April 5

1 Samuel 28:1 — 31:13

28 And it came about in those days that the Philistines began to collect their camps for the army to make war against Israel. So Achish said to David: “You undoubtedly know that it is with me that you should go out into the camp, you and your men.” 2 At that David said to Achish: “That is why you yourself know what your servant is to do.” Accordingly Achish said to David: “That is why guardian of my head I shall appoint you always.”

3 Now Samuel himself had died, and all Israel had proceeded to bewail him and bury him in Ramah his own city. As for Saul, he had removed the spirit mediums and the professional foretellers of events from the land.

4 Subsequently the Philistines collected together and came and pitched camp in Shunem. So Saul collected all Israel together and they pitched camp in Gilboa. 5 When Saul got to see the camp of the Philistines he became afraid, and his heart began to tremble very much. 6 Although Saul would inquire of Jehovah, Jehovah never answered him, either by dreams or by the Urim or by the prophets. 7 Finally Saul said to his servants: “Seek for me a woman who is a mistress of spirit mediumship, and I will go to her and consult her.” Then his servants said to him: “Look! There is a woman who is a mistress of spirit mediumship in En-dor.”

8 So Saul disguised himself and clothed himself with other garments and went, he and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night. He now said: “Employ divination, please, for me by spirit mediumship and bring up for me the one whom I shall designate to you.” 9 However, the woman said to him: “Here you yourself well know what Saul did, how he cut off the spirit mediums and the professional foretellers of events from the land. Why, then, are you acting like a trapper against my soul to have me put to death?” 10 Immediately Saul swore to her by Jehovah, saying: “As Jehovah is alive, guilt for error will not befall you in this matter!” 11 At this the woman said: “Whom shall I bring up for you?” To this he said: “Bring up Samuel for me.” 12 When the woman saw “Samuel” she began crying out at the top of her voice; and the woman went on to say to Saul: “Why did you trick me, when you yourself are Saul?” 13 But the king said to her: “Do not be afraid, but what did you see?” And the woman went on to say to Saul: “A god I saw coming up out of the earth.” 14 At once he said to her: “What is his form?” to which she said: “It is an old man coming up, and he has himself covered with a sleeveless coat.” At that Saul recognized that it was “Samuel,” and he proceeded to bow low with his face to the earth and to prostrate himself.

15 And “Samuel” began to say to Saul: “Why have you disturbed me by having me brought up?” To this Saul said: “I am in very sore straits, as the Philistines are fighting against me, and God himself has departed from me and has answered me no more, either by means of the prophets or by dreams; so that I am calling you to let me know what I shall do.”

16 And “Samuel” went on to say: “Why, then, do you inquire of me, when Jehovah himself has departed from you and proves to be your adversary? 17 And Jehovah will do for himself just as he spoke by means of me, and Jehovah will rip the kingdom away from your hand and give it to your fellowman David. 18 As you did not obey the voice of Jehovah, and you did not execute his burning anger against Amalek, that is why this is the thing that Jehovah will certainly do to you this day. 19 And Jehovah will also give Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. Even the camp of Israel Jehovah will give into the hand of the Philistines.”

20 At that Saul quickly fell down his full length to the earth and became very much afraid because of “Samuel’s” words. Also, there happened to be no power in him, because he had not eaten food the whole day and the whole night. 21 The woman now came to Saul and saw that he had been greatly disturbed. So she said to him: “Here your maidservant has obeyed your voice, and I proceeded to put my soul in my palm and obey the words that you spoke to me. 22 And now, please, you, in turn, obey the voice of your maidservant; and let me set before you a piece of bread, and you eat, that power may come to be in you, because you will go on your way.” 23 But he refused and said: “I am not going to eat.” However, his servants and also the woman kept urging him. Finally he obeyed their voice and rose up from the earth and sat on the couch. 24 Now the woman had a fattened calf in the house. So she quickly sacrificed it and took flour and kneaded dough and baked it into unfermented cakes. 25 Then she served them to Saul and his servants, and they ate. After that they rose up and went away during that night.

29 And the Philistines proceeded to collect all their camps together at Aphek, while the Israelites were camping by the spring that was in Jezreel. 2 And the axis lords of the Philistines were passing along by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were passing along afterward with Achish. 3 And the princes of the Philistines began to say: “What do these Hebrews mean?” At this Achish said to the princes of the Philistines: “Is this not David the servant of Saul king of Israel, who happened to be with me here a year or two, and I have not found in him a single thing from the day of his deserting [to me] until this day?” 4 And the princes of the Philistines became indignant at him; and the princes of the Philistines went on to say to him: “Make the man go back, and let him go back to his place where you assigned him; and do not let him go down with us into the battle, that he may not become a resister of us in the battle. And with what should this person put himself in favor with his lord? Is it not with the heads of those [our] men? 5 Is this not David to whom they kept responding in the dances, saying, ‘Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?”

6 Consequently Achish called David and said to him: “As Jehovah is living, you are upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the camp has been good in my eyes; for I have not found badness in you from the day of your coming to me until this day. But in the eyes of the axis lords you are not good. 7 And now return and go in peace, that you may not do anything bad in the eyes of the axis lords of the Philistines.” 8 However, David said to Achish: “Why, what have I done, and what have you found in your servant from the day that I came to be before you until this day, that I should not come and actually fight against the enemies of my lord the king?” 9 At this Achish answered and said to David: “I well know that you have been good in my own eyes, like an angel of God. Only it is the princes of the Philistines that have said, ‘Let him not go up with us into the battle.’ 10 And now rise up early in the morning with the servants of your lord that came with you; and YOU men must rise up early in the morning when it has become light for YOU. Then go.”

