1 Samuel - The Book of Samuel Commentary, Online Bible Study

1 Samuel - The Book of Samuel Commentary, Online Bible Study

"And he put his hand into his scrip, and took a stone, and cast it with the sling, and fetching it about struck the Philistine in the forehead: and the stone was fixed in his forehead, and he fell on his face upon the earth. And David prevailed over the Philistine, with a sling and a stone, and he struck, and slew the Philistine."
First Book Of Samuel (Protestant bible)
First Book Of Kings (Catholic bible)


Chapter 1

Anna the wife of Elcana being barren, by vow and prayer obtaineth a son: whom she calleth Samuel: and presenteth him to the service of God in Silo, according to her vow.

1 There was a man of Ramathaimsophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elcana, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliu, the son of Thohu, the son of Suph, an Ephraimite: 2 And he had two wives, the name of one was Anna, and the name of the other Phenenna. Phenenna had children: but Anna had no children. 3 And this man went up out of his city upon the appointed days, to adore and to offer sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Silo. And the two sons of Heli, Ophni and Phinees, were there priests of the Lord. 4 Now the day came, and Elcana offered sacrifice, and gave to Phenenna his wife, and to all her sons and daughters, portions: 5 But to Anna he gave one portion with sorrow, because he loved Anna. And the Lord had shut up her womb.

1 "An Ephraimite"... He was of the tribe of Levi, 1. Par. 6. 34, but is called an Ephraimite from dwelling in mount Ephraim.

6 Her rival also afflicted her, and troubled her exceedingly, insomuch that she upbraided her, that the Lord had shut up her womb: 7 And thus she did every year, when the time returned that they went up to the temple of the Lord: and thus she provoked her: but Anna wept, and did not eat. 8 Then Elcana her husband said to her: Anna, why weepest thou? and why dost thou not eat? And why dost thou afflict thy heart? Am not I better to thee than ten children? 9 So Anna arose after she had eaten and drunk in Silo: And Heli the priest sitting upon a stool, before the door of the temple of the Lord: 10 As Anna had her heart full of grief, she prayed to the Lord, shedding many tears,

11 And she made a vow, saying: O Lord, of hosts, if thou wilt look down on the affliction of thy servant, and wilt be mindful of me, and not forget thy handmaid, and wilt give to thy servant a man child: I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head. 12 And it came to pass, as she multiplied prayers before the Lord, that Heli observed her mouth. 13 Now Anna spoke in her heart, and only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard at all. Heli therefore thought her to be drunk, 14 And said to her: How long wilt thou, be drunk? digest a little the wine, of which thou hast taken too much. 15 Anna answering, said: Not so, my lord: for I am an exceeding unhappy woman, and have drunk neither wine nor any strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord.

16 Count not thy handmaid for one of the daughters of Belial: for out of the abundance of my sorrow and grief have I spoken till now. 17 Then Heli said to her: Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition, which thou hast asked of him. 18 And she said: Would to God thy handmaid may find grace in thy eyes. So the woman went on her way, and ate, and her countenance was no more changed. 19 And they rose in the morning, and worshipped before the Lord: and they returned, and came into their house at Ramatha. And Elcana knew Anna his wife: and the Lord remembered her. 20 And it came to pass when the time was come about, Anna conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel: because she had asked him of the Lord.

20 "Samuel"... This name imports, asked of God.

21 And Elcana her husband went up, and all his house, to offer to the Lord the solemn sacrifice, and his vow. 22 But Anna went not up: for she said to her husband: I will not go till the child be weaned, and till I may carry him, that he may appear before the Lord, and may abide always there. 23 And Elcana her husband said to her: Do what seemeth good to thee, and stay till thou wean him: and I pray that the Lord may fulfill his word. So the woman stayed at home, and gave her son suck, till she weaned him. 24 And after she had weaned him, she carried him with her, with three calves, and three bushels of flour, and a bottle of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord in Silo. Now the child was as yet very young: 25 And they immolated a calf, and offered the child to Heli.

26 And Anna said: I beseech thee, my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord: I am that woman who stood before thee here praying to the Lord. 27 For this child did I pray, and the Lord hath granted me my petition, which I asked of him. 28 Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord all the days of his life, he shall be lent to the Lord. And they adored the Lord there. And Anna prayed, and said:


Chapter 2

The canticle of Anna. The wickedness of the sons of Heli: for which they are not duly corrected by their father. A prophecy against the house of Heli.

1 My heart hath rejoiced in the Lord, and my horn is exalted in my God: my mouth is enlarged over my enemies: because I have joyed in thy salvation. 2 There is none holy as the Lord is: for there is no other beside thee, and there is none strong like our God. 3 Do not multiply to speak lofty things, boasting: let old matters depart from your mouth: for the Lord is a God of all knowledge, and to him are thoughts prepared. 4 The bow of the mighty is overcome, and the weak are girt with strength. 5 They that were full before have hired out themselves for bread: and the hungry are filled, so that the barren hath borne many: and she that had many children is weakened.

1 "My horn"... The horn in the scriptures signifies strength, power, the horn is said to be exalted, when a person receives an increase of strength or glory.

6 The Lord killeth and maketh alive, he bringeth down to hell and bringeth back again. 7 The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich, he humbleth and he exalteth. 8 He raiseth up the needy from the dust, and lifteth up the poor from the dunghill: that he may sit with princes, and hold the throne of glory. For the poles of the earth are the Lord's, and upon them he hath set the world. 9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness, because no man shall prevail by his own strength. 10 The adversaries of the Lord shall fear him: and upon them shall he thunder in the heavens. The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth, and he shall give empire to his king, and shall exalt the horn of his Christ.

11 And Elcana went to Ramatha, to his house: but the child ministered in the sight of the Lord before the face of Heli the priest. 12 Now the sons of Heli were children of Belial, not knowing the Lord, 13 Nor the office of the priests to the people: but whosoever had offered a sacrifice, the servant of the priest came, while the flesh was in boiling, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand, 14 And thrust it into the kettle, or into the caldron, or into the pot, or into the pan: and all that the fleshhook brought up, the priest took to himself. Thus did they to all Israel that came to Silo. 15 Also before they burnt the fat, the servant of the priest came, and said to the man that sacrificed: Give me flesh to boil for the priest: for I will not take of thee sodden flesh, but raw.

16 And he that sacrificed said to him: Let the fat first be burnt today according to the custom, and then take as much as thy soul desireth. But he answered and said to him: Not so: but thou shalt give it me now, or else I will take it by force. 17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was exceeding great before the Lord: because they withdrew men from the sacrifice of the Lord. 18 But Samuel ministered before the face of the Lord: being a child girded with a linen ephod. 19 And his mother made him a little coat, which she brought to him on the appointed days, when she went up with her husband, to offer the solemn sacrifice. 20 And Heli blessed Elcana and his wife: and he said to him: The Lord give thee seed of this woman, for the loan thou hast lent to the Lord. And they went to their own home.

21 And the Lord visited Anna, and she conceived, and bore three sons and two daughters: and the child Samuel became great before the Lord. 22 Now Heli was very old, and he heard all that his sons did to all Israel: and how they lay with the women that waited at the door of the tabernacle: 23 And he said to them: Why do ye these kinds of things, which I hear, very wicked things, from all the people? 24 Do not so, my sons: for it is no good report that I hear, that you make the people of the Lord to transgress. 25 If one man shall sin against another, God may be appeased in his behalf: but if a man shall sin against the Lord, who shall pray for him? And they hearkened not to the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them.

25 "Who shall pray for him"... By this word Heli would have his sons understand, that by their wicked abuse of sacred things, and of the very sacrifices which were appointed to appease the Lord, they deprived themselves of the ordinary means of reconciliation with God; which was by sacrifices. The more, because they were the chief priests whose business it was to intercede for all others, they had no other to offer sacrifices and to make atonement for them. Ibid.

25 "Because the Lord would slay them"... In consequence of their manifold sacrileges, he would not soften their hearts with his efficacious grace, but was determined to destroy them.

26 But the child Samuel advanced, and grew on, and pleased both the Lord and men. 27 And there came a man of God to Heli, and said to him: Thus saith the Lord: Did I not plainly appear to thy father's house, when they were in Egypt in the house of Pharao? 28 And I chose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my sitar, and burn incense to me, and to wear the ephod before me: and I gave to thy father's house of all the sacrifices of the children of Israel. 29 Why have you kicked away my victims, and my gifts which I commanded to be offered in the temple: and thou hast rather honoured thy sons than me, to eat the firstfruits of every sacrifice of my people Israel? 30 Wherefore thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father should minister in my sight, for ever. But now saith the Lord: Far be this from me: but whosoever shall glorify me, him will I glorify: but they that despise me, shall be despised.

31 Behold the days come: and I will cut off thy arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thy house. 32 And thou shalt see thy rival in the temple, in all the prosperity of Israel, and there shall not be an old man in thy house for ever. 33 However I will not altogether take away a man of thee from my altar: but that thy eyes may faint and thy soul be spent: and a great part of thy house shall die when they come to man's estate. 34 And this shall be a sign to thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, Ophni and Phinees: In one day they shall both of them die. 35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, who shall do according to my heart, and my soul, and I will build him a faithful house, and he shall walk all days before my anointed.

32 "Thy rival"... A priest of another race. This was partly fulfilled, when Abiathar, of the race of Heli, was removed from the priesthood, and Sadoc, who was of another line, was substituted in his place. But it was more fully accomplished in the New Testament, when the priesthood of Aaron gave place to that of Christ.

36 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall remain in thy house, shall come that he may be prayed for, and shall offer a piece of silver, and a roll of bread, and shall say: Put me, I beseech thee, to somewhat of the priestly office, that I may eat a morsel of bread.


Chapter 3

Samuel is four times called by the Lord: who revealeth to him the evil that shall fall on Heli, and his house.

1 Now the child Samuel ministered to the Lord before Heli, and the word of the Lord was precious in those days, there was no manifest vision. 2 And it came to pass one day when Heli lay in his place, and his eyes were grown dim, that he could not see: 3 Before the lamp of God went out, Samuel slept in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 And the Lord called Samuel. And he answered: Here am I. 5 And he ran to Heli and said: Here am I: for thou didst call me. He said: I did not call: go back and sleep. And he went and slept.

1 "Precious"... That is, rare.

6 And the Lord called Samuel again. And Samuel arose and went to Heli, and said: Here am I: for thou calledst me. He answered: I did not call thee, my son: return and sleep. 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither had the word of the Lord been revealed to him. 8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose up and went to Heli. 9 And said: Here am I: for thou didst call me. Then Heli understood that the Lord called the child, and he said to Samuel: Go, and sleep: and if he shall call thee any more, thou shalt say: Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and slept in his place. 10 And the Lord came and stood: and he called, as he had called the other times: Samuel, Samuel. And Samuel said: Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.

11 And the Lord said to Samuel: Behold I do a thing in Israel: and whosoever shall hear it, both his ears shall tingle. 12 In that day I will raise up against Heli all the things I have spoken concerning his house: I will begin, and I will make an end. 13 For I have foretold unto him, that I will judge his house for ever, for iniquity, because he knew that his sons did wickedly, and did not chastise them. 14 Therefore have I sworn to the house of Heli, that the iniquity of his house shall not be expiated with victims nor offerings for ever. 15 And Samuel slept till morning, and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel feared to tell the vision to Heli.

16 Then Heli called Samuel, and said: Samuel, my son. And he answered: Here am I. 17 And he asked him: What is the word that the Lord hath spoken to thee? I beseech thee hide it not from me. May God do so and so to thee, and add so and so, if thou hide from me one word of all that were said to thee. 18 So Samuel told him all the words, and did not hide them from him. And he answered: It is the Lord: let him do what is good in his sight. 19 And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and not one of his words fell to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Bersabee, knew that Samuel was a faithful prophet of the Lord.

21 And the Lord again appeared in Silo, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Silo, according to the word of the Lord. And the word of Samuel came to pass to all Israel.


Chapter 4

The Israelites being overcome by the Philistines, send for the ark of God: but they are beaten again, the sons of Heli are killed, and the ark taken: upon the hearing of the news Heli falleth backward and dieth.

1 And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight: and Israel went out to war against the Philistines, and camped by the Stone of help. And the Philistines came to Aphec, 2 And put their army in array against Israel. And when they had joined battle, Israel turned their backs to the Philistines, and there was slain in that fight here and there in the fields about four thousand men. 3 And the people returned to the camp: and the ancients of Israel said: Why hath the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us fetch unto us the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Silo, and let it come in the midst of us, that it may save us from the hand of our enemies. 4 So the people sent to Silo, and they brought from thence the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts sitting upon the cherubims: and the two sons of Heli, Ophni and Phinees, were with the ark of the covenant of God. 5 And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord was come into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, and the earth rang again.

1 "The Stone of help"... In Hebrew Eben-ezer; so called from the help which the Lord was pleased afterwards to give to his people Israel in that place, by the prayers of Samuel, chap. 7. 12.

6 And the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, and they said: What is this noise of a great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the Lord was come into the camp. 7 And the Philistines were afraid, saying: God is come into the camp. And sighing, they said: 8 Woe to us: for there was no such great joy yesterday and the day before: Woe to us. Who shall deliver us from the hand of these high gods? these are the gods that struck Egypt with all the plagues in the desert. 9 Take courage and behave like men, ye Philistines: lest you come to be servants to the Hebrews, as they have served you: take courage and fight. 10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was overthrown, and every man fled to his own dwelling: and there was an exceeding great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.

11 And the ark of God was taken: and the two sons of Heli, Ophni and Phinees, were slain. 12 And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Silo the same day, with his clothes rent, and his head strewed with dust. 13 And when he was come, Heli sat upon a stool over against the way watching. For his heart was fearful for the ark of God. And when the man was come into the city, he told it: and all the city cried out. 14 And Heli heard the noise of the cry, and he said: What meaneth the noise of this uproar? But he made haste, and came, and told Heli. 15 Now Heli was ninety and eight years old, and his eyes were dim, and he could not see.

