I Samuel 26
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1  The Ziphites came to Shaul at Giva and said, “David is hiding in the hill of Hachilah facing Jeshimon.”

א  וַיָּבֹאוּ הַזִּפִים אֶל־שָׁאוּל הַגִּבְעָתָה לֵאמֹר הֲלוֹא דָוִד מִסְתַּתֵּר בְּגִבְעַת הַחֲכִילָה עַל פְּנֵי הַיְשִׁימֹן׃

2  Shaul went down at once to the wilderness of Ziph, together with three thousand picked men of Yisrael, to search for David in the wilderness of Ziph,

ב  וַיָּקָם שָׁאוּל וַיֵּרֶד אֶל־מִדְבַּר־זִיף וְאִתּוֹ שְׁלֹשֶׁת־אֲלָפִים אִישׁ בְּחוּרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְבַקֵּשׁ אֶת־דָּוִד בְּמִדְבַּר־זִיף׃

3  and Shaul encamped on the hill of Hachilah which faces Jeshimon, by the road. When David, who was then living in the wilderness, learned that Shaul had come after him into the wilderness,

ג  וַיִּחַן שָׁאוּל בְּגִבְעַת הַחֲכִילָה אֲשֶׁר עַל־פְּנֵי הַיְשִׁימֹן עַל־הַדָּרֶךְ וְדָוִד יֹשֵׁב בַּמִּדְבָּר וַיַּרְא כִּי בָא שָׁאוּל אַחֲרָיו הַמִּדְבָּרָה׃

4  David sent out scouts and made sure that Shaul had come.

ד  וַיִּשְׁלַח דָּוִד מְרַגְּלִים וַיֵּדַע כִּי־בָא שָׁאוּל אֶל־נָכוֹן׃

5  David went at once to the place where Shaul had encamped, and David saw the spot where Shaul and his army commander, Avner son of Ner, lay asleep. Shaul lay asleep inside the barricade and the troops were posted around him.

ה  וַיָּקָם דָּוִד וַיָּבֹא אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר חָנָה־שָׁם שָׁאוּל וַיַּרְא דָּוִד אֶת־הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר שָׁכַב־שָׁם שָׁאוּל וְאַבְנֵר בֶּן־נֵר שַׂר־צְבָאוֹ וְשָׁאוּל שֹׁכֵב בַּמַּעְגָּל וְהָעָם חֹנִים סביבתו [סְבִיבֹתָיו׃]

6  David spoke up and asked Achimelech the Hittite and Avishai son of Tzeruya, Yoav‘s brother, “Who will go down with me into the camp to Shaul?” And Avishai answered, “I will go down with you.”

ו  וַיַּעַן דָּוִד וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־אֲחִימֶלֶךְ הַחִתִּי וְאֶל־אֲבִישַׁי בֶּן־צְרוּיָה אֲחִי יוֹאָב לֵאמֹר מִי־יֵרֵד אִתִּי אֶל־שָׁאוּל אֶל־הַמַּחֲנֶה וַיֹּאמֶר אֲבִישַׁי אֲנִי אֵרֵד עִמָּךְ׃

7  So David and Avishai approached the troops by night, and found Shaul fast asleep inside the barricade, his spear stuck in the ground at his head, and Avner and the troops sleeping around him.

ז  וַיָּבֹא דָוִד וַאֲבִישַׁי אֶל־הָעָם לַיְלָה וְהִנֵּה שָׁאוּל שֹׁכֵב יָשֵׁן בַּמַּעְגָּל וַחֲנִיתוֹ מְעוּכָה־בָאָרֶץ מראשתו [מְרַאֲשֹׁתָיו] וְאַבְנֵר וְהָעָם שֹׁכְבִים סביבתו [סְבִיבֹתָיו׃]

8  And Avishai said to David, “Hashem has delivered your enemy into your hands today. Let me pin him to the ground with a single thrust of the spear. I will not have to strike him twice.”

ח  וַיֹּאמֶר אֲבִישַׁי אֶל־דָּוִד סִגַּר אֱלֹהִים הַיּוֹם אֶת־אוֹיִבְךָ בְּיָדֶךָ וְעַתָּה אַכֶּנּוּ נָא בַּחֲנִית וּבָאָרֶץ פַּעַם אַחַת וְלֹא אֶשְׁנֶה לוֹ׃

9  But David said to Avishai, “Don’t do him violence! No one can lay hands on Hashem‘s anointed with impunity.”

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל־אֲבִישַׁי אַל־תַּשְׁחִיתֵהוּ כִּי מִי שָׁלַח יָדוֹ בִּמְשִׁיחַ יְהֹוָה וְנִקָּה׃

10  And David went on, “As Hashem lives, Hashem Himself will strike him down, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go down to battle and perish.

