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The First Book of Samuel
CHAPTER 1 Jun. 22
Hannah Prays for a Son
Now there was a man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2He had two wives; the name of one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah; Peninnah had children but Hannah had no children. 3This man went up out of his city from year to year to worship and to sacrifice to Yahweh of Armies in Shiloh. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, priests to Yahweh, were there. 4When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he gave to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters portions, 5but to Hannah he gave a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but Yahweh had shut up her womb. 6Her rival provoked her severely, to make her fret because Yahweh had shut up her womb. 7This went on year after year when she went up to the house of Yahweh; she provoked her, therefore she wept and didn’t eat. 8Elkanah her husband said to her, Hannah, why do you weep? Why don’t you eat? Why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons? 9So Hannah rose up after they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his seat by the doorpost of Yahweh’s temple. 10She was in bitterness of soul and prayed to Yahweh and wept bitterly. 11She vowed a vow and said, Yahweh of Armies, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your handmaid and remember me and not forget Your handmaid, but will give to Your handmaid a boy, then I will give him to Yahweh all the days of his life, and no razor shall come on his head. 12As she continued praying before Yahweh, Eli saw her mouth. 13Now Hannah spoke in her heart, only her lips moved but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14Eli said to her, How long will you be drunk? Put away your wine from you. 15Hannah answered, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I poured out my soul before Yahweh. 16Don’t count your handmaid a wicked woman, for I have been speaking out of the abundance of my complaint and my provocation. 17Then Eli answered, Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him. 18She said, Let your handmaid find grace in your sight. So the woman went her way and ate, and her face wasn’t sad any more.
The Birth of Samuel
19They rose up in the morning early and worshipped before Yahweh and returned home to Ramah, and Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and Yahweh remembered her. 20When the time had come, Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she named him Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of Yahweh. 21The man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to Yahweh the yearly sacrifice and his vow. 22But Hannah didn’t go up, for she said to her husband, Not until the child is weaned, then I will bring him that he may appear before Yahweh and stay there forever. 23Elkanah her husband said to her, Do what seems good to you. Wait until you have weaned him, only may Yahweh establish His word. So the woman waited and nursed her son until she weaned him.
Samuel Is Dedicated to Yahweh
24When she had weaned him she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of meal and a bottle of wine, and brought him to Yahweh’s sanctuary in Shiloh. The child was young. 25They killed the bull and brought the child to Eli. 26She said, Oh my lord, as your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to Yahweh. 27For this child I prayed, and Yahweh has given me my petition which I asked of Him. 28Therefore I have given him to Yahweh. As long as he lives he is given to Yahweh. Eli worshipped Yahweh there.
CHAPTER 2 Jun. 23
The Prayer of Hannah
Hannah prayed, and said: My heart exults in Yahweh! My horn is exalted in Yahweh. My mouth boasts over my enemies because I rejoice in Your salvation. 2There is none as holy as Yahweh, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God. 3Talk no more so exceedingly proudly. Don’t let hardness come out of your mouth, for Yahweh is a God of knowledge, though actions be not weighed. 4The bows of the mighty men are broken, those who stumbled are armed with strength. 5Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread. Those who were hungry are satisfied. Yes, the barren has borne seven; she who has many children languishes. 6Yahweh kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7Yahweh makes poor and makes rich. He brings low and He also lifts up. 8He raises up the poor out of the dust. He lifts up the needy from the dunghill, to make them sit with princes and inherit the throne of glory. For the pillars of the earth are Yahweh’s; He has set the world upon them. 9He will keep the feet of His holy ones, but the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness; for no man shall prevail by strength. 10Those who strive with Yahweh shall be broken to pieces. He will thunder against them in the sky. Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth. He will give strength to His king and exalt the horn of His anointed. 11Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the child served Yahweh before Eli the priest.
The Wicked Sons of Eli
12Now the sons of Eli were men of Belial; they didn’t know Yahweh. 13The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand. 14He thrust it into the pan, kettle, cauldron or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15Moreover, before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came and said to the man who sacrificed, Give meat to roast for the priest, for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but raw. 16If the man said to him, Let the fat be burned first, and then take as much as you want; he would say, No, give it to me now, and if you don’t, I will take it by force. 17The sin of the young men was very great before Yahweh, for they despised the offering of Yahweh. 18But Samuel ministered before Yahweh, being a child, clothed with a linen ephod. 19Moreover his mother made him a little robe and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife and said, Yahweh give you children by this woman for the petition which was asked of Yahweh. They went to their own home. 21Yahweh visited Hannah and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. The child Samuel grew before Yahweh. 22Now Eli was very old, and he heard all that his sons did to all Israel, how they lay with the women who served at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 23He said to them, Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil deeds from all the people. 24No my sons, it is no good report that I hear; you make Yahweh’s people disobey. 25If one man sins against another, God will judge him; but if a man sins against Yahweh, who shall entreat for him? However, they didn’t listen to their father, because Yahweh intended to kill them. 26The child Samuel grew and increased in favour with Yahweh and with men.
Prophecy against Eli’s House
27A man of God came to Eli and said to him, Thus says Yahweh, ‘Did I not reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt, in bondage to Pharaoh’s house? 28Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to go up to My altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before Me? Did I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire? 29Why then do you despise My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded for My dwelling, and honour your sons above Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’ 30 Therefore Yahweh the God of Israel says, ‘I said indeed that your house, and the house of your father, should walk before Me forever’. But now Yahweh says, ‘Far be it from Me. Those who honour Me I will honour, and those who despise Me shall be despised. 31The days are coming when I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house so that there shall not be an old man in your house. 32In distress you would look with envy upon the wealth which I would have given Israel, but there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33Any man of yours whom I shall not cut off from My altar, will only blind your eyes with tears and grieve your heart; all the increase of your house shall die in the prime of life. 34 This will be the sign to you which will come on your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they shall both die. 35I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall minister before My anointed one forever. 36Each one who 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, ‘Please put me into one of the priests’ offices, that I may eat a morsel of bread’.
CHAPTER 3 Jun. 24
Samuel Called by the Lord
The child Samuel ministered to Yahweh before Eli. The word of Yahweh was precious in those days; there was no frequent vision. 2At that time, when Eli was laid down in his place (now his eyes had begun to grow dim, so that he could not see), 3and the lamp of God hadn’t yet gone out, and Samuel had laid down in Yahweh’s sanctuary where the ark of God was, 4Yahweh called Samuel, and he said Here I am. 5He ran to Eli, and said, Here I am, for you called me. He said, I didn’t call; lie down again. He went and lay down. 6Yahweh called again, Samuel! Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, Here I am; for you called me. He answered, I didn’t call my son; lie down again. 7Now Samuel didn’t yet know Yahweh, neither was the word of Yahweh yet revealed to him. 8Yahweh called Samuel again the third time. He arose and went to Eli and said, Here I am; for you called me. Eli perceived that Yahweh had called the child. 9Therefore Eli said to Samuel, Go, lie down, and if He calls you, say, ‘Speak, Yahweh, for Your servant hears’. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10Yahweh came and stood and called as at other times, Samuel! Samuel! Then Samuel said, Speak; for Your servant hears. 11Yahweh said to Samuel, Behold, I will do something in Israel which will make both the ears of everyone who hears it tingle. 12In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he didn’t rebuke them. 14Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli, that the guilt of Eli’s house shall not be removed with sacrifice nor offering forever. 15Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of Yahweh. Samuel feared to show Eli the vision. 16Then Eli called Samuel and said, Samuel, my son! He said, Here I am. 17He said, What was it that He said to you? Please don’t hide it from me. May God deal with you severely if you hide anything from me of all the things that He said to you. 18Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. He said, It is Yahweh. Let Him do what seems good to Him. 19Samuel grew, and Yahweh was with him, and he let none of His words fall to the ground. 20All Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of Yahweh. 21Yahweh appeared again in Shiloh, for Yahweh revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of Yahweh.
CHAPTER 4 Jun. 25
The Ark Captured
Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle and encamped beside Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped in Aphek. 2The Philistines put themselves in position against Israel; when they joined battle Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand Israelite soldiers. 3When the people had returned to the camp the elders of Israel said, Why has Yahweh struck us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of Yahweh out of Shiloh that it may go with us and save us out of the hand of our enemies. 4So the people sent to Shiloh and they brought from there the ark of the covenant of Yahweh of Armies, who sits above the cherubim; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. 5When the ark of the covenant of Yahweh came into the camp all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth resounded. 6When 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? When they understood that the ark of Yahweh had come into the camp 7they were afraid, for they said, God has come into the camp. They said, Woe to us! Nothing like this has happened before. 8Woe to us! Who can deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods that struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. 9Be strong, and behave like men, you Philistines, so that you will not be servants to the Hebrews as they have been to you. Strengthen yourselves like men and fight! 10The Philistines fought and Israel was defeated and they fled every man to his tent and there was a very great slaughter, for thirty thousand Israelite foot soldiers were killed. 11The ark of God was taken, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were killed.
12A man of Benjamin ran out of the army that day and came to Shiloh with his clothes torn and earth on his head. 13When he came, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. When the man came into the city and reported what had happened, all the city cried out. 14When Eli heard the noise of the crying he said, What does this noise mean? The man hurried and told Eli. 15Now Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were bad so that he could not see. 16The man said to Eli, I am the one who came out of the army, and I fled today from the battle. He said, What happened, my son? 17The man who brought the news answered, Israel has fled before the Philistines and there has been a great slaughter among the people. Your two sons Hophni and Phinehas are dead, and the ark of God has been captured. 18When he made mention of the ark of God, Eli fell off his seat backward by the side of the gate and his neck broke and he died, for he was an old man and heavy. He had judged Israel for forty years. 19His daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was pregnant, near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God was taken and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labour and gave birth, but was overcome by her pains. 20As she was dying the women attending her said, Don’t be afraid, for you have given birth to a son. But she didn’t answer, neither did she pay any attention. 21She named the child Ichabod saying, The glory has departed from Israel, because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22She said, The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God is taken.
