil.”

21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow David, and who had been left at the brook Besor. And they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him, and when David came near to the people, he greeted them. 22 Then all the wicked and worthless men among those who went with David said, “Because they did not go with us,[270] we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except to every man his wife and his sons, that they may lead them away and depart.” 23 But David said, “You shall not do so, my brothers, with what Jehovah has given us.[271] He has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us. 24 And who will listen to you in this matter?[272] For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.” 25 And it has been from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.

26 And when David came to Ziklag, he sent some of the spoil to the elders of Judah, to his friends, saying, “Look, a gift for you from the spoil of the enemies of Jehovah.” 27 It was for those who were in Bethel, and to those who were in Ramoth of the Negev,[273] and to those who were in Jattir, 28 and to those who were in Aroer, and to those who were in Siphmoth, and to those who were in Eshtemoa, 29 and to those who were in Racal, and to those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to those who were in the cities of the Kenites, 30 and to those who were in Hormah, and to those who were in Bor-ashan, and to those who were in Athach, 31 and to those who were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men had walked about.

CHAPTER 31

The Death of Saul

31 Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines struck down Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. The battle went heavily against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was badly wounded by the archers.[274] Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me.” But his armor bearer would not, for he was very much afraid. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. And when his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him. Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together. And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, with those who were beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled; then the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

It came about on the next day when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. So they cut off his head and stripped off his armor[275] and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines, to carry the good news to the house of their idols and to the people. 10 And they put his armor in the temple of Ashtaroth, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan. 11 When the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all the valiant men arose and went all night and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh and burned them there. 13 And they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh and fasted seven days.

[1] LXX “of Armathaim-zipha” VG “of Ramathaim-sophim”

[2] Lit from days to days; See Ex. 13:10; Jg 11:40; Jg 21:19

[3] LXX “single portion”

[4] This unfriendly provoking by Peninnah was done willfully and purposely so as to cause sorrow and grief, a feeling of anxiety and distress in Hanna because of her barrenness.

[5] LXX adds “and stood before the Lord”

[6] That is, a male child, a son

[7] DSS LXX add “and he will drink no wine or strong drink”

[8] SYR lacks “and ate” LXX adds “and drank with her husband” after “and ate”

[9] Lit knew Hannah

[10] Or, in about a year

[11] Meaning name of God

[12] Or the yearly sacrifice

[13] DSS adds “I will offer him as a Nazirite forever”

[14] MT VG “his” SYR “your”

[15] DSS LXX SYR “a three-year-old bull” MT VG “three bulls”

[16] About 22 L (20 dry qt).

[17] MT “and the boy was a boy” LXX “and the boy was with them” VG “the boy was yet an infant” The MT is correct, which is conveying the meaning that the boy was incredibly young when this event occurred. However, some look to the textual differences, emending the text to align with the LXX “and the boy was with them” or imposing a conjectural emendation “and the boy was with her.” The VG is interpreting the Hebrew  that the boy was incredibly young, “the boy was yet an infant.”  We retain the literal MT reading.

[18] MT SYR VG “They . . . brought” LXX “Anna the mother of the boy brought”

[19] Lit have let one ask for him. In other words, borrow him for Jehovah.

[20] MT “all the days that he is [to be]” AT LXX SYR “he may be alive”

[21] Referring to Elkanah

[22] DSS LXX “Then she left him there before Jehovah” instead of “Then they worshiped Jehovah there.” In the DSS Dead Sea Scrolls and other Hebrew and Aramaic texts the Tetragrammaton and some other names of God in Judaism (such as El or Elohim) were sometimes written in paleo-Hebrew script, showing that they were treated specially.

[23] MT VG “in Jehovah” LXX and 27 Heb. MSS “in my God”

[24] That is, speaks out in a derisive way

[25] MTmargin VG and many Heb. MSS “by him”

[26] DSS LXX add “He gives the vow of the one who vows, and he blesses the years of the righteous”

[27] SYR VG “them” MT “him”

[28] MT SYR VG “Then . . . house” LXXB “And she left him there before Jehovah and went off to Armathaim”

[29] Lit sons of belial (worthlessness)

[30] AT LXX SYR few Heb. MSS “from” MT “with”

[31] LXX SYR VG “for himself” MT “with it”

[32] MT SYR “there” LXX “to sacrifice to Jehovah”

[33] MTmargin LXX 20 Heb. MSS “No” MT SYR VG “to him”

[34] LXX “they treated”

[35] MT “he.” Most translations have “she” instead of “he” because “he” does not fit the context, as the reference is clearly to Hannah.

