1 Samuel 26:9-23

1 Samuel 26:9-22-24 The Message (MSG)

But David said to Abishai, “Don’t you dare hurt him! Who could lay a hand on GOD’s anointed and even think of getting away with it?” He went on, “As GOD lives, either GOD will strike him, or his time will come and he’ll die in bed, or he’ll fall in battle, but GOD forbid that I should lay a finger on GOD’s anointed. Now, grab the spear at his head and the water jug and let’s get out of here.” David took the spear and water jug that were right beside Saul’s head, and they slipped away. Not a soul saw. Not a soul knew. No one woke up! They all slept through the whole thing. A blanket of deep sleep from GOD had fallen on them. Then David went across to the opposite hill and stood far away on the top of the mountain. With this safe distance between them, he shouted across to the army and Abner son of Ner, “Hey, Abner! How long do I have to wait for you to wake up and answer me?” Abner said, “Who’s calling?” “Aren’t you in charge there?” said David. “Why aren’t you minding the store? Why weren’t you standing guard over your master the king, when a soldier came to kill the king your master? Bad form! As GOD lives, your life should be forfeit, you and the entire bodyguard. Look what I have—the king’s spear and water jug that were right beside his head!” By now, Saul had recognized David’s voice and said, “Is that you, my son David?” David said, “Yes, it’s me, O King, my master. Why are you after me, hunting me down? What have I done? What crime have I committed? Oh, my master, my king, listen to this from your servant: If GOD has stirred you up against me, then I gladly offer my life as a sacrifice. But if it’s men who have done it, let them be banished from GOD’s presence! They’ve expelled me from my rightful place in GOD’s heritage, sneering, ‘Out of here! Go get a job with some other god!’ But you’re not getting rid of me that easily; you’ll not separate me from GOD in life or death. The absurdity! The king of Israel obsessed with a single flea! Hunting me down—a mere partridge—out in the hills!” Saul confessed, “I’ve sinned! Oh, come back, my dear son David! I won’t hurt you anymore. You’ve honored me this day, treating my life as most precious. And I’ve acted the fool—a moral dunce, a real clown.” David answered, “See what I have here? The king’s spear. Let one of your servants come and get it. It’s GOD’s business to decide what to do with each of us in regard to what’s right and who’s loyal. GOD put your life in my hands today, but I wasn’t willing to lift a finger against GOD’s anointed. Just as I honored your life today, may GOD honor my life and rescue me from all trouble.”

1 Samuel 26:9-23 New American Standard Bible - NASB 1995 (NASB1995)

But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against the LORD’S anointed and be without guilt?” David also said, “As the LORD lives, surely the LORD will strike him, or his day will come that he dies, or he will go down into battle and perish. The LORD forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the LORD’S anointed; but now please take the spear that is at his head and the jug of water, and let us go.” So David took the spear and the jug of water from beside Saul’s head, and they went away, but no one saw or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because a sound sleep from the LORD had fallen on them. Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of the mountain at a distance with a large area between them. David called to the people and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Will you not answer, Abner?” Then Abner replied, “Who are you who calls to the king?” So David said to Abner, “Are you not a man? And who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not guarded your lord the king? For one of the people came to destroy the king your lord. This thing that you have done is not good. As the LORD lives, all of you must surely die, because you did not guard your lord, the LORD’S anointed. And now, see where the king’s spear is and the jug of water that was at his head.” Then Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And David said, “It is my voice, my lord the king.” He also said, “Why then is my lord pursuing his servant? For what have I done? Or what evil is in my hand? Now therefore, please let my lord the king listen to the words of his servant. If the LORD has stirred you up against me, let Him accept an offering; but if it is men, cursed are they before the LORD, for they have driven me out today so that I would have no attachment with the inheritance of the LORD, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ Now then, do not let my blood fall to the ground away from the presence of the LORD; for the king of Israel has come out to search for a single flea, just as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.” Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will not harm you again because my life was precious in your sight this day. Behold, I have played the fool and have committed a serious error.” David replied, “Behold the spear of the king! Now let one of the young men come over and take it. The LORD will repay each man for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the LORD delivered you into my hand today, but I refused to stretch out my hand against the LORD’S anointed.