16 And he said to Heli: I am he that came from the battle, and have fled out of the field this day. And he said to him: What is there done, my son? 17 And he that brought the news answered, and said: Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter of the people: moreover thy two sons, Ophni and Phinees, are dead: and the ark of God is taken. 18 And when he had named the ark of God, he fell from his stool backwards by the door, and broke his neck, and died. For he was an old man, and far advanced in years: and he judged Israel forty years. 19 And his daughter in law the wife of Phinees, was big with child, and near her time: and hearing the news that the ark of God was taken, and her father in law, and her husband, were dead, she bowed herself and fell in labour: for her pains came upon her on a sudden. 20 And when she was upon the point of death, they that stood about her said to her: Fear not, for thou hast borne a son. She answered them not, nor gave heed to them.

18 "Named the ark"... There is great reason, by all these circumstances, to hope that Heli died in a state of grace; and by his temporal punishments escaped the eternal.

21 And she called the child Ichabod, saying: The glory is gone from Israel, because the ark of God was taken, and for her father in law, and her husband: 22 And she said: The glory is departed from Israel, because the ark of God was taken.

21 "Ichabod"... That is, Where is the glory? or, there is no glory. We see how much the Israelites lamented the loss of the ark, which was but the symbol of God's presence among them. How much more ought Christians to lament the loss of God himself, when by sin they have driven him out of their souls.


Chapter 5

Dagon twice falleth down before the ark. The Philistines are grievously afflicted, wherever the ark cometh.

1 And the Philistines took the ark of God, and carried it from the Stone of help into Azotus. 2 And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it into the temple of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. 3 And when the Azotians arose early the next day, behold Dagon lay upon his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord: and they took Dagon, and set him again in his place. 4 And the next day again, when they rose in the morning, they found Dagon lying upon his face on the earth before the ark of the Lord: and the head of Dagon, and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold: 5 And only the stump of Dagon remained in its place. For this cause neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that go into the temple tread on the threshold of Dagon in Azotus unto this day.

6 And the hand of the Lord was heavy upon the Azotians, and he destroyed them, and afflicted Azotus and the coasts thereof with emerods. And in the villages and fields in the midst of that country, there came forth a multitude of mice, and there was the confusion of a great mortality in the city. 7 And the men of Azotus seeing this kind of plague, said: The ark of the God of Israel shall not stay with us: for his hand is heavy upon us, and upon Dagon our god. 8 And sending, they gathered together all the lords of the Philistines to them, and said: What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And the Gethrites answered: Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about. 9 And while they were carrying it about, the band of the Lord came upon every city with an exceeding great slaughter: and he smote the men of every city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. And the Gethrites consulted together, and made themselves seats of skins. 10 Therefore they sent the ark of God into Accaron. And when the ark of God was come into Accaron, the Accaronites cried out, saying: They have brought the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people.

11 They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines: and they said: Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return into its own place, and not kill us and our people. 12 For there was the fear of death in every city, and the hand of God was exceeding heavy. The men also that did not die, were afflicted with the emerods: and the cry of every city went up to heaven.


Chapter 6

The ark is sent back to Bethsames: where many are slain for looking through curiosity into it.

1 Now the ark of God was in the land of the Philistines seven months. 2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying: What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? tell us how we are to send it back to its place? And they said: 3 If you send back the ark of the God of Israel, send it not away empty, but render unto him what you owe for sin, and then you shall be healed: and you shall know why his hand departeth not from you. 4 They answered: What is it we ought to render unto him for sin? and they answered: 5 According to the number of the provinces of the Philistines you shall make five golden emerods, and five golden mice: for the same plague hath been upon you all, and upon your lords. And you shall make the likeness of your emerods, and the likeness of the mice that have destroyed the land, and you shall give glory to the God of Israel: to see if he will take off his hand from you, and from your gods, and from your land.

6 Why do you harden your hearts, as Egypt and Pharao hardened their hearts? did not he, after he was struck, then let them go, and they departed? 7 Now therefore take and make a new cart: and two kine that have calved, on which there hath come no yoke, tie to the cart, and shut up their calves at home. 8 And you shall take the ark of the Lord, and lay it on the cart, and the vessels of gold, which you have paid him for sin, you shall put into a little box, at the side thereof: and send it away that it may go. 9 And you shall look: and if it go up by the way of his own coasts towards Bethsames, then he hath done us this great evil: but if not, we shall know that it is not his hand hath touched us, but it hath happened by chance. 10 They did therefore in this manner: and taking two kine, that had suckling calves, they yoked them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home.

11 And they laid the ark of God upon the cart, and the little box that had in it the golden mice and the likeness of the emerods. 12 And the kine took the straight way that leadeth to Bethsames, and they went along the way, lowing as they went: and turned not aside neither to the right hand nor to the left: and the lords of the Philistines followed them as far as the borders of Bethsames. 13 Now the Bethsamites were reaping wheat in the valley: and lifting up their eyes they saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it. 14 And the cart came into the field of Josue a Bethsamite, and stood there. And there was a great stone, and they cut in pieces the wood of the cart, and laid the kine upon it a holocaust to the Lord. 15 And the Levites took down the ark of God, and the little box that was at the side of it, wherein were the vessels of gold, and they put them upon the great stone. The men also of Bethsames offered holocausts and sacrificed victims that day to the Lord.

16 And the five princes of the Philistines saw, and they returned to Accaron the same day. 17 And these are the golden emerods, which the Philistines returned for sin to the Lord: For Azotus one, for Gaza one, for Ascalon one, for Geth one, for Accaron one: 18 And the golden mice according to the number of the cities of the Philistines, of the five provinces, from the fenced city to the village that was without wall, and to the great Abel (the stone) whereon they set down the ark of the Lord, which was till that day in the field of Josue the Bethsamite. 19 But he slew of the men of Bethsames, because they had seen the ark of the Lord: and he slew of the people seventy men, and fifty thousand of the common people. And the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten the people with a great slaughter. 20 And the men of Bethsames said: Who shall be able to stand before the Lord this holy God? and to whom shall he go up from us?

19 "Seen"... And curiously looked into. It is likely this plague reached to all the neighbouring country, as well as the city of Bethsames.

21 And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Cariathiarim, saying: The Philistines have brought back the ark of the Lord, come ye down and fetch it up to you.


Chapter 7

The ark is brought to Cariathiarim. By Samuel's exhortation the people cast away their idols and serve God alone. The Lord defeateth the Philistines, while Samuel offereth sacrifice.

1 And then men of Cariathiarim came and fetched up the ark of the Lord and carried it into the house of Abinadab in Gabaa: and they sanctified Eleazar his son, to keep the ark of the Lord. 2 And it came to pass, that from the day the ark of the Lord abode in Cariathiarim days were multiplied, (for it was now the twentieth year,) and all the house of Israel rested following the Lord. 3 And Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying: If you turn to the Lord with all your heart, put away the strange gods from among you, Baalim and Astaroth: and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. 4 Then the children of Israel put away Baalim and Astaroth, and served the Lord only. 5 And Samuel said: Gather all Israel to Masphath, that I may pray to the Lord for you.

1 "In Gabaa"... That is, on the hill, for Gabaa signifieth a hill.

6 And they gathered together to Masphath: and they drew water, and poured it out before the Lord, and they fasted on that day, and they said there: We have sinned against the Lord. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Masphath. 7 And the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Masphath, and the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard this, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 And they said to Samuel: Cease not to cry to the Lord our God for us, that he may save us out of the hand of the Philistines. 9 And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it whole for a holocaust to the Lord: and Samuel cried to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord heard him. 10 And it came to pass, when Samuel was offering the holocaust, the Philistines began the battle against Israel: but the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and terrified them, and they were overthrown before the face of Israel.

11 And the men of Israel going out of Masphath pursued after the Philistines, and made slaughter of them till they came under Bethchar. 12 And Samuel took a stone, and laid it between Masphath and Sen: and he called the place, the Stone of help. And he said: Thus far the Lord hath helped us. 13 And the Philistines were humbled, and they did not come any more into the borders of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines, all the days of Samuel. 14 And the cities, which the Philistines had taken from Israel, were restored to Israel, from Accaron to Geth, and their borders: and he delivered Israel from the hand of the Philistines, and there was peace between Israel and the Amorrhites. 15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life:

16 And he went every year about to Bethel and to Galgal and to Masphath, and he judged Israel in the aforesaid places. 17 And he returned to Ramatha, for there was his house, and there he judged Israel: he built also there an altar to the Lord.


Chapter 8

Samuel growing old, and his sons not walking in his ways, the people desire a king.

1 And it came to pass when Samuel was old, that he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel. 2 Now the name of his firstborn son was Joel: and the name of the second was Abia, judges in Bersabee. 3 And his sons walked not in his ways: but they turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. 4 Then all the ancients of Israel being assembled, came to Samuel to Ramatha. 5 And they said to him: Behold thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: make us a king, to judge us, as all nations have.

6 And the word was displeasing in the eyes of Samuel, that they should say: Give us a king, to judge us. And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel: Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to thee. For they have not rejected thee, but me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all their works, they have done from the day that I brought them out of Egypt until this day: as they have forsaken me, and served strange gods, so do they also unto thee. 9 Now therefore hearken to their voice: but yet testify to them, and foretell them the right of the king, that shall reign over them. 10 Then Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people that had desired a king of him,

7 "Rejected"... The government of Israel hitherto had been a theocracy, in which God himself immediately ruled, by laws which he had enacted, and by judges extraordinarily raised up by himself; and therefore he complains that his people rejected him, in desiring a change of government.

9 "The right"... That is, the manner (misphat) after which he shall proceed, having no one to control him, when he has the power in his hand.

11 And said: This will be the right of the king, that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and put them in his chariots, and will make them his horsemen, and his running footmen to run before his chariots, 12 And he will appoint of them to be his tribunes, and centurions, and to plough his fields, and to reap his corn, and to make him arms and chariots. 13 Your daughters also he will take to make him ointments, and to be his cooks, and bakers. 14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your best oliveyards, and give them to his servants. 15 Moreover he will take the tenth of your corn, and of the revenues of your vineyards, to give his eunuchs and servants.

16 Your servants also and handmaids, and your goodliest young men, and your asses he will take away, and put them to his work. 17 Your flocks also he will tithe, and you shall be his servants. 18 And you shall cry out in that day from the face of the king, whom you have chosen to yourselves. and the Lord will not hear you in that day, because you desired unto yourselves a king. 19 But the people would not hear the voice of Samuel, and they said: Nay: but there shall be a king over us. 20 And we also will be like all nations: and our king shall judge us, and go out before us, and tight our battles for us.

21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel: Hearken to their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said to the men of Israel: Let every man go to his city.


Chapter 9

Saul seeking his father's asses, cometh to Samuel, by whom he is entertained.

1 Now I there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Cis, the son of Abiel, the son of Seror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphia, the son of a man of Jemini, valiant and strong. 2 And he had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and goodly man, and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he appeared above all the people. 3 And the asses of Cis, Sauls father, were lost: and Cis said to his son Saul: Take one of the servants with thee, and arise, go, and seek the asses. And when they had passed through mount Ephraim, 4 And through the land of Salisa, and had not found them, they passed also through the land of Salim, and they were not there: and through the land of Jemini, and found them not. 5 And when they were come to the land of Suph, Saul said to the servant that was with him: Come, let us return, lest perhaps my father forget the asses, and be concerned for us.

6 And he said to him: Behold there is a man of God in this city, a famous man: all that he saith, cometh certainly to pass. Now therefore let us go thither, perhaps he may tell us of our way, for which we are come. 7 And Saul said to his servant: Behold we will go: but what shall we carry to the man of God? the bread is spent in our bags: and we have no present to make to the man of God, nor any thing at all. 8 The servant answered Saul again, and said: Behold there is found in my hand the fourth part of a sicle of silver, let us give it to the man of God, that he may tell us our way. 9 Now in time past, in Israel when a man went to consult God he spoke thus: Come, let us go to the seer. For he that is now called a prophet, in time past was called a seer. 10 And Saul said to his servant: Thy word is very good, come, let us go. And they went into the city, where the man of God was.

9 "Seer"... Because of his seeing by divine light hidden things and things to come.

11 And when they went up the ascent to the city, they found maids coming out to draw water, and they said to them: Is the seer here? 12 They answered and said to them: He is: behold he is before you, make haste now: for he came today into the city, for there is a sacrifice of the people today in the high place. 13 As soon as you come into the city, you shall immediately find him, before he go up to the high place to eat: for the people will not eat till he come: because he blesseth the victim, and afterwards they eat that are invited. Now therefore go up, for today you shall find him. 14 And they went up into the city. And when they were walking in the midst of the city, behold Samuel was coming out over against them, to go up to the high place. 15 Now the Lord had revealed to the ear of Samuel the day before Saul came, saying:

12 "A sacrifice"... The law did not allow of sacrifices in any other place, but at the tabernacle, or temple, in which the ark of the covenant was kept; but Samuel, by divine dispensation, offered sacrifices in other places. For which dispensation this reason may be alleged, that the house of God in Silo, having lost the ark, was now cast off; as a figure of the reprobation of the Jews, Ps. 77. 60, 67. And in Cariathiarim where the ark was, there was neither tabernacle, nor altar.-- Ibid.

12 "The high place"... Excelsum. The excelsa, or high places, so often mentioned in scripture, were places of worship, in which were altars for sacrifice. These were sometimes employed in the service of the true God, as in the present case: but more frequently in the service of idols; and were called excelsa, which is commonly (though perhaps not so accurately) rendered high places; not because they were always upon hills, for the very worst of all, which was that of Topheth, or Geennom, (Jer. 19.) was in a valley; but because of the high altars, and pillars, or monuments, erected there, on which were set up the idols, or images of their deities.

