1Samuel Chapter 31 (Bible Marathon Day 133)

1Samuel Chapter 31 (Bible Marathon Day 133)

Death of Saul and His Sons.
1
a Now the Philistines went to war against Israel, and the Israelites fled before them, and fell, slain on Mount
Gilboa.
2
The Philistines pressed hard after Saul and his sons. When the Philistines had struck down Jonathan,
Abinadab, and Malchishua, sons of Saul,b
3
the fury of the battle converged on Saul. Then the archers hit him, and he was severely wounded.
4
Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through; otherwise these uncircumcised will
come and abuse me.” But the armor-bearer, badly frightened, refused, so Saul took his own sword and fell
upon it.c
5
d When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell upon his sword and died with him.
6
Thus Saul, his three sons, and his armor-bearer died together on that same day.
7
When the Israelites on the slope of the valley and those along the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled
and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their cities and fled. Then the Philistines came and
lived in those cities.

8
On the following day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons fallen
on Mount Gilboa.
9
They cut off Saul’s head and stripped him of his armor; these they sent throughout the land of the Philistines
to bring the good news to the temple of their idols and to the people.e
10
They put his armor in the temple of Astarte but impaled his body on the wall of Beth-shan.
Burial of Saul.
11
f When the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul,
12
all their warriors set out and traveled through the night; they removed the bodies of Saul and his sons from
the wall of Beth-shan, and, returning to Jabesh, burned them.*
13
Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted for seven days.
* [31:12] Burned them: cremation was not an Israelite custom. The people of Jabesh-gilead repay Saul’s
victory over the Ammonites on their behalf (chap. 11) by providing burial and funeral rites for him and his
sons. Probably the damaged state of the corpus necessitated cremation.

a. [31:1–13] 2 Sm 1:1–16; 4:4; 1 Chr 10:1–12.

b. [31:2] 1 Sm 14:49; 28:19; 1 Chr 10:2–3.

c. [31:4] 1 Sm 24:6; Jgs 9:54; 1 Chr 10:4.

d. [31:5] 1 Sm 10:1; 26:9; 2 Mc 14:42.

e. [31:9] 1 Sm 17:54; 2 Sm 1:20; 2 Mc 15:35.

f. [31:11–13] 1 Sm 11:1–11; 2 Sm 2:4–7; 21:12–14.

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1Samuel Chapter 30 (Bible Marathon Day 133)

1Samuel Chapter 30 (Bible Marathon Day 133)

Ziklag in Ruins.
1
Before David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had raided the Negeb and Ziklag. They stormed Ziklag, and set it on fire.a
2
They took captive the women and all who were in the city, young and old, killing no one, and they herded them off when they left.
3
David and his men arrived at the city to find it burned to the ground and their wives, sons, and daughters taken captive.
4
Then David and those who were with him wept aloud until they could weep no more.
5
David’s two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel, had also been carried off.b
6
Now David found himself in great danger, for the soldiers spoke of stoning him, so bitter were they over the fate of their sons and daughters. David took courage in the LORD his God
7
c and said to Abiathar, the priest, son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod!” When Abiathar brought him the ephod,
8
David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue these raiders? Can I overtake them?” The LORD answered him: Go in pursuit, for you will certainly overtake them and bring about a rescue.

Raid on the Amalekites.
9
So David went off with his six hundred as far as the Wadi Besor, where those who were to remain behind halted.
10
David continued the pursuit with four hundred, but two hundred were too exhausted to cross the Wadi Besor and remained behind.
11
An Egyptian was found in the open country and brought to David. They gave him food to eat and water to drink;
12
they also offered a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of pressed raisins. When he had eaten, he revived, for he had not taken food nor drunk water for three days and three nights.
13
Then David asked him, “To whom do you belong? Where did you come from?” “I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite,” he replied. “My master abandoned me three days ago because I fell sick.
14
We raided the Negeb of the Cherethites, the territory of Judah, and the Negeb of Caleb; and we set Ziklag on fire.”d
15
David then asked him, “Will you lead me down to these raiders?” He answered, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master, and I will lead you down to the raiders.”
16
So he led them down, and there were the Amalekites lounging all over the ground, eating, drinking, and celebrating because of all the rich plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah.

The Plunder Recovered.
17
From dawn to sundown the next day David attacked them, allowing no one to escape except four hundred young men, who mounted their camels and fled.e
18
David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, and he rescued his two wives.
19
Nothing was missing, small or great, plunder or sons or daughters, of all that the Amalekites had taken. David brought back everything.
20
Moreover, David took all the sheep and oxen, and as they drove these before him, they shouted, “This is David’s plunder!”

