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1SAM 11-20

Saul Defeats the Ammonites

11About a month later,* Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh-gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, ‘Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you.’ 2But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, ‘On this condition I will make a treaty with you, namely that I gouge out everyone’s right eye, and thus put disgrace upon all Israel.’ 3The elders of Jabesh said to him, ‘Give us seven days’ respite that we may send messengers through all the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to save us, we will give ourselves up to you.’ 4When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul, they reported the matter in the hearing of the people; and all the people wept aloud.

Now Saul was coming from the field behind the oxen; and Saul said, ‘What is the matter with the people, that they are weeping?’ So they told him the message from the inhabitants of Jabesh. 6And the spirit of God came upon Saul in power when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled. 7He took a yoke of oxen, and cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by messengers, saying, ‘Whoever does not come out after Saul and Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen!’ Then the dread of the Lord fell upon the people, and they came out as one. 8When he mustered them at Bezek, those from Israel were three hundred thousand, and those from Judah seventy* thousand. 9They said to the messengers who had come, ‘Thus shall you say to the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead: “Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have deliverance.” ’ When the messengers came and told the inhabitants of Jabesh, they rejoiced. 10So the inhabitants of Jabesh said, ‘Tomorrow we will give ourselves up to you, and you may do to us whatever seems good to you.’ 11The next day Saul put the people in three companies. At the morning watch they came into the camp and cut down the Ammonites until the heat of the day; and those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

12 The people said to Samuel, ‘Who is it that said, “Shall Saul reign over us?” Give them to us so that we may put them to death.’ 13But Saul said, ‘No one shall be put to death this day, for today the Lord has brought deliverance to Israel.’

14 Samuel said to the people, ‘Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.’ 15So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal. There they sacrificed offerings of well-being before the Lord, and there Saul and all the Israelites rejoiced greatly.

Samuel’s Farewell Address

12Samuel said to all Israel, ‘I have listened to you in all that you have said to me, and have set a king over you. 2See, it is the king who leads you now; I am old and grey, but my sons are with you. I have led you from my youth until this day. 3Here I am; testify against me before the Lord and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? Testify against me* and I will restore it to you.’ 4They said, ‘You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from the hand of anyone.’ 5He said to them, ‘The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.’ And they said, ‘He is witness.’

Samuel said to the people, ‘The Lord is witness, who* appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your ancestors up out of the land of Egypt. 7Now therefore take your stand, so that I may enter into judgement with you before the Lord, and I will declare to you* all the saving deeds of the Lord that he performed for you and for your ancestors. 8When Jacob went into Egypt and the Egyptians oppressed them,* then your ancestors cried to the Lord and the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought forth your ancestors out of Egypt, and settled them in this place. 9But they forgot the Lord their God; and he sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of King Jabin of* Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them. 10Then they cried to the Lord, and said, “We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord, and have served the Baals and the Astartes; but now rescue us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve you.” 11And the Lord sent Jerubbaal and Barak,* and Jephthah, and Samson,* and rescued you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you lived in safety. 12But when you saw that King Nahash of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, “No, but a king shall reign over us”, though the Lord your God was your king. 13See, here is the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; see, the Lord has set a king over you. 14If you will fear the Lord and serve him and heed his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well; 15but if you will not heed the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you and your king.* 16Now therefore take your stand and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes. 17Is it not the wheat harvest today? I will call upon the Lord, that he may send thunder and rain; and you shall know and see that the wickedness that you have done in the sight of the Lord is great in demanding a king for yourselves.’ 18So Samuel called upon the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.

19 All the people said to Samuel, ‘Pray to the Lord your God for your servants, so that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of demanding a king for ourselves.’ 20And Samuel said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; 21and do not turn aside after useless things that cannot profit or save, for they are useless. 22For the Lord will not cast away his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. 23Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24Only fear the Lord, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you. 25But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.’

Saul’s Unlawful Sacrifice

13Saul was . . .* years old when he began to reign; and he reigned for . . . and two* years over Israel.