[36] SYR 12 Heb. MSS “their home” MT “his home”

[37] MT “and how they . . . tent of meeting” LXX lacks

[38] LXX AT SYR “I plainly revealed myself” MT “did I not plainly reveal myself”

[39] LXX “as slaves” MT SYR VG lack

[40] MT SYR VG “to be my priest” LXX “to be a priest to me”

[41] MT “yourselves” AT “them”

[42] MT “your house”  LXX DSS “my house”

[43]  MT SYR VG “your eyes” LXX DSS “his eyes”

[44] MT SYR VG “your” LXX “his” The LXX is referring to Abiathar, which is a descendant of Eli.

[45] MT SYR “die as men” LXX DSS “die by the sword of men”

[46] LXX DSS “Samuel! Samuel!”

[47] LXX “God” was the original reading, but it was emended by the Sopherim to read “for themselves.” This is One of the Eighteen Emendations: In the Masoretic text margin, some notes read: “This is one of the eighteen emendations of the Sopherim” or similar words. The scribe who made these revisions had good intentions as he saw the original reading as though it showed a lack of respect for God or his people.

[48] LXX adds “and got up early in the morning”

[49] LXX includes “In those days the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight against Israel” after “all Israel.”

[50] MT “who struck down about four thousand men” LXX SYR VG “and about four thousand men were struck down”

[51] MT “the God” SYR VG “Jehovah” Vgc “God”

[52] LXX “Gods have come.” Some other LXX MSS read “Their God has come” because they realize it is Jehovah who has come.

[53] LXX SYR VG “tent” MT “tents”

[54] LXX “beside the gate watching the road”

[55] Meaning Where Is the Glory?

[56] MT “the God” LXX “Jehovah”

[57] LXX adds “and went into the house of Dagon and looked”

[58] MT SYR VG “took” LXX “raised up”

[59] LXX “only the body of Dagon was left”

[60] LXX VG have “And rats sprang up in their land, and there was a great confusion of death in the city”

[61] LXX “And the citizens of Gath said, ‘Let the ark of God be brought to us’”

[62] LXX “to Gath”

[63] Vgc “From small to great, and their rectums protruding began putrefying. And the people of Gath took counsel together and made themselves seats of skins,”

[64] LXX DSS “Why have you brought back the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people?”

[65] LXX adds “and their land broke out with mice”

[66] LXX one DSS have “the covenant of the Lord” after “ark of”

[67] AT eight Heb. MSS “all of you” Most Heb. MSS LXX SYR “all of them”

[68] Lit their sons

[69] MT “glad to see it” LXX “glad to meet it”

[70] Some Heb. MSS have “great meadow” AT LXX three Heb. MSS “the great stone” SYR VG MT “Abel the Great”

[71] MT SYR VG “And he struck down some of the men of Beth-shemesh” LXX “And the sons of Jechoniah were not pleased with the men of Beth-shemesh”

[72] Lit., seventy men, fifty thousand men. In the MT “fifty thousand men” is not joined with “seventy men” by the conjunction waw, “and.” Therefore, this might mean that “fifty thousand men” is an interpolation. SYR “and Jehovah struck down among the people five thousand and seventy men” TJ similarly “and he struck down seventy men among the older men of the people, and fifty thousand among the congregation” LXX “and he struck down seventy men among them, and fifty thousand of the men”

[73] MT LXX “On the hill” VG “in Gibeah”

[74] Ashtoreth: (עַשְׁתֹּרֶת Ashtoreth) This was the Canaanite goddess of war and fertility, the wife of Baal.–Jdg. 2:13; 10:6; 1 Sam. 7:3-4; 12:10; 31:10; 1 Ki 11:5, 33; 2 Ki 23:13.

[75] LXX adds “upon the earth”

[76] LXX “Jeshanah” SYR “Beth Jashan” MT “hashShen”

[77] Meaning Stone of Help

[78] LXX has “to me” after “they have done”

[79] LXX “Herds” MT SYR VG “young men”

[80] Lit a son of a man a Jaminite

[81] Lit “strong of power or, wealth,” that is, a man mighty of wealth or a man mighty of valor. The noun translated as of wealth or of power (חַיִל chayil) has various meanings depending on the context. “physical strength,” “power,” “ability,” “wealth,” “property.”