CHAPTER 5 Jun. 26
The Ark Goes to Ashdod, Gath and Ekron
Now the Philistines had taken the ark of God, and they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2They took the ark of God into the house of Dagon and set it beside Dagon. 3When the people of Ashdod arose early the next day, Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh. They took Dagon and set him back in his place. 4When they arose early the next morning, Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were broken off, lying on the threshold. Only Dagon’s torso was intact. 5Therefore neither the priests of Dagon nor anyone who comes into Dagon’s house will tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod, to this day. 6But the hand of Yahweh was heavy on the people of Ashdod and those nearby, and He destroyed them, afflicting them with tumours. 7When the men of Ashdod saw what was happening they said, The ark of the God of Israel must not stay with us, for His hand is severe on us and on Dagon our god. 8They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines together and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? They answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried over to Gath. They carried the ark of the God of Israel there. 9But after they had carried it there, the hand of Yahweh was against the city, causing panic, and He struck the men of the city, small and great, and tumours broke out upon them. 10So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. As the ark of God came to Ekron, the Ekronites cried out, They have brought the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people! 11They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and they said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go back to its own place so that it does not kill us and our people. For there was a deadly panic throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. 12The men who didn’t die were struck with the tumours, and the cry of the city went up to Heaven.
CHAPTER 6 Jun. 26
The Philistines Return the Ark to Israel
The ark of Yahweh was in the country of the Philistines for seven months. 2The Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, asking, What shall we do with the ark of Yahweh? Show us how we should send it back to its place. 3They said, If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, don’t send it empty; by all means return Him a trespass offering, then you will be healed and you will know why His hand has not been removed from you. 4Then they said, What should the trespass offering be, which we should send to Him? They said, Five golden tumours and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines, for the same plague struck you all and your lords. 5Therefore you must make images of your tumours and your mice that are destroying the land, and give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps He will lift His hand from you, your gods and your land. 6Why do you harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He had done wonders among them, didn’t they send the people away and they departed? 7Now therefore prepare a new cart, and get two milk cows which have never been yoked; tie the cows to the cart and bring their calves home from them. 8Put the ark of Yahweh on the cart and put the jewels of gold, which you are sending Him for a trespass offering, in a chest beside it- and send it away. 9If it goes up to its own territory, to Beth Shemesh, then He has done us this great evil; but if not, then we shall know that it is not His hand that struck us; it was a chance that happened to us. 10The men did so, and took two milk cows, tied them to the cart and shut up their calves at home. 11They put the ark of Yahweh on the cart, and the chest with the mice of gold and the images of their tumours.
The Ark Arrives at Beth-Shemesh
12The cows went straight towards Beth Shemesh; they went along the highway, lowing as they went, and didn’t turn aside to the right hand or to the left, and the lords of the Philistines went after them to the border of Beth Shemesh. 13The people of Beth Shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley, and when they looked up and saw the ark, they rejoiced to see it. 14The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh and stood there beside a great stone. The people split the wood of the cart and offered up the cows for a burnt offering to Yahweh. 15The Levites took down the ark of Yahweh and the chest with the jewels of gold and put them on the great stone, and the men of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices to Yahweh that day. 16When the five lords of the Philistines had seen this. they returned to Ekron the same day. 17These are the golden tumours which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering to Yahweh: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath and one for Ekron. 18The number of golden mice was according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, fortified cities and country villages. The great stone on which they put the ark of Yahweh remains to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh. 19But God struck down some of the men of Beth Shemesh because they had looked into the ark of Yahweh. He killed seventy of the men, and the people mourned, because Yahweh had struck the people with a great slaughter. 20The men of Beth Shemesh said, Who is able to stand before Yahweh, this holy God? To whom shall He go from us? 21They sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath Jearim saying, The Philistines have brought back the ark of Yahweh; come down and take it up to your place.
CHAPTER 7 Jun. 27
The Ark Goes from Beth-Shemesh to Kiriath Jearim
The men of Kiriath Jearim came and fetched up the ark of Yahweh and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of Yahweh. 2The ark stayed for a long time in Kiriath Jearim, twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after Yahweh. 3Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, If you do return to Yahweh with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and Ashtaroth from among you and direct your hearts to Yahweh, and serve Him only, and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. 4Then the people of Israel removed the Baals and Ashtaroth and served Yahweh only. 5Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray for you to Yahweh. 6They gathered together to Mizpah and drew water, poured it out before Yahweh and fasted on that day. They said there, We have sinned against Yahweh. Samuel judged the people of Israel in Mizpah.
The Philistines Defeated at Mizpah
7When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had gathered together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. When the Israelites heard it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. 8The Israelites said to Samuel, Don’t cease to cry to Yahweh our God for us, that He will save us out of the hand of the Philistines! 9Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it for a whole burnt offering to Yahweh, and Samuel cried to Yahweh for Israel, and Yahweh answered him. 10As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to fight against Israel, but on that day Yahweh thundered with a great thunder upon the Philistines, and confused them; and they were struck down before Israel. 11The men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and killed them, all the way to Beth Kar. 12Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and called it Ebenezer, saying, Yahweh helped us until now. 13So the Philistines were subdued and they came no more within the border of Israel. The hand of Yahweh was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath, and Israel recovered its border out of the hand of the Philistines. There was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
The Circuit of Samuel the Judge
15Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16He went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, Gilgal and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all those places. 17He always returned to Ramah where his home was, and there he judged Israel. He built there an altar to Yahweh.
CHAPTER 8 Jun. 27
Israel Demands a King
When Samuel was old he made his sons judges over Israel. 2The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. 3His sons didn’t walk in his ways, but turned aside after money, taking bribes and perverting justice. 4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel to Ramah, 5and they said to him, Look, you are old and your sons don’t walk in your ways; now appoint a king to judge us like all the nations. 6But this displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us.
Yahweh Advises Samuel to Appoint a King
Samuel prayed to Yahweh. 7Yahweh said to Samuel, Listen to the people in all that they tell you; they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be king over them. 8As they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, in forsaking Me and serving other gods, so they also do to you. 9Now therefore listen to their voice, but protest solemnly to them and show them what the king who shall reign over them will do.
Samuel’s Warning to Israel
10Samuel told all the words of Yahweh to the people who asked for a king. 11He said, This is what the king who shall reign over you will do: he will take your sons and appoint them to serve with his chariots and to be his horsemen, and they will run before his chariots; 12he will appoint them to be captains of thousands and captains of fifties; he will assign some to plough his ground and reap his harvest, and to make his weapons of war and the equipment for his chariots. 13He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks and bakers. 14He will take your fields, your vineyards and your olive groves, even their best, and give them to his servants. 15He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage to give to his officers and his servants. 16He will take your male and female servants and your best young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you will be his servants. 18You will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen, but Yahweh will not answer you in that day. 19But the people refused to listen to Samuel; they said, No; but we will have a king over us, 20so that we may be like all the other nations, and so that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles. 21Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them before Yahweh. 22Yahweh said to Samuel, Listen to them and give them a king. Samuel said to the men of Israel, Every man is to go back to his town.
CHAPTER 9 Jun. 28
Saul Chosen As King
There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of valour. 2He had a son whose name was Saul, an impressive young man; there was not among the people of Israel a more impressive person than he. From his shoulders and upward he was taller than any of the people. 3The donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. Kish said to Saul, Take now one of the servants with you and go to look for the donkeys. 4He passed through the hill country of Ephraim and the land of Shalishah, but they didn’t find them. Then they went through the land of Shaalim and they weren’t there; he went throughout the land of the Benjamites, but they didn’t find them. 5When they reached the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, Come, let us return, lest my father stop caring about the donkeys and be anxious for us. 6The servant said, Look now, in this city there is a man of God, and he is a man who is held in honour. All that he says comes true. Now, let us go there; perhaps he can tell us which way to go. 7Then Saul said to his servant, But if we go, what shall we bring the man? For the food is finished from our bags and there is no gift to bring to the man of God. What do we have? 8The servant replied, I have a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give that to the man of God to tell us our way. 9(In earlier times in Israel when a man went to inquire of God he would say, Come and let us go to the seer, for he who is now called a prophet was before called a seer). 10Then Saul said to his servant, Good. Let us go. So they went to the city where the man of God was. 11As they went up the hill to the city they found young girls going out to draw water and they asked them, Is the seer here? 12They answered, He is. Look, he is ahead of you. Hurry now, for he has come today into the city because the people have a sacrifice today in the high place. 13As soon as you have come into the city you will immediately find him, before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not eat until he comes, because it is he blesses the sacrifice. Afterwards, those who are invited eat. Now therefore go up, for at this time you should find him.