Saul chose three thousand out of Israel; two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin; the rest of the people he sent home to their tents. 3Jonathan defeated the garrison of the Philistines that was at Geba; and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, ‘Let the Hebrews hear!’ 4When all Israel heard that Saul had defeated the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel had become odious to the Philistines, the people were called out to join Saul at Gilgal.

The Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude; they came up and encamped at Michmash, to the east of Beth-aven. 6When the Israelites saw that they were in distress (for the troops were hard pressed), the people hid themselves in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns. 7Some Hebrews crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul was still at Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.

He waited for seven days, the time appointed by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people began to slip away from Saul.* 9So Saul said, ‘Bring the burnt-offering here to me, and the offerings of well-being.’ And he offered the burnt-offering. 10As soon as he had finished offering the burnt-offering, Samuel arrived; and Saul went out to meet him and salute him. 11Samuel said, ‘What have you done?’ Saul replied, ‘When I saw that the people were slipping away from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines were mustering at Michmash, 12I said, “Now the Philistines will come down upon me at Gilgal, and I have not entreated the favour of the Lord”; so I forced myself, and offered the burnt-offering.’ 13Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have done foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which he commanded you. The Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel for ever, 14but now your kingdom will not continue; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart; and the Lord has appointed him to be ruler over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.’ 15And Samuel left and went on his way from Gilgal.* The rest of the people followed Saul to join the army; they went up from Gilgal towards Gibeah of Benjamin.*

Preparations for Battle

Saul counted the people who were present with him, about six hundred men. 16Saul, his son Jonathan, and the people who were present with them stayed in Geba of Benjamin; but the Philistines encamped at Michmash. 17And raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies; one company turned towards Ophrah, to the land of Shual, 18another company turned towards Beth-horon, and another company turned towards the mountain* that looks down upon the valley of Zeboim towards the wilderness.

19 Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel; for the Philistines said, ‘The Hebrews must not make swords or spears for themselves’; 20so all the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen their ploughshares, mattocks, axes, or sickles;* 21The charge was two-thirds of a shekel* for the ploughshares and for the mattocks, and one-third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads.* 22So on the day of the battle neither sword nor spear was to be found in the possession of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan; but Saul and his son Jonathan had them.

Jonathan Surprises and Routs the Philistines

23 Now a garrison of the Philistines had gone out to the pass of Michmash. 141One day Jonathan son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armour, ‘Come, let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side.’ But he did not tell his father. 2Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree that is at Migron; the troops that were with him were about six hundred men, 3along with Ahijah son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, son of Phinehas son of Eli, the priest of the Lord in Shiloh, carrying an ephod. Now the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. 4In the pass,* by which Jonathan tried to go over to the Philistine garrison, there was a rocky crag on one side and a rocky crag on the other; the name of one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. 5One crag rose on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba.

Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armour, ‘Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will act for us; for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.’ 7His armour-bearer said to him, ‘Do all that your mind inclines to.* I am with you; as your mind is, so is mine.’* 8Then Jonathan said, ‘Now we will cross over to those men and will show ourselves to them. 9If they say to us, “Wait until we come to you”, then we will stand still in our place, and we will not go up to them. 10But if they say, “Come up to us”, then we will go up; for the Lord has given them into our hand. That will be the sign for us.’ 11So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines; and the Philistines said, ‘Look, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.’ 12The men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armour-bearer, saying, ‘Come up to us, and we will show you something.’ Jonathan said to his armour-bearer, ‘Come up after me; for the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.’ 13Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, with his armour-bearer following after him. The Philistines* fell before Jonathan, and his armour-bearer, coming after him, killed them. 14In that first slaughter Jonathan and his armour-bearer killed about twenty men within an area about half a furrow long in an acre* of land. 15There was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people; the garrison and even the raiders trembled; the earth quaked; and it became a very great panic.