16 Tomorrow about this same hour I will send thee a man of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be ruler over my people Israel: and he shall save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked down upon my people, because their cry is come to me. 17 And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him: Behold the man, of whom I spoke to thee, this man shall reign over my people. 18 And Saul came to Samuel in the midst of the gate and said: Tell me, I pray thee, where is the house of the seer? 19 And Samuel answered Saul, saying: I am the seer, go up before me to the high place, that you may eat with me today, and I will let thee go in the morning: and tell thee all that is in thy heart. 20 And as for the asses, which were lost three days ago, be not solicitous, because they are found. And for whom shall be all the best things of Israel? Shall they not be for thee and for all thy father's house?

21 And Saul answering, said: Am not I a son of Jemini of the least tribe of Israel, and my kindred the last among all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then hast thou spoken this word to me? 22 Then Samuel taking Saul and his servant, brought them into the parlour, and gave them a place at the head of them that were invited. For there were about thirty men. 23 And Samuel said to the cook: Bring the portion, which I gave thee, and commanded thee to set it apart by thee. 24 And the cook took up the shoulder, and set it before Saul. And Samuel said: Behold what is left, set it before thee, and eat: because it was kept of purpose for thee, when I invited the people. And Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25 And they went down from the high place into the town, and he spoke with Saul upon the top of the house: and he prepared a bed for Saul on the top of the house, and he slept.

26 And when they were risen in the morning, and it began now to be light, Samuel called Saul on the top of the house, saying: Arise, that I may let thee go. And Saul arose: and they went out both of them, to wit, he and Samuel. 27 And as they were going down in the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul: Speak to the servant to go before us, and pass on: but stand thou still a while, that I may tell thee the word of the Lord.


Chapter 10

Saul is anointed. He prophesieth, and is changed into another man. Samuel calleth the people together, to make a king: the lot falleth on Saul.

1 And Samuel took a little vial of oil and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said: Behold, the Lord hath anointed thee to be prince over his inheritance, and thou shalt deliver his people out of the hands of their enemies, that are round about them. And this shall be a sign unto thee, that God hath anointed thee to be prince. 2 When thou shalt depart from me this day, thou shalt find two men by the sepulchre of Rachel in the borders of Benjamin to the south, and they shall say to thee: The asses are found which thou wentest to seek: and thy father thinking no more of the asses is concerned for you, and saith: What shall I do for my son? 3 And when thou shalt depart from thence, and go farther on, and shalt come to the oak of Thabor, there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine. 4 And they will salute thee, and will give thee two loaves, and thou shalt take them at their hand. 5 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is: and when thou shalt be come there into the city, thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place, with a psaltery and a timbrel, and a pipe, and a harp before them, and they shall be prophesying.

3 "Bethel"... Where there was at that time an altar of God; it being one of the places where Samuel judged Israel.

5 "The hill of God"... Gabaa, in which there was also at that time, a high place or altar.

5 "Prophets"... These were men whose office it was to sing hymns and praises to God; for such in holy writ are called prophets, and their singing praises to God is called prophesying. See 1 Par. alias 1 Chr. 15. 22, and 25. 1. Now there were in those days colleges, or schools for training up these prophets; and it seems there was one of these schools at this hill of God; and another at Najoth in Ramatha. See 1 Kings 19. 20, 21, etc.

6 And the spirit of the Lord shall come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be changed into another man. 7 When therefore these signs shall happen to thee, do whatsoever thy hand shall find, for the Lord is with thee. 8 And thou shalt go down before me to Galgal, (for I will come down to thee,) that thou mayest offer an oblation, and sacrifice victims of peace: seven days shalt thou wait, O till I come to thee, and I will shew thee what thou art to do. 9 So when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave unto him another heart, and all these things came to pass that day. 10 And they came to the foresaid hill, and behold a company of prophets met him: and the spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he prophesied in the midst of them.

8 "Galgal"... Here also by dispensation was an altar of God.

11 And all that had known him yesterday and the day before, seeing that he was with the prophets, and prophesied, said to each other: What is this that hath happened to the son of Cis? Is Saul also among the prophets? 12 And one answered another, saying: And who is their father? therefore it became a proverb: Is Saul also among the prophets? 13 And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place. 14 And Saul's uncle said to him, and to his servant: Whither went you? They answered: To seek the asses: and not finding them we went to Samuel. 15 And his uncle said to him: Tell me what Samuel said to thee.

12 "Their father"... That is, their teacher, or superior. As much as to say, Who could bring about such a wonderful change as to make Saul a prophet?

16 And Saul said to his uncle: He told us that the asses were found. But of the matter of the kingdom of which Samuel had spoken to him, he told him not. 17 And Samuel called together the people to the Lord in Maspha: 18 And he said to the children of Israel: Thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians, and from the hand of all the kings who afflicted you. 19 But you this day have rejected your God, who only hath saved you out of all your evils and your tribulations: and you have said: Nay: but set a king over us. Now therefore stand before the Lord by your tribes, and by your families. 20 And Samuel brought to him all the tribes of Israel, and the lot fell on the tribe of Benjamin.

21 And he brought the tribe of Benjamin and the kindreds thereof, and the lot fell Upon the kindred of Metri, and it came to Saul the son of Cis. They sought him therefore and he was not found. 22 And after this they consulted the Lord whether he would come thither. And the Lord answered: Behold he is hidden at home. 23 And they ran and fetched him thence: and he stood in the midst of the people, and he was higher than any of the people from the shoulders and upward. 24 And Samuel said to all the people: Surely you see him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people. And all the people cried and said: God save the king. 25 And Samuel told the people the law of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the Lord: and Samuel sent away all the people, every one to his own house.

26 Saul also departed to his own house in Gabaa: and there went with him a part of the army, whose hearts God had touched. 27 But the children of Belial said: Shall this fellow be able to save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents, but he dissembled as though he heard not.


Chapter 11

Saul defeateth the Ammonites, and delivereth Jabes Galaad.

1 And it came to pass about a month after this that Naas, the Ammonite came up, and began to fight against Jabes Galaad. And all the men of Jabes said to Naas: Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee. 2 And Naas the Ammonite answered them: On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may pluck out all your right eyes, and make you a reproach in all Israel. 3 And the ancients of Jabes said to him: Allow us seven days, that we may send messengers to all the coasts of Israel: and if there be no one to defend us, we will come out to thee. 4 The messengers therefore came to Gabaa of Saul: and they spoke these words in the hearing of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept. 5 And behold Saul came, following oxen out of the field, and he said: What aileth the people that they weep? And they told him the words of the men of Jabes.

6 And the spirit of the Lord came upon Saul, when he had heard these words, and his anger was exceedingly kindled. 7 And taking both the oxen, he cut them in pieces, and sent them into all the coasts of Israel by messengers, saying: Whosoever shall not come forth, and follow Saul and Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen. And the fear of the Lord fell upon the people, and they went out as one man. 8 And he numbered them in Bezec: and there were of the children of Israel three hundred thousand: and of the men of Juda thirty thousand. 9 And they said to the messengers that came: Thus shall you say to the men of Jabes Galaad: Tomorrow, when the sun shall be hot, you shall have relief. The messengers therefore came, and told the men of Jabes: and they were glad. 10 And they said: In the morning we will come out to you: and you shall do what you please with us.

11 And it came to pass, when the morrow was come that Saul put the people in three companies: and he came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and he slew the Ammonites until the day grew hot, and the rest were scattered, so that two of them were not left together. 12 And the people said to Samuel: Who is he that said: Shall Saul reign over us? Bring the men and we will kill them. 13 And Saul said: No man shall be killed this day, because the Lord this day hath wrought salvation in Israel: 14 And Samuel said to the people: Come and let us go to Galgal, and let us renew the kingdom there. 15 And all the people went to Galgal, and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Galgal, and they sacrificed there victims of peace before the Lord. And there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced exceedingly.


Chapter 12

Samuel's integrity is acknowledged. God sheweth by a sign from heaven that they had done ill in asking for a king.

1 And Samuel said to all Israel: Behold I have hearkened to your voice in all that you said to me, and have made a king over you. 2 And now the king goeth before you: but I am old and greyheaded: and my sons are with you: having then conversed with you from my youth unto this day, behold here I am. 3 Speak of me before the Lord, and before his anointed, whether I have taken any man's ox, or ass: If I have wronged any man, if I have oppressed any man, if I have taken a bribe at any man's hand: and I will despise it this day, and will restore it to you. 4 And they said: Thou hast not wronged us, nor oppressed us, nor taken ought at any man's hand. 5 And he said to them: The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found any thing in my hand. And they said: He is witness.

6 And Samuel said to the people: It is the Lord, who made Moses and Aaron, and brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt. 7 Now therefore stand up, that I may plead in judgment against you before the Lord, concerning all the kindness of the Lord, which he hath shewn to you, and to your fathers: 8 How Jacob went into Egypt, and your fathers cried to the Lord: and the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, and brought your fathers out of Egypt: and made them dwell in this place. 9 And they forgot the Lord their God, and he delivered them into the hands of Sisara, captain of the army of Hasor, and into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 10 But afterwards they cried to the Lord, and said: We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord, and have served Baalim and Astaroth: but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.

11 And the Lord sent Jerobaal, and Badan, and Jephte, and Samuel, and delivered you from the hand of your enemies round about, and you dwelt securely. 12 But seeing that Naas king of the children of Ammon was come against you, you said to me: Nay, but a king shall reign over us: whereas the Lord your God was your king. 13 Now therefore your king is here, whom you have chosen and desired: Behold the Lord hath given you a king. 14 If you will fear the Lord, and serve him, and hearken to his voice, and not provoke the mouth of the Lord: then shall both you, and the king who reigneth over you, be followers of the Lord your God. 15 But if you will not hearken to the voice of the Lord, but will rebel against his words, the hand of the Lord shall be upon you, and upon your fathers.

11 "Jerobaal and Badan"... That is, Gedeon and Samson called here Badan or Bedan, because he was of Dan.

16 Now then stand, and see this great thing which the Lord will do in your sight. 17 Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call upon the Lord, and he shall send thunder and rain: and you shall know and see that you yourselves have done a great evil in the sight of the Lord, in desiring a king over you. 18 And Samuel cried unto the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day. 19 And all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel. And all the people said to Samuel: Pray for thy servants to the Lord thy God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for a king. 20 And Samuel said to the people: Fear not, you have done all this evil: but yet depart not from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.

17 "Wheat harvest"... At which time of the year, it never thunders or rains in those countries.

21 And turn not aside after vain things which shall never profit you, nor deliver you, because they are vain. 22 And the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because the Lord hath sworn to make you his people. 23 And far from me be this sin against the Lord, that I should cease to pray for you, and I will teach you the good and right way. 24 Therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in truth and with your whole heart, for you have seen the great works which he hath done among you. 25 But if you will still do wickedly: both you and your king shall perish together.


Chapter 13

The war between Saul and the Philistines. The distress of the Israelites. Saul offereth sacrifice before the coming of Samuel: for which he is reproved.

1 Saul was a child of one year when he began to reign, and he reigned two years over Israel. 2 And Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel: and two thousand were with Saul in Machmas, and in mount Bethel: and a thousand with Jonathan in Gabaa of Benjamin, and the rest of the people he sent back every man to their dwellings. 3 And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines which was in Gabaa. And when the Philistines had heard of it, Saul sounded the trumpet over all the land, saying: Let the Hebrews hear. 4 And all Israel heard this report: Saul hath smitten the garrison of the Philistines: and Israel took courage against the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Galgal. 5 The Philistines also were assembled to fight against Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and a multitude of people besides, like the sand on the sea shore for number. And going up they camped in Machmas at the east of Bethaven.

1 "Of one year"... That is, he was good and like an innocent child, and for two years continued in that innocency.

6 And when the men of Israel saw that they were straitened, (for the people were distressed,) they hid themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in dens, and in pits. 7 And some of the Hebrews passed over the Jordan into the land of Gad and Galaad. And when Saul was yet in Galgal, all the people that followed him were greatly afraid. 8 And he waited seven days according to the appointment of Samuel, I and Samuel came not to Galgal, and the people slipt away from him. 9 Then Saul said: Bring me the holocaust, and the peace offerings. And he offered the holocaust. 10 And when he had made an end of offering the holocaust, behold Samuel came: and Saul went forth to meet him and salute him.

11 And Samuel said to him: What hast thou done? Saul answered: Because I saw that the people slipt from me, and thou wast not come according to the days appointed, and the Philistines were gathered together in Machmas, 12 I said: Now will the Philistines come down upon me to Galgal, and I have not appeased the face of the Lord. Forced by necessity, I offered the holocaust. 13 And Samuel said to Saul: Thou hast done foolishly, and hast not kept the commandments of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee. And if thou hadst not done thus, the Lord would now have established thy kingdom over Israel for ever. 14 But thy kingdom shall not continue. The Lord hath sought him a man according to his own heart: and him hath the Lord commanded to be prince over his people, because thou hast not observed that which the Lord commanded. 15 And Samuel arose and went up from Galgal to Gabaa of Benjamin. And the rest of the people went up after Saul, to meet the people who fought against them, going from Galgal to Gabaa in the hill of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people, that were found with him, about six hundred men.

16 And Saul and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, were in Gabaa of Benjamin: but the Philistines encamped in Machmas. 17 And there went out of the camp of the Philistines three companies to plunder. One company went towards the way of Ephra to the land of Sual; 18 And another went by the way of Beth-horon, and the third turned to the way of the border, above the valley of Seboim towards the desert. 19 Now there was no smith to be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines had taken this precaution, lest the Hebrews should make them swords or spears. 20 So all Israel went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his ploughshare, and his spade, and his axe, and his rake.

