1 Samuel 21-24 Young’s Literal Translation

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David Flees from Saul

21 1  And David cometh in to Nob, unto Ahimelech the priest, and Ahimelech trembleth at meeting David, and saith to him, 'Wherefore 'art' thou thyself alone, and no man with thee?' 2  And David saith to Ahimelech the priest, 'The king hath commanded me a matter, and he saith unto me, Let no man know anything of the matter about which I am sending thee, and which I have commanded thee; and the young men I have caused to know at such and such a place; 3  and now, what is there under thy hand? five loaves give into my hand, or that which is found.' 4  And the priest answereth David, and saith, 'There is no common bread under my hand, but there is holy bread; if the youths have been kept only from women.' 5  And David answereth the priest, and saith to him, 'Surely, if women have been restrained from us as heretofore in my going out, then the vessels of the young men are holy, and it 'is' a common way: and also, surely to-day it is sanctified in the vessel.' 6  And the priest giveth to him the holy thing, for there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence which is turned aside from the presence of Jehovah to put hot bread in the day of its being taken away. 7  And there 'is' a man of the servants of Saul on that day detained before Jehovah, and his name 'is' Doeg the Edomite, chief of the shepherds whom Saul hath. 8  And David saith to Ahimelech, 'And is there not here under thy hand spear or sword? for neither my sword nor my vessels have I taken in my hand, for the matter of the king was urgent.' 9  And the priest saith, 'The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou didst smite in the valley of Elah, lo, it is wrapt in a garment behind the ephod, if it thou dost take to thyself, take; for there is none other save it in this 'place'.' And David saith, 'There is none like it—give it to me.'

10  And David riseth and fleeth on that day from the face of Saul, and cometh in unto Achish king of Gath; 11  and the servants of Achish say unto him, 'Is not this David king of the land? is it not of this one they sing in dances, saying, 'Saul smote among his thousands, and David among his myriads?' 12  And David layeth these words in his heart, and is exceedingly afraid of the face of Achish king of Gath, 13  and changeth his behaviour before their eyes, and feigneth himself mad in their hand, and scribbleth on the doors of the gate, and letteth down his spittle unto his beard. 14  And Achish saith unto his servants, 'Lo, ye see a man acting as a madman; why do ye bring him in unto me? 15  A lack of madmen 'have' I, that ye have brought in this one to act as a madman by me! doth this one come in unto my house?'

22 1  And David goeth thence, and is escaped unto the cave of Adullam, and his brethren hear, and all the house of his father, and go down unto him thither; 2  and gather themselves unto him do every man in distress, and every man who hath an exactor, and every man bitter in soul, and he is over them for head, and there are with him about four hundred men. 3  And David goeth thence to Mizpeh of Moab, and saith unto the king of Moab, 'Let, I pray thee, my father and my mother go out with you, till that I know what God doth for me;' 4  and he leadeth them before the king of Moab, and they dwell with him all the days of David's being in the fortress. 5  And Gad the prophet saith unto David, 'Thou dost not abide in a fortress, go, and thou hast entered for thee the land of Judah;' and David goeth and entereth the forest of Hareth.

Saul Kills the Priests of Nob

6  And Saul heareth that David hath become known, and the men who 'are' with him, and Saul is abiding in Gibeah, under the grove in Ramah, and his spear 'is' in his hand, and all his servants standing by him. 7  And Saul saith to his servants who are standing by him, 'Hear, I pray you, ye Benjamites; also to all of you doth the son of Jesse give fields and vineyards! all of you he doth appoint heads of thousands and heads of hundreds! 8  for ye have conspired all of you against me, and there is none uncovering mine ear about my son's covenanting with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you grieving for me, and uncovering mine ear, that my son hath raised up my servant against me, to lie in wait as 'at' this day.' 9  And answer doth Doeg the Edomite, who is set over the servants of Saul, and saith, 'I have seen the son of Jesse coming in to Nob, unto Ahimelech son of Ahitub, 10  and he asketh for him at Jehovah, and provision hath given to him, and the sword of Goliath the Philistine hath given to him. 11  And the king sendeth to call Ahimelech son of Ahitub, the priest, and all the house of his father, the priests, who 'are' in Nob, and they come all of them unto the king; 12  and Saul saith, 'Hear, I pray thee, son of Ahitub;' and he saith, 'Here 'am' I, my lord.' 13  And Saul saith unto him, 'Why have ye conspired against me, thou and the son of Jesse, by thy giving to him bread and a sword, and to ask for him at God, to rise against me, to lie in wait, as 'at' this day?' 14  And Ahimelech answereth the king and saith, 'And who among all thy servants 'is' as David—faithful, and son-in-law of the king, and hath turned aside unto thy council, and is honoured in thy house? 15  To-day have I begun to ask for him at God? far be it from me! let not the king lay anything against his servant, against any of the house of my father, for thy servant hath known nothing of all this, less or more.' 16  And the king saith, 'Thou dost surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all the house of thy father.' 17  And the king saith to runners, those standing by him, 'Turn round, and put to death the priests of Jehovah, because their hand also 'is' with David, and because they have known that he is fleeing, and have not uncovered mine ear;' and the servants of the king have not been willing to put forth their hand to come against the priests of Jehovah. 18  And the king saith to Doeg, 'Turn round thou, and come against the priests;' and Doeg the Edomite turneth round, and cometh himself against the priests, and putteth to death in that day eighty and five men bearing a linen ephod, 19  and Nob, the city of the priests, he hath smitten by the mouth of the sword, from man even unto woman, from infant even unto suckling, and ox, and ass, and sheep, by the mouth of the sword.