י  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד חַי־יְהֹוָה כִּי אִם־יְהֹוָה יִגָּפֶנּוּ אוֹ־יוֹמוֹ יָבוֹא וָמֵת אוֹ בַמִּלְחָמָה יֵרֵד וְנִסְפָּה׃

11  But Hashem forbid that I should lay a hand on Hashem‘s anointed! Just take the spear and the water jar at his head and let’s be off.”

יא  חָלִילָה לִּי מֵיהֹוָה מִשְּׁלֹחַ יָדִי בִּמְשִׁיחַ יְהֹוָה וְעַתָּה קַח־נָא אֶת־הַחֲנִית אֲשֶׁר מראשתו [מְרַאֲשֹׁתָיו] וְאֶת־צַפַּחַת הַמַּיִם וְנֵלֲכָה לָּנוּ׃

12  So David took away the spear and the water jar at Shaul‘s head, and they left. No one saw or knew or woke up; all remained asleep; a deep sleep from Hashem had fallen upon them.

יב  וַיִּקַּח דָּוִד אֶת־הַחֲנִית וְאֶת־צַפַּחַת הַמַּיִם מֵרַאֲשֹׁתֵי שָׁאוּל וַיֵּלְכוּ לָהֶם וְאֵין רֹאֶה וְאֵין יוֹדֵעַ וְאֵין מֵקִיץ כִּי כֻלָּם יְשֵׁנִים כִּי תַּרְדֵּמַת יְהֹוָה נָפְלָה עֲלֵיהֶם׃

13  David crossed over to the other side and stood afar on top of a hill; there was considerable distance between them.

יג  וַיַּעֲבֹר דָּוִד הָעֵבֶר וַיַּעֲמֹד עַל־רֹאשׁ־הָהָר מֵרָחֹק רַב הַמָּקוֹם בֵּינֵיהֶם׃

14  And David shouted to the troops and to Avner son of Ner, “Avner, aren’t you going to answer?” And Avner shouted back, “Who are you to shout at the king?”

יד  וַיִּקְרָא דָוִד אֶל־הָעָם וְאֶל־אַבְנֵר בֶּן־נֵר לֵאמֹר הֲלוֹא תַעֲנֶה אַבְנֵר וַיַּעַן אַבְנֵר וַיֹּאמֶר מִי אַתָּה קָרָאתָ אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

15  And David answered Avner, “You are a man, aren’t you? And there is no one like you in Yisrael! So why didn’t you keep watch over your lord the king? For one of [our] troops came to do violence to your lord the king.

טו  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל־אַבְנֵר הֲלוֹא־אִישׁ אַתָּה וּמִי כָמוֹךָ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וְלָמָּה לֹא שָׁמַרְתָּ אֶל־אֲדֹנֶיךָ הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי־בָא אַחַד הָעָם לְהַשְׁחִית אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲדֹנֶיךָ׃

16  You have not given a good account of yourself! As Hashem lives, [all of] you deserve to die, because you did not keep watch over your lord, Hashem‘s anointed. Look around, where are the king’s spear and the water jar that were at his head?”

טז  לֹא־טוֹב הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתָ חַי־יְהֹוָה כִּי בְנֵי־מָוֶת אַתֶּם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־שְׁמַרְתֶּם עַל־אֲדֹנֵיכֶם עַל־מְשִׁיחַ יְהֹוָה וְעַתָּה רְאֵה אֵי־חֲנִית הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאֶת־צַפַּחַת הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מראשתו [מְרַאֲשֹׁתָיו׃]

17  Shaul recognized David‘s voice, and he asked, “Is that your voice, my son David?” And David replied, “It is, my lord king.”

יז  וַיַּכֵּר שָׁאוּל אֶת־קוֹל דָּוִד וַיֹּאמֶר הֲקוֹלְךָ זֶה בְּנִי דָוִד וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד קוֹלִי אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

18  And he went on, “But why does my lord continue to pursue his servant? What have I done, and what wrong am I guilty of?