Saul Meets Samuel
14They went up to the city. As they came into the city, Samuel came out toward them, to go up to the high place. 15Now Yahweh had revealed to Samuel a day before Saul came, saying, 16Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man out of the land of Benjamin, and you must anoint him to be prince over My people Israel, and he will save My people out of the hand of the Philistines, for I have looked on My people, because their cry has come to Me. 17When Samuel saw Saul, Yahweh said to him, Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He will have authority over My people. 18Then Saul came near to Samuel in the gate and said, Please tell me where the seer’s house is. 19Samuel answered Saul, I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today. In the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is in your heart. 20As for your donkeys which were lost three days ago, don’t worry about them; they have been found. To whom has all the desire in Israel turned? Is it not to you and all your father’s house? 21Saul answered, Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? And is not my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak to me like this? 22Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the guest room, and made them sit in the best place among the guests about thirty people. 23Samuel said to the cook, Bring the portion which I gave you, telling you to set it aside. 24The cook took up the thigh and what was on it and set it before Saul. Samuel said, Here is what has been kept for you! Eat it because it has been kept for you for this occasion since I said, ‘I have invited guests’. So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25When they had come down from the high place into the city, he talked with Saul on the housetop. 26They arose early, at daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the housetop, Get up, that I may send you away. Saul arose, and they went outside together. 27As they were going down to the outskirts of the city Samuel said to Saul, Tell the servant to go on ahead of us (and he did so), but you stay here first, so that I may tell you the message of God.
CHAPTER 10 Jun. 29
Samuel Anoints Saul
Then Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, Hasn’t Yahweh anointed you to be prince over His inheritance? 2When you have departed from me today you will find two men by Rachel’s tomb, in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they will tell you, ‘The donkeys which you went to seek have been found, and your father has stopped caring about the donkeys, and is anxious for you, saying, What shall I do for my son? ’. 3Then you will go on from there and you will come to the oak of Tabor. Three men will meet you there, going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread and another carrying a bottle of wine. 4They will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them. 5After that you will come to the hill of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is, and when you come near to the city you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, a tambourine, a pipe and a harp being played before them. They will be prophesying, 6and the Spirit of Yahweh will come mightily on you, and you will prophesy with them, and you will be changed into another person. 7When these signs have happened, then do as occasion demands, for God is with you. 8Go down before me to Gilgal and I will come down to you, to offer burnt offerings and to make sacrifices of peace offerings. Wait seven days until I come to you and show you what you must do.
Saul among the Prophets
9When Saul had turned to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart, and all those signs happened that day. 10When they came to the hill a band of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God came mightily on him and he prophesied among them. 11When all who knew him before saw that he prophesied with the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets? 12A man who lived there answered, Who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb: Is Saul also among the prophets? 13When he had stopped prophesying, he came to the high place. 14Saul’s uncle said to him and to his servant, Where did you go? He said, To seek the donkeys. When we saw that they were not to be found we came to Samuel. 15Saul’s uncle said, Please tell me what Samuel said to you. 16Saul said to his uncle, He told us plainly that the donkeys were found. But concerning the matter of the kingdom, of which Samuel spoke, he didn’t tell him.
Saul’s Kingship Announced
17Samuel called the people together to Yahweh to Mizpah, 18and he said to the people of Israel, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all the kingdoms that oppressed you, 19but you have this day rejected your God, who Himself saves you out of all your calamities and your distresses. You have said to Him, ‘No! Set a king over us’. Now therefore present yourselves before Yahweh by your tribes and by your thousands. 20So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel together, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken. 21He brought the tribe of Benjamin forward by their families, and the family of the Matrites was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken, but when they sought him he could not be found. 22Therefore they asked of Yahweh further, Did the man come here? Yahweh answered, He has hidden himself among the baggage. 23They ran and fetched him, and when he stood among the people he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders and upward. 24Samuel said to all the people, You see the one whom Yahweh has chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? All the people shouted, Long live the king! 25Then Samuel told the people the regulations of the kingdom, wrote them in a book and laid it up before Yahweh. Samuel sent all the people away to their homes. 26Saul also went to his house to Gibeah and with him the valiant men whose hearts God had touched. 27But some worthless fellows said, How can this man save us? They despised him and brought him no present. But he was as though he had been deaf.
CHAPTER 11 Jun. 30
Saul Rescues the City of Jabesh
Then Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh Gilead, and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, Make a treaty with us and we will serve you. 2Nahash the Ammonite said to them, On this condition I will make it with you, that each of you has his right eye put out, bringing disgrace on all Israel. 3The elders of Jabesh said to him, Give us seven days so that we can send messengers to all the borders of Israel, and then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out to you. 4Then the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and reported these words to the people, and they all wept aloud. 5Just then Saul came, following the oxen out of the field, and he said, What is wrong with the people that they weep? They told him what the men of Jabesh had said. 6The Spirit of God came mightily on Saul when he heard those words, and his anger was kindled greatly. 7He took a yoke of oxen, cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, Whoever doesn’t come forth after Saul and after Samuel, this is what shall be done to his oxen. The dread of Yahweh fell on the people, and they came out as one man. 8Saul numbered them in Bezek and there were three hundred thousand men of Israel and thirty thousand of Judah. 9They said to the messengers who came, Thus you shall tell the men of Jabesh Gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have deliverance’. The messengers came and told the men of Jabesh, and they were glad. 10Therefore the men of Jabesh said to the Ammonites, Tomorrow we will come out to you and you can do to us what seems good to you. 11The next day Saul put the people into three companies, and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch and slaughtered the Ammonites until the heat of the day. Those who remained were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
Saul’s Kingship Confirmed
12The people said to Samuel, Who was it who said, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’. Bring those men out so that we can put them to death! 13But Saul said, No-one is to be put to death today, for today Yahweh has worked deliverance in Israel. 14Then Samuel said to the people, Come, let us go to Gilgal and reaffirm the kingship there. 15All the people went to Gilgal and there they made Saul king before Yahweh in Gilgal, and there they offered sacrifices of peace offerings before Yahweh, and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.
CHAPTER 12 Jun. 30
Samuel said to all Israel, I have listened to all that you said to me, and have made a king over you. 2Now, the king is your leader; I am old and grey-headed and my sons are with you, and I have been your leader from my youth to this day. 3Here I am. Testify against me before Yahweh and before His anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Of whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes? I will restore it to you. 4They said, You have not defrauded us or oppressed us, neither have you taken anything from any man. 5He said to them, Yahweh is witness against you and His anointed is witness this day that you have not found anything in my hand. They said, He is witness. 6Samuel said to the people, It is Yahweh who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. 7Now therefore stand still, that I may plead with you before Yahweh concerning all the righteous acts of Yahweh, which He did to you and to your fathers. 8 When Jacob had come into Egypt and your fathers cried to Yahweh, then Yahweh sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place. 9 But they forgot Yahweh their God, and He sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the army of Hazor, into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 10They cried to Yahweh and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken Yahweh and have served the Baals and Ashtaroth; but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies and we will serve You’. 11Yahweh sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jephthah and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in safety.12 When you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, ‘No, we want a king to reign over us’, when Yahweh your God was your king. 13Now therefore, see the king whom you have chosen and whom you have asked for; Yahweh has set a king over you. 14If you will fear Yahweh and serve Him, listen to His voice and not rebel against the commandment of Yahweh, then it will be well with both you and the king who reigns over you. 15But if you will not listen to the voice of Yahweh but rebel against the commandment of Yahweh, then the hand of Yahweh will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
Storm As a Sign from Yahweh
16Now therefore stand still and see this great thing which Yahweh will do before your eyes. 17Isn’t it wheat harvest today? I will call to Yahweh to send thunder and rain, and you shall know and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the eyes of Yahweh, in asking for a king. 18So Samuel called to Yahweh, and Yahweh sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared Yahweh and Samuel. 19All the people said to Samuel, Pray for your servants to Yahweh your God that we do not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for a king. 20Samuel said to the people, Don’t be afraid. You have indeed done all this evil, yet don’t turn aside from following Yahweh, but serve Yahweh with all your heart. 21Don’t turn aside to go after vain things which can’t profit or save you, for they are vain. 22Yahweh will not forsake His people, for the sake of His great name, because it has pleased Yahweh to make you His own people. 23As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against Yahweh in ceasing to pray for you; I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24Only fear Yahweh and serve Him in truth with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you. 25But if you still do wickedly you will be consumed, both you and your king.
CHAPTER 13 Jul. 1
Saul Rebuked by Samuel
Saul reigned a year, and when he had reigned two years over Israel 2Saul chose three thousand men of Israel, of which two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in the Mount of Bethel, and one thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin, and the rest of the people he sent back to their tents. 3Jonathan attacked the garrison of the Philistines in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear! 4All Israel heard that Saul had attacked the garrison of the Philistines, and that Israel had become odious to the Philistines. The people were gathered together to Saul in Gilgal. 5The Philistines assembled themselves to fight with Israel: thirty thousand chariots, six thousand horsemen and people as numerous as the sand which is on the seashore, and they came up and encamped in Michmash, east of Beth Aven. 6When the men of Israel saw that they were in great peril and the people were distressed, they hid themselves in caves, thickets, rocks, coverts and in pits. 7Now some of the Hebrews had gone over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead, but Saul was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. 8He waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel, but Samuel didn’t come to Gilgal, and the people were scattered from him. 9Saul said, Bring here the burnt offering to me, and the peace offerings. He offered the burnt offering. 10As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering Samuel came, and Saul went out to meet him, to greet him. 11Samuel said, What have you done? Saul said, When I saw that the people were scattered from me and that you didn’t come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines assembled at Michmash, 12I thought ‘Now the Philistines will come down on me to Gilgal, and I haven’t entreated the favour of Yahweh’. I forced myself therefore, and offered the burnt offering. 13Samuel said to Saul, You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of Yahweh your God which He commanded you; for now Yahweh would have established your kingdom in Israel forever. 14But now your kingdom shall not continue. Yahweh has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and Yahweh has appointed him to be prince over His people, because you have not kept what Yahweh commanded you. 15Samuel arose and went from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. Saul numbered the people who were present with him, about six hundred men.