Division of the Plunder.
21
When David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him, whom he had left behind at the Wadi Besor, they came out to meet David and the men with him. As David approached, he greeted them.
22
But all the greedy and worthless among those who had accompanied David said, “Since they did not accompany us, we will not give them anything from the plunder, except for each man’s wife and children.”
23
But David said: “You must not do this, my brothers, after what the LORD has given us. The LORD has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiders that came against us.f
24
Who could agree with this proposal of yours? Rather, the share of the one who goes down to battle shall be the same as that of the one who remains with the baggage—they share alike.”g
25
And from that day forward he made this a law and a custom in Israel, as it still is today.h

David’s Gifts to Judah.
26
When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the plunder to his friends, the elders of Judah,* saying, “This is a gift to you from the plunder of the enemies of the LORD,” namely,
27
to those in Bethel, Ramoth-negeb, Jattir,
28
Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa,
29
Racal, Jerahmeelite cities and Kenite cities,i
30
Hormah, Borashan, Athach,
31
Hebron, and to all the places that David and his men had frequented.j
* [30:26] Elders of Judah: David consolidates his power in southern Judah in preparation for his anointing at Hebron (2 Sm 5:3).

a. [30:1] 1 Sm 15:2; 27:6, 10; 1 Chr 12:21.

b. [30:5] 1 Sm 25:42; 27:3; 30:5.

c. [30:7–8] 1 Sm 2:28; 23:6; Ex 28:30.

d. [30:14] 1 Sm 27:10; Ez 25:16.

e. [30:17] 1 Sm 15:3; Jos 6:17; Jgs 7:12.

f. [30:23] Dt 20:4, 14.

g. [30:24] 1 Sm 17:22; 25:13.

h. [30:25] Nm 31:27.

i. [30:29] 1 Sm 27:10.

j. [30:31] 2 Sm 2:1–4.

1Samuel Chapter 29 (Bible Marathon Day 132)

1Samuel Chapter 29 (Bible Marathon Day 132)

David’s Aid Rejected.
1
Now the Philistines had mustered all their forces in Aphek, and the Israelites were encamped at the spring in Jezreel.a
2
As the Philistine lords were marching their units of a hundred and a thousand, David and his warriors were marching in the rear guard with Achish.
3
The Philistine commanders asked, “What are those Hebrews doing here?” Achish answered them: “Why, that is David, the officer of Saul, king of Israel. He has been with me for a year or two, and from the day he came over to me until now I have never found fault in him.”b
4
But the Philistine commanders were angered at this and said to him: “Send that man back! Let him return to the place you picked out for him. He must not go down into battle with us; during the battle he might become our enemy. For how else can he win back his master’s favor, if not at the expense of our soldiers?c
5
Is this not the David for whom they sing during their dances,

‘Saul has slain his thousands,
David his tens of thousands’?”d
6
So Achish summoned David and said to him: “As the LORD lives, you are honest, and I would want you with me in all my battles. To this day I have found nothing wrong with you since you came to me. But in the view of the chiefs you are not welcome.
7
Leave peacefully, now, and do nothing that might displease the Philistine chiefs.”
8
But David said to Achish: “What have I done? What fault have you found in your servant from the day I entered your service until today, that I cannot go to fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”
9
“I recognize,” Achish answered David, “that you are trustworthy, like an angel of God. But the Philistine commanders are saying, ‘He must not go with us into battle.’
10
So the first thing tomorrow, you and your lord’s servants who came with you, go to the place I picked out for you. Do not take to heart their worthless remarks; for you have been valuable in my service. But make an early morning start, as soon as it grows light, and be on your way.”
11
So David and his warriors left early in the morning to return to the land of the Philistines, and the Philistines went on up to Jezreel.
a. [29:1] 1 Sm 4:1.

b. [29:3] 1 Sm 27:7.

c. [29:4] 1 Chr 12:19–20.

d. [29:5] 1 Sm 18:6–7; 21:12.

1Samuel Chapter 28 (Bible Marathon Day 132)

1Samuel Chapter 28 (Bible Marathon Day 132)

In those days the Philistines mustered their military forces to fight against Israel. So Achish said to David, “You realize, of course, that you and your warriors* must march out for battle with me.”
2
David answered Achish, “Good! Now you shall learn what your servant can do.” Then Achish said to David, “I shall appoint you as my permanent bodyguard.”

3
Now, Samuel was dead. All Israel had mourned him and buried him in his city, Ramah. Meanwhile Saul had driven mediums and diviners out of the land.a

