David finds Saul (1 Sam 26:6-26:16)

“Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite and to Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah. ‘Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?’ Abishai said. ‘I will go down with you.’ So David and Abishai went to the army by night. There Saul lay sleeping within the encampment, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head. Abner and the army lay around him.”

This Ahimelech is not the Ahimelech of Nob in chapter 21, who helps David, before Saul kills him. It seems that the remaining Hittites had joined David rather than Saul. Joab is the nephew of David. Abishai is the other nephew since they are the sons of David’s sister Zeruiah. David and Abishai went down to the camp of Saul and his warriors.

“Abishai said to David. ‘God has given your enemy into your hand today. Now therefore let me pin him to the ground with one stroke of the spear. I will not strike him twice.’ But David said to Abishai. ‘Do not destroy him. For who can put raise his hand against Yahweh’s anointed, and be guiltless?’ David said. ‘As Yahweh lives, Yahweh will strike him down. Or his day will come to die. Or he will go down into battle and perish. May Yahweh forbid that I should raise my hand against Yahweh’s anointed one. But take now the spear that is at his head with the water jar. Let us go!’ So David took the spear that was at Saul’s head and the water jar. Then they went away. No man saw it, or knew it, nor did any awake. They were all asleep, because a deep sleep from Yahweh had fallen upon them.”

Abishai and David found Saul. Abishai wanted to put Saul to death. However, David said no. David said that they cannot kill Yahweh’s anointed one, the king. Let Saul die another day, perhaps on the battle field. They took his spear and water jug and went away. Everyone in the camp was in a deep sleep that Yahweh had put upon them. David is shown as generous here as well as respect for the anointed king, which maybe him someday. This certainly was weak enforcements. Certainly the night watcher should have been fired.

“Then David went over to the other side. He stood on the top of a hill far away, with a great distance between them. David called to the army and to Abner son of Ner. ‘Abner! Will you not answer?’ Then Abner replied. ‘Who are you that calls to the king?’ David said to Abner. ‘Are you not a man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not kept watch over your lord the king? For one of the people came in to destroy your lord the king. This thing that you have done is not good. As Yahweh lives, you deserve to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, Yahweh’s anointed. See now where is the king’s spear, or the jar of water that was at his head?’”

David then taunted Abner from a distance. David went to a hill opposite of where Saul was. He shouted back at Abner, asking him why he had not kept better watch over King Saul. This idea of shouting across mountains was a common practice before the invention of electronic communication. David said that Saul’s spear and water, which were at his bed, were now gone.