Israel without Weapons
16Saul and Jonathan his son and the people who were with them stayed in Geba of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped in Michmash. 17Raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned towards Ophrah in the land of Shual; 18another company turned towards Beth Horon, and another company turned towards the border land overlooking the valley of Zeboim facing the wilderness. 19Now there was no smith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears. 20All the Israelites went down to the Philistines to have their ploughshares, mattocks, axes and sickles sharpened. 21The price was two thirds of a shekel to sharpen a mattock and a ploughshare, and one third for the forks and axes, and to set the goads. 22So on the day of battle no soldier had either sword or spear among the people who were with Saul and Jonathan; only Saul and Jonathan his son had swords and spears. 23The garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.
CHAPTER 14 Jul. 2
The Philistines Attacked by Jonathan
One day Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armour, Come, let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison on the other side. But he didn’t tell his father. 2Saul stayed on the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree which is in Migron; the people who were with him were about six hundred men. Ahijah the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of Yahweh in Shiloh was there, wearing an ephod. The people didn’t know that Jonathan had gone. 4On each side of the pass by which Jonathan intended to go over to the Philistines’ garrison there was a rocky crag; one was called Bozez and the other Seneh. 5The one crag was on the north in front of Michmash and the other on the south in front of Geba. 6Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armour, Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised people. Perhaps Yahweh will work for us, for nothing can hinder Yahweh from saving, by many or by few. 7His armour bearer said to him, Do all that you have in mind; I am with you according to your heart. 8Then Jonathan said, We will cross over to them and let them see us. 9If they say ‘Wait until we come to you!’, then we will stay where we are and will not go up to them. 10But if they say ‘Come up to us!’, then we will go up, for Yahweh has delivered them into our hand. This will be the sign to us. 11So they revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines, and the Philistines said, Look, the Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in! 12The men of the garrison shouted to Jonathan and his armour bearer, Come up to us and we will show you something! Jonathan said to his armour bearer, Come up after me, for Yahweh has delivered them into the hand of Israel. 13Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet and his armour bearer followed, and the Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armour bearer followed and killed behind him. 14That first slaughter by Jonathan and his armour bearer killed about twenty men in an area of about half an acre.
The Philistines Defeated by Israel
15Then panic struck the whole Philistine army, those in the camp, in the field, and among all the outposts and raiding parties, and the ground shook. There was panic. 16Saul’s watchmen in Gibeah of Benjamin saw that the army had melted away and scattered. 17Then Saul said to the men with him, Count now and see who is missing from us. When they had counted, Jonathan and his armour bearer were not there. 18Saul said to Ahijah, Bring the ark of God here. For the ark of God was with the Israelites at that time. 19While Saul was talking to the priest the tumult in the camp of the Philistines went on and increased, and Saul said to the priest, Withdraw your hand! 20Saul and all the men with him were gathered together and came to the battle, and found that every man’s sword was against his fellow; a very great confusion. 21Now the Hebrews who had been with the Philistines previously and had gone with them into the camp, turned to join the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22Also all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines had fled, followed hard after them in the battle. 23So Yahweh saved Israel that day, and the battle moved beyond Beth Aven.
Jonathan Eats Some Honey
24The men of Israel were in distress that day because Saul had bound the people with an oath saying, Cursed is the man who eats any food before evening, and I have been avenged of my enemies. So none of the people ate any food. 25All the army came into the forest, and there was honey on the ground. 26When they had come to the forest the honey was oozing out, but no-one tasted any because the people feared the oath. 27But Jonathan hadn’t heard when his father commanded the people with the oath, so he dipped the end of his rod into the honeycomb and ate some, and his eyes brightened. 28Then one of the people said, Your father bound the people with an oath saying, ‘Cursed is the man who eats food this day’. The people were exhausted. 29Then Jonathan said, My father has troubled the land. Please look how my eyes have been brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. 30How much better it would have been if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies? Would not the slaughter among the Philistines have been greater? 31They struck down the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. The people were exhausted, 32and they pounced on the spoil, and took sheep, cattle and calves and killed them on the ground and ate them with the blood. 33Then they told Saul, Look, the people are sinning against Yahweh, eating meat with the blood. He said, You have broken faith. Roll a large stone here at once! 34Saul said, Go out among the people and tell them, ‘Each man bring to me here his ox and sheep; kill them here and eat; don’t sin against Yahweh by eating meat with the blood’. So each of them brought his ox with him that night, and killed them there. 35Saul built an altar to Yahweh. This was the first altar that he built to Yahweh. 36Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night and plunder them until the morning, and let us not leave any of them alive. They said, Do whatever seems good to you. But the priest said, Let us enquire of God. 37Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will You deliver them into the hand of Israel? But He didn’t answer him that day.
Saul Condemns Jonathan
38Saul said, Come here, all you chiefs of the people and let us find out which of us has sinned today. 39For as Yahweh lives, Who saves Israel, even if it is Jonathan my son, he must die. But there was not a man among all the people who answered him. 40Then he said to all Israel, You stand on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side. The people said to Saul, Do what seems good to you. 41Therefore Saul said to Yahweh, the God of Israel, Show me the right answer. Jonathan and Saul were chosen, but the people escaped.42Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. Jonathan was selected. 43Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what you have done! Jonathan told him, I only tasted a little honey with the end of the rod that was in my hand, and now must I die? 44Saul said, God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if you do not die, Jonathan. 45But the people said to Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! As Yahweh lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day! So the people rescued Jonathan so that he didn’t die. 46Then Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own land. 47After Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah and the Philistines; wherever he turned he defeated them. 48He fought valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.
The Family of Saul
49Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malchishua, and the names of his two daughters were Merab the firstborn and Michal the younger, 50and the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. The captain of his army was Abner the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle. 51Kish was the father of Saul and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel. 52There was severe war against the Philistines all the days of Saul, and when Saul saw any mighty man or any valiant man, he took him into his service.
CHAPTER 15 Jul. 3
Saul Defeats the Amalekites
Samuel said to Saul, Yahweh sent me to anoint you to be king over His people Israel. Now therefore, listen to the words of Yahweh. 2Thus says Yahweh of Armies, ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel, opposing them when they came up out of Egypt. 3Now go and attack Amalek and utterly destroy all that they have; don’t spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and nursing baby, ox and sheep, camel and donkey’. 4Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah. 5Saul went to the city of Amalek and laid wait in the valley. 6Saul said to the Kenites, Go away from among the Amalekites so that I don’t destroy you with them, for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 7Saul attacked the Amalekites from Havilah to Shur east of Egypt. 8He took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people. 9But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, cattle, fat calves and lambs and all that was good, and wouldn’t utterly destroy them; everything that was bad and worthless they destroyed utterly.
Saul Rejected as King
10Then the word of Yahweh came to Samuel saying, 11It grieves Me that I have set up Saul to be king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not obeyed My commandments. Samuel was troubled and he cried out to Yahweh all night. 12Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, and he was told: Saul came to Carmel and he set up a monument for himself, then went down to Gilgal. 13Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, Yahweh bless you! I have obeyed the commandment of Yahweh. 14Samuel said, Then what is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What does this lowing of cattle mean? 15Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to Yahweh your God. We have utterly destroyed the rest. 16Then Samuel said to Saul, Stop! I will tell you what Yahweh said to me last night. He said to him, Tell me. 17Samuel said, When you were once little in your own sight, weren’t you made the head of the tribes of Israel? Yahweh anointed you king over Israel, 18and Yahweh sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy those sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are destroyed’. 19Why then didn’t you obey the voice of Yahweh, but took the spoils and did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh? 20Saul said to Samuel, But I have obeyed the voice of Yahweh, and have gone on the mission which Yahweh gave me and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21But the people took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of the devoted things, to sacrifice to Yahweh your God in Gilgal. 22Samuel said, Has Yahweh as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Yahweh? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. 23For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of Yahweh, He has also rejected you from being king. 24Saul said to Samuel, I have sinned; I have transgressed the commandment of Yahweh and your words because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25Now therefore, please pardon my sin and come back with me so that I may worship Yahweh. 26Samuel said to Saul, I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of Yahweh, and Yahweh has rejected you from being king over Israel. 27As Samuel turned to go away, Saul grabbed the skirt of his robe and it tore. 28Samuel said to him, Yahweh has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day, and has given it to a neighbour of yours who is better than you. 29The Strength of Israel will not lie nor change His mind, for He is not a man that He should change His mind. 30Then he said, I have sinned, yet please honour me now before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me so that I may worship Yahweh your God. 31So Samuel went back with Saul and Saul worshipped Yahweh. 32Then Samuel said, Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites! Agag came to him confidently, thinking, Surely the bitterness of death is past. 33Samuel said, As your sword has made women childless, so your mother will be childless among women! Samuel cut Agag in pieces before Yahweh in Gilgal. 34Then Samuel went to Ramah and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul. 35Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death, yet Samuel mourned for Saul, and Yahweh grieved that He had made Saul king over Israel.