Saul in Despair.
4
The Philistines rallied and, coming to Shunem, they encamped. Saul, too, mustered all Israel; they camped on Gilboa.
5
When Saul saw the Philistine camp, he grew afraid and lost heart completely.
6
He consulted the LORD; but the LORD gave no answer, neither in dreams nor by Urim nor through prophets.b
7
Then Saul said to his servants, “Find me a medium* through whom I can seek counsel.” His servants answered him, “There is a woman in Endor who is a medium.”c
The Medium at Endor.
8
So he disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and set out with two companions. They came to the woman at night, and Saul said to her, “Divine for me; conjure up the spirit I tell you.”d
9
But the woman answered him, “You know what Saul has done, how he expelled the mediums and diviners from the land. Then why are you trying to entrap me and get me killed?”
10
But Saul swore to her by the LORD, “As the LORD lives, you shall incur no blame for this.”
11
“Whom do you want me to conjure up?” the woman asked him. “Conjure up Samuel for me,” he replied.
Samuel Appears.
12
When the woman saw Samuel, she shrieked at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”
13
But the king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What do you see?” “I see a god rising from the earth,” she replied.
14
“What does he look like?” asked Saul. “An old man is coming up wrapped in a robe,” she replied. Saul knew that it was Samuel, and so he bowed his face to the ground in homage.
Saul’s Doom.
15
* Samuel then said to Saul, “Why do you disturb me by conjuring me up?” Saul replied: “I am in great distress, for the Philistines are waging war against me and God has turned away from me. Since God no longer answers me through prophets or in dreams, I have called upon you to tell me what I should do.”e
16
To this Samuel said: “But why do you ask me, if the LORD has abandoned you for your neighbor?f
17
The LORD has done to you what he declared through me: he has torn the kingdom from your hand and has given it to your neighbor David.
18
“Because you disobeyed the LORD’s directive and would not carry out his fierce anger against Amalek, the LORD has done this to you today.g
19
Moreover, the LORD will deliver Israel, and you as well, into the hands of the Philistines. By tomorrow you and your sons will be with me, and the LORD will have delivered the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.”h
20
Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, in great fear because of Samuel’s message. He had no strength left, since he had eaten nothing all that day and night.
21
Then the woman came to Saul and, seeing that he was quite terror-stricken, said to him: “Remember, your maidservant obeyed you: I took my life in my hands and carried out the request you made of me.
22
Now you, in turn, please listen to your maidservant. Let me set out a bit of food for you to eat, so that you are strong enough to go on your way.”
23
But he refused, saying, “I will not eat.” However, when his servants joined the woman in urging him, he listened to their entreaties, got up from the ground, and sat on a couch.
24
The woman had a stall-fed calf in the house, which she now quickly slaughtered. Then taking flour, she kneaded it and baked unleavened bread.
25
She set the meal before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they got up and left the same night.
* [28:1] You and your warriors: David is faced with a potentially dangerous dilemma: either to reveal his continuing loyalty to his own people or to obey Achish and fight against his own people.

* [28:7] A medium: Saul’s own prohibition of necromancy and divination (v. 3) was in keeping with the consistent teaching of the Old Testament (cf. Lv 19:31; 20:6, 27; Dt 18:10).

* [28:15–19] The consultation with the medium serves to remind the reader that the Lord’s plan for David marches onward; no sorcery can thwart it.

a. [28:3] 1 Sm 25:1; Sir 46:20.

b. [28:6] 1 Sm 14:37, 41; Ex 28:30; Lv 8:8.

c. [28:7] Lv 19:31; 20:27; Dt 18:10–12; 2 Kgs 21:6; 1 Chr 10:13–14; Acts 16:16.

d. [28:8] 1 Sm 15:23; 1 Kgs 14:2.

e. [28:15] 1 Sm 14:37; Sir 46:20.

f. [28:16] 1 Sm 15:27–28.

g. [28:18] 1 Sm 15:18–19, 26.

h. [28:19] 1 Sm 31:2–6; Sir 46:20.

.

1Samuel Chapter 27 (Bible Marathon Day 131)

1Samuel Chapter 27 (Bible Marathon Day 131)

David Flees to the Philistines.
1
David said to himself: “I shall perish some day at the hand of Saul. I have no choice but to escape to the land of the Philistines; then Saul will give up his continual search for me throughout the land of Israel, and I will be out of his reach.”
2
Accordingly, David departed with his six hundred soldiers and went over to Achish, son of Maoch, king of Gath.a
3
David and his men lived in Gath with Achish; each one had his family, and David had his two wives, Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel.b
4
When Saul learned that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.
5
David said to Achish: “If I meet with your approval, let me have a place to live in one of the country towns. Why should your servant live with you in the royal city?”
6
That same day Achish gave him Ziklag, which has, therefore, belonged to the kings of Judah* up to the present time.c
7
In all, David lived a year and four months in Philistine territory.d

David Raids Israel’s Foes.
8
David and his men went out on raids against the Geshurites, Girzites, and Amalekites—peoples living in the land between Telam, on the approach to Shur, and the land of Egypt.e
9
In attacking the land David would not leave a man or woman alive, but would carry off sheep, oxen, donkeys, camels, and clothes. Then he would return to Achish,
10
who would ask, “Against whom did you raid this time?” David would reply, “Against the Negeb of Judah,”* or “Against the Negeb of Jerahmeel,” or “Against the Negeb of the Kenites.”f
11
David never left a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath. He thought, “They will betray us and say, ‘This is what David did.’” This was his custom as long as he lived in Philistine territory.
12
Achish trusted David, thinking, “His people Israel must certainly detest him. I shall have him as my vassal
forever.”

* [27:6] Ziklag was a royal city and not part of Israel’s tribal land holdings. Jerusalem later enjoyed a similar status (2 Sm 5:7–9).