21 So that their shares, and their spades, and their forks, and their axes were blunt, even to the goad, which was to be mended. 22 And when the day of battle was come, there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan, except Saul and Jonathan his son. 23 And the army of the Philistines went out in order to advance further in Machmas.


Chapter 14

Jonathan attacketh the Philistines. A miraculous victory. Saul's unadvised oath, by which Jonathan is put in danger of his life, but is delivered by the people.

1 Now it came to pass one day that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man that bore his armour: Come, and let us go over to the garrison of the Philistines, which is on the other side of yonder place. But he told not this to his father. 2 And Saul abode in the uttermost part of Gabaa under the pomegranate tree, which was in Magron: and the people with him were about six hundred men. 3 And Achias the son of Achitob brother to Ichabod the son of Phinees, the son of Heli the priest of the Lord in Silo, wore the ephod. And the people knew not whither Jonathan was gone. 4 Now there were between the ascents, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the garrison of the Philistines, rocks standing up on both sides, and steep cliffs like teeth on the one side, and on the other, the name of the one was Boses, and the name of the other was Sene: 5 One rock stood out towards the north over against Machmas, and the other to the south over against Gabaa.

6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bore his armour: Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised, it may be the Lord will do for us, because it is easy for the Lord to save either by many, or by few. 7 And his armourbearer said to him: Do all that pleaseth thy mind: go whither thou wilt, and I will be with thee wheresoever thou hast a mind. 8 And Jonathan said: Behold we will go over to these men. And when we shall be seen by them, 9 If they shall speak thus to us: Stay till we come to you: let us stand still in our place, and not go up to them. 10 But if they shall say: Come up to us: let us go up, because the Lord hath delivered them into our hands, this shall be a sign unto us.

10 "This shall be a sign"... It is likely Jonathan was instructed by divine inspiration to make a choice of this sign: otherwise the observation of omens is superstitious and sinful.

11 So both of them discovered themselves to the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said: Behold the Hebrews come forth out of the holes wherein they were hid. 12 And the men of the garrison spoke to Jonathan, and to his armourbearer, and said: Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing. And Jonathan said to his armourbearer: Let us go up, follow me: for the Lord hath delivered them into the hands of Israel. 13 And Jonathan went up creeping on his hands and feet, and his armourbearer after him. And some fell before Jonathan, others his armourbearer slew as he followed him. 14 And the first slaughter which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was of about twenty men, within half an acre of land, which a yoke of oxen is wont to plough in a day. 15 And there was a miracle in the camp, through the fields: yea and all the people of their garrison, who had gone out to plunder, were amazed, and the earth trembled: and it happened as a miracle from God.

16 And the watchmen of Saul, who were in Gabaa of Benjamin looked, and behold a multitude overthrown, and fleeing this way and that. 17 And Saul said to the people that were with him: Look, and see who is gone from us. And when they had sought, it was found that Jonathan and his armourbearer were not there. 18 And Saul said to Achias: Bring the ark of the Lord. (For the ark of God was there that day with the children of Israel.) 19 And while Saul spoke to the priest, there arose a great uproar in the camp of the Philistines: and it increased by degrees, and was heard more clearly. And Saul said to the priest: Draw in thy hand. 20 Then Saul and all the people that were with him, shouted together, and they came to the place of the fight: and behold every man's sword was turned upon his neighbour, and there was a very great slaughter.

21 Moreover the Hebrews that had been with the Philistines yesterday and the day before, and went up with them into the camp, returned to be with the Israelites, who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 And all the Israelites that had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, hearing that the Philistines fled, joined themselves with their countrymen in the fight. And there were with Saul about ten thousand men. 23 And the Lord saved Israel that day. And the fight went on as far as Bethaven. 24 And the men of Israel were joined together that day; and Saul adjured the people, saying: Cursed be the man that shall eat food till evening, till I be revenged of my enemies. So none of the people tasted any food: 25 And all the common people came into a forest, in which there was honey upon the ground.

26 And when the people came into the forest, behold the honey dropped, but no man put his hand to his mouth. For the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard when his father adjured the people: and he put forth the end of the rod, which he had in his hand, and dipt it in a honeycomb: and he carried his hand to his mouth, and his eyes were enlightened. 28 And one of the people answering, said: Thy father hath bound the people with an oath, saying: Cursed be the man that shall eat any food this day. (And the people were faint.) 29 And Jonathan said: My father hath troubled the land: you have seen yourselves that my eyes are enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey: 30 How much more if the people had eaten of the prey of their enemies, which they found? had there not been made a greater slaughter among the Philistines?

31 So they smote that day the Philistines from Machmas to Ailon. And the people were wearied exceedingly. 32 And falling upon the spoils, they took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people ate them with the blood. 33 And they told Saul that the people had sinned against the Lord, eating with the blood. And he said: You have transgressed: roll here to me now a great stone. 34 And Saul said: Disperse yourselves among the people, and tell them to bring me every man his ox and his ram, and slay them upon this stone, and eat, and you shall not sin against the Lord in eating with the blood. So all the people brought every man his ox with him till the night: and slew them there. 35 And Saul built an altar to the Lord and he then first began to build an altar to the Lord.

36 And Saul said: Let us fall upon the Philistines by night, and destroy them till the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And the people said: Do all that seemeth good in thy eyes. And the priest said: Let us draw near hither unto God. 37 And Saul consulted the Lord: Shall I pursue after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hands of Israel? And he answered him not that day. 38 And Saul said: Bring hither all the corners of the people: and know, and see by whom this sin hath happened today. 39 As the Lord liveth who is the saviour of Israel, if it was done by Jonathan my son, he shall surely die. In this none of the people gainsaid him. 40 And he said to all Israel: Be you on one side, and I with Jonathan my son will be on the other side. And the people answered Saul: Do what seemeth good in thy eyes.

41 And Saul said to the Lord: O Lord God of Israel, give a sign, by which we may know, what the meaning is, that thou answerest not thy servant today. If this iniquity be in me, or in my son Jonathan, give a proof: or if this iniquity be in thy people, give holiness. And Jonathan and Saul were taken, and the people escaped. 42 And Saul said: Cast lots between me, and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken. 43 And Saul said to Jonathan: Tell me what thou hast done. And Jonathan told him, and said: I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod, which was in my hand, and behold I must die. 44 And Saul said: May God do so and so to me, and add still more: for dying thou shalt die, O Jonathan. 45 And the people said to Saul: Shall Jonathan then die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? This must not be. As the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people delivered Jonathan, that he should not die.

42 "Jonathan was taken"... Though Jonathan was excused from sin, through ignorance of the prohibition, yet God was pleased on this occasion to let the lot fall upon him, to shew unto all the great obligation of obedience to princes and parents.

46 And Saul went back, and did not pursue after the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own places. 47 And Saul having his kingdom established over Israel, fought against all his enemies round about, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and Edom, and the kings of Soba, and the Philistines; and whithersoever he turned himself, he overcame. 48 And gathering together an army, he defeated Amalec, and delivered Israel from the hand of them that spoiled them. 49 And the sons of Saul, were Jonathan, and Jessui, and Melchisua: and the names of his two daughters, the name of the firstborn was Merob, and the name of the younger Michol. 50 And the name of Saul's wife, was Achinoam the daughter of Achimaas; and the name of the captain of his army was Abner, the son of Ner, the cousin german of Saul.

51 For Cis was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner, was son of Abiel. 52 And there was a great war against the Philistines all the days of Saul. For whomsoever Saul saw to be a valiant man, and fit for war, he took him to himself.


Chapter 15

Saul is sent to destroy Amalec: he spareth their king and the best of their cattle: for which disobedience he is cast off by the Lord.

1 And Samuel said to Saul: The Lord sent me to anoint thee king over his People Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the Lord: 2 Thus saith the Lord of hosts: I have reckoned up all that Amalec hath done to Israel: I how he opposed them in the way when they came up out of Egypt. 3 Now therefore go, and smite Amalec, and utterly destroy all that he hath: spare him not, nor covet any thing that is his: but slay both man and woman, child and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 4 So Saul commanded the people, and numbered them as lambs: two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand of the men of Juda. 5 And when Saul was come to the city of Amalec, he laid ambushes in the torrent.

3 "Child"... The great Master of life and death (who cuts off one half of all mankind whilst they are children) has been pleased sometimes to ordain that children should be put to the sword, in detestation of the crimes of their parents, and that they might not live to follow the same wicked ways. But without such ordinance of God it is not allowable, in any wars, how just soever, to kill children.

6 And Saul said to the Cinite: Go, depart and get ye down from Amalec: lest I destroy thee with him. For thou hast shewn kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. And the Cinite departed from the midst of Amalec. 7 And Saul smote Amalec from Hevila, until thou comest to Sur, which is over against Egypt. 8 And he took Agag the king of Amalec alive: but all the common people he slew with the edge of the sword. 9 And Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the flocks of sheep and of the herds, and the garments and the rams, and all that was beautiful, and would not destroy them: but every thing that was vile and good for nothing, that they destroyed. 10 And the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying:

11 It repenteth me that I have made Saul king: for he hath forsaken me, and hath not executed my commandments. And Samuel was grieved, and he cried unto the Lord all night. 12 And when Samuel rose early, to go to Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, that Saul was come to Carmel, and had erected for himself a triumphant arch, and returning had passed on, and gone down to Galgal. And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul was offering a holocaust to the Lord out of the choicest of the spoils which he had brought from Amalec. 13 And when Samuel was come to Saul, Saul said to him: Blessed be thou of the Lord, I have fulfilled the word of the Lord. 14 And Samuel said: What meaneth then this bleating of the flocks, which soundeth in my ears, and the lowing of the herds, which I hear? 15 And Saul said: They have brought them from Amalec: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the herds that they might be sacrificed to the Lord thy God, but the rest we have slain.

16 And Samuel said to Saul: Suffer me, and I will tell thee what the Lord hath said to me this night. And he said to him: Speak. 17 And Samuel said: When thou wast a little one in thy own eyes, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel? And the Lord anointed thee to be king over Israel. 18 And the Lord sent thee on the way, and said: Go, and kill the sinners of Amalec, and thou shalt fight against them until thou hast utterly destroyed them. 19 Why then didst thou not hearken to the voice of the Lord: but hast turned to the prey, and hast done evil in the eyes of the Lord. 20 And Saul said to Samuel: Yea I have hearkened to the voice of the Lord, and have walked in the way by which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalec, and Amalec I have slain.

21 But the people took of the spoils sheep and oxen, as the firstfruits of those things that were slain, to offer sacrifice to the Lord their God in Galgal. 22 And Samuel said: Doth the Lord desire holocausts and victims, and not rather that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifices: and to hearken rather than to offer the fat of rams. 23 Because it is like the sin of witchcraft, to rebel: and like the crime of idolatry, to refuse to obey. Forasmuch therefore as thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord hath also rejected thee from being king. 24 And Saul said to Samuel: I have sinned because I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words, fearing the people, and obeying their voice. 25 But now bear, I beseech thee, my sin, and return with me, that I may adore the Lord.

26 And Samuel said to Saul: I will not return with thee, because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. 27 And Samuel turned about to go away: but he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. 28 And Samuel said to him: The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to thy neighbour who is better than thee. 29 But the triumpher in Israel will riot spare, and will not be moved to repentance: for he is not a mail that he should repent. 30 Then he said: I have sinned: yet honour me now before the ancients of my people, and before Israel, and return with me, that I may adore the Lord thy God.

31 So Samuel turned again after Saul: and Saul adored the Lord. 32 And Samuel said: Bring hitherto me Agag the king of Amalec. And Agag was presented to him very fat, and trembling. And Agag said: Doth bitter death separate in this manner? 33 And Samuel said: As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed him in pieces before the Lord in Galgal. 34 And Samuel departed to Ramatha: but Saul went up to his house in Gabaa. 35 And Samuel saw Saul no more till the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul, because the Lord repented that he had made him king over Israel.

35 "Saw Saul no more till the day of his death"... That is, he went no more to see him: he visited him no more.


Chapter 16

Samuel is sent to Bethlehem, where he anointeth David: who is taken into Saul's family.

1 And the Lord said to Samuel: How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, whom I have rejected from reigning over Israel? fill thy horn with oil, and come, that I may send thee to Isai the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. 2 And Samuel said: How shall I go? for Saul will hear of it, and he will kill me. And the Lord said: Thou shalt take with thee a calf of the herd, and thou shalt say: I am come to sacrifice to the Lord. 3 And thou shalt call Isai to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou art to do, and thou shalt anoint him whom I shall shew to thee. 4 Then Samuel did as the Lord had said to him. And he came to Bethlehem, and the ancients of the city wondered, and meeting him, they said: Is thy coming hither peaceable? 5 And he said: It is peaceable: I am come to offer sacrifice to the Lord, be ye sanctified, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Isai and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.

6 And when they were come in, he saw Eliab, and said: Is the Lord's anointed before him? 7 And the Lord said to Samuel: Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature: because I have rejected him, nor do I judge according to the look of man: for man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth the heart. 8 And Isai called Abinadab, and brought him before Samuel. And he said: Neither hath the Lord chosen this. 9 And Isai brought Samma, and he said of him: Neither hath the Lord chosen this. 10 Isai therefore brought his seven sons before Samuel: and Samuel said to Isai: The Lord hath not chosen any one of these.

11 And Samuel said to Isai: Are here all thy sons? He answered: There remaineth yet a young one, who keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said to Isai: Send, and fetch him, for we will not sit down till he come hither. 12 He sent therefore and brought him Now he was ruddy and beautiful to behold, and of a comely face. And the Lord said: Arise, and anoint him, for this is he. 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward: and Samuel rose up, and went to Ramatha. 14 But the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. 15 And the servants of Saul said to him: Behold now an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

14 "From the Lord"... An evil spirit, by divine permission, and for his punishment, either possessed or obsessed him.