[82] Or good

[83] MT SYR “He” LXX VG “they”

[84] A shekel equaled 11.4 g (0.367 oz t).

[85] MT “I will” LXX “you will”

[86] Lit uncovered the ear of

[87] AT LXX “the affliction of my people” MT SYR VG “my people”

[88] Lit answered

[89] LXX replaces “he spoke with Saul on the housetop” with “they prepared a bed for Saul on the housetop, and he slept”

[90] Here some believe that the scribe may have made an omission (homoeoteleuton). Others believe the LXX made an addition: “Has Jehovah anointed you as a leader over his people, over Israel? And you shall rule among the people of Jehovah, and you shall save them out of the hand of their enemies; and this shall be the sign to you that Jehovah has anointed you for a ruler over his inheritance.” VGc has similar.

[91] This is a vessel (container) that was made of animal skin (e.g., sheep), which was tied at the legs while using the neck as the spout to pour the liquid.

[92] LXX DSS have “offerings of” after “two.”

[93] Or Gibeath-haelohim, which means the hill of God

[94] LXX SYR few Heb. MSS “When he …”

[95] LXX SYR VG 35 Heb. MSS “Say, ‘No, but,’” MT “say to him, ‘But’”

[96] LXX adds “And they bring the family of the Matrites near, man by man.”

[97] DSSB 4QSama; See Josephus. The following passage in 4QSama is one of the single most dramatic discoveries among the biblical scrolls. 4QSama has an entire three-and-a-half-line paragraph missing from the Masoretic Text, the Septuagint, and all other biblical manuscripts. The first-century historian Josephus, however, documents that the passage was in the ancient form of the Bible that he used.

11* [Na]hash king of the [A]mmonites oppressed the Gadites and the Reubenites viciously. He put out the right [ey]e of a[ll] of them and brought fe[ar and trembling] on [Is]rael. Not one of the Israelites in the region be[yond the Jordan] remained [whose] right eye Naha[sh king of] the Ammonites did n[ot pu]t out, except seven thousand men [who escaped from] the Ammonites and went to [Ja]besh-gilead. (Square brackets [ ] surround areas lost in the scroll due to various types of damage.)  MT LXX does not have.

What we have is a mutilated DSS fragment (4QSama) that is uncertain on its reliability and stands alone, aside from the first century Jewish historian Josephus. So, I would say more caution is required than the NET suggests. Even so, we have it in a footnote, so readers have access to it.

[98] LXX has “After about a month” at the beginning of the verse.

[99] That is, his anger got very hot

[100] LXX “six hundred thousand”

[101] LXX DSS “seventy thousand”

[102] AT LXX SYR many Heb. MSS “Or”

[103] MT “whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it?” LXX “have I accepted an atonement, even a sandal? Make answer against me”

[104] AT LXX SYR IT VG 18 Heb. MSS “they” MT “he”

[105] MT LXX SYR VG “they (he) said: ‘A witness’”

[106] LXX “Jehovah is a witness” SYR “Jehovah alone is God” MT VG “Jehovah”

[107] MT SYR VG “Jacob” LXX “Jacob and his sons”

[108] LXX has “and the Egyptians humbled them” after “When Jacob went into Egypt”

[109] LXX has “Jabin king of” after “commander of the army of”

[110] MT VG “Bedan” LXX SYR “Barak”

[111] MT LXX VG “Samuel” LXXGS SYR “Samson”

The sources differ as to the number, order, and names of the judges in this verse.

MT “Jerubbaal and Bedan and Jephthah and Samuel” VG “Jerubbaal and Bedan and Jephthah and Samuel” LXX “Jerub-Baal and Barak and Jephthah and Samuel” AT “Gideon and Samson and Jephthah and Samuel.” SYR “Deborah and Barak and Gideon and Jephthah and Samson”

[112] MT VG “and your fathers” SYR “as it was against your forefathers” LXX “and against your king”

[113] MT has a corrupt reading of “a son of a year,” for it means Saul was one year old when he began to reign; LXX a few MSS “thirty,” most LXX lack the verse, a few others “one year;” SYR “twenty-one years old,” which is impossible when we consider the age of Saul’s son in the next verse. The LXX’s “thirty” is possible but unlikely. Because Saul’s son Jonathan was old enough to be a military leader, the 1901 ASV has offered a conjectural emendation of “forty years.”

