1 Samuel
Chapter 26

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1 And the Ziphites came vnto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doeth not Dauid hide himselfe in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Ieshimon?

2 Then Saul arose, and went downe to the wildernesse of Ziph, hauing three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seeke Dauid in the wildernesse of Ziph.

3 And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Ieshimon by the way: but Dauid abode in the wildernesse, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wildernesse.

4 Dauid therefore sent out spies, and vnderstood that Saul was come in very deed.

5 And Dauid arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and Dauid beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the sonne of Ner the captaine of his hoste: and Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him.

6 Then answered Dauid, and sayd to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the sonne of Zeruiah brother to Ioab, saying, Who will goe downe with me to Saul to the campe? And Abishai sayd, I will goe downe with thee.

7 So Dauid and Abishai came to the people by night, and behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his speare stucke in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him.

8 Then said Abishai to Dauid, God hath deliuered thine enemie into thine hand this day: now therefore let mee smite him, I pray thee, with the speare, euen to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.

9 And Dauid sayd to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lords Anointed, and be guiltlesse?

10 Dauid said furthermore, As the Lord liueth, the Lord shal smite him, or his day shall come to die, or hee shall descend into battell, and perish.

11 The Lord forbid that I should stretch foorth mine hand against the Lords Anointed: but I pray thee, take thou now the speare that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let vs goe.

12 So Dauid tooke the speare and the cruse of water from Sauls bolster, and they gate them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleepe, because a deepe sleepe from the Lord was fallen vpon them.

13 Then Dauid went ouer to the other side, and stood on the toppe of an hill afarre off (a great space being betweene them:)

14 And Dauid cryed to the people, and to Abner the sonne of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered, and sayd, Who art thou that cryest to the King?

15 And Dauid said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? Wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in, to destroy the king thy lord.

16 This thing is not good that thou hast done: as the Lord liueth, ye are worthy to die, because yee haue not kept your master the Lords Anointed: and now see where the Kings speare is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.

17 And Saul knew Dauids voyce, and said, Is this thy voice, my sonne Dauid? And Dauid saide, It is my voice, my lord, O king.

18 And he said, Wherefore doeth my lord thus pursue after his seruant? for what haue I done? or what euill is in mine hand?

19 Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king heare the words of his seruant: If the Lord haue stirred thee vp against mee, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the Lord: for they haue driuen me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, Goe serue other gods.

20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the Lord: for the king of Israel is come out to seeke a flea, as when one doeth hunt a partridge in the mountaines.

21 Then said Saul, I haue sinned: Returne, my sonne Dauid, for I will no more doe thee harme, because my soule was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I haue played the foole, and haue erred exceedingly.

22 And Dauid answered, and sayd, Behold the kings speare, and let one of the yong men come ouer and fetch it.

23 The Lord render to euery man his righteousnesse, and his faithfulnesse: for the Lord deliuered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch foorth mine hand against the Lords Anointed.

24 And behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes: so let my life bee much set by in the eyes of the Lord, and let him deliuer me out of all tribulation.

25 Then Saul said to Dauid, Blessed be thou, my sonne Dauid: thou shalt both doe great things, and also shalt still preuaile. So Dauid went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

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Commentary for 1 Samuel 26

Saul goes after David, who again spares Saul's life. (1-12) David exhorts Saul. (13-20) Saul acknowledges his sin. (21-25)1-12 How soon do unholy hearts lose the good impressions convictions have made upon them! How helpless were Saul and all his men! All as though disarmed and chained, yet nothing is done to them; they are only asleep. How easily can God weaken the strongest, befool the wisest, and baffle the most watchful! David still resolved to wait till God thought fit to avenge him on Saul. He will by no means force his way to the promised crown by any wrong methods. The temptation was very strong; but if he yielded, he would sin against God, therefore he resisted the temptation, and trusted God with the event.

13-20 David reasoned seriously and affectionately with Saul. Those who forbid our attendance on God's ordinances, do what they can to estrange us from God, and to make us heathens. We are to reckon that which exposes us to sin the greatest injury that can be done us. If the Lord stirred thee up against me, either in displeasure to me, taking this way to punish me for my sins against him, or in displeasure to thee, if it be the effect of that evil spirit from the Lord which troubles thee; let Him accept an offering from us both. Let us join in seeking peace, and to be reconciled with God by sacrifice.

21-25 Saul repeated his good words and good wishes. But he showed no evidence of true repentance towards God. David and Saul parted to meet no more. No reconciliation among men is firm, which is not founded in an cemented by peace with God through Jesus Christ. In sinning against God, men play the fool, and err exceedingly. Many obtain a passing view of these truths, who hate and close their eyes against the light. Fair professions do not entitle those to confidence who have long sinned against the light, yet the confessions of obstinate sinners may satisfy us that we are in the right way, and encourage us to persevere, expecting our recompence from the Lord alone.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for 1 Samuel 26

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