Chapter 9

  1. And there was war again. And David went out and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter, and they fled from him.
  2. And the evil spirit which was not of the Lord was upon Saul as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand. And David played with his hand. And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin, but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night. Saul also sent messengers unto David’s house, to watch him and to slay him in the morning. And Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, If you save not your life tonight, tomorrow you shall be slain. So Michal let David down through a window. And he went, and fled, and escaped.
  3. And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats’ hair for his pillow, and covered it with a cloth. And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick. And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him. And when the messengers had come in, behold, there was an image in the bed with a pillow of goats’ hair for his pillow. And Saul said unto Michal, Why have you deceived me so? And sent away my enemy, that he is escaped? And Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go. Why should I kill you?
  4. So David fled and escaped, and came to Samuel, to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelled in Naioth. And it was told to Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah. And Saul sent messengers to take David. And when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul and they also prophesied. And when it was told to Saul, he sent other messengers and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.
  5. Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Secu. And he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah. And he went there, to Naioth in Ramah. And the spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore, they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?
  6. And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? What is my iniquity? And what is my sin before your father that he seeks my life? And he said unto him, God forbid. You shall not die. Behold, my father will do nothing either great or small, but that he will show it to me. And why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so. And David swore moreover, and said, Your father certainly knows that I have found grace in your eyes, and he says, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved. But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.
  7. Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatever your soul desires, I will even do it for you. And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, tomorrow is the new moon and I should not fail to sit with the king at a meal. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at evening. If your father at all miss me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me, that he might run to Bethlehem, his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family. If he say thus: It is well — your servant shall have peace. But if he is very angry, then be sure that evil is determined by him; therefore, you shall deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the Lord with you. Notwithstanding, if there is in me iniquity, slay me yourself; for why should you bring me to your father?
  8. And Jonathan said, Far be it from you. For if I knew certainly that evil were determined by my father to come upon you, then would I not tell you about it? Then David said to Jonathan, Who shall tell me? Or what if your father answers you roughly? And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field.
  9. And Jonathan said unto David, O Lord God of Israel, when I have sounded my father about tomorrow anytime or the third day, and behold, if there be good toward David, and I then send not unto you and show it to you, the Lord do so and much more to Jonathan. But if it please my father to do you evil, then I will show it to you and send you away, that you may go in peace. And the Lord be with you as he has been with my father. And you shall not only, while yet I live, show me the kindness of the Lord, that I die not, but also you shall not cut off your kindness from my house for ever. No, not when the Lord has cut off the enemies of David, every one, from the face of the earth. So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the Lord even require it at the hand of David’s enemies. And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
  10. Then Jonathan said to David, Tomorrow is the new moon, and you shall be missed because your seat will be empty. And when you have stayed three days, then you shall go down quickly, and come to the place where you did hide yourself when the business was in hand, and shall remain by the stone Ezel. And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof as though I shot at a mark. And behold, I will send a lad, saying, Go find out the arrows. If I expressly say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of you, take them — then you come, for there is peace to you and no hurt, as the Lord lives. But if I say thus unto the young man: Behold, the arrows are beyond you — go your way, for the Lord has sent you away. And as touching the matter which you and I have spoken of, behold, the Lord be between you and me for ever.
  11. So David hid himself in the field. And when the new moon had come, the king sat him down to eat a meal. And the king sat upon his seat as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall. And Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, and David’s place was empty. Nevertheless, Saul spoke not anything that day, for he thought, Something has befallen him, he is not clean. Surely he is not clean.
  12. And it came to pass on the next day, which was the second day of the month, that David’s place was empty. And Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Why does the son of Jesse not come to eat, neither yesterday nor today? And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem. And he said, Let me go, I pray you, for our family has a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he has commanded me to be there. And now, if I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away, I pray you, and see my brethren. Therefore, he comes not unto the king’s table.
  13. Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, You son of a perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own confusion, and unto the confusion of your mother’s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives upon the ground, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom. Wherefore, now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die. And Jonathan answered Saul his father and said unto him, Why shall he be slain? What has he done? And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him, whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David. So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David because his father had done him shame.
  14. And it came to pass, in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him. And he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. And when the lad had come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad and said, Is not the arrow beyond you? And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, hasten, stay not. And Jonathan’s lad gathered up the arrows and came to his master; but the lad knew not anything. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter. And Jonathan gave his weapons unto his lad and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city.
  15. And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times. And they kissed one another and wept one with another, until David exceeded. And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord be between me and you, and between my seed and your seed for ever. And he arose and departed. And Jonathan went into the city.
  16. Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why are you alone and no man with you? And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king has commanded me a business, and has said unto me, Let no man know anything of the business whereabout I send you and what I have commanded you. And I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.
  17. Now, therefore, what is under your hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or what there is present. And the priest answered David and said, There is no common bread under my hand, but there is hallowed bread, if the young men have kept themselves at least from women. And David answered the priest and said unto him, Truly women have been kept from us about these three days since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it was sanctified this day in the vessel. So the priest gave him hallowed bread, for there was no bread there but the showbread that was taken from before the Lord, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.
  18. Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord, and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdsmen that belonged to Saul. And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under your hand spear or sword? For I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste. And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine whom you slew in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it, for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that. Give it to me.
  19. And David arose and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David, the king of the land? Did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands? And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sorely afraid of Achish the king of Gath. And he changed his behavior before them and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard. Then said Achish unto his servants, Behold, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? Have I need of madmen, that you have brought this man to play the madman in my presence? Shall this man come into my house?