16 Let our lord give orders, and thy servants who are before thee will seek out a man skillful in playing on the harp, that when the evil spirit from the Lord is upon thee, he may play with his hand, and thou mayest bear it more easily. 17 And Saul said to his servants: Provide me then some man that can play well, and bring him to me. 18 And one of the servants answering, said: Behold I have seen a son of Isai the Bethlehemite, a skillful player, and one of great strength, and a man fit for war, and prudent in his words, and a comely person: and the Lord is with him. 19 Then Saul sent messengers to Isai, saying: Send me David thy son, who is in the pastures. 20 And Isai took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid of the flock, and sent them by the hand of David his son to Saul.

21 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him exceedingly, and made him his armourbearer. 22 And Saul sent to Isai, saying: Let David stand before me: for he hath found favour in my sight. 23 So whensoever the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul, David took his harp, and played with his hand, and Saul was refreshed, and was better, for the evil spirit departed from him.

23 "Departed from him"... Chased away by David's devotion.


Chapter 17

War with the Philistines. Goliath challengeth Israel. He is slain by David.

1 Now the Philistines gathering together their troops to battle, assembled at Socho of Juda, and camped between Socho and Azeca in the borders of Dommim. 2 And Saul and the children of Israel being gathered together came to the valley of Terebinth, and they set the army in array to fight against the Philistines. 3 And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them. 4 And there went out a man baseborn from the camp of the Philistines named Goliath, of Geth, whose height was six cubits and a span: 5 And he had a helmet of brass upon his head, and he was clothed with a coat of mail with scales, and the weight of his coat of mail was five thousand sicles of brass:

6 And he had greaves of brass on his legs, and a buckler of brass covered his shoulders. 7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and the head of his spear weighed six hundred sicles of iron: and his armourbearer went before him. 8 And standing he cried out to the bands of Israel, and said to them: Why are you come out prepared to fight? am not I a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose out a man of you, and let him come down and fight hand to hand. 9 If he be able to fight with me, and kill me, we will be servants to you: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, you shall be servants, and shall serve us. 10 And the Philistine said: I have defied the bands of Israel this day: Give me a man, and let him fight with me hand to hand.

11 And Saul and all the Israelites hearing these words of the Philistine were dismayed, and greatly afraid. 12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Juda before mentioned, whose name was Isai, who had eight sons, and was an old man in the days of Saul, and of great age among men. 13 And his three eldest sons followed Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons that went to the battle, were Eliab the firstborn, and the second Abinadab, and the third Samma. 14 But David was the youngest. So the three eldest having followed Saul, 15 David went, and returned from Saul, to feed his father's flock at Bethlehem.

16 Now the Philistine came out morning and evening, and presented himself forty days. 17 And Isai said to David his son: Take for thy brethren an ephi of frumenty, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren. 18 And carry these ten little cheeses to the tribune: and go see thy brethren, if they are well: and learn with whom they are placed. 19 But Saul, and they, and all the children of Israel were in the valley of Terebinth fighting against the Philistines. 20 David therefore arose in the morning, and gave the charge of the flock to the keeper: and went away loaded as Isai had commanded him. And he came to the place of Magala, and to the army, which was going out to fight, and shouted for the battle.

21 For Israel had put themselves in array, and the Philistines who stood against them were prepared. 22 And David leaving the vessels which he had brought, under the care of the keeper of the baggage, ran to the place of the battle and asked if all things went well with his brethren. 23 And as he talked with them, that baseborn man whose name was Goliath, the Philistine, of Geth, shewed himself coming up from the camp of the Philistines: and he spoke according to the same words, and David heard them. 24 And all the Israelites when they saw the man, fled from his face, fearing him exceedingly. 25 And some one of Israel said: Have you seen this man that is come up, for he is come up to defy Israel. And the man that shall slay him, the king will enrich with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and will make his father's house free from tribute in Israel.

26 And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying: What shall be given to the man that shall kill this Philistine, and shall take away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? 27 And the people answered him the same words saying: These things shall be given to the man that shall slay him. 28 Now when Eliab his eldest brother heard this, when he was speaking with others, he was angry with David, and said: Why earnest thou hither? and why didst thou leave those few sheep in the desert? I know thy pride, and the wickedness of thy heart: that thou art come down to see the battle. 29 And David said: What have I done? is there not cause to speak? 30 And he turned a little aside from him to another: and said the same word. And the people answered him as before.

31 And the words which David spoke were heard, and were rehearsed before Saul. 32 And when he was brought to him, he said to him: Let not any man's heart be dismayed in him: I thy servant will go, and will fight against the Philistine. 33 And Saul said to David: Thou art not able to withstand this Philistine, nor to fight against him: for thou art but a boy, but he is a warrior from his youth. 34 And David said to Saul: Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, or a bear, and took a ram out of the midst of the flock: 35 And I pursued after them, and struck them, and delivered it out of their mouth: and they rose up against me, and I caught them by the throat, and I strangled and killed them.

36 For I thy servant have killed both a lion and a bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be also as one of them. I will go now, and take away the reproach of the people: for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, who hath dared to curse the army of the living God? 37 And David said: The Lord who delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to David: Go, and the Lord be with thee. 38 And Saul clothed David with his garments, and put a helmet of brass upon his head, and armed him with a coat of mail. 39 And David having girded his sword upon his armour, began to try if he could walk in armour: for he was not accustomed to it. And David said to Saul: I cannot go thus, for I am not used to it. And he laid them off, 40 And he took his staff, which he had always in his hands: and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them into the shepherd's scrip, which he had with him, and he took a sling in his hand, and went forth against the Philistine.

41 And the Philistine came on, and drew nigh against David, and his armourbearer before him. 42 And when the Philistine looked, and beheld David, he despised him. For he was a young man, ruddy, and of a comely countenance. 43 And the Philistine said to David: Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with a staff? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And he said to David: Come to me, and I will give thy flesh to the birds of the air, and to the beasts of the earth. 45 And David said to the Philistine: Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, which thou hast defied.

46 This day, and the Lord will deliver thee into my hand, and I will slay thee, and take away thy head from thee: and I will give the carcasses of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air, and to the beasts of the earth: that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 And all this assembly shall know, that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for it is his battle, and he will deliver you into our hands. 48 And when the Philistine arose and was coming, and drew nigh to meet David, David made haste, and ran to the fight to meet the Philistine. 49 And he put his hand into his scrip, and took a stone, and cast it with the sling, and fetching it about struck the Philistine in the forehead: and the stone was fixed in his forehead, and he fell on his face upon the earth. 50 And David prevailed over the Philistine, with a sling and a stone, and he struck, and slew the Philistine. And as David had no sword in his hand,

51 He ran, and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath, and slew him, and cut off his head. And the Philistines seeing that their champion was dead, fled away. 52 And the men of Israel and Juda rising up shouted, and pursued after the Philistines till they came to the valley and to the gates of Accaron, and there fell many wounded of the Philistines in the way of Saraim, and as far as Geth, and as far as Accaron. 53 And the children of Israel returning, after they had pursued the Philistines, fell upon their camp. 54 And David taking the head of the Philistine brought it to Jerusalem: but his armour he put in his tent. 55 Now at the time that Saul saw David going out against the Philistines, he said to Abner the captain of the army: Of what family is this young man descended, Abner? And Abner said: As thy soul liveth, O king, I know not.

56 And the king said: Inquire thou, whose son this man is. 57 And when David was returned, after the Philistine was slain, Abner took him, and brought him in before Saul, with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58 And Saul said to him: Young man, of what family art thou? And David said: I am the son of thy servant Isai the Bethlehemite.


Chapter 18

The friendship of Jonathan and David. The envy of Saul, and his design upon David's life. He marrieth him to his daughter Michol.

1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day, and would not let him return to his father's house. 3 And David and Jonathan made a covenant, for be loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the coat with which he was clothed, and gave it to David, and the rest of his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. 5 And David went out to whatsoever business Saul sent him, and he behaved himself prudently: and Saul set him over the soldiers, and he was acceptable in the eyes of all the people, and especially in the eyes of Saul's servants.

6 Now when David returned, after be slew the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with timbrels of joy, and cornets. 7 And the women sung as they played, and they said: I Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands. 8 And Saul was exceeding angry, and this word was displeasing in his eyes, and he said: They have given David ten thousands, and to me they have given but a thousand; what can he have more but the kingdom? 9 And Saul did not look on David with a good eye from that day and forward. 10 And the day after the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of his house. And David played with his hand as at other times. And Saul held a spear in his hand,

10 "Prophesied"... Acted the prophet in a mad manner.

11 And threw it, thinking to nail David to the wall: and David stept aside out of his presence twice. 12 And Saul feared David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed from himself. 13 Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him a captain over a thousand men, and he went out and came in before the people. 14 And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him. 15 And Saul saw that he was exceeding prudent, and began to beware of him.

16 But all Israel and Juda loved David, for he came in and went out before them. 17 And Saul said to David: Behold my elder daughter Merob, her will I give thee to wife: only be a valiant man, and fight the battles of the Lord. Now Saul said within himself: Let not my hand be upon him, but let the hands of the Philistines be upon him. 18 And David said to Saul: Who am I, or what is my life, or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son in law of the king? 19 And it came to pass at the time when Merob the daughter of Saul should have been given to David, that she was given to Hadriel the Molathite to wife. 20 But Michol the other daughter of Saul loved David. And it was told Saul, and it pleased him.

21 And Saul said: I will give her to him, that she may be a stumblingblock to him, and that the band of the Philistines may be upon him. And Saul said to David: In two things thou shalt be my son in law this day. 22 And Saul commanded his servants to speak to David privately, saying: Behold thou pleasest the king, and all his servants love thee. Now therefore be the king's son in law. 23 And the servants of Saul spoke all these words in the ears of David. And David said: Doth it seem to you a small matter to be the king's son in law? But I am a poor man, and of small ability. 24 And the servants of Saul told him, saying: Such words as these hath David spoken. 25 And Saul said: Speak thus to David: The king desireth not any dowry, but only a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. Now Saul thought to deliver David into the hands of the Philistines.

26 And when his servants had told David the words that Saul had said, the word was pleasing in the eyes of David to be the king's son in law. 27 And after a few days David rose up, and went with the men that were under him, and he slew of the Philistines two hundred men, and brought their foreskins and numbered them out to the king, that he might be his son in law. Saul therefore gave him Michol his daughter to wife. 28 And Saul saw, and understood that the Lord was with David. And Michol the daughter of Saul loved him. 29 And Saul began to fear David more: and Saul became David's enemy continually. 30 And the princes of the Philistines went forth: and from the beginning of their going forth, David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul, and his name became very famous.


Chapter 19

Other attempts of Saul upon David's life. He cometh to Samuel. Saul's messengers, and Saul himself prophesy.

1 And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan the son of Saul loved David exceedingly. 2 And Jonathan told David, saying: Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: wherefore look to thyself, I beseech thee, in the morning, and thou shalt abide in a secret place and shalt be hid. 3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art: and I will speak of thee to my father, and whatsoever I shall see, I will tell thee. 4 And Jonathan spoke good things of David to Saul his father: and said to him: Sin not, O king, against thy servant, David, because he hath not sinned against thee, and his works are very good towards thee. 5 And he put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought great salvation for all Israel. Thou sawest it and didst rejoice. Why therefore wilt thou sin against innocent blood by killing David, who is without fault?

6 And when Saul heard this he was appeased with the words of Jonathan, and swore: As the Lord liveth he shall not be slain. 7 Then Jonathan called David and told him all these words: and Jonathan brought in David to Saul, and he was before him, as he had been yesterday and the day before. 8 And the war began again, and David went out and fought against the Philistines, and defeated them with a great slaughter, and they fled from his face. 9 And the evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul, and he sat in his house, and held a spear in his hand: and David played with his hand. 10 And Saul endeavoured to nail David to the wall with his spear. And David slipt away out of the presence of Saul: and the spear missed him, and was fastened in the wall, and David fled and escaped that night.

11 Saul therefore sent his guards to David's house to watch him, that he might be killed in the morning. And when Michol David's wife had told him this, saying: Unless thou save thyself this night, tomorrow thou wilt die, 12 She let him down through a window. And he went and fled away and escaped. 13 And Michol took an image and laid it on the bed, and put a goat's skin with the hair at the head of it, and covered it with clothes. 14 And Saul sent officers to seize David: and it was answered that he was sick. 15 And again Saul sent to see David, saying: Bring him to me in the bed, that he may be slain.

16 And when the messengers were come in, they found an image upon the bed, and a goat's skin at its head. 17 And Saul said to Michol: Why hast thou deceived me so, and let my enemy go and flee away? And Michol answered Saul: Because he said to me: Let me go, or else I will kill thee. 18 But David fled and escaped, and came to Samuel in Ramatha, and told him all that Saul had done to him: and he and Samuel went and dwelt in Najoth. 19 And it was told Saul by some, saying: Behold David is in Najoth in Ramatha. 20 So Saul sent officers to take David: and when they saw a company of prophets prophesying, and Samuel presiding over them, the spirit of the Lord came also upon them, and they likewise began to prophesy.

18 "Najoth"... It was probably a school or college of prophets, in or near Ramath under the direction of Samuel.

20 "Prophesying"... That is, singing praises to God by a divine impulse. God was pleased on this occasion that both Samuel's messengers and himself should experience the like impulse, that he might understand, by this instance of the divine power, how vain are the designs of man against him whom God protects.

21 And when this was told Saul, he sent other messengers: but they also prophesied. And again Saul sent messengers the third time: and they prophesied also. And Saul being exceedingly angry, 22 Went also himself to Ramatha, and came as far as the great cistern, which is in Socho, and he asked, and said: In what place are Samuel and David? And it was told him: Behold they are in Najoth in Ramatha. 23 And he went to Najoth in Ramatha, and the spirit of the Lord came upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied till he came to Najoth in Ramatha. 24 And he stripped himself also of his garments, and prophesied with the rest before Samuel, and lay down naked all that day and night. This gave occasion to a proverb: What! is Saul too among the prophets?