[114] Acts 13:21 attributes “forty years” to Saul. Most LXX MSS lack this verse. MT has “two years” (this could be a corruption), which has motivated some to believe that Luke in Act 13:21 was rounding the number with “forty years” and so they render it here as “forty-two years.” If MT “two years” is correct it could be as the 1901 ASV took it, “and when he had reigned two years over Israel, vs 2 Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel,” meaning that after the initial two years of Saul’s reign, he then went about building an army. SYR lacks this part of the verse. In Antiquities of the Jews, Book 10, chapter 8, paragraph 4, the first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus ascribes twenty years to King Saul. However, in Book 6, chapter 14, paragraph 9, Josephus has: “Now Saul, reigned eighteen years while Samuel was alive, and after his death two,” with some of Josephus’ manuscripts adding: “and twenty;” which adds up to forty years. The fact that Luke was inspired by God and fully inerrant, stating that Saul was king for forty years is absolutely inerrant because Acts 13:21 has no textual issues, and because we do not have a number given in the OT, it does not conflict with the OT evidence and is found in Josephus (Ant. 6.378): eighteen years during the life of Samuel and twenty-two more after his death.

[115] MT LXX VG “Thirty thousand” LXXGS SYR “three thousand”

[116] Or “cellars” or “vaults” ‘ or “strongholds”

[117] AT LXX four Heb. MSS “had said” MT lacks

[118] That is, I have not sought the favor of Jehovah

[119] LXX adds “and the remnant of the people went after Saul to meet him after the men of war, when they had come out of” after “Gilgal.”

[120] LXX “sickle” MT “plowshare”

[121] LXX “forged”

[122] That is, An ancient weight, approximately two thirds of a shekel.

[123] MT “Jehonathan”

[124] LXX “Do everything as your heart is inclined”

[125] LXX “my heart is as your heart”

[126] That is, the area of land that a span of bulls (a yoke of bulls, that is, two bulls) can plow in a day.

[127] LXX “and behold, the camp was in commotion on this side and that”

[128] LXX “And Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ephod,” for he carried the ephod in that day before Israel”

[129] LXX “And the slaves who were captured by the foreigners previously, the ones who went up to the camp, were returned to be with Israel, with Saul and Jonathan”

[130] LXX “And the Lord delivered Israel on that day. The battle passed though Beth-aven, and all the people with Saul were about ten thousand men. The fighting was scattering to the whole region in the hill country in Ephraim.”

[131] LXX “And Saul ignorantly committed a great sin of error on that day and put the people under a curse (saying: ‘Accursed is the man that eats bread before evening’).”

[132] LXX has “here” instead of “this day”

[133] This is a visual image of the important men, chiefs, leaders.

[134] LXX adds: “why is it that you did not answer your servant today? If in me or in Jonathan my son the unrighteousness is, O Jehovah, the God of Israel, give Urim; but if it is with your people Israel, give Thummim” IT VGc has similar additions.

[135] Two objects worn on the breastplate of a Jewish high priest used to ascertain the will of Jehovah when questions important matters that required an answer from Jehovah.

[136] LXX has “ ‘whomsoever the Lord shall cause to be taken by lot, let him die: and the people said to Saul, This thing is not to be done: and Saul prevailed against the people, and they cast lots between him and Jonathan his son” after “Jonathan my son.”

[137] Or ransomed; that is, rescued Jonathan

[138] LXX one DSS “king of Zobah”

[139] Some Heb. MSS “and wherever he turned, he acted wickedly” LXX “wherever he turned, he was victorious”

[140] MT SYR VG “son” LXX “the son of Jamin, the son (of Abiel)”

[141] That is, to set apart (devote) an exclusive offering to Jehovah, which must then be destroyed, so that no other human may make use of it. Also verses 8, 9, 15, 18, 20, 21.

[142] That is, a stream, valley, ravine, or channel that is dry except in the rainy season.

[143] Lit (עַל al פָּנֶה paneh) upon the face of; That is, east of

[144] Lit (פֶּה peh) mouth

[145] That is, the second born animals, were more valued because they were considered better than the firstborn.