11 Accordingly David rose up early, he and his men, to go in the morning and return to the land of the Philistines; and the Philistines themselves went up to Jezreel.

30 And it came about while David and his men were coming to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites made a raid on the south and on Ziklag; and they proceeded to strike Ziklag and burn it with fire, 2 and to carry off captive the women [and all] that were in it, from the smallest to the greatest. They did not put anyone to death, but they drove them along and went on their way. 3 When David came with his men to the city, why, there it was burned with fire, and, as for their wives and their sons and their daughters, they had been carried off captive. 4 And David and the people that were with him began to raise their voice and weep, until there was in them no power to weep [anymore]. 5 And David’s two wives had been carried off captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 6 And it became very distressing to David, because the people said to stone him; for the soul of all the people had become bitter, each one because of his sons and his daughters. So David took to strengthening himself by Jehovah his God.

7 Hence David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech: “Do, please, bring the ephod near to me.” And Abiathar came bringing the ephod near to David. 8 And David began to inquire of Jehovah, saying: “Shall I chase after this marauder band? Shall I overtake them?” At this he said to him: “Go in chase, for you will without fail overtake them, and you will without fail make a deliverance.”

9 Promptly David got on his way, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and they went on as far as the torrent valley of Besor, and the men that were to be left behind stood still. 10 And David kept up the chase, he and four hundred men, but two hundred men that were too tired to pass over the torrent valley of Besor stood still.

11 And they got to find a man, an Egyptian, in the field. So they took him to David and gave him bread that he might eat and gave him water to drink. 12 Further, they gave him a slice of a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisins. Then he ate and his spirit returned to him; for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13 David now said to him: “To whom do you belong, and where are you from?” to which he said: “I am an Egyptian attendant, a slave of an Amalekite man, but my master left me because I took sick three days ago. 14 We were the ones that made a raid on the south of the Cherethites and upon that which belongs to Judah and upon the south of Caleb; and Ziklag we burned with fire.” 15 At this David said to him: “Will you lead me down to this marauder band?” To this he said: “Do swear to me by God that you will not put me to death, and that you will not surrender me into the hand of my master, and I shall lead you down to this marauder band.”

16 Accordingly he led him down, and there they were spread disorderly over the surface of all the land eating and drinking and having a feast on account of all the great spoil that they had taken from the land of the Philistines and the land of Judah. 17 And David went striking them down from the morning darkness until the evening, that he might devote them to destruction; and not a man of them escaped except four hundred young men that rode upon camels and took to flight. 18 And David got to deliver all that the Amalekites had taken, and his two wives David delivered. 19 And there was nothing of theirs lacking, from the smallest to the greatest and to sons and daughters and from the spoil, even to anything that they had taken for themselves. Everything David recovered. 20 So David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drove before that [other] livestock. Then they said: “This is David’s spoil.”

21 At length David came to the two hundred men who had been too tired to go along with David, and whom they had kept sitting by the torrent valley of Besor; and they came out to meet David and to meet the people that were with him. When David came near to the people he began to ask them how they were. 22 However, every bad and good-for-nothing man out of the men that had gone with David answered and kept saying: “For the reason that they did not go with us, we will give them none of the spoil that we delivered, except to each one his wife and his sons, and let them lead them and go.” 23 But David said: “YOU must not do that way, my brothers, with what Jehovah has given us, in that he safeguarded us and gave the marauder band that came against us into our hand. 24 And who will listen to YOU as to this saying? For as the share of the one that went down into the battle even so will the share of the one that sat by the baggage be. All will have a share together.” 25 And it came about from that day forward that he kept it set as a regulation and a judicial decision for Israel down to this day.

26 When David came to Ziklag he proceeded to send some of the spoil to the older men of Judah, his friends, saying: “Here is a gift blessing for YOU from the spoil of Jehovah’s enemies.” 27 To those who were in Bethel, and to those in Ramoth of the south, and to those in Jattir, 28 and to those in Aroer, and to those in Siphmoth, and to those in Eshtemoa, 29 and to those in Racal, and to those in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to those in the cities of the Kenites, 30 and to those in Hormah, and to those in Borashan, and to those in Athach, 31 and to those in Hebron, and to all the places where David had walked about, he and his men.

31 Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel took to flight from before the Philistines, and they kept falling down slain in Mount Gilboa. 2 And the Philistines kept in close range of Saul and his sons; and the Philistines at last struck down Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, Saul’s sons. 3 And the fighting became heavy against Saul, and the shooters, the bowmen, finally found him, and he got severely wounded by the shooters. 4 Then Saul said to his armor-bearer: “Draw your sword and run me through with it, that these uncircumcised men may not come and certainly run me through and deal abusively with me.” And his armor-bearer was unwilling, because he was very much afraid. So Saul took the sword and fell upon it. 5 When his armor-bearer saw that Saul had died, then he too fell upon his own sword and died with him. 6 Thus Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer, even all his men, came to die together on that day. 7 When the men of Israel that were in the region of the low plain and that were in the region of the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled, and that Saul and his sons had died, then they began to leave the cities and flee, after which the Philistines came on in and took up dwelling in them.

8 And it came about the next day that, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they got to find Saul and his three sons fallen upon Mount Gilboa. 9 And they proceeded to cut off his head and strip off his armor and send into the land of the Philistines all around to inform the houses of their idols and the people. 10 Finally they put his armor in the house of the Ashtoreth images, and his corpse they fastened on the wall of Beth-shan. 11 And as regards him, the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead got to hear what the Philistines had done to Saul. 12 Immediately all the valiant men rose up and went all night long and took the corpse of Saul and the corpses of his sons off the wall of Beth-shan and came to Jabesh and burned them there. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and they went fasting for seven days.