1 And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Does not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon?
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 Jeshimon, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.
4 David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.
5 And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay in the trench, 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 you.
7 So David and Abishai 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 Abishai to David, God has delivered yours enemy into yours hand this day: now therefore let me strike him, I pray you, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not strike 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 David said furthermore, As the LORD lives, the LORD shall strike him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.
11 The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD's anointed: but, I pray you, take you now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.
12 So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they got them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.
13 Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill far off; a great space being between them:
14 And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answer you not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who are you that cry to the king?
15 And David said to Abner, Are not you a valiant man? and who is like to you in Israel? wherefore then have you not kept your lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king your lord.
16 This thing is not good that you have done. As the LORD lives, all of you are worthy to die, because all of you have not kept your master, the LORD's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.
17 And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this your voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king.
18 And he said, Wherefore does my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand?
19 Now therefore, I pray you, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD have stirred you 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 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel has come out to seek a flea, as when one does hunt a partridge in the mountains.
21 Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do you harm, because my soul was precious in yours eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.
22 And David answered and said, Behold the king's spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.
23 The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the LORD delivered you into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD's anointed.
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 the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.
25 Then Saul said to David, Blessed be you, my son David: you shall both do great things, and also shall still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.