21 July 1 Samuel 26:1-25

21 July.  David spares Saul’s life again

“The people of Ziph went to Saul at Gibeah and said to him, ‘David is hiding on the hill of Hakilah opposite Jeshimon.’ So Saul went down to the Desert of Zipf with 3,000 chosen men of Israel to look for David there.”

“Saul made his camp beside the road on the hill of Hakilah opposite Jeshimon, but David stayed in the desert. When he heard Saul had followed him, he sent out spies and learned for certain that Saul had come to Hakilah.”

“Then David went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of Saul’s army, were sleeping. Saul was sleeping in the middle of the camp with all the army around him.”

“David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, ‘Who will go down into Saul’s camp with me?’ Abishai answered, ‘I’ll go with you.’ So that night David and Abishai went into Saul’s camp. Saul was asleep in the middle of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the army were sleeping around Saul.”

“Abishai said to David, ‘Today God has handed your enemy over to you. Let me pin Saul to the ground with my spear. I’ll only have to do it once. I won’t need to hit him twice.’”

“But David said to Abishai, ‘Don’t kill Saul! No one can harm the LORD’s appointed king and still be innocent! As surely as the LORD lives, the LORD himself will punish Saul. Maybe Saul will die naturally, or maybe he will go into battle and be killed. But may the LORD keep me from harming his appointed king! Take the spear and water jug that are near Saul’s head. Then let’s go.’”

“So David took the spear and water jug that were near Saul’s head, and they left. No one saw them or knew about it or woke up, because the LORD had put them into a deep sleep.”

“David crossed over to the other side of the hill and stood on top of the mountain far from Saul’s camp. They were a long way away from each other. David shouted to the army and to Abner son of Ner, ‘Won’t you answer me, Abner?’ Abner answered, ‘Who is calling for the king? Who are you?’”

“David said, ‘You’re the greatest man in Israel. Isn’t that true? Why didn’t you guard your master the king? Someone came into your camp to kill your master the king! … Look! Where are the king’s spear and water jug that were near his head?’”

“Saul knew David’s voice. He said, ‘Is that your voice, David my son?’ David answered, ‘Yes, it is, my master and king.’… Then Saul said, ‘I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Today you respected my life, so I will not try to hurt you. I have been very stupid and foolish.’”

“David answered, ‘Here is your spear. Let one of your young men come here and get it… Then Saul said to David, ‘You are blessed, my son David. You will do great things and succeed.’ So David went on his way, and Saul went back home.”

          (1Samuel 26:1-25)

 

 

In today’s passage, David spared Saul's life once again when he crept at night into Saul’s camp at the Hill of Hakilah near Jeshimon in the Judaean wilderness (the Desert of Ziph) (see 12 on the map on 8 July).

Saul had been informed by the local people of Zipf that David was hiding near the Hill of Hakilah, and had set off with 3,000 of his best men to attack and kill David. But David had also received news that Saul was on his trail, so he sent spies to locate Saul’s encampment.

That night, David slipped into Saul’s camp with a single follower, and found Saul and his army fast asleep. David’s friend Abishai wanted to kill Saul as he slept, but David refused to allow anyone to kill the LORD’s appointed king.

Instead, David took Saul’s spear and his water bottle that were standing near the sleeping king.

Later, after they’d escaped from Saul’s camp, David shouted to Saul and his commander, Abner, from the top of the hillslope opposite. He chided Abner for not defending his king, and told Saul how he could have killed him when he crept into the camp (see 1 Samuel 26:18-20).

Saul then spoke to David and admitted how foolish he'd been in pursuing David. He called for a truce, and promised not to harm David. But David was wary, and the two parted on good terms.

The photo (by Daniel Ventura) shows The Judaean Hills near Beit Meir.

You can read more about David and Saul @  https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/30-israel-becomes-a-kingdom-under-saul-and-david/david-marries-abigail/


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