* [27:10] The Negeb of Judah: David deceives Achish by assuring him that he has attacked Israelite territory.

a. [27:2] 1 Sm 21:11–16.

b. [27:3] 1 Sm 25:3, 44; 30:3–5; 2 Sm 2:3.

c. [27:6] 1 Sm 30:1.

d. [27:7] 1 Sm 29:3.

e. [27:8] 1 Sm 15:3, 7; Jos 13:2–3.

f. [27:10] 1 Sm 30:14, 29; 1 Chr 2:9, 25, 42.

1Samuel Chapter 26 (Bible Marathon Day 131)

1Samuel Chapter 26 (Bible Marathon Day 131)

David Spares Saul Again.*
1
a Men from Ziph came to Saul in Gibeah, reporting that David was hiding on the hill of Hachilah at the edge of Jeshimon.
2
So Saul went down to the wilderness of Ziph with three thousand of the best warriors of Israel, to search for David in the wilderness of Ziph.
3
Saul camped beside the road on the hill of Hachilah, at the edge of Jeshimon. David, who was living in the wilderness, saw that Saul had come into the wilderness after him
4
and sent out scouts, who confirmed Saul’s arrival.
5
David then went to the place where Saul was encamped and saw the spot where Saul and his general, Abner, son of Ner, had their sleeping quarters. Saul was lying within the camp, and all his soldiers were bivouacked around him.b
6
David asked Ahimelech the Hittite, and Abishai, son of Zeruiah and brother of Joab, “Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?” Abishai replied, “I will.”c
7
So David and Abishai reached Saul’s soldiers by night, and there was Saul lying asleep within the camp, his spear thrust into the ground at his head and Abner and his troops sleeping around him.

8
Abishai whispered to David: “God has delivered your enemy into your hand today. Let me nail him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I will not need to strike him twice!”d
9
But David said to Abishai, “Do not harm him, for who can lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed and remain innocent?
10
As the LORD lives,” David declared, “only the LORD can strike him: either when the time comes for him to die, or when he goes out and perishes in battle.* e
11
But the LORD forbid that I lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed! Now take the spear at his head and the water jug, and let us be on our way.”
12
So David took the spear and the water jug from their place at Saul’s head, and they withdrew without anyone seeing or knowing or awakening. All remained asleep, because a deep slumber* from the LORD had fallen upon them.f
David Taunts Abner.
13
Crossing over to an opposite slope, David stood on a distant hilltop. With a great distance between them
14
David called to the army and to Abner, son of Ner, “Will you not answer, Abner?” Then Abner shouted back, “Who is it that calls me?”
15
David said to Abner: “Are you not a man? Who in Israel is your equal? Why were you not guarding your lord the king when one of his subjects came to assassinate the king, your lord?
16
What you have done is not right. As the LORD lives, you people deserve death because you have not guarded your lord, the anointed of the LORD. Go, look: where are the king’s spear and the water jug that was at his head?”
Saul Admits His Guilt.
17
Saul recognized David’s voice and asked, “Is that your voice, David my son?”* David answered, “Yes, my lord the king.”
18
He continued: “Why does my lord pursue his servant? What have I done? What evil am I planning?
19
Please, now, let my lord the king listen to the words of his servant. If the LORD has incited you against me, may an offering please the LORD. But if it is the people who have done so, may they be cursed before the LORD. They have driven me away so that today I have no share in the LORD’s heritage,* but am told: ‘Go serve other gods!’g
20
Do not let my blood spill on the ground far from the presence of the LORD. For the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea as if he were hunting partridge* in the mountains.”
21
Then Saul said: “I have done wrong. Come back, David, my son! I will not harm you again, because you considered my life precious today even though I have been a fool and have made a serious mistake.”
22
But David answered: “Here is the king’s spear. Let an attendant come over to get it.
23
The LORD repays everyone’s righteousness and faithfulness. Although the LORD delivered you into my hands today, I could not lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed.h
24
Just as I regarded your life as precious today, so may the LORD regard my life as precious and deliver me from all dangers.”
25
Then Saul said to David: “Blessed are you, my son David! You shall certainly succeed in whatever you undertake.” David went his way, and Saul returned to his place.i
* [26:1] The second account of David sparing Saul’s life; cf. note on 24:1.

* [26:10] Perishes in battle: David’s words foreshadow how Saul will die (31:3–4). They also emphasize that David, unlike Saul, knows his proper place before God. David comes to the kingship innocent of Saul’s blood, although the king pursues him like an enemy and David has had two opportunities to kill him.

* [26:12] Deep slumber: as in Gn 2:21; 15:12; Is 29:10. The Lord aids David’s foray into Saul’s camp and allows David to come and go undetected.

* [26:17] David my son: Saul’s reference to David as his son, which appears three times in this chapter (vv. 17, 21, 25), alludes to David’s role as his successor.

* [26:19] The LORD’s heritage: the land and people of Israel (Dt 32:8–9; Ps 33:12). If driven from the land, David could not take part in worship of Israel’s God; nonetheless, God has blessed David (cf. v. 25).