[146] That is, unhealthy; worthless

[147] Lit became hot

[148] That is, the sound of

[149] That is, the sound of

[150] MTmargin “he” MT “they”

[151] MT “they” LXX SYR AT many significant Heb. MSS “you”

[152] That is, destroyed them, done away with them, annihilated them,

[153] In the Hebrew Scriptures, the idea of obedience is expressed by the Hebrew (שָׁמַע shama), which basically means “to hear” or “to listen” and is used three times in the poetic language of 1 Samuel 15:20-22. Of course, Saul had not obeyed Jehovah.

[154] In the Hebrew Scriptures, the idea of obedience is expressed by the Hebrew (שָׁמַע shama), which basically means “to hear” or “to listen” and is used three times in the poetic language of 1 Samuel 15:20-22.

[155] In the Hebrew Scriptures, the idea of obedience is expressed by the Hebrew (שָׁמַע shama), which basically means “to hear” or “to listen” and is used three times in the poetic language of 1 Samuel 15:20-22. The Hebrew verb (קָשַׁב qashab) in 1 Sam. 15:22b is similar to its nearly identical synonym (שָׁמַע shama) used in the same verse, which means “to hear” or “to listen” or “to pay close attention.”

[156] The Hebrew verb (קָשַׁב qashab) in 1 Sam. 15:22b is similar to its nearly identical synonym (שָׁמַע shama) used in the same verse, which means “to hear” or “to listen” or “to pay close attention.”

[157] MT LXX “teraphim” VG “idolatry” The teraphim is household gods, idols.

[158] MT SYR “he” LXX “Jehovah”

[159] MT VG “from being king” LXX “from being king over Israel”

[160] That is, Saul

[161] MT SYR “Glory” VG “Triumphant One”

[162] MT VG “he” LXX SYR “Saul”

[163] LXX “trembling”

[164] LXX “Is death thus bitter?”

[165] MT “not as man sees” LXX “for God does not see what man sees”

[166] Eye: (עַיִן ayin; φθαλμός ophthalmos) Both the Hebrew and the Greek can refer to the organ of sight. (Matt. 9:29; 20:34) Illustratively, the eye is an important way of communicating with the mind, which influences our emotions and actions. When Satan tempted Eve, he motivated her through what she saw with her eyes. Eve had seen this tree many times now “it was a delight to the eyes.” (Gen 3:6) Satan also tempted Jesus with the things seen by the eyes. (Lu 4:5-7) The apostle John spoke of “the lust of the eyes” as being “from the world.”(1 John 2:16-17) The Bible uses the “eyes” to express emotions, like “haughty eyes” (Pro. 6:17), “alluring eyes” (Pro. 6:25) “eyes full of adultery” (2 Pet. 2:14), “whose eye is evil [a selfish man]” (Pro. 23:6) or “an evil eye [a greedy man]” (Pro. 28:22). It can also refer to understanding.–Lu 19:42; Eph. 1:18.

[167] Anoint: (מָשַׁח mashach; χρίω chriō) In the Hebrew OT, the word meant to anoint, smear, rub an object or person (a prophet, priest, or king) with a liquid, which symbolized a dedication or installation for a special service. In the Greet NT, the word meant to anoint with oil, to assign one to a duty, role, or office. It is also used of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on those who are anointed in Christ.–Ex 28:41; 1 Sam 16:13; 2 Cor. 1:21.

[168] LXXB omits vss 12-31

[169] SYR “He had grown old and was advanced in years” LXXA LXXBr “an old man among men” VG “he was an old man and of great age among men”

[170] MT “Milk” VG “cheese”

[171] LXXA SYR VG “living” is sing.

[172] LXXB omits vss 12-31

[173] MT SYR “any man” LXX “my lord”

[174] Or challenged

[175] MT SYR VG “And David said” LXX lacks.

[176] LXX “he grew tired walking once and twice”

[177] MT SYR VG “And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines” LXX “your limbs and the limbs of the camp of the Philistines”

[178] MT AT LXX SYR VG 15 Heb. MSS “a God in Israel”

[179] MT SYR VG “sank into his forehead” LXX “penetrated through the helmet into his forehead”

[180] MT “valley” LXX “Gath”

[181] LXX “gates of Ashkelon”

[182] Most LXX MSS omit 17:55-18:5 LXXB omits 17:55-18:6a

[183] LXXB omits from 17:55 to here

[184] LXX “to meet David”

[185] Or he prophesied

[186] AT “by one of the two women” MT “by two,” that is, a second time.