  20. David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave Adullam. And when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone that was in distress, and everyone that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them. And there were with him about four hundred men. And David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab.
  21. And he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray you, come forth and be with you until I know what God will do for me. And he brought them before the king of Moab. And they dwelled with him all the while that David was in the hold. And the prophet Gad said unto David, Abide not in the hold. Depart, and get into the land of Judah. Then David departed and came into the forest of Hereth.
  22. When Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that were with him — now Saul stayed in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him — then Saul said unto his servants that stood about him, Hear now, you Benjamites. Will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands and captains of hundreds? That all of you have conspired against me? And there is none that shows me that my son has made a league with the son of Jesse. And there is none of you that is sorry for me, or shows unto me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait as at this day.
  23. Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. And he inquired of the Lord for him, and gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine. Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests that were in Nob. And they came, all of them, to the king. And Saul said, Hear now, you son of Ahitub. And he answered, Here I am, my lord. And Saul said unto him, Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword, and have inquired of God for him, that he should rise against me to lie in wait as at this day?
  24. Then Ahimelech answered the king and said, And who is so faithful among all your servants as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, and goes at your bidding, and is honorable in your house? Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? Be it far from me. Let not the king impute anything unto his servant, nor to all the house of my father, for your servant knew nothing of all this, less or more.
  25. And the king said, You shall surely die Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house. And the king said unto the guards that stood about him, Turn and slay the priests of the Lord, because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled and did not show it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the Lord.
  26. And the king said to Doeg, Turn and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day eighty-five people that did wear a linen ephod. And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword — both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.
  27. And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. And Abiathar showed David that Saul had slain the Lord’s priests. And David said unto Abiathar, I knew it that day when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have caused the death of all the people of your father’s house. Abide with me, fear not; for he that seeks my life seeks your life, but with me you shall be safeguarded.
  28. Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah and they rob the threshing floors. Therefore, David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the Lord said unto David, Go and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah. And David’s men said unto him, Behold, we are afraid here in Judah, how much more then if we come to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines! Then David inquired of the Lord yet again, and the Lord answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.
  29. So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah. And it came to pass, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David, to Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand.
  30. And it was told to Saul that David had come to Keilah. And Saul said, God has delivered him into my hand, for he is shut in by entering into a town that has gates and bars. And Saul called all the people together to war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.
  31. And David knew that Saul secretly practiced mischief against him. And he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring here the ephod. Then said David, O Lord God of Israel, your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake. Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? Will Saul come down as your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I implore you, tell your servant. And the Lord said, He will come down. Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the Lord said, They will deliver you up. Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went wherever they could go. And it was told to Saul that David was escaped from Keilah, and he ceased to go forth.
  32. And David stayed in the wilderness, in strongholds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand. And David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. And David was in the wilderness of Ziph, in a wood.
  33. And Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David, into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God. And he said unto him, Fear not; for the hand of Saul, my father, shall not find you. And you shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto you; and that also, Saul, my father, knows. And they two made a covenant before the Lord. And David stayed in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.
  34. Then came up the Ziphites to Saul, to Gibeah, saying, Does not David hide himself with us in strongholds in the wood? In the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon? Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to come down, and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand. And Saul said, Blessed be you of the Lord, for you have compassion on me. Go, I pray you, prepare yet; and know, and see his place where he frequents, and who has seen him there. For it is told to me that he deals very subtly. See therefore and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hides himself, and come again to me with the certainty, and I will go with you. And it shall come to pass, if he be in the land, that I will search him out throughout all the thousands of Judah.
  35. And they arose and went to Ziph before Saul. But David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of Jeshimon. Saul also and his men went to seek him. And they told David; wherefore, he came down into a rock and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon. And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain. And David made haste to get away, for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men encompassed David and his men round about to take them. But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Hasten yourself and come, for the Philistines have invaded the land. Wherefore, Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. Therefore, they called that place Sela-Hammahlekoth. And David went up from there and dwelled in strongholds at Engedi.
  36. And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told to him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi. Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. And he came to the sheep enclosures by the way, where was a cave. And Saul went in to cover his feet. And David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.
  37. And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the Lord said unto you, Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it shall seem good unto you. Then David arose and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe secretly. And it came to pass afterward that David’s heart smote him because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch forth my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord. So David stopped his servants with these words and suffered them not to rise against Saul.
  38. But Saul rose up out of the cave and went on his way. David also arose afterward and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord, the king! And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth and bowed himself.
  39. And David said to Saul, Why do you hear men’s words saying, Behold, David seeks to hurt you? Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the Lord had delivered you today into my hand in the cave. And some bid me to kill you, but my eye spared you. And I said, I will not put forth my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed. Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of your robe in my hand, for in that I cut off the skirt of your robe and killed you not. Know and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my soul, to take it.
  40. The Lord judge between me and you, and the Lord avenge me of you; but my hand shall not be upon you. As says the proverb of the ancients: Wickedness proceeds from the wicked. But my hand shall not be upon you. After whom is the king of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog? After a flea? The Lord therefore be judge, and judge between me and you, and see and plead my cause, and deliver me out of your hand.
  41. And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this your voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. And he said to David, You are more righteous than I, for you have rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded you evil. And you have shown this day how you have dealt well with me, forasmuch as when the Lord had delivered me into your hand, you killed me not. For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? Wherefore, the Lord reward you good for that which you have done unto me this day.
  42. And now behold, I know well that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. Swear now therefore unto me by the Lord that you will not cut off my seed after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father’s house. And David swore unto Saul. And Saul went home, but David and his men went up unto the hold.