Chapter 20

Saul being obstinately bent upon killing David, he is sent away by Jonathan.

1 But David fled from Najoth, which is in Ramatha, and came and said to Jonathan: What have I done? what is my iniquity, and what is my sin against thy father, that he seeketh my life? 2 And he said to him: God forbid, thou shalt not die: for my father will do nothing great or little, without first telling me: hath then my father hid this word only from me? no, this shall not be. 3 And he swore again to David. And David said: Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, and he will say: Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved. But truly as the Lord liveth, and thy soul liveth, there is but one step (as I may say) between me and death. 4 And Jonathan said to David: Whatsoever thy soul shall say to me, I will do for thee. 5 And David said to Jonathan: Behold tomorrow is the new moon, and I according to custom am wont to sit beside the king to eat: let me go then that I may be hid in the field till the evening of the third day.

5 "Tomorrow is the new moon"... The neomenia, or first day of the moon, kept according to the law, as a festival; and therefore Saul feasted on that day: and expected the attendance of his family.

6 If thy father look and inquire for me, thou shalt answer him: David asked me that he might run to Bethlehem his own city: because there are solemn sacrifices there for all his tribe. 7 If he shall say, It is well: thy servant shall have peace: but if he be angry, know that his malice is come to its height. 8 Deal mercifully then with thy servant: for thou hast brought me thy servant into a covenant of the Lord with thee. But if there be any iniquity in me, do thou kill me, and bring me not in to thy father. 9 And Jonathan said: Far be this from thee: for if I should certainly know that evil is determined by my father against thee, I could do no otherwise than tell thee. 10 And David answered Jonathan: Who shall bring me word, if thy father should answer thee harshly concerning me?

11 And Jonathan said to David: Come and let us go out into the field. And when they were both of them gone out into the field, 12 Jonathan said to David: O Lord God of Israel, if I shall discover my father's mind, tomorrow or the day after, and there be any thing good for David, and I send not immediately to thee, and make it known to thee, 13 May the Lord do so and so to Jonathan and add still more. But if my father shall continue in malice against thee, I will discover it to thy ear, and will send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace, and the Lord be with thee, as he hath been with my father. 14 And if I live, thou shalt shew me the kindness of the Lord: but if I die, 15 Thou shalt not take away thy kindness from my house for ever, when the Lord shall have rooted out the enemies of David, every one of them from the earth, may he take away Jonathan from his house, and may the Lord require it at the hands of David's enemies.

15 "May he take away Jonathan"... It is a curse upon himself, if he should not be faithful to his promise.-- Ibid.

15 "Require it"... That is, revenge it upon David's enemies, and upon me, if I should fail of my word given to him.

16 Jonathan therefore made a covenant with the house of David: and the Lord required it at the hands of David's enemies. 17 And Jonathan swore again to David, because he loved him: for he loved him as his own soul. 18 And Jonathan said to him: Tomorrow is the new moon, and thou wilt be missed: 19 For thy seat will be empty till after tomorrow. So thou shalt go down quickly, and come to the place, where thou must be hid on the day when it is lawful to work, and thou shalt remain beside the stone, which is called Ezel. 20 And I will shoot three arrows near it, and will shoot as if I were exercising myself at a mark.

21 And I will send a boy, saying to him: Go and fetch me the arrows. 22 If I shall say to the boy: Behold the arrows are on this side of thee, take them up: come thou to me, because, there is peace to thee, and there is no evil, as the Lord liveth. But if I shall speak thus to the boy: Behold the arrows are beyond thee: go in peace, for the Lord hath sent thee away. 23 And concerning the word which I and thou have spoken, the Lord be between thee and me for ever. 24 So David was hid in the field, and the new moon came, and the king sat down to eat bread. 25 And when the king sat down upon his chair (according to custom) which was beside the wall, Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul's side, and David's place appeared empty.

26 And Saul said nothing that day, for he thought it might have happened to him, that he was not clean, nor purified. 27 And when the second day after the new moon was come, David's place appeared empty again. And Saul said to Jonathan his son: Why cometh not the son of Isai to meat neither yesterday nor today? 28 And Jonathan answered Saul: He asked leave of me earnestly to go to Bethlehem, 29 And he said: Let me go, for there is a solemn sacrifice in the city, one of my brethren hath sent for me: and now if I have found favour in thy eyes, I will go quickly, and see my brethren. For this cause he came not to the king's table. 30 Then Saul being angry against Jonathan said to him: Thou son of a woman that is the ravisher of a man, do I not know that thou lovest the son of Isai to thy own confusion and to the confusion of thy shameless mother?

31 For as long as the son of Isai liveth upon earth, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Therefore now presently send, and fetch him to me: for he is the son of death. 32 And Jonathan answering Saul his father, said: Why shall he die: what hath he done? 33 And Saul caught up a spear to strike him. And Jonathan understood that it was determined by his father to kill David. 34 So Jonathan rose from the table in great anger, and did not eat bread on the second day after the new moon. For he was grieved for David, because his father had put him to confusion. 35 And when the morning came, Jonathan went into the field, according to the appointment with David, and a little boy with him.

31 "The son of death"... That is, one that deserveth death, and shall surely be put to death.

36 And he said to his boy: Go, and fetch me the arrows which I shoot. And when the boy ran, he shot another arrow beyond the boy. 37 The boy therefore came to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot: and Jonathan cried after the boy, and said: Behold the arrow is there further beyond thee. 38 And Jonathan cried again after the boy, saying: Make haste speedily, stand not. And Jonathan's boy gathered up the arrows, and brought them to his master: 39 And he knew not at all what was doing: for only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40 Jonathan therefore gave his arms to the boy, and said to him: Go, and carry them into the city.

41 And when the boy was gone, David rose out of his place, which was towards the south, and falling on his face to the ground, adored thrice: and kissing one another, they wept together, but David more. 42 And Jonathan said to David: Go in peace: and let all stand that we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying: The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. 43 And David arose, and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.


Chapter 21

David receiveth holy bread of Achimelech, the priest: and feigneth himself mad before Achis, king of Geth.

1 And David came to Nobe to Achimelech the priest: and Achimelech was astonished at David's coming. And he said to him: Why art thou alone, and no man with thee? 2 And David said to Achimelech the priest: The king hath commanded me a business, and said: Let no man know the thing for which thou art sent by me, and what manner of commands I have given thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place. 3 Now therefore if thou have any thing at hand, though it were but five loaves, give me, or whatsoever thou canst find. 4 And the priest answered David, saying: I have no common bread at hand, but only holy bread, if the young men be clean, especially from women? 5 And David answered the priest, and said to him: Truly, as to what concerneth women, we have refrained ourselves from yesterday and the day before, when we came out, and the vessels of the young men were holy. Now this way is defiled, but it shall also be sanctified this day in the vessels.

1 "Nobe"... A city in the tribe of Benjamin, to which the tabernacle of the Lord had been translated from Silo.

4 "If the young men be clean"... If this cleanness was required of them that were to eat that bread, which was a figure of the bread of life which we receive in the blessed sacrament; how clean ought Christians to be when they approach to our tremendous mysteries. And what reason hath the church of God to admit none to be her ministers to consecrate and daily receive this most pure sacrament, but such as devote themselves to a life of perpetual purity.

5 "The vessels"... i. e., the bodies, have been holy, that is, have been kept from impurity.-- Ibid.

5 "Is defiled"... Is liable to expose us to dangers of uncleanness.-- Ibid.

5 "Be sanctified"... That is, we shall take care, notwithstanding these dangerous circumstances, to keep our vessels holy, that is, to keep our bodies from every thing that may defile us.

6 The priest therefore gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there, but only the loaves of proposition, which had been taken away from before the face of the Lord, that hot loaves might be set up. 7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, within the tabernacle of the Lord: and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of Saul's herdsmen. 8 And David said to Achimelech: Hast thou here at hand a spear, or a sword? for I brought not my own sword, nor my own weapons with me, for the king's business required haste. 9 And the priest said: Lo, here is the sword of Goliath the Philistine whom thou slewest in the valley of Terebinth, wrapped up in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take this, take it, for here is no other but this. And David said: There is none like that, give it me. 10 And David arose and fled that day from the face of Saul: and came to Achis the king of Geth:

11 And the servants of Achis, when they saw David, said to him: Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to him in their dances, saying: Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands? 12 But David laid up these words in his heart, and was exceedingly afraid at the face of Achis the king of Geth. 13 And he changed his countenance before them, and slipt down between their hands: and he stumbled against the doors of the gate, and his spittle ran down upon his beard. 14 And Achis said to his servants: You saw the man was mad: why have you brought him to me? 15 Have we need of madmen, that you have brought in this fellow, to play the madman in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?


Chapter 22

Many resort to David. Doeg accuseth Achimelech to Saul. He ordereth him and all the other priests of Nobe to be slain. Abiathar escapeth.

1 David therefore went from thence and fled to the cave of Odollam. And when his brethren, and all his father's house had heard of it, they went down to him thither; 2 And all that were in distress and oppressed with debt, and under affliction of mind gathered themselves unto him: and he became their prince, and there were with him about four hundred men. 3 And David departed from thence into Maspha of Moab: and he said to the king of Moab: Let my father and my mother tarry with you, I beseech thee, till I know what God will do for me. 4 And he left them under the eyes of the king of Moab, and they abode with him all the days that David was in the hold. 5 And Gad the prophet said to David: Abide not in the hold, depart, and go into the land of Juda. And David departed, and came into the forest of Haret.

4 "The hold"... The strong hold, or fortress of Maspha.

6 And Saul heard that David was seen, and the men that were with him. Now whilst Saul abode in Gabaa, and was in the wood, which is by Rama, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him, 7 He said to his servants that stood about him: Hear me now, ye sons of Jemini: will the son of Isai give everyone of you fields, and vineyards, and make you all tribunes, and centurions: 8 That all of you have conspired against me, and there is no one to inform me, especially when even my son hath entered into league with the soil of Isai? There is not one of you that pitieth my case, nor that giveth me any information: because my son hath raised up my servant against me, plotting against me to this day. 9 And Doeg the Edomite who stood by, and was the chief among the servants of Saul, answering, said: I saw the son of Isai, in Nobe with Achimelech the son of Achitob the priest. 10 And he consulted the Lord for him, and gave him victuals, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.

11 Then the king sent to call for Achimelech the priest the son of Achitob, and all his father's house, the priests that were in Nobe, and they came all of them to the king. 12 And Saul said to Achimelech: Hear, thou son of Achitob. He answered: Here I am, my lord. 13 And Saul said to him: Why have you conspired against me, thou, and the son of Isai, and thou hast given him bread and a sword, and hast consulted the Lord for him, that he should rise up against me, continuing a traitor to this day. 14 And Achimelech answering the king, said: And who amongst all thy servants is so faithful as David, who is the king's son in law, and goeth forth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thy house? 15 Did I begin today to consult the Lord for him? far be this from me: let not the king suspect such a thing against his servant, or any one in all my father's house: for thy servant knew nothing of this matter, either little or great.

16 And the king said: Dying thou shalt die, Achimelech, thou and all thy father's house. 17 And the king said to the messengers that stood about him: Turn, and kill the priests of the Lord, for their hand is with David, because they knew that he was fled, and they told it not to me. And the king's servants would not put forth their hands against the priests of the Lord. 18 And the king said to Doeg: Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and fell upon the priests and slew in that day eighty-five men that wore the linen ephod. 19 And Nobe the city of the priests he smote with the edge of his sword, both men and women, children, and sucklings, and ox and ass, and sheep with the edge of the sword. 20 But one of the sons of Achimelech the son of Achitob, whose name was Abiathar, escaped, and fled to David,

21 And told him that Saul had slain the priests of the Lord. 22 And David said to Abiathar: I knew that day when Doeg the Edomite was there, that without doubt he would tell Saul: I have been the occasion of the death of all the souls of thy father's house. 23 Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life, seeketh thy life also, and with me thou shalt be saved.


Chapter 23

David relieveth Ceila, besieged by the Philistines. He fleeth into the desert of Ziph. Jonathan and he confirm their former covenant. The Ziphites discover him to Saul, who pursuing close after him, is called away by an invasion from the Philistines.

1 And they told David, saying: Behold the Philistines fight against Ceila, and they rob the barns. 2 Therefore David consulted the Lord, saying: Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the Lord said to David: Go, and thou shalt smite the Philistines, and shalt save Ceila. 3 And the men that were with David, said to him: Behold we are in fear here in Judea, how much more if we go to Ceila against the hands of the Philistines? 4 Therefore David consulted the Lord again. And he answered and said to him: Arise, and go to Ceila: for I will deliver the Philistines into thy hand. 5 David therefore, and his men, went to Ceila, and fought against the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and made a great slaughter of them: and David saved the inhabitants of Ceila.

6 Now at that time, when Abiathar the son of Achimelech fled to David to Ceila, he came down having an ephod with him. 7 And it was told Saul that David was come to Ceila: and Saul said: The Lord hath delivered him into my hands, and he is shut up, being come into a city, that hath gates and bars. 8 And Saul commanded all the people to go down to fight against Ceila, and to besiege David, and his men. 9 Now when David understood, that Saul secretly prepared evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest: Bring hither the ephod. 10 And David said: O Lord God of Israel, thy servant hath heard a report, that Saul designeth to come to Ceila, to destroy the city for my sake:

6 "An ephod"... Or the ephod. That is, the vestment of the high priest, with the urim and thummim, by which the Lord gave his oracle.