1 Samuel 26:9-23 New Living Translation (NLT)

“No!” David said. “Don’t kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the LORD’s anointed one? Surely the LORD will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle. The LORD forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But take his spear and that jug of water beside his head, and then let’s get out of here!” So David took the spear and jug of water that were near Saul’s head. Then he and Abishai got away without anyone seeing them or even waking up, because the LORD had put Saul’s men into a deep sleep. David climbed the hill opposite the camp until he was at a safe distance. Then he shouted down to the soldiers and to Abner son of Ner, “Wake up, Abner!” “Who is it?” Abner demanded. “Well, Abner, you’re a great man, aren’t you?” David taunted. “Where in all Israel is there anyone as mighty? So why haven’t you guarded your master the king when someone came to kill him? This isn’t good at all! I swear by the LORD that you and your men deserve to die, because you failed to protect your master, the LORD’s anointed! Look around! Where are the king’s spear and the jug of water that were beside his head?” Saul recognized David’s voice and called out, “Is that you, my son David?” And David replied, “Yes, my lord the king. Why are you chasing me? What have I done? What is my crime? But now let my lord the king listen to his servant. If the LORD has stirred you up against me, then let him accept my offering. But if this is simply a human scheme, then may those involved be cursed by the LORD. For they have driven me from my home, so I can no longer live among the LORD’s people, and they have said, ‘Go, worship pagan gods.’ Must I die on foreign soil, far from the presence of the LORD? Why has the king of Israel come out to search for a single flea? Why does he hunt me down like a partridge on the mountains?” Then Saul confessed, “I have sinned. Come back home, my son, and I will no longer try to harm you, for you valued my life today. I have been a fool and very, very wrong.” “Here is your spear, O king,” David replied. “Let one of your young men come over and get it. The LORD gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal, and I refused to kill you even when the LORD placed you in my power, for you are the LORD’s anointed one.

1 Samuel 26:9-23 King James Version (KJV)

And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD's anointed, and be guiltless? David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD's anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go. So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them. Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them: and David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king? And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord. This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the LORD liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the LORD's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster. And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king. And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand? Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve other gods. Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains. Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly. And David answered and said, Behold the king's spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it. The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD's anointed.

1 Samuel 26:9-23 New Century Version (NCV)

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 sound asleep. 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! You have not done well. As surely as the LORD lives, you and your men should die. You haven’t guarded your master, the LORD’s appointed 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.” David also said, “Why are you chasing me, my master? What wrong have I done? What evil am I guilty of? My master and king, listen to me. If the LORD made you angry with me, let him accept an offering. But if people did it, may the LORD curse them! They have made me leave the land the LORD gave me. They have told me, ‘Go and serve other gods.’ Now don’t let me die far away from the LORD’s presence. The king of Israel has come out looking for a flea! You’re just hunting a bird in the mountains!” 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. The LORD rewards us for the things we do right and for our loyalty to him. The LORD handed you over to me today, but I wouldn’t harm the LORD’s appointed king.

1 Samuel 26:9-23 American Standard Version (ASV)

And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not; for who can put forth his hand against Jehovah’s anointed, and be guiltless? And David said, As Jehovah liveth, Jehovah will smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall go down into battle and perish. Jehovah forbid that I should put forth my hand against Jehovah’s anointed: but now take, I pray thee, the spear that is at his head, and the cruse of water, and let us go. So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s head; and they gat them away: and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither did any awake; for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from Jehovah was fallen upon them. Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of the mountain afar off; a great space being between them; and David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king? And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept watch over thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord. This thing is not good that thou hast done. As Jehovah liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept watch over your lord, Jehovah’s anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his head. And Saul knew David’s voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king. And he said, Wherefore doth my lord pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in my hand? Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it be Jehovah that hath stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering: but if it be the children of men, cursed be they before Jehovah; for they have driven me out this day that I should not cleave unto the inheritance of Jehovah, saying, Go, serve other gods. Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of Jehovah: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains. Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David; for I will no more do thee harm, because my life was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly. And David answered and said, Behold the spear, O king! let then one of the young men come over and fetch it. And Jehovah will render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; forasmuch as Jehovah delivered thee into my hand to-day, and I would not put forth my hand against Jehovah’s anointed.