20  And there escapeth one son of Ahimelech, son of Ahitub, and his name 'is' Abiathar, and he fleeth after David, 21  and Abiathar declareth to David that Saul hath slain the priests of Jehovah. 22  And David saith to Abiathar, 'I have known on that day when Doeg the Edomite 'is' there, that he doth certainly declare 'it' to Saul; I have brought 'it' round to every person of the house of thy father; 23  dwell with me; fear not; for he who seeketh my life seeketh thy life; for a charge 'art' thou with me.'

David in the Wilderness

23 1  And they declare to David, saying, 'Lo, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are spoiling the threshing-floors.' 2  And David asketh at Jehovah, saying, 'Do I go?—and have I smitten among these Philistines?' And Jehovah saith unto David, 'Go, and thou hast smitten among the Philistines, and saved Keilah.' 3  And David's men say unto him, 'Lo, we here in Judah are afraid; and how much more when we go to Keilah, unto the ranks of the Philistines?' 4  And David addeth again to ask at Jehovah, and Jehovah answereth him, and saith, 'Rise, go down to Keilah, for I am giving the Philistines into thy hand.' 5  And David goeth, and his men, to Keilah, and fighteth with the Philistines, and leadeth away their cattle, and smiteth among them—a great smiting, and David saveth the inhabitants of Keilah. 6  And it cometh to pass, in the fleeing of Abiathar son of Ahimelech unto David, to Keilah, an ephod came down in his hand.

7  And it is declared to Saul that David hath come in to Keilah, and Saul saith, 'God hath made him known for my hand, for he hath been shut in, to enter into a city of doors and bar.' 8  And Saul summoneth the whole of the people to battle, to go down to Keilah, to lay siege unto David and unto his men. 9  And David knoweth that against him Saul is devising the evil, and saith unto Abiathar the priest, 'Bring nigh the ephod.' 10  And David saith, 'Jehovah, God of Israel, Thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul is seeking to come in unto Keilah, to destroy the city on mine account. 11  Do the possessors of Keilah shut me up into his hand? doth Saul come down as Thy servant hath heard? Jehovah, God of Israel, declare, I pray Thee, to Thy servant.' And Jehovah saith, 'He doth come down.' 12  And David saith, 'Do the possessors of Keilah shut me up, and my men, into the hand of Saul?' And Jehovah saith, 'They shut 'thee' up.' 13  And David riseth—and his men—about six hundred men, and they go out from Keilah, and go up and down where they go up and down; and to Saul it hath been declared that David hath escaped from Keilah, and he ceaseth to go out.

14  And David abideth in the wilderness, in fortresses, and abideth in the hill-country, in the wilderness of Ziph; and Saul seeketh him all the days, and God hath not given him into his hand. 15  And David seeth that Saul hath come out to seek his life, and David 'is' in the wilderness of Ziph, in a forest. 16  And Jonathan son of Saul riseth, and goeth unto David to the forest, and strengtheneth his hand in God, 17  and saith unto him, 'Fear not, for the hand of Saul my father doth not find thee, and thou dost reign over Israel, and I am to thee for second, and also so knoweth Saul my father.' 18  And they make a covenant both of them before Jehovah; and David abideth in the forest, and Jonathan hath gone to his house.

