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 down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness 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.
4 (For Dauid had sent out spies, and vnderstood, that Saul was come in very deede)
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 answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down 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 said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not [smite] him the second time.
9 And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD'S anointed, and be guiltless?
10 Moreouer Dauid said, As the Lord liueth, eyther the Lorde shall smite him, or his day shall come to dye, or he shall descend into battel, and perish.
11 The Lorde 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 Lorde 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, & said, Who art thou that cryest to the King?
15 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.
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 knew David's voice, and said, [Is] this thy voice, my son David? And David said, [It is] my voice, my lord, 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 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.
20 Nowe therefore let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the Lorde: for the King of Israel is come out to seeke a flea, as one would hunt a partridge in the mountaines.
21 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.
22 Then Dauid answered, and saide, Beholde the Kings speare, let one of the yong men come ouer and set it.
23 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.
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 David, Blessed [be] thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great [things], and also shalt still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.