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FIRST SAMUEL XXVI-SAUL PURSUES DAVID

535

having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.

3 And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.

4 David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.

5 And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay in the trench,' and the people pitched round about him.

6 Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.

7 So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him.

8 Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.

9 And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not; for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD's anointed, and be guiltless ?

10 David said furthermore, As the Lord liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.

11 The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord's anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.

12 So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.

13 | Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them:

14 And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king ?

15 And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king ? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord. 16 This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the LORD

1Or "barricade," or "entrenchment."

536

FIRST SAMUEL XXVI-SAUL'S SHAME

liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the Lord's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.

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, O king.

18 And he said, Wherefore doth my lord tħus pursue after his servant ? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand ?

19 Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the Lord have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve other gods.

20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.

21 ( Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son. David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day:behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly

. 22 And David answered and said, Behold the king's spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.

23 The Lord render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered thee into my hand to-day, but I would rot stretch forth mine hand against the LORD's anointed.

24 And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the Lord, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.

25 Then Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

Chapter 27

1 Saul hearing David to be in Gath seeketh no more for him. other countries, persuadeth Achish he fought against Judah.

5 David beggeth Ziklag of Achish. 8 He invading

UND David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by

the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I

should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.

2 And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.

3 And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife.

4 And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him.

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WANI

Ruth at the feet of Boaz

BY W. MONTAGUE CARY, A CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN

ARTIST.

T

* And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself; and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.-Ruth, 3, 8.

WHAT first evening Ruth told Naomi all that Boaz

had said and done for her. The worldly-wise

elder woman saw that the great man's admirationwas aroused. When the harvest of barley was finished, and also that of wheat, so that there was no longer excuse for keeping Ruth in the sight of Boaz, Naomi decided that the time was come for a more positive move. She bade the obedient Ruth go to where Boaz had been superinintending the threshing of his grain; and when he, in the simplicity of the manners of the time, lay down at night to repose near his workmen on the threshing floor, Ruth was to lay herself at his feet. This was a sign, not considered indelicate in those days, that the woman proffered herself to the man in marriage.

Ruth did as she was bid; but in her shyness, she waited until Boaz was asleep. He had eaten and drunken heavily, so not until the night was half spent did he begin to be dimly conscious of the form lying at his feet. At first he was afraid; for this might well be a robber or perchance a murdered man. He questioned hesitantly, "Who art thou?" And she answered with her name.

Then Boaz raised her up and blessed her

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