יח  וַיֹּאמֶר לָמָּה זֶּה אֲדֹנִי רֹדֵף אַחֲרֵי עַבְדּוֹ כִּי מֶה עָשִׂיתִי וּמַה־בְּיָדִי רָעָה׃

19  Now let my lord the king hear his servant out. If Hashem has incited you against me, let Him be appeased by an offering; but if it is men, may they be accursed of Hashem! For they have driven me out today, so that I cannot have a share in Hashem‘s possession, but am told, ‘Go and worship other gods.’

v’-a-TAH yish-ma NA a-do-NEE ha-ME-lekh AYT div-RAY av-DO im a-do-NAI he-see-t’-KHA VEE ya-RAKH min-KHAH v’-IM b’-NAY ha-a-DAM a-ru-REEM HAYM lif-NAY a-do-NAI kee gay-r’-SHU-nee ha-YOM may-his-ta-PAY-akh b’-na-kha-LAT a-do-NAI lay-MOR LAYKH a-VOD e-lo-HEEM a-khay-REEM

יט  וְעַתָּה יִשְׁמַע־נָא אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵת דִּבְרֵי עַבְדּוֹ אִם־יְהֹוָה הֱסִיתְךָ בִי יָרַח מִנְחָה וְאִם בְּנֵי הָאָדָם אֲרוּרִים הֵם לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה כִּי־גֵרְשׁוּנִי הַיּוֹם מֵהִסְתַּפֵּחַ בְּנַחֲלַת יְהֹוָה לֵאמֹר לֵךְ עֲבֹד אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים׃

 26:19   Go and worship other gods

As Rashi explains, David makes the surprising claim that God told him to go and worship other gods, because he was compelled to run away to the land of the Philistines, and in a certain sense, leaving the Land of Israel is tantamount to worshipping idols. This is reflected in the Talmudic statement (Ketubot 110a), “one who lives outside of Eretz Yisrael is like one who has no God.” The Rabbis make this dramatic statement because the People of Israel are commanded to live in Eretz Yisrael, and it is the only place in the world where one can fulfill all of the commandments. It is also the place that Hashem has chosen to reveal Himself through awe inspiring miracles, from biblical through modern times. Hence, leaving the Land of Israel greatly reduces a person’s relationship with God, and is somewhat similar to idolatry.2 comments

20  Oh, let my blood not fall to the ground, away from the presence of Hashem! For the king of Yisrael has come out to seek a single flea—as if he were hunting a partridge in the hills.”

כ  וְעַתָּה אַל־יִפֹּל דָּמִי אַרְצָה מִנֶּגֶד פְּנֵי יְהֹוָה כִּי־יָצָא מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְבַקֵּשׁ אֶת־פַּרְעֹשׁ אֶחָד כַּאֲשֶׁר יִרְדֹּף הַקֹּרֵא בֶּהָרִים׃

21  And Shaul answered, “I am in the wrong. Come back, my son David, for I will never harm you again, seeing how you have held my life precious this day. Yes, I have been a fool, and I have erred so very much.”

כא  וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל חָטָאתִי שׁוּב בְּנִי־דָוִד כִּי לֹא־אָרַע לְךָ עוֹד תַּחַת אֲשֶׁר יָקְרָה נַפְשִׁי בְּעֵינֶיךָ הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה הִנֵּה הִסְכַּלְתִּי וָאֶשְׁגֶּה הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד׃

22  David replied, “Here is Your Majesty’s spear. Let one of the young men come over and get it.

כב  וַיַּעַן דָּוִד וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה החנית [חֲנִית] הַמֶּלֶךְ וְיַעֲבֹר אֶחָד מֵהַנְּעָרִים וְיִקָּחֶהָ׃

23  And Hashem will requite every man for his right conduct and loyalty—for this day Hashem delivered you into my hands and I would not raise a hand against Hashem‘s anointed.

כג  וַיהֹוָה יָשִׁיב לָאִישׁ אֶת־צִדְקָתוֹ וְאֶת־אֱמֻנָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר נְתָנְךָ יְהֹוָה הַיּוֹם בְּיָד וְלֹא אָבִיתִי לִשְׁלֹחַ יָדִי בִּמְשִׁיחַ יְהֹוָה׃

24  And just as I valued your life highly this day, so may Hashem value my life and may He rescue me from all trouble.”

כד  וְהִנֵּה כַּאֲשֶׁר גָּדְלָה נַפְשְׁךָ הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה בְּעֵינָי כֵּן תִּגְדַּל נַפְשִׁי בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וְיַצִּלֵנִי מִכָּל־צָרָה׃

25  Shaul answered David, “May you be blessed, my son David. You shall achieve, and you shall prevail.” David then went his way, and Shaul returned home.

כה  וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל אֶל־דָּוִד בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה בְּנִי דָוִד גַּם עָשֹׂה תַעֲשֶׂה וְגַם יָכֹל תּוּכָל וַיֵּלֶךְ דָּוִד לְדַרְכּוֹ וְשָׁאוּל שָׁב לִמְקוֹמוֹ׃

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I Samuel 25
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I Samuel 26

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