1 Samuel 26 – “David Evades Saul”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Saul chases after David. David sneaks into the Saul’s chambers, steals his personal items, and secretly returns to his own camp. Saul is contrite when he learns that David had the opportunity to kill him but chose not to.

II. Photo
David pleads with Saul: “Oh, let my blood not fall to the ground, away from the presence of the Lord! For the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea — as if he were hunting a partridge in the hills.” (v. 20)

III. Important Verses
1; The Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah and said, “David is hiding in the hill of Hachilah facing Jeshimon.”
6-12: David spoke up and asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, “Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?” And Abishai answered, “I will go down with you.” So David and Abishai approached the troops by night, and found Saul fast asleep inside the barricade, his spear stuck in the ground at his head, and Abner and the troops sleeping around him. And Abishai said to David, “God has delivered your enemy into your hands today. Let me pin him to the ground with a single thrust of the spear. I will not have to strike him twice.” But David said to Abishai, “Don’t do him violence! No one can lay hands on the LORD’s anointed with impunity.” And David went on, “As the LORD lives, the LORD Himself will strike him down, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go down to battle and perish. But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed! Just take the spear and the water jar at his head and let’s be off.” So David took away the spear and the water jar at Saul’s head, and they left. No one saw or knew or woke up; all remained asleep; a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen upon them.
19-21: [David said:] “Now let my lord the king hear his servant out. If the LORD has incited you against me, let Him be appeased by an offering; but if it is men, may they be accursed of the LORD! For they have driven me out today, so that I cannot have a share in the LORD’s possession, but am told, ‘Go and worship other gods.’ Oh, let my blood not fall to the ground, away from the presence of the LORD! For the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea — as if he were hunting a partridge in the hills.”  And Saul answered, “I am in the wrong. Come back, my son David, for I will never harm you again, seeing how you have held my life precious this day. Yes, I have been a fool, and I have erred so very much.”
25: Saul answered David, “May you be blessed, my son David. You shall achieve, and you shall prevail.” David then went his way, and Saul returned home.

IV. Outline
1. The Ziphites inform Saul of David’s location
2-3a. Saul pursues David
3b-5. David sees Saul
6-12. David enter’s Saul’s chambers, takes his personal items, but does not kill him
13-16. David ridicules Saul’s troops
17-24. David convinces Saul of his innocence
25a. Saul blesses David
25b. David and Saul part ways

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Campbell, Antony F. “1 Samuel” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 7 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2003).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Klein, Ralph W. “1 Samuel” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 10 (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1983).
Photo taken from http://www.sfu.ca/biology/faculty/williams/ebird/img/rl_partridge.jpg