* [26:20] Partridge: lit., “the caller.” The metaphor is built on clever wordplay: in v. 14, David calls out to the army and Abner asks the caller’s identity. David calls out the answer: “the caller” is the object of the king’s pursuit.

a. [26:1–2] 1 Sm 23:19–20; Ps 54.

b. [26:5] 1 Sm 17:20.

c. [26:6] 2 Sm 3:30; 1 Chr 2:16.

d. [26:8] 1 Sm 18:11; 19:10; 20:33.

e. [26:10] Ps 37:13.

f. [26:12] Gn 2:21; 15:12.

g. [26:19] 1 Sm 24:16.

h. [26:23] 1 Sm 18:20.

i. [26:25] 1 Sm 18:14; 24:21.

1Samuel Chapter 25 (Bible Marathon Day 130)

1Samuel Chapter 25 (Bible Marathon Day 130)

Death of Samuel.
1
Samuel died, and all Israel gathered to mourn him; they buried him at his home in Ramah.a Then David
went down to the wilderness of Paran.

Nabal and Abigail.
2
There was a man of Maon who had property in Carmel; he was very wealthy, owning three thousand sheep
and a thousand goats. At the time, he was present for the shearing of his flock in Carmel.b
3
The man’s name was Nabal and his wife was Abigail. The woman was intelligent and attractive, but Nabal, a
Calebite, was harsh and bad-mannered.c
4
While in the wilderness, David heard that Nabal was shearing his flock,
5
so he sent ten young men, instructing them: “Go up to Carmel. Pay Nabal a visit and greet him in my name.
6
Say to him, ‘Peace be with you, my brother, and with your family, and with all who belong to you.
7
I have just heard that shearers are with you. Now, when your shepherds were with us, we did them no injury,
neither did they miss anything while they were in Carmel.
8
Ask your servants and they will tell you. Look kindly on these young men, since we come at a festival time.
Please give your servants and your son David* whatever you can.’”
9
When David’s young men arrived, they delivered the entire message to Nabal in David’s name, and then
waited.
10
But Nabal answered the servants of David: “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? Nowadays there are
many servants who run away from their masters.
11
Must I take my bread, my wine, my meat that I have slaughtered for my own shearers, and give them to men
who come from who knows where?”
12
So David’s young men retraced their steps and on their return reported to him all that had been said.
13
Thereupon David said to his men, “Let everyone strap on his sword.” And everyone did so, and David put on
his own sword. About four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.
14
Abigail, Nabal’s wife, was informed of this by one of the servants, who said: “From the wilderness David sent
messengers to greet our master, but he screamed at them.
15
Yet these men were very good to us. We were not harmed, neither did we miss anything all the while we
were living among them during our stay in the open country.
16
Day and night they were a wall of protection for us, the whole time we were pasturing the sheep near them.
17
Now, see what you can do, for you must realize that otherwise disaster is in store for our master and for his
whole house. He is such a scoundrel that no one can talk to him.”
18
Abigail quickly got together two hundred loaves, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted
grain, a hundred cakes of pressed raisins, and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on
donkeys.
19
She then said to her servants, “Go on ahead; I will follow you.” But to her husband Nabal she said nothing.
20
Hidden by the mountain, she came down riding on a donkey, as David and his men were coming down
from the opposite direction. When she met them,
21
David had just been saying: “Indeed, it was in vain that I guarded all this man’s possessions in the
wilderness, so that nothing of his was missing. He has repaid good with evil.
22
May God do thus to David, and more, if by morning I leave a single male alive among all those who belong
to him.”d
23
As soon as Abigail saw David, she dismounted quickly from the donkey and, falling down, bowed low to the
ground before David in homage.
24
As she fell at his feet she said: “My lord, let the blame be mine. Please let your maidservant speak to you;
listen to the words of your maidservant.e
25
My lord, do not pay any attention to that scoundrel Nabal, for he is just like his name. His name means fool,*
and he acts the fool. I, your maidservant, did not see the young men whom my lord sent.
26
Now, therefore, my lord, as the LORD lives, and as you live, the LORD has kept you from shedding blood
and from avenging yourself by your own hand. May your enemies and those who seek to harm my lord
become as Nabal!* f
27
Accept this gift, then, which your maidservant has brought for my lord, and let it be given to the young men
who follow my lord.
28
Please forgive the offense of your maidservant, for the LORD shall certainly establish a lasting house for my
lord, because my lord fights the battles of the LORD. Let no evil be found in you your whole life long.g
29
If any adversary pursues you to seek your life, may the life of my lord be bound in the bundle of the living* in
the care of the LORD your God; may God hurl out the lives of your enemies as from the hollow of a sling.h
30
And when the LORD fulfills for my lord the promise of success he has made concerning you, and appoints
you as ruler over Israel,i
31
you shall not have any regrets or burdens on your conscience, my lord, for having shed innocent blood or
for having rescued yourself. When the LORD bestows good on my lord, remember your maidservant.”
32
David said to Abigail: “Blessed is the LORD, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today.
33
Blessed is your good judgment and blessed are you yourself. Today you have prevented me from shedding
blood and rescuing myself with my own hand.
34
Otherwise, as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come so
promptly to meet me, by dawn Nabal would not have had so much as one male left alive.”
35
David then took from her what she had brought him and said to her: “Go to your home in peace! See, I have
listened to your appeal and have granted your request.”
Nabal’s Death.
36
When Abigail came to Nabal, he was hosting a banquet in his house like that of a king, and Nabal was in a
festive mood and very drunk. So she said not a word to him until daybreak the next morning.
37
But then, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him what had happened. At this his heart died within him, and
he became like a stone.
38
About ten days later the LORD struck Nabal and he died.
39
Hearing that Nabal was dead, David said: “Blessed be the LORD, who has defended my cause against the
insult from Nabal, and who restrained his servant from doing evil, but has repaid Nabal for his evil deeds.”
David Marries Abigail and Ahinoam. David then sent a proposal of marriage to Abigail.j
40
When David’s servants came to Abigail in Carmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to make his proposal
of marriage to you.”
41
Rising and bowing to the ground, she answered, “Let your maidservant be the slave who washes the feet of
my lord’s servants.”
42
She got up immediately, mounted a donkey, and followed David’s messengers, with her five maids attending
her. She became his wife.
43
k David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel. Thus both of them were his wives.
44
But Saul gave David’s wife Michal, Saul’s own daughter, to Palti, son of Laish, who was from Gallim.l