CHAPTER 16 Jul. 4
David Anointed by Samuel
Yahweh said to Samuel, How long will you 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 a king for Myself from among his sons. 2Samuel said, How can I go? If Saul hears it he will kill me. Yahweh said, Take a heifer with you and say, I have come to sacrifice to Yahweh. 3Call Jesse to the sacrifice and I will show you what you must do. You are to anoint for Me the one whom I name to you. 4Samuel did what Yahweh said and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, Do you come peaceably? 5He said, Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to Yahweh. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice. He consecrated Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. 6When they had come he looked at Eliab and said, Surely Yahweh’s anointed is before Him. 7But Yahweh said to Samuel, Don’t look at his appearance or height, because I have rejected him. I do not look at the things man looks at; man looks at the outward appearance but Yahweh looks at the heart. 8Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, Neither has Yahweh chosen this one. 9Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. He said, Neither has Yahweh chosen this one. 10Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. Samuel said to Jesse, Yahweh has not chosen these. 11Samuel said to Jesse, Are all your children here? He said, There is still the youngest; he is keeping the sheep. Samuel said to Jesse, Send and get him, for we will not sit down until he comes here. 12He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with a beautiful face and handsome appearance. Yahweh said, Arise, anoint him, for this is the one. 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the spirit of Yahweh came mightily on David from that day on. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
David Plays the Harp for Saul
14Now the spirit of Yahweh had departed from Saul and an evil spirit from Yahweh troubled him. 15Saul’s servants said to him, See now, an evil spirit from God troubles you. 16Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is a skilful player on the harp. When the evil spirit from God comes on you, he can play and you will feel better. 17Saul said to his servants, Find me someone who can play well and bring him to me. 18Then one of the young men said, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skilful in playing, a mighty man of valour, a man of war, who speaks well and is good-looking, and Yahweh is with him. 19Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, Send me David your son, who is with the sheep. 20Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a bottle of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. 21David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul loved him greatly and he became his armour bearer. 22Saul sent to Jesse saying, Please let David stay with me, for I am pleased with him. 23When the spirit from God was on Saul, David took the harp and played, and Saul was refreshed and felt better and the evil spirit departed from him.
CHAPTER 17 Jul. 5
Goliath Challenges Israel
Now the Philistines gathered their armies to battle and assembled at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and they encamped between Socoh and Azekah in Ephesdammim. 2Saul and the men of Israel assembled and encamped in the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. 3The Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, and there was a valley between them. 4A champion went out of the camp of the Philistines named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5He had a helmet of bronze on his head and he wore a bronze coat of mail which weighed five thousand shekels. 6He had bronze shin armour on his legs and a javelin of bronze between his shoulders. 7The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam and his iron spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels, and his shield bearer went before him. 8He stood and shouted to the armies of Israel, Why have you come out to line 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. 9If he is able to fight and kill me, then we will be your servants, but if I overcome him and kill him, then you will be our servants, and serve us. 10The Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day! Give me a man and let us fight one another! 11When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine they were dismayed, and terrified.
David Visits the Army of Israel
12Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse. He had eight sons and was considered an old man in the days of Saul. 13The three eldest sons of Jesse had gone after Saul to the battle. Their names were Eliab the firstborn, next to him Abinadab and the third Shammah. 14David was the youngest; and the three eldest followed Saul. 15Now David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 16The Philistine drew near morning and evening and took his stand for forty days. 17Jesse said to David his son, Now take an ephah of parched grain and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers; 18and take these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand. See how your brothers are doing and bring back news. 19Saul and David’s brothers and all the men of Israel were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20David rose up early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper and took the gifts, and went as Jesse had commanded him; he came to the camp as the army was going forth to the battle, shouting the war cry. 21Israel and the Philistines put the battle in array, army against army. 22David left his things with the keeper of supplies and ran to the army and came and greeted his brothers.
David Accepts Goliath’s Challenge
23As he talked with them Goliath came up, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, out of the ranks of the Philistines. He shouted the same words, and David heard them. 24All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were terrified. 25The men of Israel said, Have you seen this man who keeps coming up? He comes up to defy Israel. The king has promised to give great riches to the man who kills him, and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel. 26David said to the men who stood by him, What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? 27The people repeated to him what they had said: This is indeed what is promised to the man who kills him. 28Eliab 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? With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the presumption of your heart; you have only come down to see the battle. 29David said, What have I done now? Can I not speak? 30He turned away from him toward someone else and said the same, and the people answered him as before. 31When the words of David were heard, they repeated them to Saul and he sent for him. 32David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of this Philistine. Your servant will go and fight him. 33Saul said to David, You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight him; you are only a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth. 34David said, Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35I went out after it and struck it, and rescued it out of its mouth. When it turned on me I caught it by its beard and killed it. 36Your servant killed both the lion and the bear. This uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God. 37David said, Yahweh who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. Saul said to David, Go; and Yahweh be with you. 38Saul dressed David in his own clothes. He put a bronze helmet on his head and put a coat of mail on him. 39David strapped his sword onto his tunic and he tried to move, but he was not used to it. David said to Saul, I can’t go with these; I am not used to them. So David took them off. 40He took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag. His sling was in his hand as he drew near to the Philistine.
David Kills Goliath
41The Philistine advanced and came near to David with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42When he looked at David he despised him, for he was only a youth, ruddy and handsome. 43The Philistine said to David, Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks? The Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44He said to David, Come here and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the animals of the field. 45Then David said to the Philistine, You come against me with a sword, a spear and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of Yahweh of Armies, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46Today Yahweh will deliver you into my hand. I will strike you down and cut off your head. I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines today to the birds of the air and the wild animals of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47and that all those here may know that Yahweh doesn’t save with sword and spear, for the battle is Yahweh’s and He will give you into our hand. 48When the Philistine came closer to attack David, David ran quickly towards the Philistine army. 49He put his hand into his bag, took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead and he fell on his face to the ground. 50So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him without a sword in his hand. 51Then David ran and stood over the Philistine, took hold of his sword, drew it out of its scabbard and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52The men of Israel and Judah arose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gate of Ekron. The wounded of the Philistines fell down all the way to Shaaraim, Gath and Ekron. 53The Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines and plundered their camp. 54David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armour in his own tent. 55When Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of the army, Abner, whose son is this youth? Abner said, As your soul lives, O king, I don’t know. 56The king said, Find out whose son the young man is! 57As David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him to Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58Saul said to him, Whose son are you, young man? David answered, I am the son of your servant Jesse, the Bethlehemite.
CHAPTER 18 Jul. 6
David and Jonathan
When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan became bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2Saul took him that day and would not let him go home to his father’s house. 3Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as his own soul. 4Jonathan stripped himself of the robe he was wearing and gave it to David with his tunic and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
David’s Successes in Battle
5David went out wherever Saul sent him and behaved himself wisely, and Saul set him over the men of war, which pleased all the people and Saul’s servants. 6When David and the men returned from the slaughter of the Philistine the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul with tambourines, with joy, and with instruments of music. 7The women sang one to another as they played, Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands. 8Saul was very angry; this song displeased him and he said, They have ascribed to David ten thousands and to me they have ascribed only thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom? 9Saul eyed David from that day and onward.
Jealous Saul Seeks to Kill David
10The next day an evil spirit from God came mightily on Saul, and he prophesied in his house. David played his harp, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand 11and he threw the spear saying, I will pin David to the wall! David escaped from his presence twice. 12Saul was afraid of David because Yahweh was with him but had departed from Saul. 13Therefore Saul sent David away from him and made him his captain over a thousand, and David went out and came in before the people. 14David behaved himself wisely in all he did, and Yahweh was with him. 15When Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he stood in awe of him. 16But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them. 17Saul said to David, here is my elder daughter Merab; I will give her to you as a wife. Only be valiant for me, and fight Yahweh’s battles. Saul thought, Don’t let my hand be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him. 18David said to Saul, Who am I, and what is my clan or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king? 19But when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as his wife. 20Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David, and when they told Saul he was pleased. 21Saul said, I will give her to him so that she can be a snare to him, and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Therefore Saul said to David, You shall this day have a second opportunity to be my son-in-law. 22Saul commanded his servants, Speak to David secretly and say, ‘Look, the king is pleased with you, and all his servants love you; now therefore be the king’s son-in-law’. 23Saul’s servants told David this. David said, Does it seem to you a light thing to be the king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man, and little known? 24The servants of Saul told him what David said. 25Saul said, Tell David, ‘The king desires no dowry except one hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged on the king’s enemies’. Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26When his servants told David this, he was pleased to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the allotted time 27David arose and went with his men and killed two hundred of the Philistine men, and David brought their foreskins, and gave them in full number to the king so that he might be the king’s son-in-law. Saul gave him Michal his daughter as his wife. 28Saul saw and knew that Yahweh was with David, and Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him. 29Saul was yet the more afraid of David, and Saul was David’s enemy continually. 30Then the princes of the Philistines went forth and whenever they did so, David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was highly esteemed.
CHAPTER 19 Jul. 7
Jonathan Speaks for David
Saul told Jonathan his son and all his servants to kill David. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David. 2Jonathan told David, Saul my father seeks to kill you. Now therefore, please take extra care of yourself in the morning; hide in a secret place and stay there. 3I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are and I will talk with my father about you, and if I find out anything, I will tell you. 4Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, Don’t let the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you and he has worked well for you; 5he put his life in his hand and struck the Philistine, and Yahweh worked a great victory for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood, to kill David without a cause? 6Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: As Yahweh lives, he shall not be put to death. 7Jonathan called David and told him all this. Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.