16 Saul’s lookouts in Gibeah of Benjamin were watching as the multitude was surging back and forth.* 17Then Saul said to the troops that were with him, ‘Call the roll and see who has gone from us.’ When they had called the roll, Jonathan and his armour-bearer were not there. 18Saul said to Ahijah, ‘Bring the ark* of God here.’ For at that time the ark* of God went with the Israelites. 19While Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the camp of the Philistines increased more and more; and Saul said to the priest, ‘Withdraw your hand.’ 20Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and went into the battle; and every sword was against the other, so that there was very great confusion. 21Now the Hebrews who previously had been with the Philistines and had gone up with them into the camp turned and joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22Likewise, when all the Israelites who had gone into hiding in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they too followed closely after them in the battle. 23So the Lord gave Israel the victory that day.

The battle passed beyond Beth-aven, and the troops with Saul numbered altogether about ten thousand men. The battle spread out over the hill country of Ephraim.

Saul’s Rash Oath

24 Now Saul committed a very rash act on that day.* He had laid an oath on the troops, saying, ‘Cursed be anyone who eats food before it is evening and I have been avenged on my enemies.’ So none of the troops tasted food. 25All the troops* came upon a honeycomb; and there was honey on the ground. 26When the troops came upon the honeycomb, the honey was dripping out; but they did not put their hands to their mouths, for they feared the oath. 27But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the troops with the oath; so he extended the staff that was in his hand, and dipped the tip of it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes brightened. 28Then one of the soldiers said, ‘Your father strictly charged the troops with an oath, saying, “Cursed be anyone who eats food this day.” And so the troops are faint.’ 29Then Jonathan said, ‘My father has troubled the land; see how my eyes have brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. 30How much better if today the troops had eaten freely of the spoil taken from their enemies; for now the slaughter among the Philistines has not been great.’

31 After they had struck down the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon, the troops were very faint; 32so the troops flew upon the spoil, and took sheep and oxen and calves, and slaughtered them on the ground; and the troops ate them with the blood. 33Then it was reported to Saul, ‘Look, the troops are sinning against the Lord by eating with the blood.’ And he said, ‘You have dealt treacherously; roll a large stone before me here.’* 34Saul said, ‘Disperse yourselves among the troops, and say to them, “Let all bring their oxen or their sheep, and slaughter them here, and eat; and do not sin against the Lord by eating with the blood.” ’ So all of the troops brought their oxen with them that night, and slaughtered them there. 35And Saul built an altar to the Lord; it was the first altar that he built to the Lord.

Jonathan in Danger of Death

36 Then Saul said, ‘Let us go down after the Philistines by night and despoil them until the morning light; let us not leave one of them.’ They said, ‘Do whatever seems good to you.’ But the priest said, ‘Let us draw near to God here.’ 37So Saul inquired of God, ‘Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into the hand of Israel?’ But he did not answer him that day. 38Saul said, ‘Come here, all you leaders of the people; and let us find out how this sin has arisen today. 39For as the Lord lives who saves Israel, even if it is in my son Jonathan, he shall surely die!’ But there was no one among all the people who answered him. 40He said to all Israel, ‘You shall be on one side, and I and my son Jonathan will be on the other side.’ The people said to Saul, ‘Do what seems good to you.’ 41Then Saul said, ‘O Lord God of Israel, why have you not answered your servant today? If this guilt is in me or in my son Jonathan, O Lord God of Israel, give Urim; but if this guilt is in your people Israel,* give Thummim.’ And Jonathan and Saul were indicated by the lot, but the people were cleared. 42Then Saul said, ‘Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan.’ And Jonathan was taken.

43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, ‘Tell me what you have done.’ Jonathan told him, ‘I tasted a little honey with the tip of the staff that was in my hand; here I am, I will die.’ 44Saul said, ‘God do so to me and more also; you shall surely die, Jonathan!’ 45Then the people said to Saul, ‘Shall Jonathan die, who has accomplished this great victory in Israel? Perish the thought! As the Lord lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground; for he has worked with God today.’ So the people ransomed Jonathan, and he did not die. 46Then Saul withdrew from pursuing the Philistines; and the Philistines went to their own place.

Saul’s Continuing Wars

47 When Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side—against Moab, against the Ammonites, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines; wherever he turned he routed them. 48He did valiantly, and struck down the Amalekites, and rescued Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.

