1 Againe the Ziphims came vnto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doeth not Dauid hide him selfe in the hill of Hachilah before Ieshimon?
2 Then Saul arose, and went downe to the wildernes of Ziph, hauing three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, for to seeke Dauid in the wildernesse of Ziph.
3 And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Ieshimon by the way side. Now Dauid abode in the wildernesse, and he sawe that Saul came after him into the wildernesse.
5 Then Dauid arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched, and when Dauid beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the sonne of Ner which was his chiefe captaine, (for Saul lay in the fort, and the people pitched round about him)
6 Then spake Dauid, and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the sonne of Zeruiah, brother to Ioab, saying, Who will go downe with me to Saul to the hoste? Then Abishai said, I will goe downe with thee.
7 So Dauid and Abishai came downe to the people by night: and beholde, Saul lay sleeping within the fort, and his speare did sticke in the ground at his head: and Abner and the people lay round about him.
¶ 8 Then saide Abishai to Dauid, God hath closed thine enemie into thine hande this day: now therefore, I pray thee, let me smite him once with a speare to the earth, and I will not smite him againe.
9 And Dauid sayde to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can lay his hand on the Lordes anoynted, and be giltlesse?
10 Moreouer Dauid said, As the Lord liueth, eyther the Lord shall smite him, or his day shall come to dye, or he shall descend into battel, and perish.
11 The Lord keepe mee from laying mine hand vpon the Lordes anointed: but, I pray thee, take now the speare that is at his head, and the pot of water, and let vs goe hence.
12 So Dauid tooke the speare and the pot of water from Sauls head, and they gate them away, and no man saw it, nor marked it, neither did any awake, but they were all asleepe: for the Lord had sent a dead sleepe vpon them.
13 Then Dauid went vnto the other side, and stoode on the toppe of an hill a farre off, a great space being betweene them.
14 And Dauid cryed to the people, and to Abner the sonne of Ner, saying, Hearest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered, and said, Who art thou that cryest to the King?
¶ 15 And Dauid said to Abner, Art not thou a man? and who is like thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lorde the King? for there came one of the folke in to destroy the King thy lord.
16 This is not well done of thee: as the Lord liueth, ye are worthy to dye, because ye haue not kept your master the Lordes Anointed: and now see where the Kings speare is, and the pot of water that was at his head.
17 And Saul knewe Dauids voyce, and sayde, Is this thy voyce, my sonne Dauid? And Dauid sayde, It is my voyce, my lorde O King.
18 And he sayde, Wherefore doeth my lorde thus persecute his seruant? for what haue I done? or what euill is in mine hand?
19 Now therefore, I beseech thee, let my lord the King heare the wordes of his seruant. If the Lord haue stirred thee vp against me, let him smell the sauour of a sacrifice: but if the children of men haue done it, cursed be they before the Lord: for they haue cast me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, Goe, serue other gods.
20 Nowe therefore let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the Lord: for the King of Israel is come out to seeke a flea, as one would hunt a partridge in the mountaines.
21 Then sayde Saul, I haue sinned: come againe, my sonne Dauid: for I will doe thee no more harme, because my soule was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I haue done foolishly, and haue erred exceedingly.
22 Then Dauid answered, and saide, Beholde the Kings speare, let one of the yong men come ouer and set it.
23 And let the Lord rewarde euery man according to his righteousnesse and faithfulnesse: for the Lord had deliuered thee into mine handes this day, but I woulde not lay mine hand vpon the Lords anointed.
24 And beholde, like as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes: so let my life be set by in the eyes of the Lord, that he may deliuer me out of all tribulation.
25 Then Saul said to Dauid, Blessed art thou, my sonne Dauid: for thou shalt doe great things, and also preuaile. So Dauid went his way, and Saul returned to his place.