19  And the Ziphites go up unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, 'Is not David hiding himself with us in fortresses, in the forest, in the height of Hachilah, which 'is' on the south of the desolate place? 20  And, now, by all the desire of thy soul, O king, to come down, come down, and ours 'is' to shut him up into the hand of the king.' 21  And Saul saith, 'Blessed 'are' ye of Jehovah, for ye have pity on me; 22  go, I pray you, prepare yet, and know and see his place where his foot is; who hath seen him there? for 'one' hath said unto me, He is very subtile. 23  And see and know of all the hiding-places where he hideth himself, and ye have turned back unto me prepared, and I have gone with you, and it hath been, if he is in the land, that I have searched him out through all the thousands of Judah.' 24  And they rise and go to Ziph before Saul, and David and his men 'are' in the wilderness of Maon, in the plain, at the south of the desolate place. 25  And Saul and his men go to seek, and they declare to David, and he goeth down the rock, and abideth in the wilderness of Maon; and Saul heareth, and pursueth after David 'to' the wilderness of Maon. 26  And Saul goeth on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain, and David is hastened to go from the face of Saul, and Saul and his men are compassing David and his men, to catch them. 27  And a messenger hath come in unto Saul, saying, 'Haste, and come, for the Philistines have pushed against the land.' 28  And Saul turneth back from pursuing after David, and goeth to meet the Philistines, therefore they have called that place 'The Rock of Divisions.' 29  And David goeth up thence, and abideth in fortresses 'at' En-gedi.

David Spares Saul at Engedi

24 1  And it cometh to pass when Saul hath turned back from after the Philistines, that they declare to him, saying, 'Lo, David 'is' in the wilderness of En-gedi.' 2  And Saul taketh three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and goeth to seek David and his men, on the front of the rocks of the wild goats, 3  and he cometh in unto folds of the flock, on the way, and there 'is' a cave, and Saul goeth in to cover his feet; and David and his men in the sides of the cave are abiding. 4  And the men of David say unto him, 'Lo, the day of which Jehovah said unto thee, Lo, I am giving thine enemy into thy hand, and thou hast done to him as it is good in thine eyes;' and David riseth and cutteth off the skirt of the upper robe which 'is' on Saul—gently. 5  And it cometh to pass afterwards that the heart of David smiteth him, because that he hath cut off the skirt which 'is' on Saul, 6  and he saith to his men, 'Far be it from me, by Jehovah; I do not do this thing to my lord—to the anointed of Jehovah—to put forth my hand against him, for the anointed of Jehovah he 'is'.' 7  And David subdueth his men by words, and hath not permitted them to rise against Saul; and Saul hath risen from the cave, and goeth on the way; 8  and David riseth afterwards, and goeth out from the cave, and calleth after Saul, saying, 'My lord, O king!' And Saul looketh attentively behind him, and David boweth—face to the earth—and doth obeisance.

9  And David saith to Saul, 'Why dost thou hear the words of man, saying, Lo, David is seeking thine evil? 10  Lo, this day have thine eyes seen how that Jehovah hath given thee to-day into my hand in the cave; and 'one' said to slay thee, and 'mine eye' hath pity on thee, and I say, I do not put forth my hand against my lord, for the anointed of Jehovah he 'is'. 11  'And, my father, see, yea see the skirt of thine upper robe in my hand; for by cutting off the skirt of thy upper robe, and I have not slain thee, know and see that there is not in my hand evil and transgression, and I have not sinned against thee, and thou art hunting my soul to take it! 12  'Jehovah doth judge between me and thee, and Jehovah hath avenged me of thee, and my hand is not on thee; 13  as saith the simile of the ancients, From the wicked goeth out wickedness, and my hand is not on thee. 14  'After whom hath the king of Israel come out? after whom art thou pursuing?—after a dead dog! after one flea! 15  And Jehovah hath been for judge, and hath judged between me and thee, yea, he seeth and pleadeth my cause, and doth deliver me out of thy hand.'

16  And it cometh to pass, when David completeth to speak these words unto Saul, that Saul saith, 'Is this thy voice, my son David?' and Saul lifteth up his voice, and weepeth. 17  And he saith unto David, 'More righteous thou 'art' than I; for thou hast done me good, and I have done thee evil; 18  and thou hast declared to-day how that thou hast done good with me, how that Jehovah shut me up into thy hand, and thou didst not slay me, 19  and that a man doth find his enemy, and hath sent him away in a good manner; and Jehovah doth repay thee good for that which thou didst to me this day. 20  'And, now, lo, I have known that thou dost certainly reign, and the kingdom of Israel hath stood in thy hand; 21  and, now, swear to me by Jehovah—thou dost not cut off my seed after me, nor dost thou destroy my name from the house of my father.' 22  And David sweareth to Saul, and Saul goeth unto his house, and David and his men have gone up unto the fortress.

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