49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchishua; and the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn was Merab, and the name of the younger, Michal. 50The name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. And the name of the commander of his army was Abner son of Ner, Saul’s uncle; 51Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.

52 There was hard fighting against the Philistines all the days of Saul; and when Saul saw any strong or valiant warrior, he took him into his service.

Saul Defeats the Amalekites but Spares Their King

15Samuel said to Saul, ‘The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. 2Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I will punish the Amalekites for what they did in opposing the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt. 3Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”

So Saul summoned the people, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot-soldiers, and ten thousand soldiers of Judah. 5Saul came to the city of the Amalekites and lay in wait in the valley. 6Saul said to the Kenites, ‘Go! Leave! Withdraw from among the Amalekites, or I will destroy you with them; for you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.’ So the Kenites withdrew from the Amalekites. 7Saul defeated the Amalekites, from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt. 8He took King Agag of the Amalekites alive, but utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep and of the cattle and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was valuable, and would not utterly destroy them; all that was despised and worthless they utterly destroyed.

Saul Rejected as King

10 The word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11‘I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me, and has not carried out my commands.’ Samuel was angry; and he cried out to the Lord all night. 12Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, and Samuel was told, ‘Saul went to Carmel, where he set up a monument for himself, and on returning he passed on down to Gilgal.’ 13When Samuel came to Saul, Saul said to him, ‘May you be blessed by the Lord; I have carried out the command of the Lord.’ 14But Samuel said, ‘What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears, and the lowing of cattle that I hear?’ 15Saul said, ‘They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the cattle, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; but the rest we have utterly destroyed.’ 16Then Samuel said to Saul, ‘Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me last night.’ He replied, ‘Speak.’

17 Samuel said, ‘Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18And the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, “Go, utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.” 19Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?’ 20Saul said to Samuel, ‘I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21But from the spoil the people took sheep and cattle, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.’ 22And Samuel said,
‘Has the Lord as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices,
   as in obedience to the voice of the Lord?
Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice,
   and to heed than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is no less a sin than divination,
   and stubbornness is like iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
   he has also rejected you from being king.’

24 Saul said to Samuel, ‘I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25Now therefore, I pray, pardon my sin, and return with me, so that I may worship the Lord.’ 26Samuel said to Saul, ‘I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.’ 27As Samuel turned to go away, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28And Samuel said to him, ‘The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this very day, and has given it to a neighbour of yours, who is better than you. 29Moreover, the Glory of Israel will not recant* or change his mind; for he is not a mortal, that he should change his mind.’ 30Then Saul* said, ‘I have sinned; yet honour me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.’ 31So Samuel turned back after Saul; and Saul worshipped the Lord.

32 Then Samuel said, ‘Bring Agag king of the Amalekites here to me.’ And Agag came to him haltingly.* Agag said, ‘Surely this is the bitterness of death.’* 33But Samuel said,
‘As your sword has made women childless,
   so your mother shall be childless among women.’
And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. 35Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord was sorry that he had made Saul king over Israel.

Samuel Anoints David

16The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.’ 2Samuel said, ‘How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.’ And the Lord said, ‘Take a heifer with you, and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.” 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.’ 4Samuel did what the Lord commanded, 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 the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.’ And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.’* 7But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’ 8Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ 9Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ 10Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen any of these.’ 11Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all your sons here?’ And he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.’ And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.’ 12He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, ‘Rise and 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 the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

David Plays the Lyre for Saul

14 Now the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. 15And Saul’s servants said to him, ‘See now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16Let our lord now command the servants who attend you to look for someone who is skilful in playing the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will feel better.’ 17So Saul said to his servants, ‘Provide for me someone who can play well, and bring him to me.’ 18One of the young men answered, ‘I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skilful in playing, a man of valour, a warrior, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence; and the Lord is with him.’ 19So Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, ‘Send me your son David who is with the sheep.’ 20Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a kid, and sent them by his son David to Saul. 21And David came to Saul, and entered his service. Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armour-bearer. 22Saul sent to Jesse, saying, ‘Let David remain in my service, for he has found favour in my sight.’ 23And whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, and the evil spirit would depart from him.