[187] MT SYR VG “two hundred” LXX “one hundred”

[188] Most LXX MSS do not have “So Saul was David’s enemy continually” and 18:30

[189] Most LXX MSS do not have 18:30

[190] SYR adds “by his hand”

[191] Or the household god; the idol

[192] Or the household god; the idol

[193] LXX “ecclesia” SYR “assembly” VG “wedge-division”

[194] LXX “the cistern of the threshing floor on the bare height”

[195] MT SYR VG  “says” AT LXX “desires”

[196] LXX does not have “third”

[197] SYR “be a witness” or “bears witness” LXX “knows” MT lacks

[198] LXX VG “you shall also do mercy with me, and if I die by death, 15 you shall not”

[199] LXX “If the name of Jonathan be cut off from the house of David” MT VG “So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying”

[200] LXX VG “swore again to David” MT SYR “had David swear again”

[201] LXX “you will sit by that ergab,” a transliteration of Heb. term; a corruption of the Heb. ezel VG “near the stone, the name of which is Ezel”

[202] LXX has “witness” before “between”

[203] MT SYR “bread” that is, meal LXX “table”

[204] LXX “Jonathan was facing him” MT “then Jonathan rose up”

[205] LXX “he has not been cleansed” MT “he is not clean”

[206] LXX “you are a partner of”

[207] That is, for he shall surely die

[208] LXX has “from the mound”

[209] MT LXX chapter 20 ends here

[210] LXX Vgc “David” MT  “he”

[211] Lit is under your hand?

[212] LXX “If there are five loaves of bread under your hand, give into my hand” MT SYR “what is there under your hand? Just give five loaves of bread into my hand”

[213] Lit under my hand

[214] MT “bread of Presence” VG “bread of presentation”

[215] LXX reads “drummed”

[216] MT “go out to”

[217] SYR “Mizpah”

[218] MT Ramah LXXB,GS “in Bama”

[219] MT VG “lie in wait” LXX “enemy”

[220] MT VG “Jehovah” LXX SYR “God”

[221] Almost all LXX MSS have “three hundred and five”

[222] MT SYR VG “the linen” LXX omits

[223] MT “I have turned against” SYR VG “I am guilty respecting” LXX “I am responsible for”

[224] MT “rejected” or “alienated” LXX AT “sold” VG “delivered” MT “delivered” by emending the first letter of the Heb. word (נִכַּר nikkar / סִכַּר sikkar)

[225] MT SYR VG “Six hundred” LXX “four hundred”

[226] MT “God” LXX DSS “Jehovah”

[227] MT SYR VG “the rock and dwelt” LXX “the rock that is”

[228] Lit to cover his feet. It also occurs in Judges 3:24 when the king’s servants thought Eglon was relieving himself. It is a euphemism, which is a mild way of referring to a person, who is squatting to relieve himself of human excrement, meaning that he is covering his feet when he squats.

[229] Most Heb. MSS lack “robe” LXX SYR AT VG eight Heb. MSS have “robe” MT “the hem which was for Saul”

[230] LXX SYR AT “I took pity on you”

[231] Lit seed: In most occurrences in which the Hebrew word (זֶרַע zera) arises in the Old Testament, it means offspring or descendant. Zera is used for animal offspring in Genesis 7:3. The Greek word (σπέρμα sperma) is also used in reference to offspring or descendant. (Compare Matt. 13:24; 1 Cor. 15:38; Heb. 11:11; John 7:42.) Jesus Christ used the related word (σπόρος sporos) seed (sown) to signify the word of God. – Luke 8:11.

[232] MT LXX VG “at his house” SYR “in his burial place”

[233] MT SYR VG “Paran” LXX “Maon”

[234] This is city in Judah, not the same as Mount Carmel.

[235] LXX SYR VG many Heb, MSS “for on a good day we have come”

[236] MT SYR VG “water” LXX “wine”

[237] A seah equaled 7.33 L (6.66 dry qt).

[238] MT “May God do so to the enemies of David, and more also” Most of the Old LXX MSS have “So God do to David and more also”

[239] A Hebrew idiom for males

[240] The expression “wrapped up in the bag of life” means that the individual life of David would be wrapped up (to protect and preserve) David’s life from his enemies. This would be the case if David waited on Jehovah and did not try to deliver himself out of difficulties. On the other hand, the soul of the enemies of David would be thrown away.

