Shekalim: King David’s Counting and What Followed: Getting the Message II
The Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not hiding himself in Hachilah Hill, which faces Yeshimon?” So Saul arose and went down to the Wilderness of Ziph, with 3000 choice men of Israel, to search for David in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul encamped at Hachilah Hill, which faces Yeshimon, beside the road. David was staying in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul was coming after him, towards the wilderness. David sent out scouts and ascertained that Saul was definitely coming.
David then arose and came to the place where Saul was encamped. David saw the place where Saul and Abner, the commander of his army, lay; Saul lay within the circle, with the people encamped all around him.
David spoke up and said to Achimelech the Chittite, and Abishai, son of Zeruiah, Yoav’s brother, saying, “Who will go down with me to soul, to the?” And Avishai said, “I will go down with you.” So David and Avishai came to Saul’s people at night, and behold, Saul lay asleep in the circle, his spear plunged into the ground by his head, and Abner and the people lay all around!
Avishai said to David, “God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day! Now let me strike him with this beer, driving it into the ground with a single thrust, I will not need to strike a second time!”
But David said to Avishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can send forth his hand against the anointed one of God and be absolved?”
David said, “As God lives, God will strike him with illness, or his day will come and he will die, or he will go forth into battle and parish. It would be sacrilegious before God for me to send forth my hand against God’s anointed one. Now, please take the spear that is near Saul’s head and the flask of water, and let us go.”
So David took the spear and the flask of water from near Saul’s head and they left. No one saw, no one knew, and no one awoke, for they were all asleep, for a deep sleep from God had fallen upon them.
David then crossed the ford and stood on a mountaintop from afar; there was considerable distance between them. And David called out to the people and to Abner son of Ner, saying, “Won’t you answer, Abner?” So Abner answered and said, “Who are you that you shout at the King!”
David said to Abner, “are you not a great man? Who is your equal in is what? So why did you not guard your Lord, the King? For someone from among the people came to assassinate the king, your master! This thing that you have done is not proper! As God lives, you all deserve to die for you have not watched over your master, over the anointed one of God. Now, look; where are the Kings spear in the flask of water that were near his head?”
Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “Is that your voice, my son David?”
David replied, “It is my voice, my Lord, the King.”
And he said further, “Why is this, my Lord pursuing his servant? For what have I done and what evil is in my hand?
And now, let my lord the king listen to the words of his servant: if is God Who has incited you against me, then He will be appeased with an offering, but if it is men, may they be cursed before God, for they have driven me away this day for attaching myself to the heritage of God, as if to say, Go worship the gods of others! And now, let my blood not be cast to the ground, away from God’s attention, for the King of Israel has gone to seek out a single fleet as one hunts the partridge in the mountains.”