David and Goliath

17Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle; they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. 2Saul and the Israelites gathered and encamped in the valley of Elah, and formed ranks against the Philistines. 3The Philistines stood on the mountain on one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. 4And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six* cubits and a span. 5He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armoured with a coat of mail; the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6He had greaves of bronze on his legs and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. 7The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and his shield-bearer went before him. 8He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, ‘Why have you come out to draw 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 with me and kill me, then we will be your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.’ 10And the Philistine said, ‘Today I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man, that we may fight together.’ 11When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse, who had eight sons. In the days of Saul the man was already old and advanced in years.* 13The three eldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle; the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14David was the youngest; the three eldest followed Saul, 15but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 16For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening.

17 Jesse said to his son David, ‘Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers; 18also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See how your brothers fare, and bring some token from them.’

19 Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20David rose early in the morning, left someone in charge of the sheep, took the provisions, and went as Jesse had commanded him. He came to the encampment as the army was going forth to the battle line, shouting the war cry. 21Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. 22David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage, ran to the ranks, and went and greeted his brothers. 23As he talked with them, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.

24 All the Israelites, when they saw the man, fled from him and were very much afraid. 25The Israelites said, ‘Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. The king will greatly enrich the man who kills him, and will give him his daughter and make his family 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? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?’ 27The people answered him in the same way, ‘So shall it be done for the man who kills him.’

28 His eldest brother Eliab heard him talking to the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David. He said, ‘Why have you come down? With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart; for you have come down just to see the battle.’ 29David said, ‘What have I done now? It was only a question.’ 30He turned away from him towards another and spoke in the same way; and the people answered him again as before.

31 When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul; and he sent for him. 32David said to Saul, ‘Let no one’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.’ 33Saul said to David, ‘You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.’ 34But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, 35I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down, and kill it. 36Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.’ 37David said, ‘The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.’ So Saul said to David, ‘Go, and may the Lord be with you!’

38 Saul clothed David with his armour; he put a bronze helmet on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail. 39David strapped Saul’s sword over the armour, and he tried in vain to walk, for he was not used to them. Then David said to Saul, ‘I cannot walk with these; for I am not used to them.’ So David removed them. 40Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd’s bag, in the pouch; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine.

41 The Philistine came on and drew near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was only a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43The Philistine said to David, ‘Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?’ And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44The Philistine said to David, ‘Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the field.’ 45But David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army this very day to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not save by sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hand.’

48 When the Philistine drew nearer to meet David, David ran quickly towards the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49David put his hand in his bag, took out a stone, slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.

50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, striking down the Philistine and killing him; there was no sword in David’s hand. 51Then David ran and stood over the Philistine; he grasped his sword, drew it out of its sheath, and killed him; then he cut off his head with it.

When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52The troops of Israel and Judah rose up with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath* and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. 53The Israelites came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. 54David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.

55 When Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, ‘Abner, whose son is this young man?’ Abner said, ‘As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.’ 56The king said, ‘Inquire whose son the stripling is.’ 57On David’s return from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58Saul said to him, ‘Whose son are you, young man?’ And David answered, ‘I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.’

Jonathan’s Covenant with David

18When David* had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2Saul took him that day and would not let him return 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 that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armour, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. 5David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him; as a result, Saul set him over the army. And all the people, even the servants of Saul, approved.

As they were coming home, when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments.* 7And the women sang to one another as they made merry,
‘Saul has killed his thousands,
   and David his tens of thousands.’
8Saul was very angry, for this saying displeased him. He said, ‘They have ascribed to David tens of thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands; what more can he have but the kingdom?’ 9So Saul eyed David from that day on.

Saul Tries to Kill David

10 The next day an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand; 11and Saul threw the spear, for he thought, ‘I will pin David to the wall.’ But David eluded him twice.

12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 13So Saul removed him from his presence, and made him a commander of a thousand; and David marched out and came in, leading the army. 14David had success in all his undertakings; for the Lord was with him. 15When Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in awe of him. 16But all Israel and Judah loved David; for it was he who marched out and came in leading them.

