1 Samuel 26-28
Saul’s Final Pursuit of David
26 The people of Ziph came to Saul at Gibeah. “David is hiding at the hill of Hachilah near Jeshimon,” they said.
2 Saul went to the desert of Ziph, taking with him 3,000 of Israel’s best-trained men to search for David. 3 Saul camped by the road at the hill of Hachilah near Jeshimon, but David stayed in the desert. When he realized Saul had come to the desert for him, 4 David sent spies to confirm that Saul had arrived.
5 Then David went to the place where Saul had camped. David saw the place where Saul and Ner’s son Abner, the commander of the army, were lying. Saul was lying in the camp, and the troops were camped around him.
6 David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai, who was Zeruiah’s son and Joab’s brother, “Who will go with me to Saul in the camp?”
Abishai answered, “I’ll go with you.”
7 So David and Abishai went among Saul’s troops that night. Saul was lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him. 8 Abishai said to David, “Today Elohim has turned your enemy over to you. Please let me nail him to the ground with one stab of the spear. I won’t have to do it twice!”
9 “Don’t kill him!” David told Abishai. “No one has ever attacked Yahweh’s anointed king and remained free of guilt. 10 I solemnly swear, as Yahweh lives,” David added, “Yahweh will strike him. Either his time will come when he’ll die naturally, or he’ll go into battle and be swept away. 11 It would be unthinkable for me to attack Yahweh’s anointed king. But please take that spear near his head and that jar of water, and let’s go.”
12 David took the spear and the jar of water near Saul’s head, and they left. All of them were asleep. No one saw them, knew about it, or woke up. Yahweh had made them fall into a deep sleep.
13 David went over to the other side and stood on top of the hill some distance away. (There was a wide space between them.) 14 Then David called to the troops and to Ner’s son Abner. “Won’t you answer, Abner?” he asked.
“Who is calling the king?” Abner asked.
15 David asked Abner, “Aren’t you a man? Is there anyone like you in Israel? Then why didn’t you guard your master, the king? Someone came to kill His Royal Majesty. 16 What you’ve done isn’t good. I solemnly swear, as Yahweh lives, you are dead men. You didn’t guard your master, Yahweh’s anointed king. Look at the king’s spear and the jar of water that were near his head.”
17 Saul recognized David’s voice. “Is that your voice, my servant David?” he asked.
“It is my voice, Your Royal Majesty,” David answered. 18 “Why are you pursuing me?” he added. “What have I done? What crime have I committed? 19 Your Majesty, please listen to my words. If Yahweh has turned you against me, let him be satisfied with an offering. But if mere mortals have turned you against me, let them be cursed by Yahweh. They have prevented me from having a share of Yahweh’s inheritance. ‘Go and serve other gods,’ they tell me. 20 Don’t let my blood fall to the ground, away from Yahweh’s presence. The king of Israel has come to search for one flea like someone hunting a partridge in the hills.”
21 “My servant David,” Saul said, “I have sinned. Come back. I will not harm you again, because you valued my life today. I’ve acted like a fool and made a terrible mistake.”
22 David responded, “Here’s the king’s spear. One of the young men should come over and get it. 23 Yahweh will reward any person who is righteous and faithful. Yahweh handed you over to me today, but I refused to attack Yahweh’s anointed king. 24 As I placed great value on your life today, may Yahweh place great value on my life and rescue me from all trouble.”
25 Then Saul said, “Blessed are you, my servant David. You will accomplish many things and certainly will succeed.”
So David went his way, while Saul returned home.
David at Ziklag
27 David said to himself, “One of these days Saul will sweep me away. The best thing for me to do is to make sure that I escape to Philistine territory. Then Saul will give up looking all over Israel for me, and I’ll escape from him.” 2 So David went with his 600 men to King Achish of Gath, Moach’s son. 3 David and his men stayed with Achish in Gath. Each one had his family, and David had his two wives, Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail (who had been Nabal’s wife) from Carmel. 4 When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he didn’t search for him anymore.
5 David said to Achish, “If you will permit me, let me have a place in one of the outlying towns so that I can live there. Why should I live in the royal city with you?” 6 So Achish immediately gave him Ziklag. (This is why Ziklag still belongs to the kings of Judah today.)
7 David stayed in Philistine territory for one year and four months. 8 Then David and his men went to raid the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. (They lived in the territory which extends from Telaim[a] to Shur and Egypt.) 9 Whenever David attacked the territory, he left no man or woman alive. He also took sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothing and returned to Achish.