David’s Successes Enrage Saul
8There was war again. David went out and fought the Philistines and killed them with a great slaughter, and they fled before him. 9An evil spirit from Yahweh came on Saul as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was playing his harp. 10Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and the spear went into the wall. David fled, and escaped that night. 11Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him and to kill him in the morning. Michal, David’s wife, told him, If you don’t save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed. 12So Michal let David down through the window. He fled and escaped. 13Michal took an idol and laid it in the bed, put a pillow of goats’ hair at its head, and covered it with the clothes. 14When Saul sent messengers to take David she said, He is sick. 15Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed so that I can kill him. 16When the messengers came in, there was just the idol in the bed, with the pillow of goats’ hair at its head. 17Saul said to Michal, Why have you deceived me like this and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped? Michal answered Saul, He said to me, ‘Let me go! Why should I kill you?’. 18Now David fled and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. He and Samuel went and lived in Naioth. 19Saul was told, David is at Naioth in Ramah! 20Saul sent messengers to take David, and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying and Samuel standing as head over them, the spirit of God came on the messengers of Saul and they also prophesied. 21When Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. Saul sent messengers again the third time and they also prophesied. 22Then he went himself to Ramah, and came to the great well that is in Secu, and he asked, Where are Samuel and David? Someone said, They are at Naioth in Ramah. 23So he went towards Naioth in Ramah. Then the spirit of God came on him also, and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24He stripped off his clothes and he also prophesied before Samuel, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?
CHAPTER 20 Jul. 8
Jonathan Helps David
David fled from Naioth in Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, What have I done? What is my iniquity? What is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life? 2He said to him, Far from it; you shall not die. Look, my father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me, so why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so. 3But David took an oath and said, Your father knows well that I have found favour in your eyes, so he says, ‘Don’t let Jonathan know this, or he will be grieved’; but truly as Yahweh lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death. 4Then Jonathan said to David, Whatever your soul desires, I will do it for you. 5David said to Jonathan, Look, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to dine with the king; but let me go so that I can hide myself in the field until the third day at evening. 6If your father misses me at all then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem, his city, for it is the yearly sacrifice there for all the family’. 7If he says, ‘Very well’, your servant will have peace; but if he is angry, then know that evil is determined by him. 8Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of Yahweh. But if there is iniquity in me, kill me yourself; why should you bring me to your father? 9Jonathan said, Never! If I should know that evil were determined against you by my father, wouldn’t I tell you? 10Then David said to Jonathan, Who will tell me if your father answers you roughly? 11Jonathan said to David, Come, let us go out into the field. They both went out into the field. 12Jonathan said to David, By Yahweh, the God of Israel, when I have sounded out my father, by this time tomorrow or the third day, if he is favourable toward you I will send and tell you. 13Yahweh deal with me severely, if my father intends evil against you and I don’t disclose it to you so that I can send you away safely. May Yahweh be with you, as He has been with my father. 14But while I live, show me the grace of Yahweh so that I will not be killed. 15Also, do not cut off your kindness from my house forever, not even when Yahweh has cut off all the enemies of David from the surface of the earth.
Jonathan and David’s Covenant
16So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Yahweh will require it at the hand of David’s enemies. 17Jonathan made David swear again, for the love that he had for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul. 18Then Jonathan said to him, Tomorrow is the new moon and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19When you have waited three days, go down quickly to the place where you hid yourself when this started, and stay by the stone Ezel. 20I will shoot three arrows to the side of it as though I shot at a mark. 21Then I will send the boy saying, ‘Go, find the arrows!’. If I tell the boy ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them’, then come, for you are safe, as Yahweh lives. 22But if I say this to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you’, then go your way, for Yahweh has sent you away. 23Concerning the matter which you and I have spoken of, behold, Yahweh is between you and me forever. 24So David hid himself in the field, and when the new moon had come, the king sat down to eat. 25The king sat on his seat by the wall as usual and Jonathan sat opposite and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty. 26Nevertheless Saul didn’t say anything that day, for he thought, Something has happened to him. He is not clean. Surely he is not clean. 27On the next day after the new moon, the second day, David’s place was empty again. Saul said to Jonathan his son, Why didn’t the son of Jesse come to eat, either yesterday or today? 28Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem. 29He said, ‘Please let me go, for our family has a sacrifice in the city. My brother has commanded me to be there. Now, if I have found favour in your eyes, please let me go away and see my brothers’. That is why he has not come to the king’s table.
Saul Turns against David Again
30Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, You son of a perverse rebellious woman, don’t I know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the confusion of your mother’s nakedness? 31As long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth you will not be established, nor your kingdom. Therefore now send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die! 32Jonathan answered Saul his father, Why should he be put to death? What has he done? 33Saul cast his spear at him to strike him. By this Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death. 34So Jonathan arose 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 treated him shamefully. 35In the morning Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little boy went with him. 36He said to his boy, Run, find now the arrows which I shoot. As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37When the boy had come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the boy, Isn’t the arrow beyond you? 38Jonathan called after the boy, Go quickly! Hurry! Don’t delay! Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows and came to his master. 39But the boy didn’t know anything. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy, and said to him, Go, take them to the city. 41As soon as the boy had gone David got up from the south side of the stone, fell on his face to the ground and bowed himself three times. They kissed one another and wept one with another, and David wept the most. 42Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, because we have both sworn in the name of Yahweh, saying, ‘Yahweh shall be between me and you, and between my seed and your seed, forever’. David arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.
CHAPTER 21 Jul. 9
David and the Priest of Nob
Then David went to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech came to meet David trembling and said to him, Why are you alone and no-one with you? 2David said to Ahimelech the priest, The king has charged me with a task and has said to me ‘Let no-one know anything about it or what I have commanded you’. I have told the young men to go to a meeting place. 3Now therefore what do you have to hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever there is here. 4The priest answered David, There is no common bread here, but there is holy bread, if the young men have kept themselves from women. 5David answered the priest, Truly, women have been kept from us for about three days. When I go on an expedition the bodies of the young men are holy; they are even for an ordinary journey; how much more so today? 6So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there apart from the Bread of the Presence that had been taken from before Yahweh, to be replaced by fresh hot bread. 7Now one of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before Yahweh; his name was Doeg the Edomite, the best of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul. 8David said to Ahimelech, Don’t you have here a spear or sword? I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me because the king’s business required haste. 9The priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine whom you killed in the valley of Elah is here, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it; there is no other except that here. David said, There is none like that. Give it to me.
David Flees to Gath
10David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11The servants of Achish said to him, Isn’t this David the king of the land? Didn’t they sing one to another about him in dances saying, ‘Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands?’. 12David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13He changed his behaviour before them and pretended to be mad, scrabbled on the doors of the gate and let his saliva fall down onto his beard. 14Then Achish said to his servants, Look, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? 15Do I lack madmen that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?
CHAPTER 22 Jul. 9
David Escapes to the Cave at Adullam
David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. 2Everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt and everyone who was discontented gathered themselves to him and he became their captain. About four hundred men were with him. 3David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab, and he said to the king of Moab, Please let my father and my mother come and stay with you, until I know what God will do for me. 4He brought them before the king of Moab and they lived with him all the while that David was in the stronghold. 5The prophet Gad said to David, Don’t stay in the stronghold. Depart, and go into the land of Judah. Then David departed, and went into the forest of Hereth.
The Priests of Nob Killed by Saul
6Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. Now Saul was sitting in Gibeah under the tamarisk tree in Ramah with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him. 7Saul said to them, Listen now, you Benjamites! Will the son of Jesse give each of you fields and vineyards? Will he make you all captains of thousands and captains of hundreds? 8Is that why all of you have conspired against me so that there is no-one who tells me when my son makes a treaty with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you who is sorry for me or tells me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as he does today? 9Then 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. 10He inquired of Yahweh for him, gave him food, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine. 11Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub and all his father’s house, the priests who were in Nob; and they all came to the king. 12Saul said, Listen now, you son of Ahitub. He answered, Here I am, my lord. 13Saul said to him, Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword, and have inquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as he does today? 14Then Ahimelech answered the king, Who among all your servants is as faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, and is taken into your council, and is honourable in your house? 15 Is this the first time I have inquired of God for him? Be it far from me! Don’t let the king accuse his servant or any of the house of my father, for your servant knows nothing at all of all this. 16The king said, You shall surely die Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house. 17The king said to the guards who stood around him, Turn and kill the priests of Yahweh because they have sided with David, and because they knew that he fled, and didn’t tell me. But the servants of the king wouldn’t put forth their hand to strike the priests of Yahweh. 18The king said to Doeg, You turn and attack the priests! Doeg the Edomite turned and attacked the priests, and he killed on that day eighty-five people who wore a linen ephod. 19He struck Nob, the city of the priests, with the edge of the sword, men, women, children and nursing babies, and cattle, donkeys and sheep. 20One of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled to David. 21Abiathar told David that Saul had killed Yahweh’s priests. 22David said to Abiathar, I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of all the people of your father’s house. 23Stay with me, don’t be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life. With me you will be safe.
CHAPTER 23 Jul. 10
Keilah Saved by David
David was told, The Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors. 2Therefore David inquired of Yahweh, Shall I go and attack these Philistines? Yahweh said to David, Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah. 3David’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? 4Then David inquired of Yahweh yet again. Yahweh answered him, Get up and go down to Keilah, for I will deliver the Philistines into your hand. 5David and his men went to Keilah and fought against the Philistines and carried off their livestock and killed them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah. 6When Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah, he brought an ephod with him.