David Marries Michal

17 Then Saul 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 the Lord’s battles.’ For Saul thought, ‘I will not raise a hand against him; let the Philistines deal with him.’ 18David said to Saul, ‘Who am I and who are my kinsfolk, my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?’ 19But at the time when Saul’s daughter Merab should have been given to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David. Saul was told, and the thing pleased him. 21Saul thought, ‘Let me give her to him that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.’ Therefore Saul said to David a second time,* ‘You shall now be my son-in-law.’ 22Saul commanded his servants, ‘Speak to David in private and say, “See, the king is delighted with you, and all his servants love you; now then, become the king’s son-in-law.” 23So Saul’s servants reported these words to David in private. And David said, ‘Does it seem to you a little thing to become the king’s son-in-law, seeing that I am a poor man and of no repute?’ 24The servants of Saul told him, ‘This is what David said.’ 25Then Saul said, ‘Thus shall you say to David, “The king desires no marriage present except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged on the king’s enemies.” ’ Now Saul planned to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26When his servants told David these words, David was well pleased to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the time had expired, 27David rose and went, along with his men, and killed one hundred* of the Philistines; and David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. Saul gave him his daughter Michal as a wife. 28But when Saul realized that the Lord was with David, and that Saul’s daughter Michal loved him, 29Saul was still more afraid of David. So Saul was David’s enemy from that time forward.

30 Then the commanders of the Philistines came out to battle; and as often as they came out, David had more success than all the servants of Saul, so that his fame became very great.

Jonathan Intercedes for David

19Saul spoke to his son Jonathan and to all his servants about killing David. But Saul’s son Jonathan took great delight in David. 2Jonathan told David, ‘My father Saul is trying to kill you; therefore be on guard tomorrow morning; stay in a secret place and hide yourself. 3I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you; if I learn anything I will tell you.’ 4Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him, ‘The king should not sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have been of good service to you; 5for he took his life in his hand when he attacked the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced; why then will you sin against an innocent person by killing David without cause?’ 6Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan; Saul swore, ‘As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.’ 7So Jonathan called David and related all these things to him. Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.

Michal Helps David Escape from Saul

Again there was war, and David went out to fight the Philistines. He launched a heavy attack on them, so that they fled before him. 9Then an evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand, while David was playing music. 10Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear; but he eluded Saul, so that he struck the spear into the wall. David fled and escaped that night.

11 Saul sent messengers to David’s house to keep watch over him, planning to kill him in the morning. David’s wife Michal told him, ‘If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.’ 12So Michal let David down through the window; he fled away and escaped. 13Michal took an idol* and laid it on the bed; she put a net* of goats’ hair on its head, and covered it with the clothes. 14When Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, ‘He is sick.’ 15Then Saul sent the messengers to see David for themselves. He said, ‘Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.’ 16When the messengers came in, the idol* was in the bed, with the covering* of goats’ hair on 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?”

David Joins Samuel in Ramah

18 Now David fled and escaped; he came to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. He and Samuel went and settled at Naioth. 19Saul was told, ‘David is at Naioth in Ramah.’ 20Then Saul sent messengers to take David. When they saw the company of the prophets in a frenzy, with Samuel standing in charge of * them, the spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also fell into a prophetic frenzy. 21When Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they also fell into a frenzy. Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also fell into a frenzy. 22Then he himself went to Ramah. He came to the great well that is in Secu;* he asked, ‘Where are Samuel and David?’ And someone said, ‘They are at Naioth in Ramah.’ 23He went there, towards Naioth in Ramah; and the spirit of God came upon him. As he was going, he fell into a prophetic frenzy, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24He too stripped off his clothes, and he too fell into a frenzy before Samuel. He lay naked all that day and all that night. Therefore it is said, ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’

