April 3
1 Samuel 23:1 — 25:22

In time they came reporting to David, saying: “Here the Philistines are warring against Keilah, and they are pillaging the threshing floors.” 2 And David proceeded to inquire of Jehovah, saying: “Shall I go, and must I strike down these Philistines?” In turn Jehovah said to David: “Go, and you must strike down the Philistines and save Keilah.” 3 At this the men of David said to him: “Look! We are afraid while here in Judah, and how much more so in case we should go to Keilah against the battle lines of the Philistines!” 4 So David inquired yet again of Jehovah. Jehovah now answered him and said: “Rise up, go down to Keilah, because I am giving the Philistines into your hand.” 5 Accordingly David went with his men to Keilah and fought against the Philistines and drove off with their livestock, but struck them down with a great slaughter; and David came to be the savior of the inhabitants of Keilah.

6 Now it came about that when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech ran away to David at Keilah, there was an ephod that went down in his hand. 7 In time the report was made to Saul: “David has come to Keilah.” And Saul began to say: “God has sold him into my hand, for he has shut himself up by coming into a city with doors and bar.” 8 So Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men. 9 And David got to know that Saul was fabricating mischief against him. Hence he said to Abiathar the priest: “Do bring the ephod near.” 10 And David went on to say: “O Jehovah the God of Israel, your servant has definitely heard that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to lay the city in ruin on my account. 11 Will the landowners of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down just as your servant has heard? O Jehovah the God of Israel, tell your servant, please.” To this Jehovah said: “He will come down.” 12 And David went on to say: “Will the landowners of Keilah surrender me and my men into Saul’s hand?” In turn Jehovah said: “They will do the surrendering.”

13 At once David rose up with his men, about six hundred men, and they went out of Keilah and continued walking about wherever they could walk about. And to Saul it was reported that David had escaped from Keilah, and so he gave up going out. 14 And David took up dwelling in the wilderness in places difficult to approach, and he kept dwelling in the mountainous region in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul kept looking for him always, and God did not give him into his hand. 15 And David continued in fear because Saul had gone out to look for his soul while David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh.

16 Jonathan the son of Saul now rose up and went to David at Horesh, that he might strengthen his hand in regard to God. 17 And he went on to say to him: “Do not be afraid; for the hand of Saul my father will not find you, and you yourself will be king over Israel, and I myself shall become second to you; and Saul my father also has knowledge to that effect.” 18 Then the two of them concluded a covenant before Jehovah; and David kept dwelling in Horesh, and Jonathan himself went to his own home.

19 Later the men of Ziph went up to Saul at Gibeah, saying: “Is not David concealing himself close by us in the places difficult to approach at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is to the right side of Jeshimon? 20 And now in harmony with all the craving of your soul, O king, to come down, come down, and our part will be to surrender him into the hand of the king.” 21 At this Saul said: “Blessed are YOU of Jehovah, for YOU have had compassion on me. 22 Go, please, persevere some more and ascertain and see his place where his foot comes to be—whoever saw him there—for it has been said to me that he himself is surely cunning. 23 And see and ascertain about all the hiding places where he hides himself; and YOU must return to me with the evidence, and I will go with YOU; and it must occur that, if he is in the land, I will also search for him carefully among all the thousands of Judah.”

24 So they rose up and went to Ziph ahead of Saul, while David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon in the Arabah to the south of Jeshimon. 25 Later Saul came with his men to look for him. When they told David, he at once went down to the crag and continued dwelling in the wilderness of Maon. When Saul got to hear of it, he went chasing after David into the wilderness of Maon. 26 Eventually Saul came to this side of the mountain, and David and his men were on that side of the mountain. So David became hurried to go away because of Saul; all the while Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to grab hold of them. 27 But there was a messenger that came to Saul, saying: “Do hasten and go, for the Philistines have made a raid on the land!” 28 At that Saul turned back from chasing after David and went to meet the Philistines. That is why they have called that place the Crag of the Divisions.

29 Then David made his way up from there and took up dwelling in the places difficult to approach at En-gedi.

24 And it came about that, as soon as Saul returned from following the Philistines, they came reporting to him, saying: “Look! David is in the wilderness of En-gedi.”

2 And Saul proceeded to take three thousand chosen men out of all Israel and to go looking for David and his men upon the bare rocks of the mountain goats. 3 At length he came to the stone sheepfolds along the road, where a cave was. So Saul came in to ease nature, while David and his men were in the parts of the cave farthest back, sitting down. 4 And David’s men began to say to him: “Here is the day on which Jehovah does say to you, ‘Look! I am giving your enemy into your hand, and you must do to him just as it may seem good in your eyes.’” So David rose up and quietly cut off the skirt of the sleeveless coat that belonged to Saul. 5 But it came about afterward that David’s heart kept striking him for the reason that he had cut off the skirt [of the sleeveless coat] that belonged to Saul. 6 Hence he said to his men: “It is unthinkable, on my part, from Jehovah’s standpoint, that I should do this thing to my lord, the anointed of Jehovah, by thrusting out my hand against him, for he is the anointed of Jehovah.” 7 Accordingly David dispersed his men with these words, and he did not allow them to rise up against Saul. As for Saul, he rose up from the cave and kept going on his way.