* [25:8] Your son David: this kinship language may reflect a political or social relationship between Nabal
and David. Nabal, however, does not acknowledge it.

* [25:25] Hebrew nabal means “fool” (cf. Is 32:5–7). Abigail, on the other hand, acts wisely to save herself
and her household by offering prudent counsel to the future king of Israel.

* [25:26] Abigail, encouraging David to trust in God’s promise, anticipates that some misfortune will shortly
overtake Nabal, as in fact it does (vv. 37–38).

* [25:29] The bundle of the living: the figure is perhaps taken from the practice of tying up valuables in a
kerchief or bag for safekeeping. Abigail desires that David enjoy permanent peace and security, but that his
enemies be subject to constant agitation and humiliation like a stone whirled about, cast out of the sling, and
thereafter disregarded.

a. [25:1] 1 Sm 28:3; Sir 46:13–20.

b. [25:2] 1 Sm 23:24; Jos 15:55.

c. [25:3] 1 Sm 27:3; Dt 1:35–36; Jos 14:6–15; 1 Chr 2:42, 45.

d. [25:22] 1 Kgs 16:11; 21:21; 2 Kgs 9:8.

e. [25:24] 2 Sm 14:9.

f. [25:26] Dt 20:4; Jgs 7:2.

g. [25:28] 1 Kgs 11:38.

h. [25:29] Ps 69:28.

i. [25:30] 1 Sm 13:14; 2 Sm 3:10.

j. [25:39] 1 Kgs 2:44.

k. [25:43] 1 Sm 27:3.

l. [25:44] 1 Sm 18:20; 27:3; 30:5; 2 Sm 2:2, 13–16; 1 Chr 3:1.

1Samuel Chapter 24 (Bible Marathon Day 130)

1Samuel Chapter 24 (Bible Marathon Day 130)

David Spares Saul.*
1
David then went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of Engedi.
2
When Saul returned from the pursuit of the Philistines, he was told that David was in the desert near Engedi.
3
So Saul took three thousand of the best men from all Israel and went in search of David and his men in the
direction of the wild goat crags.
4
When he came to the sheepfolds along the way, he found a cave, which he entered to relieve himself. David
and his men were occupying the inmost recesses of the cave.a
5
David’s servants said to him, “This is the day about which the LORD said to you: I will deliver your enemy into
your hand; do with him as you see fit.” So David moved up and stealthily cut off an end of Saul’s robe.
6
Afterward, however, David regretted that he had cut off an end of Saul’s robe.b
7
He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, to lay
a hand on him, for he is the LORD’s anointed.”c
8
With these words David restrained his men and would not permit them to attack Saul. Saul then left the cave
and went on his way.
9
David also stepped out of the cave, calling to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked back, David bowed,
his face to the ground in homage,
10
and asked Saul: “Why do you listen to those who say, ‘David is trying to harm you’?
11
You see for yourself today that the LORD just now delivered you into my hand in the cave. I was told to kill
you, but I took pity on you instead. I decided, ‘I will not raise a hand against my master, for he is the LORD’s
anointed.’
12
Look here, my father. See the end of your robe which I hold. I cut off an end of your robe and did not kill you.
Now see and be convinced that I plan no harm and no rebellion. I have done you no wrong, though you are
hunting me down to take my life.d
13
May the LORD judge between me and you. May the LORD exact justice from you in my case. I shall not lay a
hand on you.
14
As the old proverb says, ‘From the wicked comes wickedness.’ Thus I will not lay a hand on you.
15
What is the king of Israel attacking? What are you pursuing? A dead dog! A single flea!e
16
The LORD will be the judge to decide between us. May the LORD see this, defend my cause, and give me
justice against you!”f

Saul’s Remorse.
17
When David finished saying these things to Saul, Saul answered, “Is that your voice, my son David?” And he
wept freely.
18
Saul then admitted to David: “You are more in the right than I am. You have treated me graciously, while I
have treated you badly.
19
You have declared this day how you treated me graciously: the LORD delivered me into your hand and you
did not kill me.
20
For if someone comes upon an enemy, do they send them graciously on their way? So may the LORD
reward you graciously for what you have done this day.
21
And now, since I know that you will certainly become king and that the kingship over Israel shall come into
your possession,g
22
swear to me by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants and that you will not blot out my name from
my father’s house.”h
23
David gave Saul his oath and Saul returned home, while David and his men went up to the stronghold.

