The Scriptures (ISR 1998)
1And the Ziphites came to Sha’ul at Giḇ‛ah, saying, “Is not Dawiḏ hiding himself in the hill of Ḥaḵilah, overlooking the wasteland?”
2And Sha’ul rose up and went down to the Wilderness of Ziph, and with him three thousand chosen men of Yisra’ĕl, to seek Dawiḏ in the Wilderness of Ziph.
3And Sha’ul encamped in the hill of Ḥaḵilah, overlooking the wasteland, by the way, while Dawiḏ was dwelling in the wilderness, and he saw that Sha’ul came after him into the wilderness.
4And Dawiḏ sent out spies, and learned that Sha’ul had indeed come.
5And Dawiḏ rose up and came to the place where Sha’ul had encamped. And Dawiḏ saw the place where Sha’ul lay, and Aḇnĕr son of Nĕr, the commander of his army. And Sha’ul was lying within the enclosure, with the people encamped all around him.
6And Dawiḏ spoke up and said to Aḥimeleḵ the Ḥittite and to Aḇishai son of Tseruyah, brother of Yo’aḇ, saying, “Who does go down with me to Sha’ul in the camp?” And Aḇishai said, “I, I go down with you.”
7And Dawiḏ and Aḇishai came to the people by night and saw Sha’ul lying asleep within the camp, with his spear stuck in the ground by his head, and Aḇnĕr and the people lay all around him.
8And Aḇishai said to Dawiḏ, “Elohim has surrendered your enemy into your hand this day. And now, please, let me smite him at once with the spear, right into the earth, and not a second time!”
9But Dawiḏ said to Aḇishai, “Do not destroy him, for who shall stretch out his hand against the anointed of יהוה, and be guiltless?”
10Dawiḏ also said, “As יהוה lives, except יהוה does smite him, or his day come that he shall die, or he shall go out to battle and perish,
11far be it from me, by יהוה, that I stretch out my hand against the anointed of יהוה. And now, please take the spear and the jug of water that are by his head, and let us go.”
12So Dawiḏ took the spear and the jug of water by Sha’ul’s head, and they went away. And no man saw it or knew it or awoke, for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from יהוה had fallen on them.
13And Dawiḏ passed over to the other side, and stood on the top of a hill far away, a great distance being between them.
14And Dawiḏ called out to the people and to Aḇnĕr son of Nĕr, saying, “Do you not answer, Aḇnĕr?” And Aḇnĕr answered and said, “Who are you, calling out to the sovereign?”
15And Dawiḏ said to Aḇnĕr, “Are you not a man? And who is like you in Yisra’ĕl? Why then have you not guarded your master the sovereign? For one of the people came in to destroy your master the sovereign.
16“What you have done is not good. As יהוה lives, you are worthy to die, because you have not guarded your master, the anointed of יהוה. And now see where the sovereign’s spear is, and the jug of water that was by his head.”
17And Sha’ul recognised Dawiḏ’s voice, and said, “Is that your voice, my son Dawiḏ?” And Dawiḏ said, “It is my voice, my master, O sovereign.”
18And he said, “Why is this that my master is pursuing his servant? For what have I done, or what evil is in my hand?
19“And now, please, let my master the sovereign hear the words of his servant: If יהוה has moved you against me, let Him accept an offering. But if it is the children of men, then they are cursed before יהוה, for they have driven me out today that I should not join myself to the inheritance of יהוה, saying, ‘Go, serve other mighty ones.’
20“And now, do not let my blood fall to the earth before the face of יהוה. For the sovereign of Yisra’ĕl has come out to seek a flea, as when one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”
21And Sha’ul said, “I have sinned. Come back, my son Dawiḏ. For no more am I going to do evil to you, because my life was precious in your eyes today. See, I have acted foolishly, and have greatly strayed.”
22And Dawiḏ answered and said, “See, the sovereign’s spear! And let one of the young men come over and get it.
23“And let יהוה reward every man for his righteousness and his trustworthiness, for this day יהוה gave you into my hand, but I would not stretch out my hand against the anointed of יהוה.
24“And see, as your life has been valued in my eyes today, so let my life be valued in the eyes of יהוה, and let Him deliver me out of all distress.”
25And Sha’ul said to Dawiḏ, “Blessed are you, my son Dawiḏ, achieving much, and indeed prevailing!” Then Dawiḏ went on his way, and Sha’ul returned to his place.