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1 Samuel 25:32-26:20 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

32 David said to Abigail, ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. 33 May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. 34 Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.’

35 Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought to him and said, ‘Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.’

36 When Abigail went to Nabal, he was in the house holding a banquet like that of a king. He was in high spirits and very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until daybreak. 37 Then in the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him all these things, and his heart failed him and he became like a stone. 38 About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died.

39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, ‘Praise be to the Lord, who has upheld my cause against Nabal for treating me with contempt. He has kept his servant from doing wrong and has brought Nabal’s wrongdoing down on his own head.’

Then David sent word to Abigail, asking her to become his wife. 40 His servants went to Carmel and said to Abigail, ‘David has sent us to you to take you to become his wife.’

41 She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, ‘I am your servant and am ready to serve you and wash the feet of my lord’s servants.’ 42 Abigail quickly got on a donkey and, attended by her five female servants, went with David’s messengers and became his wife. 43 David had also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both were his wives. 44 But Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Paltiel[a] son of Laish, who was from Gallim.

David again spares Saul’s life

26 The Ziphites went to Saul at Gibeah and said, ‘Is not David hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which faces Jeshimon?’

So Saul went down to the Desert of Ziph, with his three thousand select Israelite troops, to search there for David. Saul made his camp beside the road on the hill of Hakilah facing Jeshimon, but David stayed in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul had followed him there, he sent out scouts and learned that Saul had definitely arrived.

Then David set out and went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of the army, had lain down. Saul was lying inside the camp, with the army camped around him.

David then asked Ahimelek the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, ‘Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?’

‘I’ll go with you,’ said Abishai.

So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying round him.

Abishai said to David, ‘Today God has given your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t strike him twice.’

But David said to Abishai, ‘Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? 10 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. 11 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.’

12 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.

13 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. 14 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?’

15 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. 16 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?’

17 Saul recognised David’s voice and said, ‘Is that your voice, David my son?’

David replied, ‘Yes it is, my lord the king.’ 18 And he added, ‘Why is my lord pursuing his servant? What have I done, and what wrong am I guilty of? 19 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.” 20 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.’

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 25:44 Hebrew Palti, a variant of Paltiel
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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