* [24:1] The first of two accounts (see chap. 26) in which David spares Saul’s life. The two accounts, which
do not make reference to each other, are probably alternative versions of the same story.

a. [24:4] Ps 57.

b. [24:6] 1 Sm 15:27.

c. [24:7] 1 Sm 10:1; 26:9; 31:4; 2 Sm 1:14.

d. [24:12] Rom 12:19.

e. [24:15] 2 Sm 9:8; 16:9.

f. [24:16] 1 Sm 18:19, 31; 26:19; Ps 35:1–3; 43:1.

g. [24:21] 1 Sm 26:25.

h. [24:22] 2 Sm 9:1–3.

1Samuel Chapter 23 (Bible Marathon Day 129)

1Samuel Chapter 23 (Bible Marathon Day 129)

Keilah Liberated.
1
David was informed that the Philistines were attacking Keilah and plundering the threshing floors.a
2
So he consulted the LORD, asking, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The LORD answered, Go,
attack them, and free Keilah.b
3
But David’s men said to him: “Even in Judah we have reason to fear. How much more so if we go to Keilah
against the forces of the Philistines!”
4
Again David consulted the LORD, who answered: Go down to Keilah, for I will deliver the Philistines into your
power.c
5
So David went with his men to Keilah and fought against the Philistines. He drove off their cattle and inflicted a
severe defeat on them, and freed the inhabitants of Keilah.

6
Abiathar, son of Ahimelech, who had fled to David, went down with David to Keilah, taking the ephod with
him.d

Flight from Keilah.
7
When Saul was told that David had entered Keilah, he thought: “God has put him in my hand, for he has
boxed himself in by entering a city with gates and bars.”
8
Saul then called all the army to war, in order to go down to Keilah and besiege David and his men.
9
When David found out that Saul was planning to harm him, he said to the priest Abiathar, “Bring the ephod
here.”e
10
“LORD God of Israel,” David prayed, “your servant has heard that Saul plans to come to Keilah, to destroy the
city on my account.
11
Will they hand me over? Will Saul come down as your servant has heard? LORD God of Israel, tell your
servant.” The LORD answered: He will come down.
12
David then asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?” The LORD
answered: They will deliver you.
13
So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and wandered from place to place. When
Saul was informed that David had fled from Keilah, he did not go forth.

David and Jonathan in Horesh.
14
David now lived in the strongholds in the wilderness, or in the barren hill country near Ziph. Though Saul
sought him continually, the LORD did not deliver David into his hand.
15
While David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh he was afraid that Saul had come out to seek his life.
16
Then Saul’s son, Jonathan, came down to David at Horesh and encouraged him in the LORD.f
17
He said to him: “Have no fear, my father Saul shall not lay a hand to you. You shall be king of Israel* and I
shall be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.”g
18
The two of them made a covenant before the LORD in Horesh, where David remained, while Jonathan
returned to his home.h

Treachery of the Ziphites.
19
Some of the Ziphites went up to Saul in Gibeah and said, “David is hiding among us in the strongholds at
Horesh on the hill of Hachilah, south of Jeshimon.i
20
Therefore, whenever the king wishes to come down, let him do so. It will be our task to deliver him into the
king’s hand.”
21
Saul replied: “The LORD bless you for your compassion toward me.j
22
Go now and make sure once more! Take note of the place where he sets foot for I am told that he is very
cunning.
23
Look around and learn in which of all the various hiding places he is holding out. Then come back to me
with reliable information, and I will go with you. If he is in the region, I will track him down out of all the families
of Judah.”
24
So they went off to Ziph ahead of Saul. At this time David and his men were in the wilderness below Maon, in
the Arabah south of the wasteland.k

Escape from Saul.
25
When Saul and his men came looking for him, David got word of it and went down to the gorge in the
wilderness below Maon. Saul heard of this and pursued David into the wilderness below Maon.
26
As Saul moved along one side of the gorge, David and his men took to the other. David was anxious to
escape Saul, while Saul and his men were trying to outflank David and his men in order to capture them.
27
Then a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Come quickly, because the Philistines have invaded the land.”
28
Saul interrupted his pursuit of David and went to meet the Philistines. This is how that place came to be
called the Rock of Divisions.