The Friendship of David and Jonathan

20David fled from Naioth in Ramah. He came before Jonathan and said, ‘What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin against your father that he is trying to take my life?’ 2He said to him, ‘Perish the thought! You shall not die. My father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me; and why should my father hide this from me? Never!’ 3But David also swore, ‘Your father knows well that you like me; and he thinks, “Do not let Jonathan know this, or he will be grieved.” But truly, as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death.’ 4Then Jonathan said to David, ‘Whatever you say, I will do for you.’ 5David said to Jonathan, ‘Tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at the meal; but let me go, so that I may hide in the field until the third evening. 6If your father misses me at all, then say, “David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city; for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.” 7If he says, “Good!” it will be well with your servant; but if he is angry, then know that evil has been determined by him. 8Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a sacred covenant* with you. But if there is guilt in me, kill me yourself; why should you bring me to your father?’ 9Jonathan said, ‘Far be it from you! If I knew that it was decided by my father that evil should come upon you, would I not tell you?’ 10Then David said to Jonathan, ‘Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?’ 11Jonathan replied to David, ‘Come, let us go out into the field.’ So they both went out into the field.

12 Jonathan said to David, ‘By the Lord, the God of Israel! When I have sounded out my father, about this time tomorrow, or on the third day, if he is well disposed towards David, shall I not then send and disclose it to you? 13But if my father intends to do you harm, the Lord do so to Jonathan, and more also, if I do not disclose it to you, and send you away, so that you may go in safety. May the Lord be with you, as he has been with my father. 14If I am still alive, show me the faithful love of the Lord; but if I die,* 15never cut off your faithful love from my house, even if the Lord were to cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.’ 16Thus Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, ‘May the Lord seek out the enemies of David.’ 17Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him; for he loved him as he loved his own life.

18 Jonathan said to him, ‘Tomorrow is the new moon; you will be missed, because your place will be empty. 19On the day after tomorrow, you shall go a long way down; go to the place where you hid yourself earlier, and remain beside the stone there.* 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 say to the boy, “Look, the arrows are on this side of you, collect them”, then you are to come, for, as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. 22But if I say to the young man, “Look, the arrows are beyond you”, then go; for the Lord has sent you away. 23As for the matter about which you and I have spoken, the Lord is witness* between you and me for ever.’

24 So David hid himself in the field. When the new moon came, the king sat at the feast to eat. 25The king sat upon his seat, as at other times, upon the seat by the wall. Jonathan stood, while Abner sat by Saul’s side; but David’s place was empty.

26 Saul did not say anything that day; for he thought, ‘Something has befallen him; he is not clean, surely he is not clean.’ 27But on the second day, the day after the new moon, David’s place was empty. And Saul said to his son Jonathan, ‘Why has the son of Jesse not come to the feast, either yesterday or today?’ 28Jonathan answered Saul, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem; 29he said, “Let me go; for our family is holding a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. So now, if I have found favour in your sight, let me get away, and see my brothers.” For this reason he has not come to the king’s table.’

30 Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan. He said to him, ‘You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? 31For as long as the son of Jesse lives upon the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Now send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.’ 32Then Jonathan answered his father Saul, ‘Why should he be put to death? What has he done?’ 33But Saul threw his spear at him to strike him; so Jonathan knew that it was the decision of his father to put David to death. 34Jonathan rose from the table in fierce anger and ate no food on the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, and because his father had disgraced him.

35 In the morning Jonathan went out into the field to the appointment with David, and with him was a little boy. 36He said to the boy, ‘Run and find the arrows that I shoot.’ As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37When the boy came to the place where Jonathan’s arrow had fallen, Jonathan called after the boy and said, ‘Is the arrow not beyond you?’ 38Jonathan called after the boy, ‘Hurry, be quick, do not linger.’ So Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows and came to his master. 39But the boy knew nothing; only Jonathan and David knew the arrangement. 40Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said to him, ‘Go and carry them to the city.’ 41As soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap* and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. He bowed three times, and they kissed each other, and wept with each other; David wept the more.* 42Then Jonathan said to David, ‘Go in peace, since both of us have sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, “The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants, for ever.” ’ He got up and left; and Jonathan went into the city.*

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29 April 2019

From the oremus Bible Browser https://bible.oremus.org v2.5.1 29 April 2019.