T A 1. Information given. B g 2-4. Search by Saul. h 5-13. Camp. Proof obtained. B g 14. Search by Saul. h 15-25-. Camp. Proof exhibited. A -25. Separation made.
1 Samuel 26)
1: And the Ziphites came to Saul to Gibeah, saying, “Does not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah (= dark; darkly flashing [only of the eyes]; in a good sense; brilliant [as stimulated by wine]), which is before Jeshimon?”
2: Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.
3: And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.
4: David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.
5: And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner (= father of light) the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay in the trench (or barricade), and the People pitched round about him.
6: Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, “Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp?” And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.”
7: So David and Abishai came to the People by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his head (this is still the mark of the chief's tent. Cp. 18:10): 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 smite him (note Abner's character. 2 Sam.16:9; 19:21.), I pray you, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.”
9: And David said to Abishai, “Destroy him not (see Deut.9:26, the superscriptions of Ps. 56,57,58,74): 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 smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.
11: The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth my hand against the Lord's anointed: but, I pray you, take you now the spear that is at his head, and the cruse (or flask) of water, and let us go.”
12: So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's head; and they got them away, and no one saw it, nor knew it, neither awaken: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them.
13: Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them:
14: And David cried to the People, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Do you not answer, Abner?” Then Abner answered and said, “Who are you that cries to the king?”
h i¹ 15,16. Remonstrance with Abner. i² 17-25-. Reconciliation with Saul.
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 all are worthy to die, because you all have not kept your master, the Lord's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his head.”
i² k¹ 17-. Saul's recognition of David. l¹ -17-20. David's remonstrance. k² 21. Saul's acknowledgment. l² 22-24. David's remonstrance. k³ 25-. Saul's blessing.
17: And Saul recognized David's voice, and said, “Is this your voice, my son David?”
And David said, “It is my voice, my lord, O king.”
18: And he said, “Why does my lord 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 have stirred you up against me, let Him accept an offering: but if they be the sons 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.” (David was being driven from God's altar)
20: Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the Lord: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one 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 life was precious in your eyes this day: behold, I have play ed the fool, and have erred exceedingly.”
22: And David answered and said, “Behold the king's spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.
23: The Lord render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the Lord delivered you into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth my hand against the Lord's anointed.
24: And, behold, as your soul was much set by this day in my eyes, so let my soul be much set by in the eyes of the Lord, and let Him deliver me out of all tribulation.”
25: Then Saul said to David, “Blessed be you, my son David: you shall both do great things, and also shall still prevail.”
So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.