1 Samuel 28-31 Revised Standard Version

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28 In those days the Philistines gathered their forces for war, to fight against Israel. And A'chish said to David, "Understand that you and your men are to go out with me in the army." 2  David said to A'chish, "Very well, you shall know what your servant can do." And A'chish said to David, "Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life."

Saul and the Medium at En-dor

3  Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the wizards out of the land. 4  The Philistines assembled, and came and encamped at Shunem; and Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilbo'a. 5  When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. 6  And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets.

7  Then Saul said to his servants, "Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her." And his servants said to him, "Behold, there is a medium at Endor." 8  So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments, and went, he and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night. And he said, "Divine for me by a spirit, and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you." 9  The woman said to him, "Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the wizards from the land. Why then are you laying a snare for my life to bring about my death?" 10  But Saul swore to her by the Lord, "As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing." 11  Then the woman said, "Whom shall I bring up for you?" He said, "Bring up Samuel for me." 12  When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice; and the woman said to Saul, "Why have you deceived me? You are Saul." 13  The king said to her, "Have no fear; what do you see?" And the woman said to Saul, "I see a god coming up out of the earth." 14  He said to her, "What is his appearance?" And she said, "An old man is coming up; and he is wrapped in a robe." And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance.

15  Then Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" Saul answered, "I am in great distress; for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams; therefore I have summoned you to tell me what I shall do." 16  And Samuel said, "Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy? 17  The Lord has done to you as he spoke by me; for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand, and given it to your neighbor, David. 18  Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord, and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Am'alek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. 19  Moreover the Lord will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines; and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me; the Lord will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines."

20  Then Saul fell at once full length upon the ground, filled with fear because of the words of Samuel; and there was no strength in him, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night. 21  And the woman came to Saul, and when she saw that he was terrified, she said to him, "Behold, your handmaid has hearkened to you; I have taken my life in my hand, and have hearkened to what you have said to me. 22  Now therefore, you also hearken to your handmaid; let me set a morsel of bread before you; and eat, that you may have strength when you go on your way." 23  He refused, and said, "I will not eat." But his servants, together with the woman, urged him; and he hearkened to their words. So he arose from the earth, and sat upon the bed. 24  Now the woman had a fatted calf in the house, and she quickly killed it, and she took flour, and kneaded it and baked unleavened bread of it, 25  and she put it before Saul and his servants; and they ate. Then they rose and went away that night.

The Philistines Distrust David

29 Now the Philistines gathered all their forces at Aphek; and the Israelites were encamped by the fountain which is in Jezreel. 2  As the lords of the Philistines were passing on by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were passing on in the rear with A'chish, 3  the commanders of the Philistines said, "What are these Hebrews doing here?" And A'chish said to the commanders of the Philistines, "Is not this David, the servant of Saul, king of Israel, who has been with me now for days and years, and since he deserted to me I have found no fault in him to this day." 4  But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him; and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, "Send the man back, that he may return to the place to which you have assigned him; he shall not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of the men here? 5  Is not this David, of whom they sing to one another in dances, 'Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands'?"

6  Then A'chish called David and said to him, "As the Lord lives, you have been honest, and to me it seems right that you should march out and in with me in the campaign; for I have found nothing wrong in you from the day of your coming to me to this day. Nevertheless the lords do not approve of you. 7  So go back now; and go peaceably, that you may not displease the lords of the Philistines." 8  And David said to A'chish, "But what have I done? What have you found in your servant from the day I entered your service until now, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?" 9  And A'chish made answer to David, "I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God; nevertheless the commanders of the Philistines have said, 'He shall not go up with us to the battle.' 10  Now then rise early in the morning with the servants of your lord who came with you; and start early in the morning, and depart as soon as you have light." 11  So David set out with his men early in the morning, to return to the land of the Philistines. But the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

David Defeats the Amalekites

30 Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amal'ekites had made a raid upon the Negeb and upon Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag, and burned it with fire, 2  and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great; they killed no one, but carried them off, and went their way. 3  And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4  Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept, until they had no more strength to weep. 5  David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahin'o-am of Jezreel, and Ab'igail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6  And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

7  And David said to Abi'athar the priest, the son of Ahim'elech, "Bring me the ephod." So Abi'athar brought the ephod to David. 8  And David inquired of the Lord, "Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?" He answered him, "Pursue; for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue." 9  So David set out, and the six hundred men who were with him, and they came to the brook Besor, where those stayed who were left behind. 10  But David went on with the pursuit, he and four hundred men; two hundred stayed behind, who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor. 11  They found an Egyptian in the open country, and brought him to David; and they gave him bread and he ate, they gave him water to drink, 12  and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. And when he had eaten, his spirit revived; for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13  And David said to him, "To whom do you belong? And where are you from?" He said, "I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amal'ekite; and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago. 14  We had made a raid upon the Negeb of the Cher'ethites and upon that which belongs to Judah and upon the Negeb of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire." 15  And David said to him, "Will you take me down to this band?" And he said, "Swear to me by God, that you will not kill me, or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this band." 16  And when he had taken him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17  And David smote them from twilight until the evening of the next day; and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. 18  David recovered all that the Amal'ekites had taken; and David rescued his two wives. 19  Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken; David brought back all. 20  David also captured all the flocks and herds; and the people drove those cattle before him, and said, "This is David's spoil."

21  Then David came to the two hundred men, who had been too exhausted to follow David, and who had been left at the brook Besor; and they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him; and when David drew near to the people he saluted them. 22  Then all the wicked and base fellows among the men who had gone with David said, "Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil which we have recovered, except that each man may lead away his wife and children, and depart." 23  But David said, "You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the Lord has given us; he has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us. 24  Who would listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike." 25  And from that day forward he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day. 26  When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, "Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the Lord"; 27  it was for those in Bethel, in Ramoth of the Negeb, in Jattir, 28  in Aro'er, in Siphmoth, in Eshtemo'a, 29  in Racal, in the cities of the Jerah'meelites, in the cities of the Ken'ites, 30  in Hormah, in Borash'an, in A'thach, 31  in Hebron, for all the places where David and his men had roamed.

The Death of Saul and His Sons

31 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines, and fell slain on Mount Gilbo'a. 2  And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan and Abin'adab and Mal'chishu'a, the sons of Saul. 3  The battle pressed hard upon Saul, and the archers found him; and he was badly wounded by the archers. 4  Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and make sport of me." But his armor-bearer would not; for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword, and fell upon it. 5  And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword, and died with him. 6  Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together. 7  And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley and those beyond the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook their cities and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

8  On the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilbo'a. 9  And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armor, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines, to carry the good news to their idols and to the people. 10  They put his armor in the temple of Ash'taroth; and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan. 11  But when the inhabitants of Ja'besh-gil'ead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12  all the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan; and they came to Jabesh and burnt them there. 13  And they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

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