11 Will the men of Ceila deliver me into his hands? and will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O Lord God of Israel, tell thy servant. And the Lord said: He will come down. 12 And David said: Will the men of Ceila deliver me, and my men, into the hands of Saul? And the Lord said: They will deliver thee up. 13 Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose, and departing from Ceila, wandered up and down uncertain where they should stay: and it was told Saul that David was fled from Ceila, and had escaped: wherefore he forbore to go out. 14 But David abode in the desert in strong holds, and he remained in a mountain of the desert of Ziph, in a woody hill. And Saul sought him always: but the Lord delivered him not into his hands. 15 And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life. And David was in the desert of Ziph, in a wood.

16 And Jonathan the son of Saul arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hands in God: and he said to him: 17 Fear not: for the hand of my father Saul shall not find thee, and thou shalt reign over Israel, and I shall be next to thee, yea, and my father knoweth this. 18 And the two made a covenant before the Lord: and David abode in the wood: but Jonathan returned to his house. 19 And the Ziphites went up to Saul in Gabaa, saying: Lo, doth not David lie hid with us in the strong holds of the wood, in mount Hachila, which is on the right hand of the desert. 20 Now therefore come down, as thy soul hath desired to come down: and it shall be our business to deliver him into the king's hands.

21 And Saul said: Blessed be ye of the Lord, for you have pitied my case. 22 Go therefore, I pray you, and use all diligence, and curiously inquire, and consider the place where his foot is, and who hath seen him there: for he thinketh of me, that I lie craftily in wait for him. 23 Consider and see all his lurking holes, wherein he is bid, and return to me with the certainty of the thing, that I may go with you. And if be should even go down into the earth to hide himself, I will search him out in all the thousands of Juda. 24 And they arose and went to Ziph before Saul: and David and his men were in the desert of Maon, in the plain at the right hand of Jesimon. 25 Then Saul and his men went to seek him: and it was told David, and forthwith he went down to the rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon: and when Saul had heard of it he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon.

26 And Saul went on this side of the mountain: and David and his men were on the other side of the mountain: and David despaired of being able to escape from the face of Saul: and Saul and his men encompassed David and his men round about to take them. 27 And a messenger came to Saul, saying: Make haste to come, for the Philistines have poured in themselves upon the land. 28 Wherefore Saul returned, leaving the pursuit of David, and went to meet the Philistines. For this cause they called that place, the Rock of division.


Chapter 24

Saul seeketh David in the wilderness of Engaddi: he goeth into a cave where David hath him in his power.

1 Then David went up from thence, and dwelt in strong holds of Engaddi. 2 And when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, they told him, saying: Behold, David is in the desert of Engaddi. 3 Saul therefore took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went out to seek after David, and his men, even upon the most craggy rocks, which are accessible only to wild goats. 4 And he came to the sheepcotes, which were in his way. And there was a cave, into which Saul went, to ease nature: now David and his men lay hid in the inner part of the cave. 5 And the servants of David said to him: Behold the day, of which the Lord said to thee: I will deliver thy enemy unto thee, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good in thy eyes. Then David arose, and secretly cut off the hem of Saul's robe.

6 After which David's heart struck him, because he had cut off the hem of Saul's robe. 7 And he said to his men: The Lord be merciful unto me, that I may do no such thing to my master the Lord's anointed, as to lay my hand upon him, because he is the Lord's anointed. 8 And David stopped his men with his words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rising up out of the cave, went on his way. 9 And David also rose up after him: and going out of the cave cried after Saul, saying: My lord the king. And Saul looked behind him: and David bowing himself down to the ground, worshipped, 10 And said to Saul: Why dost thou hear the words of men that say David seeketh thy hurt?

6 "Heart struck him"... Viz., with remorse, as fearing he had done amiss.

11 Behold this day thy eyes have seen, that the Lord hath delivered thee into my hand, in the cave, and I had a thought to kill thee, but my eye hath spared thee. For I said: I will not put out my hand against my lord, because he is the Lord's anointed. 12 Moreover see and know, O my father, the hem of thy robe in my hand, that when I cut, off the hem of thy robe, I would not put out my hand against thee. Reflect, and see, that there is no evil in my hand, nor iniquity, neither have I sinned against thee: but thou liest in wait for my life, to take it away. 13 The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lord revenge me of thee: but my hand shall not be upon thee. 14 As also it is said in the old proverb: From the wicked shall wickedness come forth: therefore my hand shall not be upon thee. After whom dost thou come out, O king of Israel? 15 After whom dost thou pursue? After a dead dog, after a flea.

11 "A thought to kill thee"... That is, a suggestion, to which I did not consent.

13 "Revenge me of thee"... Or, as it is in the Hebrew, will revenge me. The meaning is, that he refers his whole cause to God, to judge and punish according to his justice: yet so as to keep himself in the mean time, from all personal hatred to Saul, or desire of gratifying his own passion, by seeking revenge. So far from it, that when Saul was afterwards slain, we find, that instead of rejoicing at his death, he mourned most bitterly for him.

16 Be the Lord judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and judge my cause, and deliver me out of thy hand. 17 And when David had made an end of speaking these words to Saul, Saul said: Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. 18 And he said to David: Thou art more just than I: for thou hast done good to me, and I have rewarded thee with evil. 19 And thou hast shewn this day what good things thou hast done to me: how the Lord delivered me into thy hand, and thou hast not killed me. 20 For who when he hath found his enemy, will let him go well away? But the Lord reward thee for this good turn, for what thou hast done to me this day.

21 And now as I know that thou shalt surely be king, and have the kingdom of Israel in thy hand: 22 Swear to me by the Lord, that thou wilt not destroy my seed after me, nor take away my name from the house of my father. 23 And David swore to Saul. So Saul went home: and David and his men went up into safer places.


Chapter 25

The death of Samuel. David, provoked by Nabal, threateneth to destroy him: but is appeased by Abigail.

1 And Samuel died, and all Israel was gathered together, and they mourned for him, and buried him in his house in Ramatha. And David rose and went down into the wilderness of Pharan. 2 Now there was a certain man in the wilderness of Maon, and his possessions were in Carmel, and the man was very great: and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and it happened that he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 Now the name of the man was Nabal: and the name of his wife was Abigail. And she was a prudent and very comely woman, but her husband was churlish, and very bad and ill natured: and he was of the house of Caleb. 4 And when David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep, 5 He sent ten young men, and said to them: Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and salute him in my name with peace.

6 And you shall say: Peace be to my brethren, and to thee, and peace to thy house, and peace to all that thou hast. 7 I heard that thy shepherds that were with us in the desert were shearing: we never molested them, neither was there ought missing to them of the flock at any time, all the while they were with us in Carmel. 8 Ask thy servants, and they will tell thee. Now therefore let thy servants find favour in thy eyes: for we are come in a good day, whatsoever thy hand shall find give to thy servants, and to thy son David. 9 And when David's servants came, they spoke to Nabal all these words in David's name: and then held their peace. 10 But Nabal answering the servants of David, said: Who is David? and what is the son of Isai? servants are multiplied now a days who flee from their masters.

11 Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and the flesh of my cattle, which I have killed for my shearers, and give to men whom I know not whence they are? 12 So the servants of David went back their way, and returning came and told him all the words that he said. 13 Then David said to his young men: Let every man gird on his sword. And they girded on every man his sword. And David also girded on his sword: and there followed David about four hundred men: and two hundred remained with the baggage. 14 But one of the servants told Abigail the wife of Nabal, saying: Behold David sent messengers out of the wilderness, to salute our master: and he rejected them. 15 These men were very good to us, and gave us no trouble: neither did we ever lose any thing all the time that we conversed with them in the desert.

16 They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. 17 Wherefore consider, and think what thou hast to do: for evil is determined against thy husband, and against thy house, and he is a son of Belial, so that no man can speak to him. 18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves, and two vessels of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of dry figs, and laid them upon asses: 19 And she said to her servants: Go before me: behold I will follow after you: but she told not her husband Nabal. 20 And when she had gotten upon an ass, and was coming down to the foot of the mountain, David and his men came down over against her, and she met them.

21 And David said: Truly in vain have I kept all that belonged to this man in the wilderness, and nothing was lost of all that pertained unto him: and he hath returned me evil for good. 22 May God do so and so, and add more to the foes of David, if I leave of all that belong to him till the morning, any that pisseth against the wall. 23 And when Abigail saw David she made haste and lighted off the ass, and fell before David, on her face, and adored upon the ground. 24 And she fell at his feet, and said: Upon me let this iniquity be, my lord: let thy handmaid speak, I beseech thee, in thy ears: and hear the words of thy servant. 25 Let not my lord the king, I pray, regard this naughty man Nabal: for according to his name, he is a fool, and folly is with him: but I thy handmaid did not see thy servants, my lord, whom thou sentest.

22 "If I leave"... David certainly sinned in his designs against Nabal and his family, as he himself was afterwards sensible, when he blessed God for hindering him from executing the revenge he had proposed.

25 "His name"... Nabal, in Hebrew, signifies a fool.

26 Now therefore, my lord, the Lord liveth, and thy soul liveth, who hath withholden thee from coming to blood, and hath saved thy hand to thee: and now let thy enemies be as Nabal, and all they that seek evil to my lord. 27 Wherefore receive this blessing, which thy handmaid hath brought to thee, my lord: and give it to the young men that follow thee, my lord. 28 Forgive the iniquity of thy handmaid: for the Lord will surely make for my lord a faithful house, because thou, my lord, fightest the battles of the Lord: let not evil therefore be found in thee all the days of thy life. 29 For if a man at any time shall rise, and persecute thee, and seek thy life, the soul of my lord shall be kept, as in the bundle of the living, with the Lord thy God: but the souls of thy enemies shall be whirled, as with the violence and whirling of a sling. 30 And when the Lord shall have done to thee, my lord, all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have made thee prince over Israel,

31 This shall not be an occasion of grief to thee, and a scruple of heart to my lord, that thou hast shed innocent blood, or hast revenged thyself: and when the Lord shall have done well by my lord, thou shalt remember thy handmaid. 32 And David said to Abigail: Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, who sent thee this day to meet me, and blessed be thy speech: 33 And blessed be thou, who hast kept me today, from coming to blood, and revenging me with my own hand. 34 Otherwise as the Lord liveth the God of Israel, who hath withholden me from doing thee any evil: if thou hadst not quickly come to meet me, there had not been left to Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall. 35 And David received at her hand all that she had brought him, and said to her: Go in peace into thy house, behold I have heard thy voice, and have honoured thy face.

36 And Abigail came to Nabal: and behold he had a feast in his house, like the feast of a king, and Nabal's heart was merry: for he was very drunk: and she told him nothing less or more until morning. 37 But early in the morning when Nabal had digested his wine, his wife told him these words, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. 38 And after ten days had passed, the Lord struck Nabal, and he died. 39 And when David had heard that Nabal was dead, he said: Blessed be the Lord, who hath judged the cause of my reproach at the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil, and the Lord hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his head. Then David sent and treated with Abigail, that he might take her to himself for a wife. 40 And David's servants came to Abigail to Carmel, and spoke to her, saying: David hath sent us to thee, to take thee to himself for a wife.

39 "Blessed be"... David praiseth God, on this occasion, not out of joy for the death of Nabal (which would have argued a rancour of heart), but because he saw that God had so visibly taken his cause in hand, in punishing the injury done to him; whilst, by a merciful providence he kept him from revenging himself.

41 And she arose and bowed herself down with her face to the earth, and said: Behold, let thy servant be a handmaid, to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. 42 And Abigail arose, and made haste, and got upon an ass, and five damsels went with her, her waiting maids, and she followed the messengers of David, and became his wife. 43 Moreover David took also Achinoam of Jezrahel: and they were both of them his wives. 44 But Saul gave Michol his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti, the son of Lais, who was of Gallium.


Chapter 26

Saul goeth out again after David, who cometh by night where Saul and his men are asleep, but suffereth him not to be touched. Saul again confesseth his fault, and promiseth peace.

1 And the men of Ziph came to Saul in Gabaa, saying: Behold David is hid in the hill of Hachila, which is over against the wilderness. 2 And Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having with him three thousand chosen men of Israel, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. 3 And Saul encamped in Gabaa Hachila, which was over against the wilderness in the way: and David abode in the wilderness. And seeing that Saul was come after him into the wilderness, 4 He sent spies, and learned that he was most certainly come thither. 5 And David arose secretly, and came to the place where Saul was: and when he had beheld the place, wherein Saul slept, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his army, and Saul sleeping in a tent, and the rest of the multitude round about him,

6 David spoke to Achimelech the Hethite, and Abisai the son of Sarvia the brother of Joab, saying: Who will go down with me to Saul into the camp? And Abisai said: I will go with thee. 7 So David and Abisai came to the people by night, and found Saul lying and sleeping in the tent, and his spear fixed in the ground at his head: and Abner and the people sleeping round about him. 8 And Abisai said to David: God hath shut up thy enemy this day into thy hands: now then I will run him through with my spear even to the earth at once, and there shall be no need of a second time. 9 And David said to Abisai: Kill him not: for who shall put forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and shall be guiltless? 10 And David said: As the Lord liveth, unless the Lord shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall go down to battle and perish:

11 The Lord be merciful unto me, that I extend not my hand upon the Lord's anointed. But now take the spear, which is at his head, and the cup of water, and let us go. 12 So David took the spear, and the cup of water which was at Saul's head, and they went away: and no man saw it, or knew it, or awaked, but they were all asleep, for a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them. 13 And when David was gone over to the other side. and stood on the top of the hill afar off, and a good space was between them, 14 David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying: Wilt thou not answer, Abner? And Abner answering, said: Who art thou, that criest, and disturbest the king? 15 And David said to Abner: Art not thou a man? and who is like thee in Israel? why then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to kill the king thy lord.

