1 And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Does not David hide himself on the hill of Hachilah, which is opposite Jeshimon? 2 Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. 3 And Saul encamped in the hill of Hachilah, which is opposite Jeshimon, by the road. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness. 4 David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come indeed. 5 And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had encamped: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his army: and Saul lay within the camp, and the people encamped round about him. 6 Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with you.
7 So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the camp, and his spear stuck in the ground at his head: but Abner and the people lay round about him. 8 Then said Abishai to David, God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day: now therefore let me strike him, I pray you, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not strike him the second time.
9 And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD'S anointed, and be guiltless? 10 David said furthermore, As the LORD lives, the LORD shall strike him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. 11 The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth my hand against the LORD'S anointed: but, I pray you, take you now the spear that is at his head, and the jar of water, and let us go.
12 So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul's head; and they got away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awoke: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them. 13 Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of a hill afar off; a great space being between them: 14 And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answer you not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who are you that cry to the king?
15 And David said to Abner, are not you a valiant man? and who is like to you in Israel? why then have you not kept your lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king your lord. 16 This thing is not good that you have done. As the LORD lives, you are worthy to die, because you have not kept your master, the LORD'S anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the jar of water that was at his head.
17 And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this your voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king. 18 And he said, Why does my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in my hand? 19 Now therefore, I pray you, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD has stirred you up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve other gods. 20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel has come out to seek a flea, as when one does hunt a partridge in the mountains.
21 Then said Saul, 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: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.
22 And David answered and said, Behold the king's spear! and let one of the young men come over and get it. 23 The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered you into my hand today, but I would not stretch forth my hand against the LORD'S anointed. 24 And, behold, as your life was precious this day in my eyes, so let my life be precious in the eyes of the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.