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1 Samuel 26:5-14

Context

26:5 So David set out and went to the place where Saul was camped. David saw the place where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the general in command of his army, were sleeping. Now Saul was lying in the entrenchment, and the army was camped all around him. 26:6 David said to Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, “Who will go down with me to Saul in the camp?” Abishai replied, “I will go down with you.”

26:7 So David and Abishai approached the army at night and found Saul lying asleep in the entrenchment with his spear stuck in the ground by his head. Abner and the army were lying all around him. 26:8 Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me drive the spear 1  right through him into the ground with one swift jab! 2  A second jab won’t be necessary!”

26:9 But David said to Abishai, “Don’t kill him! Who can extend his hand against the Lord’s chosen one 3  and remain guiltless?” 26:10 David went on to say, “As the Lord lives, the Lord himself will strike him down. Either his day will come and he will die, or he will go down into battle and be swept away. 26:11 But may the Lord prevent me from extending my hand against the Lord’s chosen one! Now take the spear by Saul’s head and the jug of water, and let’s get out of here!” 26:12 So David took the spear and the jug of water by Saul’s head, and they got out of there. No one saw them or was aware of their presence or woke up. All of them were asleep, for the Lord had caused a deep sleep to fall on them.

26:13 Then David crossed to the other side and stood on the top of the hill some distance away; there was a considerable distance between them. 26:14 David called to the army and to Abner son of Ner, “Won’t you answer, Abner?” Abner replied, “Who are you, that you have called to the king?”

1 tn Here “the spear” almost certainly refers to Saul’s own spear, which according to the previous verse was stuck into the ground beside him as he slept. This is reflected in a number of English versions: TEV, CEV “his own spear”; NLT “that spear.” Cf. NIV, NCV “my spear,” in which case Abishai refers to his own spear rather than Saul’s, but this is unlikely since (1) Abishai would probably not have carried a spear along since such a weapon would be unwieldy when sneaking into the enemy camp; and (2) this would not explain the mention of Saul’s own spear stuck in the ground beside him in the previous verse.

2 tn Heb “let me strike him with the spear and into the ground one time.”

3 tn Heb “anointed” (also in vv. 11, 16, 23).



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