16 This thing is not good, that thou hast done: as the Lord liveth, you are the sons of death, who have not kept your master, the Lord's anointed. And now where is the king's spear, and the cup of water, which was at his head? 17 And Saul knew David's voice, and said: Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said: It is my voice, my lord the king. 18 And he said: Wherefore doth my lord persecute his servant? What have I done? or what evil is there in my hand? 19 Now therefore hear, I pray thee, my lord the king, the words of thy servant: If the Lord stir thee up against me, let him accept of sacrifice: but if the sons of men, they are cursed in the sight of the Lord, who have cast me out this day, that I should not dwell in the inheritance of the Lord, saying: Go, serve strange gods. 20 And now let not my blood be shed upon the earth before the Lord: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as the partridge is hunted in the mountains.

21 And Saul said: I have sinned, return, my son David, for I will no more do thee harm, because my life hath been precious in thy eyes this day: for it appeareth that I have done foolishly, and have been ignorant in very many things. 22 And David answering, said: Behold the king's spear: let one of the king's servants come over and fetch it. 23 And the Lord will reward every one according to his justice, and his faithfulness: for the Lord hath delivered thee this day into my hand, and I would not put forth my hand against the Lord's anointed. 24 And as thy life hath been much set by this day in my eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the Lord, and let him deliver me from all distress. 25 Then Saul said to David: Blessed art thou, my son David: and truly doing thou shalt do, and prevailing thou shalt prevail. And David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.


Chapter 27

David goeth again to Achis king of Geth, and obtaineth of him the city of Siceleg.

1 And David said in his heart: I shall gone day or other fall into the hands of Saul: is it not better for me to flee, and to be saved in the land of the Philistines, that Saul may despair of me, and cease to seek me in all the coasts of Israel? I will flee then out of his hands. 2 And David arose and went away, both he and the six hundred men that were with him, to Achis the son of Maoch, king of Geth. 3 And David dwelt with Achis at Geth, he and his men: every man with his household, and David with his two wives, Achinoam the Jezrahelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal of Carmel. 4 And it was told Saul that David was fled to Geth, and he sought no more after him. 5 And David said to Achis: If I have found favour in thy sight, let a place be given me in one of the cities of this country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee?

6 Then Achis gave him Siceleg that day: for which reason Siceleg belongeth to the kings of Juda unto this day. 7 And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines, was four months. 8 And David and his men went up, and pillaged Gessuri, and Gerzi, and the Amalecites: for these were of old the inhabitants of the countries, as men go to Sur, even to the land of Egypt. 9 And David wasted all the land, and left neither man nor woman alive: and took away the sheep and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned and came to Achis. 10 And Achis said to him: Whom hast thou gone against today? David answered: Against the south of Juda, and against the south of Jerameel, and against the south of Ceni.

8 "Pillaged Gessuri"... These probably were enemies of the people of God: and some, if not all of them, were of the number of those whom God had ordered to be destroyed: which justifies David's proceedings in their regard. Though it is to be observed here, that we are not under an obligation of justifying every thing that he did: for the scripture, in relating what was done, does not say that it was well done. And even such as are true servants of God, are not to be imitated in all they do.

11 And David saved neither man nor woman, neither brought he any of them to Geth, saying: Lest they should speak against us. So did David, and such was his proceeding all the days that he dwelt in the country of the Philistines. 12 And Achis believed David, saying: He hath done much harm to his people Israel: therefore he shall be my servant for ever.


Chapter 28

The Philistines go out to war against Israel. Saul being forsaken by God, hath recourse to a witch. Samuel appeareth to him.

1 And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered together their armies to be prepared for war against Israel: and Achis said to David: Know thou now assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to the war, thou, and thy men. 2 And David said to Achis: Now thou shalt know what thy servant will do. And Achis said to David: And I will appoint thee to guard my life for ever. 3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel mourned for him, and buried him in Ramatha his city. And Saul had put away all the magicians and soothsayers out of the land. 4 And the Philistines were gathered together, and came and camped in Sunam: and Saul also gathered together all Israel, and came to Gelboe. 5 And Saul saw the army of the Plilistines, and was afraid, and his heart was very much dismayed.

6 And he consulted the Lord, and he answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by priests, nor by prophets. 7 And Saul said to his servants: Seek me a woman that hath a divining spirit, and I will go to her, and inquire by her. And his servants said to him: There is a woman that hath a divining spirit at Endor. 8 Then he disguised himself: and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night, and he said to her: Divine to me by thy divining spirit, and bring me up him whom I shall tell thee. 9 And the woman said to him: Behold thou knowest all that Saul hath done, and how he hath rooted out the magicians and soothsayers from the land: why then dost thou lay a snare for my life, to cause me to be put to death? 10 And Saul swore unto her by the Lord, saying: As the Lord liveth there shall no evil happen to thee for this thing.

11 And the woman said to him: Whom shall I bring up to thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. 12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice, and said to Saul: Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul. 13 And the king said to her: Fear not: what hast thou seen? And the woman said to Saul: I saw gods ascending out of the earth. 14 And he said to her: What form is he of? And she said: An old man cometh up, and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul understood that it was Samuel, and he bowed himself with his face to the ground, and adored. 15 And Samuel said to Saul: Why hast thou disturbed my rest, that I should be brought up? And Saul said, I am in great distress: for the Philistines fight against me, and God is departed from me, and would not hear me, neither by the hand of prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest shew me what I shall do.

14 "Understood that it was Samuel"... It is the more common opinion of the holy fathers, and interpreters, that the soul of Samuel appeared indeed: and not, as some have imagined, an evil spirit in his shape. Not that the power of her magic could bring him thither, but that God was pleased for the punishment of Saul, that Samuel himself should denounce unto him the evils that were falling upon him. See Eccli. 46. 23.

16 And Samuel said: Why askest thou me, seeing the Lord has departed from thee, and is gone over to thy rival: 17 For the Lord will do to thee as he spoke by me, and he will rend thy kingdom out of thy hand, and will give it to thy neighbour David: 18 Because thou didst not obey the voice of the Lord, neither didst thou execute the wrath of his indignation upon Amalec. Therefore hath the Lord done to thee what thou sufferest this day. 19 And the Lord also will deliver Israel with thee into the hands of the Philistines: and tomorrow thou and thy sons shall be with me: and the Lord will also deliver the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines. 20 And forthwith Saul fell all along on the ground, for he was frightened with the words of Samuel, and there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no bread all that day.

19 "With me"... That is, in the state of the dead, and in another world, though not in the same place.

21 And the woman came to Saul (for he was very much troubled) and said to him: Behold thy handmaid hath obeyed thy voice, and I have put my life in my hand: and I hearkened unto the words which thou spokest to me. 22 Now therefore hear thou also the voice of thy handmaid, and let me set before thee a morsel of bread, that thou mayest eat and recover strength, and be able to go on thy journey. 23 But he refused, and said: I will not eat. But his servants and the woman forced him, and at length hearkening to their voice, he arose from the ground and sat upon the bed. 24 Now the woman had a fatted calf in the house, and she made haste and killed it: and taking meal kneaded it, and baked some unleavened bread, 25 And set it before Saul, and before his servants. And when they had eaten they rose up, and walked all that night.


Chapter 29

David going with the Philistines is sent back by their princes.

1 Now all the troops of the Philistines were gathered together to Aphec: and Israel also camped by the fountain which is in Jezrahel. 2 And the lords of the Philistines marched with their hundreds and their thousands: but David and his men were in the rear with Achis. 3 And the princes of the Philistines said to Achis: What mean these Hebrews? And Achis said to the princes of the Philistines: Do you not know David, who was the servant of Saul the king of Israel, and hath been with me many days, or years, and I have found no fault in him, since the day that he fled over to me until this day? 4 But the princes of the Philistines were angry with him, and they said to him: Let this man return, and abide in his place, which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest he be an adversary to us, when we shall begin to fight: for how can he otherwise appease his master, but with our heads? 5 Is not this David, to whom they sung in their dances, saying: Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands?

6 Then Achis called David, and said to him: As the Lord liveth, thou art upright and good in my sight: and so is thy going out, and thy coming in with me in the army: and I have not found my evil in thee, since the day that thou camest to me unto this day: but thou pleasest not the lords. 7 Return therefore, and go in peace, and offend not the eyes of the princes of the Philistines. 8 And David said to Achis: But what have I done, and what hast thou found in me thy servant, from the day that I have been in thy sight until this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king? 9 And Achis answering said to David: I know that thou art good in my sight, as an angel of God: but the princes of the Philistines have said: He shall not go up with us to the battle. 10 Therefore arise in the morning, thou, and the servants of thy lord, who came with thee: and when you are up before day, and it shall begin to be light, go on your way.

11 So David and his men arose in the night, that they might set forward in the morning, and returned to the land of the Philistines: and the Philistines went up to Jezrahel.


Chapter 30

The Amalecites burn Siceleg, and carry off the prey: David pursueth after them, and recovereth all out of their hands.

1 Now when David and his men were come to Siceleg on the third day, the Amalecites had made an invasion on the south side upon Siceleg, and had smitten Siceleg, and burnt it with fire. 2 And had taken the women captives that were in it, both little and great: and they had not killed any person, but had carried them with them, and went on their way. 3 So when David and his men came to the city, and found it burnt with fire, and that their wives and their sons, and their daughters were taken captives, 4 David and the people that were with him, lifted up their voices, and wept till they had no more tears. 5 For the two wives also of David were taken captives, Achinoam the Jezrahelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal of Carmel.

6 And David was greatly afflicted: for the people had a mind to stone him, for the soul of every man was bitterly grieved for his sons, and daughters: but David took courage in the Lord his God. 7 And he said to Abiathar the priest the son of Achimelech: Bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 And David consulted the Lord, saying: Shall I pursue after these robbers, and shall I overtake them, or not? And the Lord said to him: Pursue after them: for thou shalt surely overtake them and recover the prey. 9 So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and they came to the torrent Besor: and some being weary stayed there. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred stayed, who being weary could not go over the torrent Besor.

11 And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David: and they gave him bread to eat, and water to drink, 12 As also a piece of a cake of figs, and two bunches of raisins. And when he had eaten them his spirit returned, and he was refreshed: for he had not eaten bread, nor drunk water three days, and three nights. 13 And David said to him: To whom dost thou belong? or whence dost thou come? and whither art thou going? He said: I am a young man of Egypt, the servant of an Amalecite, and my master left me, because I began to be sick three days ago. 14 For we made an invasion on the south side of Cerethi, and upon Juda, and upon the south of Caleb, and we burnt Siceleg with fire. 15 And David said to him: Canst thou bring me to this company? And he said: Swear to me by God, that thou wilt not kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee to this company. And David swore to him.

16 And when he had brought him, behold they were lying spread upon all the ground, eating and drinking, and as it were keeping a festival day, for all the prey, and the spoils which they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Juda. 17 And David slew them from the evening unto the evening of the next day, and there escaped not a man of them, but four hundred young men, who had gotten upon camels, and fled. 18 So David recovered all that the Amalecites had taken, and he rescued his two wives. 19 And there was nothing missing small or great, neither of their sons or their daughters, nor of the spoils, and whatsoever they had taken: David recovered all. 20 And he took all the flocks and the herds, and made them go before him: and they said: This is the prey of David.

21 And David came to the two hundred men, who being weary had stayed, and were not able to follow David, and he had ordered them to abide at the torrent Besor: and they came out to meet David, and the people that were with him. And David coming to the people saluted them peaceably. 22 Then all the wicked and unjust men that had gone with David answering, said: Because they came not with us, we will not give them any thing of the prey which we have recovered: but let every man take his wife and his children, and be contented with them, and go his way. 23 But David said: You shall not do so, my brethren, with these things, which the Lord hath given us, who hath kept us, and hath delivered the robbers that invaded us into our hands. 24 And no man shall hearken to you in this matter. But equal shall be the portion of him that went down to battle and of him that abode at the baggage, and they shall divide alike. 25 And this hath been done from that day forward, and since was made a statute, and an ordinance, and as a law in Israel.

26 Then David came to Siceleg, and sent presents of the prey to the ancients of Juda his neighbours, saying: Receive a blessing of the prey of the enemies of the Lord. 27 To them that were in Bethel, and that were in Ramoth to the south, and to them that were in Jether, 28 And to them that were in Aroer and that were in Sephamoth, and that were in Esthamo, 29 And that were in Rachal, and that were in the cities of Jerameel, and that were in the cities of Ceni, 30 And that were in Arama, and that were in the lake Asan, and that were in Athach,

31 And that were in Hebron, and to the rest that were in those places, in which David had abode with his men.


Chapter 31

Israel is defeated by the Philistines: Saul and his sons are slain.

1 And the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gelboe. 2 And the Philistines fell upon Saul, and upon his sons, and they slew Jonathan, and Abinadab and Melchisua the sons of Saul. 3 And the whole weight of the battle was turned upon Saul: and the archers overtook him, and he was grievously wounded by the archers. 4 Then Saul said to his armourbearer: Draw thy sword, and kill me: lest these uncircumcised come, and slay me, and mock at me. And his armourbearer would not: for he was struck with exceeding great fear. Then Saul took his sword, and fell upon it. 5 And when his armourbearer saw this, to wit, that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him.

6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men that same day together. 7 And the men of Israel, that were beyond the valley, and beyond the Jordan, seeing that the Israelites were fled, and that Saul was dead, and his sons, forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came, and dwelt there. 8 And on the morrow the Philistines came to strip the slain, and they found Saul and his three sons lying in mount Gelboe. 9 And they cut off Saul's head, and stripped him of his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the temples of their idols, and among their people. 10 And they put his armour in the temple of Astaroth, but his body they hung on the wall of Bethsan.

11 Now when the inhabitants of Jabes Galaad had heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 All the most valiant men arose, and walked all the night, and took the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, from the wall of Bethsan: and they came to Jabes Galaad, and burnt them there: 13 And they took their bones and buried them in the wood of Jabes: and fasted seven days.

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