10 Achish would ask, “Whom did you raid today?”[b]
And David would answer, “the Negev in Judah,” or “the portion of the Negev where the descendants of Jerahmeel live,” or “the portion of the Negev where the Kenites live.” 11 He did not bring a single man or woman back to Gath alive. He thought, “They could tell Achish what I really did.” This was his practice as long as he lived in Philistine territory. 12 And Achish believed David. Achish thought, “He has definitely made his own people in Israel despise him. He’ll be my servant from now on.”
28 At that time the Philistines had gathered their army to fight against Israel. Then Achish said to David, “You need to know that you and your men will be going with me into battle.”
2 “Very well,” David responded to Achish, “you will then know what I can do.”
“Very well,” Achish told David, “I will make you my bodyguard for life.”
Saul’s Sin—The Occult
3 Meanwhile, Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his hometown Ramah. (Saul had rid the land of mediums and psychics.)
4 The Philistines assembled and camped in Shunem. Saul also assembled the whole Israelite army, and they camped at Gilboa. 5 When Saul looked at the Philistine army, he was very afraid—terrified. 6 He prayed to Yahweh, but Yahweh didn’t answer him through dreams, the Urim,[c] or prophets. 7 Saul told his officers, “Find me a woman who conjures up the dead. Then I’ll go to her and ask for her services.”
His officers told him, “There is a woman at Endor who conjures up the dead.”
8 After disguising himself by putting on other clothes, Saul left with two men and came to the woman that night. He said to her, “Please consult with a dead person for me. Conjure up the person I request.”
9 The woman told him, “You know that Saul rid the land of mediums and psychics. Why are you trying to trap me and have me killed?”
10 But Saul took an oath in Yahweh’s name, “I solemnly swear, as Yahweh lives, you will not be harmed if you do this.”
11 “Whom should I conjure up for you?” the woman asked.
“Conjure up Samuel for me,” he answered.
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out loudly and asked, “Why did you deceive me? You’re Saul!”
13 “Don’t be afraid,” the king said to her. “What do you see?”
“I see a god rising from the ground,” the woman answered.
14 “In what form?” he asked her.
She answered, “An old man is coming up, and he’s wearing a robe.” Then Saul knew it was Samuel. Saul knelt down with his face touching the ground.
15 Samuel asked Saul, “Why did you disturb me by conjuring me up?”
Saul answered, “I’m in serious trouble. The Philistines are at war with me, and Elohim has turned against me and doesn’t answer me anymore—either by the prophets or in dreams. So I’ve called on you to tell me what to do.”
16 Samuel said, “Why are you asking me when Yahweh has turned against you and become your enemy? 17 Yahweh has done to you exactly what he spoke through me: Yahweh has torn the kingship out of your hands and given it to your fellow Israelite David. 18 Yahweh is doing this to you today because you didn’t listen to him or unleash his burning anger on Amalek. 19 For the same reasons Yahweh will hand you and Israel over to the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. And then Yahweh will hand Israel’s army over to the Philistines.”
20 Immediately, Saul fell flat on the ground. He was frightened by Samuel’s words. He also had no strength left, because he hadn’t eaten anything all day or all night. 21 The woman came over to Saul and saw that he was terrified. “I listened to you,” she told him, “and I took my life in my hands when I did what you told me to do. 22 Now please listen to me. I will serve you something to eat. Eat it so that you will have strength when you leave.”
23 But he refused. “I don’t want to eat,” he said. Nevertheless, his officers and the woman kept urging[d] him until he listened to them. So he got up from the ground and sat on the bed.
24 The woman immediately butchered a fattened calf that she owned. She took flour, kneaded it, and baked some unleavened bread. 25 Then she served it to Saul and his officers. They ate and left that same night.
- 1 Samuel 27:8 Greek; Masoretic Text “lived in the country for a long time.”
- 1 Samuel 27:10 Dead Sea Scrolls, Greek; Masoretic Text “Did you raid today?”
- 1 Samuel 28:6 The Urim and Thummim were used by the chief priest to determine God’s answer to questions.
- 1 Samuel 28:23 Greek; Masoretic Text “the woman broke through.”
Jesus Brings Lazarus Back to Life
11 Lazarus, who lived in Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived, was sick. 2 (Mary was the woman who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. Her brother Lazarus was the one who was sick.)