* [23:17] King of Israel: to emphasize the inevitability of the Lord’s plan, the narrator frames Jonathan’s
statement with two accounts of David’s mercy toward Saul.

a. [23:1] Jos 15:44.

b. [23:2] 1 Sm 28:6.

c. [23:4] 1 Sm 17:47.

d. [23:6] 1 Sm 22:20; 30:7.

e. [23:9] 1 Sm 2:28.

f. [23:16] 1 Sm 18:1.

g. [23:17] 1 Sm 20:14–16.

h. [23:18] 1 Sm 18:3; 20:8.

i. [23:19] 1 Sm 26:1–3; Ps 54.

j. [23:21] 2 Sm 2:5.

k. [23:24] 1 Sm 25:2.

1Samuel Chapter 22 (Bible Marathon Day 129)

1Samuel Chapter 22 (Bible Marathon Day 129)

David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and the rest of his family heard about
it, they came down to him there.a
2
He was joined by all those in difficulties or in debt, or embittered,* and became their leader. About four
hundred men were with him.

3
From there David went to Mizpeh of Moab and said to the king of Moab, “Let my father and mother stay with
you, until I learn what God will do for me.”
4
He left them with the king of Moab; they stayed with him as long as David remained in the stronghold.*
5
But Gad the prophet said to David: “Do not remain in the stronghold! Leave! Go to the land of Judah.” And so
David left and went to the forest of Hereth.b

Doeg Betrays Ahimelech.
6
Now Saul heard that David and his men had been located. At the time he was sitting in Gibeah under a
tamarisk tree on the high place, holding his spear, while all his servants stood by him.c
7
So he said to them: “Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will
he appoint any of you an officer over a thousand or a hundred men?d
8
Is that why you have all conspired against me? Why no one told me that my son had made a pact with the
son of Jesse? None of you has shown compassion for me by revealing to me that my son has incited my
servant to ambush me, as is the case today.”e
9
f Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with Saul’s officers, spoke up: “I saw the son of Jesse come to
Ahimelech, son of Ahitub, in Nob.
10
He consulted the LORD for him, furnished him with provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the
Philistine.”
Slaughter of the Priests.
11
So the king summoned Ahimelech the priest, son of Ahitub, and all his family, the priests in Nob. They all
came to the king.
12
“Listen, son of Ahitub!” Saul declared. “Yes, my lord,” he replied.
13
Saul questioned him, “Why have you conspired against me with the son of Jesse by giving him food and a
sword and by consulting God for him, that he might rise up against me in ambush, as is the case today?”
14
Ahimelech answered the king: “Who among all your servants is as loyal as David, the king’s son-in-law,
captain of your bodyguard, and honored in your own house?
15
Is this the first time I have consulted God for him? No indeed! Let not the king accuse his servant or anyone
in my family of such a thing. Your servant knows nothing at all, great or small, about the whole matter.”
16
But the king said, “You shall certainly die, Ahimelech, with all your family.”
17
The king then commanded his guards standing by him: “Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, for they gave
David a hand. They knew he was a fugitive and yet failed to inform me.” But the king’s servants refused to
raise a hand to strike the priests of the LORD.g
18
The king therefore commanded Doeg, “You, turn and kill the priests!” So Doeg the Edomite himself turned
and killed the priests that day—eighty-five who wore the linen ephod.
19
Saul also put the priestly city of Nob to the sword, including men and women, children and infants, and oxen,
donkeys and sheep.

Abiathar Escapes.
20
One son of Ahimelech, son of Ahitub, named Abiathar,* escaped and fled to David.h
21
When Abiathar told David that Saul had slain the priests of the LORD,
22
David said to him: “I knew that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would certainly tell Saul. I am
responsible for the slaughter of all your family.
23
Stay with me. Do not be afraid; whoever seeks your life must seek my life also. You are under my
protection.”*

* [22:2] Embittered: Hebrew mar-nephesh, “bitter of spirit,” used of Hannah, deprived of a child, in 1:10, and
of David’s soldiers, whose women and children the Amalekites had seized (30:6). Cf. also 2 Sm 17:8. David
becomes a hero for those who have endured loss or deprivation.

* [22:4–5] Stronghold: seemingly connected with the cave complex in v. 1.

* [22:20] Abiathar: the sole survivor of Eli’s household (2:27–36). David now has in his service the only priest
of the Lord left in the land and exclusive access to the ephod for consulting the Lord (cf. 23:9–13). David
later appoints Abiathar co-high priest with Zadok in Jerusalem (2 Sm 20:25), but Solomon exiles Abiathar to
Anathoth when the priest does not support his bid for the throne. Cf. 1 Kgs 2:26–27.

* [22:23] You are under my protection: once again a sharp contrast is drawn between Saul, who kills the
Lord’s priests, and David, who protects the lone survivor.

a. [22:1] 2 Sm 23:13; Ps 63; Mi 1:15.

b. [22:5] 2 Sm 24:11–13.

c. [22:6] 1 Sm 14:2; Jgs 4:5.

d. [22:7] 1 Sm 8:14.

e. [22:8] 1 Sm 18:3; 20:8; 23:18.

f. [22:9–10] 1 Sm 21:2–10; Ps 52.

g. [22:17] 1 Sm 2:31, 33; 21:7.

h. [22:20] 1 Sm 23:6; 30:7; 2 Sm 20:25; 1 Kgs 2:26–27.