1 And the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, Is not David hiding himself in the hill of Hachilah, on the edge of the desert? 2 And Saul arose and went down to the wilderness of Ziph to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him. 3 And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the edge of the desert, by the highway. And David was staying in the wilderness. And he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness. 4 And David sent out spies and knew that Saul had come indeed. 5 And David arose and came to the place where Saul had pitched. And David saw the place where Saul lay. And Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his army, and Saul were lying within the barricade. And the people pitched all around him. 6 And 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 the camp to Saul? 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 in the tent, and his spear stuck in the ground at his head. But Abner and the people lay around him. 8 And Abishai said to David, God has shut up your enemy into your hand this day. And please let me strike him with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not repeat it to him.
9 And David said to Abishai, Do not destroy him. For who can stretch forth his hand against Jehovah's anointed and be guiltless? 10 And David said, As Jehovah lives, except Jehovah strike him, or his day shall come, and he dies, or he goes down to battle and is consumed, 11 far be it from me by Jehovah, from putting forth my hand against Jehovah's anointed. And now, please take the spear at his head and the cruse of water, and we will go.
12 And David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's head. And they went away, and no one saw, and no one knew; and no one was awake; for all of them were sleeping, because a deep sleep from Jehovah had fallen on them. 13 And David went over to the other side and stood on the top of a hill afar off, a great space between them. 14 And David cried to the people and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Do you not answer, Abner? And Abner answered and said, Who are you that cries to the king?
15 And David said to Abner, Are you not a man? And who is like you in Israel? But why have you not watched over your lord the king? For one of the people came in to destroy your lord the king. 16 This thing that you have done is not good. As Jehovah lives, because you have not watched over your master, Jehovah's anointed, you also are worthy to die. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse 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 pursue after his servant this way? For what have I done? Or what evil is in my hand? 19 And now, please let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If Jehovah has stirred you up against me, let Him accept an offering. But if it is the sons of men, they are cursed before Jehovah. For they have driven me out today from joining myself with the inheritance of Jehovah, saying, Go, serve other gods. 20 And now, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of Jehovah. For the king of Israel has come out to seek a flea, as when one hunts a partridge in the mountains.
21 And Saul said, I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will never do you harm any more, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have acted foolishly, and have greatly erred.
22 And David answered and said, Behold the king's spear! And let one of the young men come over and get it. 23 May Jehovah give to each his righteousness and his faithfulness. For Jehovah delivered you into my hand today, but I would not stretch forth my hand against Jehovah's anointed. 24 And behold, as your life was precious in my eyes this day, so let my life be precious in the eyes of Jehovah, and let Him deliver me out of all tribulation.