[241] A Hebrew idiom for males

[242] LXX “hiding himself close by us”

[243] MT VG “God” SYR “Your God” LXX “Jehovah”

[244] That is, you deserve to die

[245] Lit smell

[246] MT SYR VG “seek a single flea” LXX “look for my soul.” Here David is likening himself to a flea, emphasizing his insignificance when compared to Saul. Thus, he is revealing that it was not worth the effort for the king to pursue him.

[247] The partridge, a short-tailed game bird, has frail flesh and was hunted as food in biblical times. The hunters oftentimes used sticks that were thrown to bring down the bird when it came out from its hiding places. The partridge tries to escape by running, ducking behind rocks, and trying to find a hiding place in clefts of rocks in order to conceal itself. Therefore, David, fleeing from one hiding place to another hiding place in his attempt at avoiding King Saul’s ruthless pursuit, David compares himself to “a partridge in the mountains.”

[248] LXX12 MSS “From Telam” MT “from of old”

[249] LXX SYR AT “against whom” Most Heb. MSS lack “against whom” Some Heb. MSS have “Where” in place of “against whom.”

[250] Or the south. That is the southern part of the Promised Land. The Negev was an arid region in the southern part of Palestine, and its name came to mean south. Two more times in this verse.

[251] LXX DSS “in the battle”

[252] MT SYR “Yourself” LXX VG “now”

[253] MT “mediums” (the supposed communication between spirits of the dead and the living, which at times was demonic communication) LXX “ventriloquists” VG “astrologers”

[254] One who supposedly has the power to contact and gain information from supposed dead spirits.

[255] The supposed communication between spirits of the dead and the living, which at times was demonic communication.

[256] The supposed communication between spirits of the dead and the living, which at times was demonic communication.

[257] The supposed power to contact and gain information from supposed dead spirits.

[258] The supposed communication between spirits of the dead and the living, which at times was demonic communication.

[259] One who supposedly has the power to contact and gain information from supposed dead spirits.

[260] Luther says . . . “The raising of Samuel by a soothsayer or witch, in 1 Sam. xxviii. 11, 12, was certainly merely a spectre of the devil; not only because the Scriptures state that it was effected by a woman who was full of devils (for who could believe that the souls of believers, who are in the hand of God, . . . were under the power of the devil, and of simple men?), but also because it was evidently in opposition to the command of God that Saul and the woman inquired of the dead. The Holy Ghost cannot do anything against this himself, nor can He help those who act in opposition to it.” – Carl Friedrich Keil; Franz Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Books of Samuel (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1866), 265.

[261] Certainly, it was not actually Samuel that the medium had contacted. Samuel was dead and a person who is dead “goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish.” (Psalm 146:4) Samuel was a prophet God, so he had rejected mediums. Also, while he was living, Samuel declined to speak with rebellious Saul.

[262] MT VG “your adversary” LXX SYR “with your neighbor”

[263] MT “for himself” LXX VG five Heb. MSS “to you”

[264] LXX has “will fall” instead of “will be with me”

[265] LXX “many days, this second year” MT “these days or these years” VG “many days or years.”

[266] Or the south. That is the southern part of the Promised Land. The Negev was an arid region in the southern part of Palestine, and its name came to mean south.

[267] LXX “The women and all things that” MT “the women that”

[268] Or the south. That is the southern part of the Promised Land. The Negev was an arid region in the southern part of Palestine, and its name came to mean south.

[269] LXXGS adds “And he swore to him”

[270] LXX SYR VG  six Heb. MSS “with us” MT “with me”

[271] LXX “You should not do this after the Lord has delivered us” MT “You shall not do so, my brothers, with what Jehovah has given us”

[272] MT SYR VG “this matter?” LXX “these your words? For they are not inferior to you”

[273] Or the south. That is the southern part of the Promised Land. The Negev was an arid region in the southern part of Palestine, and its name came to mean south.

[274] LXX “he was wounded in the belly” MT “he was badly wounded by the archers”

[275] Armor: (Heb. keli; Gr. panoplia) The weapons and armor worn by soldiers used in fighting, which makes up the whole of his offensive and defensive equipment. This would include a helmet to protect the head, the girdle, and a leather belt worn around the waist or hips to protect the loins, the breastplate to protect vital organs, especially the heart. It also included a coat of mail, i.e., scale body armor for protection during battle, greaves, namely shin guards, and the shield, usually carried on the left arm or in the left hand.–1 Sam. 7:5-6; 31:9; Eph. 6:13-17.

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