Saul Continues to Pursue David
7Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah and he said, God has delivered him into my hand, for he is trapped by going into a town that has gates and bars. 8Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men. 9David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him, so he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring the ephod here. 10Then David said, O Yahweh the God of Israel, Your servant has definitely heard that Saul intends to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake. 11Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? Yahweh, the God of Israel, I beg you, tell Your servant. Yahweh said, He will come down. 12Then David said, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? Yahweh said, They will deliver you. 13Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and left Keilah, and went wherever they could go. Saul heard that David had escaped from Keilah so he gave up going there. 14David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds and in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God didn’t deliver him into his hand. 15David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life when he was in the wilderness of Ziph, in the forest. 16Jonathan, Saul’s son, went to David into the forests and strengthened his hand in God. 17He said to him, Don’t be afraid, for the hand of Saul my father will not find you; you will be king over Israel and I shall be next to you. Saul my father well knows that. 18They both made a covenant before Yahweh, and David stayed in the forests but Jonathan went home. 19Then the Ziphites came to Saul in Gibeah saying, Isn’t David hiding among us in the strongholds in the forest, on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of the desert? 20Now therefore, O king, come down when you are ready; our part will be to deliver him into the king’s hand. 21Saul said, Yahweh bless you, for you have had compassion on me. 22Please go and make sure and find out where his haunt is and who has seen him there, for they tell me that he is very crafty. 23So find out all the hiding places he uses and come back to me with definite information, and I will go with you. If he is in the area I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah. 24They set out and went to Ziph ahead of Saul, but David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah on the south of the desert. 25Saul and his men went to seek him. When David was told, he went down to the rock and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. When Saul heard that, he pursued David into the wilderness of Maon. 26Saul went on one side of the mountain and David and his men on the other, and David hurried to get away for fear of Saul, for Saul and his men surrounded David and his men to take them. 27But a messenger came to Saul saying, Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid on the land! 28So Saul returned from pursuing David and went against the Philistines. Therefore they called that place Sela Hammahlekoth. 29David went from there and lived in the strongholds of En Gedi.
CHAPTER 24 Jul. 11
Saul’s Life Spared by David
When Saul had returned from pursuing the Philistines he was told, David is in the wilderness of En Gedi. 2Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel and went to seek David and his men on the rocks of the wild goats. 3He came to the sheep pens by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were hiding in the innermost parts of the cave. 4The men of David said to him, Look, the day of which Yahweh said to you, ‘I will deliver your enemy into your hand and you can do to him whatever you wish’. Then David got up and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe secretly. 5Afterwards David’s conscience smote him, because he had cut off a piece of Saul’s robe. 6He said to his men, Yahweh forbid that I should do such a thing to my lord, Yahweh’s anointed, to lift my hand against him, since he is Yahweh’s anointed. 7So David restrained his men with these words, and didn’t allow them to attack Saul. Saul got up out of the cave and went on his way. 8David also got up afterwards and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, My lord the king! When Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and showed respect. 9David said to Saul, Why do you listen when men say ‘David is trying to harm you?’. 10Look, today your eyes have seen how Yahweh had delivered you into my hand in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, I will not lift up my hand against my lord, for he is Yahweh’s anointed. 11Moreover, my father, look, here is a piece of your robe in my hand; by the fact that I cut it off and didn’t kill you, you can know and see that I have no desire to hurt you and have not sinned against you, though you hunt me to take my life. 12May Yahweh judge between me and you, and may Yahweh avenge the wrong you have done me; but my hand shall not be against you. 13As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness, but my hand shall not be against you’. 14Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea? 15May Yahweh therefore be the judge and give sentence between me and you; may He plead my cause and deliver me out of your hand. 16When David had finished saying this to Saul, Saul said, Is this your voice, my son David? Saul wept aloud. 17He said to David, You are more righteous than I, for you have been good to me, whereas I have done evil to you. 18You have declared this day how you have been good to me, because when Yahweh had delivered me into your hand, you didn’t kill me. 19For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away unharmed? Therefore may Yahweh reward you with good for what you have done to me today. 20Now I know that you will surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands. 21Swear now therefore to me by Yahweh, that you will not cut off my seed after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father’s house. 22David gave his oath to Saul. Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.
CHAPTER 25 Jul. 12
Nabal Refuses to Help David
Samuel died, and all Israel gathered together and mourned for him, and they buried him at his home in Ramah. David went down to the wilderness of Paran. 2There was a man in Maon who had property in Carmel, and the man was very wealthy. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats, and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but the man was harsh and mean; he belonged to the family of Caleb. 4David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 5David sent ten young men and said to them, Go up to Carmel and go to Nabal and greet him in my name. 6Say to him, ‘Long life to you! Peace to you and to your house and to all that you have. 7I have heard that you are shearing your sheep. Your shepherds have been with us, and we didn’t hurt them, nothing of theirs was missing all the while they were in Carmel. 8Ask your young men and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find grace in your eyes, for we come at a good time. Please give whatever you can to your servants and to your son David’. 9When David’s young men came they said this to Nabal in the name of David, and waited. 10Nabal answered David’s servants, Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants who break away from their masters these days. 11Shall I then take my bread, my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men who come from I don’t know where?
David Prepares to Punish Nabal
12So David’s young men turned and went back and told him all this. 13David said to his men, Every man put on his sword! Every man put on his sword and David also put on his. About four hundred men followed David and two hundred stayed by the baggage. 14But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, Look, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them. 15But the men were very good to us and we were not hurt, nothing was missing as long as we were with them in the fields. 16They were a wall to us night and day all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. 17Now therefore consider what you should do, for evil is determined against our master and against all his household; he is such a worthless fellow that one can’t even speak to him. 18Then Abigail hurried and took two hundred loaves of bread, two bottles of wine, five sheep ready dressed, five measures of parched grain, one hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19She said to her young men, Go on before me; I am following you. But she didn’t tell her husband, Nabal. 20As she rode on her donkey and came down in a valley, and there were David and his men coming down towards her, and she met them. 21Now David had said, Surely for nothing I have kept all this fellow’s possessions in the wilderness, so that nothing was missing. He has returned me evil for good. 22God deal with David severely, if I leave alive one man of his by the morning.
23When Abigail saw David she hurried and alighted from her donkey; she bowed down before David with her face to the ground. 24She fell at his feet and said, On me, my lord, on me be the blame, and please let your handmaid speak in your ears. Hear the words of your handmaid. 25Please pay no attention, my lord, to this worthless fellow Nabal. As his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name and folly is his nature; but I, your handmaid, didn’t see your young men whom you sent. 26Now therefore my lord, as Yahweh lives and as your soul lives, since Yahweh has withheld you from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now therefore let your enemies and those who seek evil to my lord be like Nabal. 27Let this gift which your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28Please forgive the sin of your handmaid, for Yahweh will certainly make for my lord a sure house, because my lord fights the battles of Yahweh. Let evil not be found in you all your days. 29Though men may rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, yet the life of my lord will be bound in the bundle of life with Yahweh your God. He will hurl out the lives of your enemies as though from the pocket of a sling. 30When Yahweh has done to my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you prince over Israel, 31then this will not be on your conscience, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. When Yahweh has dealt well with my lord, then remember your handmaid. 32David said to Abigail, Blessed is Yahweh, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! 33Blessed is your discretion, and blessed are you for keeping me this day from the guilt of bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand. 34For indeed, as Yahweh the God of Israel lives who has withheld me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely there wouldn’t have been left to Nabal by the morning light so much as a single male. 35So David accepted from her what she had brought him and he said to her, Go up in peace to your house. I have listened to your words and have granted your request. 36Abigail came to Nabal while he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. Nabal’s heart was merry, for he was very drunk. Therefore she told him nothing until the morning. 37In the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him what had happened; and his heart failed and he became like a stone. 38About ten days after that, Yahweh struck Nabal so that he died.
Abigail Becomes David’s Wife
39When David heard that Nabal was dead he said, Blessed is Yahweh, who has upheld my cause against Nabal, and has kept back His servant from doing wrong. Yahweh has returned the wrongdoing of Nabal on his own head. David sent and asked Abigail to become his wife. 40When his servants had come to Abigail to Carmel they said, David has sent us to you to take you to become his wife. 41She arose, bowed herself with her face to the earth and said, Your handmaid is ready to be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. 42Abigail hurried and got onto a donkey, with five of her maids who followed her, and she went with the messengers of David and became his wife. 43David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they both became his wives. 44Now Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim.
CHAPTER 26 Jul. 13
David Spares Saul’s Life Again
The Ziphites came to Saul to Gibeah saying, Isn’t David hiding in the hill of Hachilah, which is before the desert? 2Then Saul went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. 3Saul encamped by the road on the hill of Hachilah, which is before the desert, but David stayed in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul had come after him into the wilderness, 4David sent out spies and found that Saul had certainly come to that place. 5David set out and came to the place where Saul had encamped. He saw the place where Saul and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his army were lying; Saul lay among the wagons and the people were encamped around him. 6Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? Abishai said, I will go down with you. 7So David and Abishai came to the army by night and Saul lay sleeping among the wagons, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head, and Abner and the soldiers lay around him. 8Then Abishai said to David, God has delivered your enemy into your hand today. Now therefore please let me strike him to the ground with one stroke of my spear; I will not strike him a second time. 9David said to Abishai, Don’t destroy him, for who can put forth his hand against Yahweh’s anointed and be guiltless? 10David said, As Yahweh lives, Yahweh will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11Yahweh forbid that I should put forth my hand against Yahweh’s anointed; but now please get the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go. 12So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul’s head and they went away; and no-one saw it or knew about it, neither did anyone awake, for they were all asleep because a deep sleep from Yahweh had fallen on them. 13Then David went over to the other side and stood on the top of the hill far off, a great space being between them, 14and David called to the army and to Abner the son of Ner, Don’t you answer, Abner? Then Abner answered, Who are you who calls to the king? 15David said to Abner, Aren’t you a man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not kept watch over your lord, the king? Someone came to destroy the king your lord. 16What you have done is not good. As Yahweh lives, you are worthy to die because you have not kept watch over your lord, Yahweh’s anointed. Where are the king’s spear and the jar of water that was at his head? 17Saul knew David’s voice and said, Is that your voice, my son David? David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king. 18 Why does my lord pursue his servant? What have I done? What evil am I guilty of? 19Now therefore, please let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If Yahweh has stirred you up against me, let Him accept an offering. But if it is men who have done it, may they be cursed by Yahweh, for they have driven me out so that I can’t have a part in Yahweh’s inheritance; they have said ‘Go and serve other gods!’. 20Now therefore, don’t let my blood fall to the earth far from the presence of Yahweh, for the king of Israel has come out to seek a flea, as when one hunts a partridge in the mountains.