1 Samuel 26:9-23 New International Version (NIV)

But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless? As surely as the LORD lives,” he said, “the LORD himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.” So David took the spear and water jug near Saul’s head, and they left. No one saw or knew about it, nor did anyone wake up. They were all sleeping, because the LORD had put them into a deep sleep. Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of the hill some distance away; there was a wide space between them. He called out to the army and to Abner son of Ner, “Aren’t you going to answer me, Abner?” Abner replied, “Who are you who calls to the king?” David said, “You’re a man, aren’t you? And who is like you in Israel? Why didn’t you guard your lord the king? Someone came to destroy your lord the king. What you have done is not good. As surely as the LORD lives, you and your men must die, because you did not guard your master, the LORD’s anointed. Look around you. Where are the king’s spear and water jug that were near his head?” Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “Is that your voice, David my son?” David replied, “Yes it is, my lord the king.” And he added, “Why is my lord pursuing his servant? What have I done, and what wrong am I guilty of? Now let my lord the king listen to his servant’s words. If the LORD has incited you against me, then may he accept an offering. If, however, people have done it, may they be cursed before the LORD! They have driven me today from my share in the LORD’s inheritance and have said, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ Now do not let my blood fall to the ground far from the presence of the LORD. The king of Israel has come out to look for a flea—as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.” Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Because you considered my life precious today, I will not try to harm you again. Surely I have acted like a fool and have been terribly wrong.” “Here is the king’s spear,” David answered. “Let one of your young men come over and get it. The LORD rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness. The LORD delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed.

1 Samuel 26:9-23 Amplified Bible (AMP)

But David said to Abishai, “Do not kill him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD’S anointed [king] and be guiltless (innocent)?” David also said, “As the LORD lives, most certainly the LORD will strike him [in His own time and way], or his day will come and he will die, or he will go down into battle and be carried off [dead]. The LORD forbid that I would put out my hand against the LORD’S anointed; but now take the spear that is by his head and the jug of water, and let us go.” So David took the spear and the jug of water from beside Saul’s head, and they left, and no one saw or knew nor did anyone awaken, because they were all sound asleep, for a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen on them. Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on the top of the mountain at a distance, with a large area between them. David called to the army and to Abner the son of Ner, “Will you not answer, Abner?” Abner replied, “Who are you who calls [and disturbs] the king?” David said to Abner, “Are you not a [brave] man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not guarded your lord the king? For one of the people came [into your camp] to kill the king your lord. This thing that you have done is not good. As the LORD lives, you surely deserve to die, because you have not guarded your lord, the LORD’S anointed. And now, see where the king’s spear is, and the jug of water that was by his head.” Then Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And David said, “It is my voice, my lord the king!” And David said, “Why is my lord pursuing his servant? For what have I done? Or what evil is in my hand? Now therefore, please let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD has incited you against me, let Him accept an offering [from me]; but if it is men, may they be cursed before the LORD, because they have driven me out this day to keep me from sharing in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ Now then, do not let my blood fall to the ground away from the presence of the LORD; for the king of Israel has come out to search for a single flea, just as when one hunts a [defenseless] partridge in the mountains.” Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will not harm you again because my life was precious in your sight this day. Hear me, I have played the fool and have done a very great wrong [to you].” David answered, “Look, here is the king’s spear! Now let one of the young men come over and get it. The LORD will repay each man for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the LORD handed you over to me today, but I refused to put out my hand against the LORD’S anointed.

1 Samuel 26:9-23 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless?” And David said, “As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The LORD forbid that I should put out my hand against the LORD’s anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go.” So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul’s head, and they went away. No man saw it or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen upon them. Then David went over to the other side and stood far off on the top of the hill, with a great space between them. And David called to the army, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Will you not answer, Abner?” Then Abner answered, “Who are you who calls to the king?” And David said to Abner, “Are you not a man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not kept watch over your lord the king? For one of the people came in to destroy the king your lord. This thing that you have done is not good. As the LORD lives, you deserve to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, the LORD’s anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is and the jar of water that was at his head.” Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And David said, “It is my voice, my lord, O king.” And he said, “Why does my lord pursue after his servant? For what have I done? What evil is on my hands? Now therefore let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it is the LORD who has stirred you up against me, may he accept an offering, but if it is men, may they be cursed before the LORD, for they have driven me out this day that I should have no share in the heritage of the LORD, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of the LORD, for the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea like one who hunts a partridge in the mountains.” Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have acted foolishly, and have made a great mistake.” And David answered and said, “Here is the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and take it. The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the LORD gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the LORD’s anointed.

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