3 So the sisters sent a messenger to tell Yeshua, “Lord, your close friend is sick.”
4 When Yeshua heard the message, he said, “His sickness won’t result in death. Instead, this sickness will bring glory to God so that the Son of God will receive glory through it.”
5 Yeshua loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. 6 Yet, when Yeshua heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days.
7 Then, after the two days, Yeshua said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”
8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, not long ago the Jews wanted to stone you to death. Do you really want to go back there?”
9 Yeshua answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day don’t stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10 However, those who walk at night stumble because they have no light in themselves.”
11 After Yeshua said this, he told his disciples, “Our friend Lazarus is sleeping, and I’m going to Bethany to wake him.”
12 His disciples said to him, “Lord, if he’s sleeping, he’ll get well.”
13 Yeshua meant that Lazarus was dead, but the disciples thought Yeshua meant that Lazarus was only sleeping. 14 Then Yeshua told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 but I’m glad that I wasn’t there so that you can grow in faith. Let’s go to Lazarus.”
16 Thomas, who was called Didymus, said to the rest of the disciples, “Let’s go so that we, too, can die with Yeshua.”
17 When Yeshua arrived, he found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. 18 (Bethany was near Jerusalem, not quite two miles away.) 19 Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother.
20 When Martha heard that Yeshua was coming, she went to meet him. Mary stayed at home. 21 Martha told Yeshua, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask him.”
23 Yeshua told Martha, “Your brother will come back to life.”
24 Martha answered Yeshua, “I know that he’ll come back to life on the last day, when everyone will come back to life.”
25 Yeshua said to her, “I am the one who brings people back to life, and I am life itself. Those who believe in me will live even if they die. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe that?”
27 Martha said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who was expected to come into the world.”
28 After Martha had said this, she went back home and whispered to her sister Mary, “The teacher is here, and he is calling for you.”
29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to Yeshua. 30 (Yeshua had not yet come into the village but was still where Martha had met him.) 31 The Jews who were comforting Mary in the house saw her get up quickly and leave. So they followed her. They thought that she was going to the tomb to cry. 32 When Mary arrived where Yeshua was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Yeshua saw her crying, and the Jews who were crying with her, he was deeply moved and troubled.
34 So Yeshua asked, “Where did you put Lazarus?”
They answered him, “Lord, come and see.”
35 Yeshua cried. 36 The Jews said, “See how much Yeshua loved him.” 37 But some of the Jews asked, “Couldn’t this man who gave a blind man sight keep Lazarus from dying?”
38 Deeply moved again, Yeshua went to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone covering the entrance. 39 Yeshua said, “Take the stone away.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, told Yeshua, “Lord, there must already be a stench. He’s been dead for four days.”
40 Yeshua said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you would see God’s glory?” 41 So the stone was moved away from the entrance of the tomb.
Yeshua looked up and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. 42 I’ve known that you always hear me. However, I’ve said this so that the crowd standing around me will believe that you sent me.” 43 After Yeshua had said this, he shouted as loudly as he could, “Lazarus, come out!”
44 The dead man came out. Strips of cloth were wound around his feet and hands, and his face was wrapped with a handkerchief. Yeshua told them, “Free Lazarus, and let him go.”
The Jewish Council Plans to Kill Jesus
45 Many Jews who had visited Mary and had seen what Yeshua had done believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Yeshua had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council. They asked, “What are we doing? This man is performing a lot of miracles. 48 If we let him continue what he’s doing, everyone will believe in him. Then the Romans will take away our position and our nation.”
49 One of them, Caiaphas, who was chief priest that year, told them, “You people don’t know anything. 50 You haven’t even considered this: It is better for one man to die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.”
51 Caiaphas didn’t say this on his own. As chief priest that year, he prophesied that Yeshua would die for the Jewish nation. 52 He prophesied that Yeshua wouldn’t die merely for this nation, but that Yeshua would die to bring God’s scattered children together and make them one.
53 From that day on, the Jewish council planned to kill Yeshua. 54 So Yeshua no longer walked openly among the Jews. Instead, he left Bethany and went to the countryside near the desert, to a city called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.
1 Praise Yahweh, all you nations!
Praise him, all you people of the world!
2 His mercy toward us is powerful.
Yahweh’s faithfulness endures forever.
22 Without advice plans go wrong,
but with many advisers they succeed.
23 A person is delighted to hear an answer from his own mouth,
and a timely word—oh, how good!