21Then Saul said, I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes today. I have played the fool, and have erred very seriously. 22David answered, Here is the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and get it. 23Yahweh will reward every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, because Yahweh delivered you into my hand today and I wouldn’t put forth my hand against Yahweh’s anointed. 24As your life was respected this day in my eyes, so let my life be respected in the eyes of Yahweh and let Him deliver me out of all oppression. 25Then Saul said to David, May you be blessed, my son David. You will do great things and will surely triumph. So David went on his way, and Saul returned home.
CHAPTER 27 Jul. 13
David Goes to the Philistines
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, then Saul will give up looking for me any more in Israel and I will escape from him. 2David and the six hundred men who were with him left and went to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath. 3David lived with Achish at Gath with his men, each one with his household, and David had with him his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s wife. 4When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath he stopped searching for him. 5David said to Achish, If I have found favour in your eyes, let me be given a place in one of the cities in the country to live in. Why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you? 6Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day, therefore Ziklag belongs to the kings of Judah to this day. 7David lived in the country of the Philistines for a full year and four months. 8David and his men went and made a raid on the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites; those were the inhabitants of the land from ancient times as far as Shur and Egypt. 9David attacked the land and saved neither man nor woman alive; he took away the sheep, cattle, donkeys and camels and the clothing, then he returned to Achish. 10When Achish said, Against whom have you made a raid today? David would say, Against the South of Judah, or against the South of the Jerahmeelites, or against the South of the Kenites. 11David saved neither man nor woman alive to bring them to Gath, thinking, They might inform about us, saying, ‘David has done this. This was what he did all the time he lived in the country of the Philistines’. 12Achish believed David, saying, He has made his people Israel abhor him so much that he will be my servant forever.
CHAPTER 28 Jul. 14
The Philistines Fight against Israel
In those days the Philistines gathered their armies together to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, You must certainly go out with me in the army, you and your men. 2David said to Achish, Then you will know what your servant can do. Achish said to David, Therefore I will make you my bodyguard for life. 3Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. Saul had put away out of the land those who had familiar spirits and the wizards. 4The Philistines gathered together and encamped in Shunem, and Saul gathered all Israel and they encamped in Gilboa. 5When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly. 6When Saul inquired of Yahweh, Yahweh didn’t answer him, neither by dreams nor by Urim nor by prophets.
The Witch of Endor
7Then Saul said to his servants, Find me a woman who has a familiar spirit so that I can go to inquire of her. His servants said to him, There is a woman who has a familiar spirit at Endor. 8Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothing, and went with two men to the woman by night. He said, Please consult a familiar spirit for me and bring me up the one I name. 9The woman said to him, Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off those who have familiar spirits and the wizards out of the land. Why then have you set a trap for me, to cause me to die? 10Saul swore to her by Yahweh, As Yahweh lives, you will not be punished for this. 11Then the woman said, Whom shall I bring up to you? He said, Bring Samuel up for me. 12When the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice, and said to Saul, Why have you deceived me? You are Saul! 13The king said to her, Don’t be afraid. What do you see? The woman said to Saul, I see a god coming up out of the earth. 14He said to her, What does he look like? She said, An old man is coming up. He is wearing a mantle. Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and showed respect. 15Samuel said to Saul, Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up? Saul answered, I am very distressed, for the Philistines make war against me and God has departed from me, and answers me no more, neither by prophets nor by dreams. Therefore I have called you so that you can tell me what I should do. 16Samuel said, Why do you ask me, since Yahweh has departed from you and has become your adversary? 17Yahweh has done to you as He spoke by me. Yahweh has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbour, to David. 18Because you didn’t obey Yahweh and didn’t execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, therefore Yahweh has done this to you today. 19Yahweh will deliver Israel and you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. Yahweh will also deliver the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines. 20Then Saul fell immediately his full length on the earth and was terrified because of the words of Samuel. There was no strength in him, for he had eaten no food all that day and all that night. 21The woman came to Saul, and seeing that he was very troubled she said to him, Look, your handmaid has obeyed you and I have put my life in my hands and have done what you told me. 22Now please listen to your handmaid and let me give you some food so that you may eat and have the strength to go on your way. 23But he refused and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, urged him, so he listened to them. He got up from the earth and sat on the bed. 24The woman had a fattened calf in the house. She hurried and killed it, and she took flour, kneaded it and baked unleavened bread with it. 25She brought it before Saul and his servants and they ate. Then they got up, and went away that night.
CHAPTER 29 Jul. 15
David Sent Back to Ziklag by Achish
The Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek, and the Israelites encamped by the spring in Jezreel. 2The lords of the Philistines marched on in units of hundreds and thousands, and David and his men marched in the rear with Achish. 3Then the lords of the Philistines said, What about these Hebrews? Achish said, Isn’t this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or rather these years, and I have so far found no fault in him? 4But the princes of the Philistines were angry with him and said to him, Send the man back to the place you have appointed for him. He must not go down with us to battle, in case he turns against us during the fighting. How better could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord than with the heads of these men? 5Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, ‘Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands?’. 6So Achish called David and said to him, As Yahweh lives, you have been upright and your conduct with me in the army has been good in my sight; I have not found evil in you since the day you came to me till this day. But the lords don’t approve of you. 7Therefore now return and go in peace; do not displease the lords of the Philistines. 8David said to Achish, But what have I done? What have you found against your servant all the time I have been with you to this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king? 9Achish answered David, I know that you have been pleasing to me, as an angel of God, nevertheless the princes of the Philistines have said, ‘He must not go up with us to the battle’. 10Now get up early in the morning with the servants of your lord who have come with you, and depart as soon as it is light. 11So David got up 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 Jul. 15
The Amalekites Destroyed by David
When David and his men had come to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid on the South and on Ziklag, and had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2and had taken captive the women and all who were in it, both young and old. They didn’t kill any, but carried them off and went their way. 3When David and his men came to the city they found it had been burned, and their wives, their sons and their daughters taken captive. 4Then David and his men wept aloud until they had no more power to weep. 5David’s two wives were taken captive: Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail who had been the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 6David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because they were grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in Yahweh his God. 7David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, Please bring me here the ephod. Abiathar brought the ephod to David 8and David inquired of Yahweh saying, Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them? He answered, Pursue, for you will certainly overtake them and recover all. 9So David and the six hundred men who were with him went to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind had stayed. 10But David pursued the Amalekites with four hundred men; two hundred had stayed behind because they were so exhausted that they couldn’t go over the brook Besor. 11They found an Egyptian in the field and brought him to David, and gave him food and he ate, and they gave him water to drink. 12They gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. When he had eaten, he revived, for he had eaten no food nor drunk any water for three days and three nights. 13David asked him, To whom do you belong? Where are you from? He said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me because three days ago I fell sick. 14We made a raid on the South of the Cherethites and on the territory which belongs to Judah and on the South of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire. 15David said to him, Will you lead me down to this raiding party? He said, Swear to me by God that you will neither kill me nor deliver me up into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to them. 16When he had led him down, there they were, spread around over all the ground, eating, drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines and out of the land of Judah. 17David fought them from twilight to the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled. 18David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives. 19There was nothing missing, small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that they had taken. David brought back everything. 20He took all the flocks and herds, which they drove before the other livestock, and he said, This is David’s spoil. 21David came to the two hundred men who had been so exhausted that they could not follow David, who had been left behind at the brook Besor, and they went out to meet David and the people who were with him. When David came near them he greeted them. 22But all the wicked men and troublemakers among David’s followers said, Because they didn’t go with us we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, just each man’s wife and children; then he can take them away and depart. 23David said, You must not do that, my brothers, with what Yahweh has given us. He has preserved us and delivered the forces that came against us into our hand. 24Who will listen to what you say? The share of the one who goes down to the battle shall be the same as the share of the one who stays with the baggage; they shall share alike. 25From that day forward he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day. 26When David came to Ziklag he sent some of the spoil to the elders of Judah, his friends, saying, Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of Yahweh. 27He sent it to those who were in Bethel, Ramoth of the South, Jattir, 28Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, 29Racal, the cities of the Jerahmeelites, the cities of the Kenites, 30Hormah, Borashan, Athach, 31Hebron and to those in all the places where David himself and his men used to stay.
CHAPTER 31 Jul. 16
Now the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines and fell down slain on Mount Gilboa. 2The Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons, and they killed Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. 3The battle went badly against Saul, the archers overtook him and wounded him badly. 4Then Saul said to his armour bearer, Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through and abuse me! But his armour bearer would not, for he was respectful. Therefore Saul took his sword and fell on it. 5When his armour bearer saw that Saul was dead, he likewise fell on his sword and died with him. 6So Saul died, and his three sons and his armour bearer and all his men, that same day together. 7When the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook their cities and fled, and the Philistines came and lived in them. 8The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9They cut off his head, stripped off his armour and sent into the land of the Philistines all around to carry the news to the house of their idols and to the people. 10They put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan. 11When the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12all the valiant men arose and travelled all night and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan, and they went to Jabesh and burnt them there. 13They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.