1 And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, “Doth not Dawid hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Yeshimon?”
2 Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Yisrael with him, to seek Dawid in the wilderness of Ziph.
3 And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Yeshimon, by the way. But Dawid abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.
4 Dawid therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.
5 And Dawid arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and Dawid beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his army: and Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him.
6 Then answered Dawid and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Avishai the son of Zeruyah, brother to Yoav, saying, “Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp?” And Avishai said, “I will go down with you.”
7 So Dawid and Avishai came to the people by night; and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster; but Abner and the people lay round about him.
8 Then said Avishai to Dawid, “God (Elohim) hath delivered your enemy into your hand this day; now therefore let me smite him, please, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time!”
9 And Dawid said to Avishai, “Destroy him not; for who can stretch forth his hand against יהוה’s anointed, and be guiltless?”
10 Dawid said furthermore, “As יהוה liveth, יהוה shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.
11 יהוה forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against יהוה’s anointed; but please, take you now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.”
12 So Dawid took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked; for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from יהוה was fallen upon them.
13 Then Dawid went over to the other side, and stood on the top of a hill afar off; a great space being between them:
14 And Dawid cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Answerest you not, Abner?” Then Abner answered and said, “Who are you that criest to the king?”
15 And Dawid said to Abner, “Art not you a valiant man? And who is like to you in Yisrael? Wherefore then have you not kept your lord (adon) the king? For there came one of the people in to destroy the king your lord (adon).
16 This thing is not good that you have done. As יהוה liveth, you are worthy to die, because you have not kept your master, יהוה’s anointed (mashiach). And now see where the king’s spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.”
17 And Saul knew Dawid’s voice, and said, “Is this your voice, my son Dawid?” And Dawid said, “It is my voice, my lord (adoni), O king.”
18 And he said, “Why doth my lord (adoni) thus pursue after his servant? For what have I done? Or what evil is in mine hand?
19 Now therefore, please let my lord (adoni) the king hears the words of his servant: If יהוה have stirred you up against me, let him accept an offering; but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before יהוה; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of יהוה, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods (elohim).’
20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of יהוה; for the king of Yisrael is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.
21 Then said Saul, “I have sinned. Return, my son Dawid; for I will no more do you harm, because my soul was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.”
22 And Dawid answered and said, “Behold the king’s spear! And let one of the young men come over and fetch it.
23 May יהוה render to every man His righteousness and His faithfulness; for יהוה delivered you into my hand today, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against יהוה’s anointed (mashiach).
24 And, behold, as your life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of יהוה, and let Him deliver me out of all tribulation.”
25 Then Saul said to Dawid, “Blessed be you, my son Dawid! You shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail. So Dawid went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.