1 And Zipheis camen to Saul in to Gabaa, and seiden, Lo! Dauid is hidde in the hille of Achille, which is `euene ayens the wildirnesse.
2 And Saul roos, and yede doun in to deseert of Ziph, and with hym thre thousynde of men of the chosun of Israel, that he schulde seke Dauid in the desert of Ziph.
3 And Saul settide tentis in Gabaa of Achille, that was euen ayens the wildirnesse in the weie. Sotheli Dauid dwellide in deseert. Forsothe Dauid siy that Saul hadde come aftir hym in to deseert;
4 and Dauid sente aspieris, and lernede moost certeynli, that Saul hadde come thidur.
5 And Dauid roos priueli, and cam to the place where Saul was. And whanne Dauid hadde seyn the place, wher ynne Saul slepte, and Abner, the sone of Ner, the prince of his chyualrye, and Saul slepynge in the tente, and the tother comyn puple bi his cumpas, Dauid seide to Achymelech,
6 Ethey, and to Abisai, sone of Saruye, the brother of Joab, `and seide, Who schal go doun with me to Saul in to `the castels? And Abisai seide, Y schal go doun with thee.
7 Therfor Dauid and Abisai camen to the puple in the nyyt, and thei founden Saul lyggynge and slepynge in `the tente, and a spere sette faste in the erthe at his heed; `forsothe thei founden Abner and the puple slepynge in his cumpas.
8 And Abisay seide to Dauid, God hath closid to dai thin enemy in to thin hondis; now therfor Y schal peerse hym with a spere onys in the erthe, and `no nede schal be the secounde tyme.
9 And Dauid seide to Abysai, Sle thou not hym, for who schal holde forth his hond into the crist of the Lord, and schal be innocent?
10 And Dauid seide, The Lord lyueth, for no but the Lord smyte hym, ether his dai come that he die, ether he go doun in to batel and perische;
11 the Lord be merciful to me, that Y holde not forth myn hond in to the crist of the Lord; now therfor take thou the spere, which is at his heed, and `take thou the cuppe of watir, and go we awei.
12 Dauid took the spere, and the cuppe of watir, that was at the heed of Saul, and thei yeden forth, and no man was that siy, and vndirstood, and wakide, but alle men slepten; for the sleep of the Lord `hadde feld on hem.
13 And whanne Dauid hadde passid euene ayens, and hadde stonde on the cop of the hil afer, and a greet space was bitwixe hem,
14 Dauid criede to the puple, and to Abner, the sone of Ner, and seide, Abner, whether thou schalt not answere? And Abner answeride, and seide, Who art thou, that criest, and disesist the kyng?
15 And Dauith seide to Abner, Whether thou art not a man, and what other man is lijk thee in Israel? whi therfor `kepist thou not thi lord the kyng? `For o man of the cumpanye entride, that he schulde sle thi lord the kyng;
16 this that thou hast doon, is not good; the Lord lyueth, for ye ben sones of deeth, that kepten not youre lord, the crist of the Lord. Now therfor se thou, where is the spere of the kyng, and where is the cuppe of watir, that weren at his heed.
17 Forsothe Saul knew the vois of Dauid, and seide, Whether this vois is thin, my sone Dauid? And Dauid seide, My lord the kyng, it is my vois.
18 And Dauid seide, For what cause pursueth my lord his seruaunt? What haue Y do, ether what yuel is in myn hond? Now therfor,
19 my lord the kyng, Y preye, here the wordis of thi seruaunt; if the Lord stirith thee ayens me, the sacrifice be smellid; forsothe if sones of men stiren thee, thei ben cursid in the siyt of the Lord, whiche han cast me out `to dai, that Y dwelle not in the erytage of the Lord, and seien, Go thou, serue thou alien goddis.
20 And now my blood be not sched out in the erthe bifor the Lord; for the kyng of Israel yede out, that he seke a quike fle, as a partrich is pursuede in hillis.
21 And Saul seide, Y synnede; turne ayen, my sone Dauid, for Y schal no more do yuel to thee, for my lijf was precious to day in thin iyen; for it semeth, that Y dide folili, and Y vnknew ful many thingis.
22 And Dauid answeride and seide, Lo! the spere of the kyng, oon of the `children of the kyng passe, and take it; forsothe the Lord schal yelde to ech man bi his riytfulnesse and feith;
23 for the Lord bitook thee to dai in to myn hond, and Y nolde holde forth myn hond in to the crist of the Lord;
24 and as thi lijf is magnified to dai in myn iyen, so my lijf be magnyfied in the iyen of the Lord, and delyuere he me fro al angwisch.
25 Therfor Saul seide to Dauid, Blessid be thou, my sone Dauid; and sotheli thou doynge schalt do, and thou myyti schalt be myyti. Therfor Dauid yede in to his weie, and Saul turnede ayen in to his place.