8 So David rose up afterward and went out from the cave and called out after Saul, saying: “My lord the king!” At this Saul looked behind him, and David proceeded to bow low with his face to the earth and prostrate himself. 9 And David went on to say to Saul: “Why do you listen to the words of man, saying, ‘Look! David is seeking your hurt’? 10 Here this day your eyes have seen how Jehovah gave you today into my hand in the cave; and someone said to kill you, but I felt sorry for you and said, ‘I shall not thrust out my hand against my lord, for he is the anointed of Jehovah.’ 11 And, my father, see, yes, see the skirt of your sleeveless coat in my hand, for when I cut off the skirt of your sleeveless coat I did not kill you. Know and see that there is no badness or revolt in my hand, and I have not sinned against you, while you are lying in wait for my soul to take it away. 12 May Jehovah judge between me and you; and Jehovah must take vengeance for me from you, but my own hand will not come to be upon you. 13 Just as the proverb of the ancients says, ‘From the wicked ones wickedness will go forth,’ but my own hand will not come to be upon you. 14 After whom has the king of Israel gone out? After whom are you chasing? After a dead dog? After a single flea? 15 And Jehovah must become judge, and he must judge between me and you, and he will see and he will conduct the legal case for me and judge me [to free me] from your hand.”

16 And it came about that, at the moment that David finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul proceeded to say: “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul began to raise his own voice and weep. 17 And he went on to say to David: “You are more righteous than I am, for it is you who have rendered me good, and it is I who have rendered you evil. 18 And you—you have told today what good you have done in connection with me in that Jehovah surrendered me into your hand and you did not kill me. 19 Now in the case where a man finds his enemy, will he send him away on a good road? So Jehovah himself will reward you with good, due to the fact that this day you have done it to me. 20 And now, look! I well know that you will, without fail, rule as king, and that in your hand the kingdom of Israel will certainly endure. 21 So now do swear to me by Jehovah that you will not cut off my seed after me and that you will not annihilate my name out of the house of my father.” 22 Accordingly David swore to Saul, after which Saul went to his home. As for David and his men, they went up to the place difficult to approach.

25 In time Samuel died; and all Israel proceeded to collect together and bewail him and bury him at his house in Ramah. Then David rose up and went down to the wilderness of Paran.

2 Now there was a man in Maon, and his work was in Carmel. And the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats; and he came to be [engaged] in shearing his sheep at Carmel. 3 And the man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name was Abigail. And the wife was good in discretion and beautiful in form, but the husband was harsh and bad in his practices; and he was a Calebite. 4 And David got to hear in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 5 So David sent ten young men and David said to the young men: “Go up to Carmel, and YOU must come to Nabal and ask him in my name about his welfare. 6 And this is what YOU must say to my brother, ‘May you be well and also your household be well and all that you have be well. 7 And now I have heard that you have shearers. Now the shepherds that belong to you happened themselves to be with us. We did not molest them, and nothing at all showed up missing of theirs all the days they happened to be in Carmel. 8 Ask your own young men, and they will tell you, that my young men may find favor in your eyes, because it was upon a good day that we came. Just give, please, whatever your hand may find to your servants and to your son David.’”

9 Accordingly David’s young men came and spoke to Nabal in accord with all these words in the name of David and then waited. 10 At this Nabal answered David’s servants and said: “Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? Nowadays the servants that are breaking away, each one from before his master, have become many. 11 And do I have to take my bread and my water and my slaughtered meat that I have butchered for my shearers and give it to men of whom I do not even know from where they are?”

12 Upon that David’s young men turned around on their way and went back and came and reported to him in accord with all these words. 13 Immediately David said to his men: “Gird on every one his sword!” So they girded on every one his sword and David also girded on his own sword; and they began to go up after David, about four hundred men, while two hundred sat by the baggage.

14 Meanwhile, to Abigail, Nabal’s wife, one of the young men reported, saying: “Look! David sent messengers from the wilderness to wish our master well, but he screamed rebukes at them. 15 And the men were very good to us, and they did not molest us, and we did not miss a single thing all the days of our walking about with them while we happened to be in the field. 16 A wall was what they proved to be around us both by night and by day, all the days that we happened to be with them, shepherding the flock. 17 And now know and see what you are going to do, for calamity has been determined against our master and against all his house, as he is too much of a good-for-nothing fellow to speak to him.”

18 At once Abigail hastened and took two hundred loaves of bread and two large jars of wine and five sheep dressed and five seah measures of roasted grain and a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs and put them upon the asses. 19 Then she said to her young men: “Pass on ahead of me. Look! I am coming after YOU.” But to her husband Nabal she told nothing.

20 And it occurred that while she was riding on the ass and secretly going down the mountain, why, there were David and his men coming down to meet her. So she encountered them. 21 As for David, he had said: “It was altogether for disappointment that I guarded everything that belongs to this fellow in the wilderness and not a single thing of all that belongs to him showed up missing, and yet he repays me evil in return for good. 22 So may God do to the enemies of David and so may he add to it if I shall let anyone of all who are his that urinates against the wall remain until the morning.”