Daily Tanach Shmuel 1 Chapter 26: A second confrontation with Shaul

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 26: A second confrontation with Shaul

1.      Shaul has a change of heart and chases after Dovid a second time:

  • The people of Zifim came [a second time[1]] to Shaul, who was at that time located in Giva, and told him that Dovid was hiding in the Valley of Chakila which is on the plain of Yeshimon.
  • Shaul gathers an army and sets out to find Dovid: So Shaul got up and ascended to the desert of Ziff together with 3000 young and choicest warriors of Israel in order to search for Dovid in the desert of Ziff [and kill him]. Shaul encamped on the road in the Valley of Chakila which is on the plane of Yeshimon.

1.      Dovid discovers their area of encampment and has the opportunity to kill Shaul:

  • Dovid sends spies and discovers their location: At that time Dovid was living in the desert and he suspected that Shaul was searching after him in the desert. Dovid sent spies and they discovered that Shaul had indeed come to search for him there. Dovid got up and went towards the area that Shaul was encamped. Dovid saw the exact location that Shaul and his general Avner Ben Ner were laying down. Shaul was sleeping in the center and was surrounded by the rest of the soldiers.
  • Dovid descends to the camp of Shaul in the midst of the night: Dovid responded and said to Achimelech the Hitite and to Avishaiy the son of Tzeruyah the brother of Yoav, asking them if they would be willing to come down with him toward Shaul to their area of encampment. Avishaiy responded that he would agree to go down with him. So Dovid and Avishaiy arrived in the middle of the night to the area that the people were encamped.
  • They steal Shaul’s sword and jug of water and leave: They saw that Shaul was lying down sleeping in middle of the circle and he had his sword stabbed into the earth right next his head. Avner was lying down around him. Avishaiy said to Dovid, “G-d today has given you your enemy into your hands, now please let’s smite him with the sword into the ground just one time and get this over with without needing to give him a second blow.” Dovid replied to Avishaiy that he may not do so, as who is the one who can send his hand against the anointed one of G-d and not be liable for retribution. Dovid continued and said, “I swear by the name of G-d [not to kill him and that if you kill him then I will kill you and will mix your blood with his blood[2]]. Rather, G-d Himself will [punish him and] smite him with a disease, or his day will arrive, and he will die, or he will die in war [earlier than his time[3]]. However, heaven forbid for me to send my hand against an anointed one of G-d. Now, please let us take the sword that is next to the head of Shaul and the jar of water that is there and let us leave.” So Dovid [himself] took the sword and the jug of water from near the head of Shaul [as he no longer trusted Avishaiy to do so, as perhaps he would not control himself and kill Shaul[4]] and they left. [Miraculously[5]] no one saw him come and no one saw him leave and no one woke up, as everyone was sleeping [a deep sleep[6]], as G-d had placed a spell of slumber onto all the men that were there [and they all fell into a very deep sleep].

[1] Metzudos Dovid 26:1

[2] Rashi 26:10

[3] Radak 26:10

[4] Metzudos Dovid 26:12

[5] Metzudos Dovid 26:12

[6] Metzudos Tziyon 26:13

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