1 Some men from Ziph went to Saul at Gibeah and said, 'Look, David is hiding on the Hill of Hachilah on the edge of the wastelands!'
4 Accordingly, David sent out spies and learned that Saul had indeed arrived.
5 Setting off, David went to the place where Saul had pitched camp. He saw the place where Saul and Abner son of Ner, commander of his army, had bedded down. Saul had bedded down inside the camp with the troops bivouacking round him.
7 So in the dark David and Abishai made their way towards the force, where they found Saul lying asleep inside the camp, his spear stuck in the ground beside his head, with Abner and the troops lying round him.
8 Abishai then said to David, 'Today God has put your enemy in your power; so now let me pin him to the ground with his own spear. Just one stroke! I shall not need to strike him twice.'
12 David took the spear and the pitcher of water from beside Saul's head, and they made off. No one saw, no one knew, no one woke up; they were all asleep, because a torpor from Yahweh had fallen on them.
13 David crossed to the other side and halted on the top of the mountain a long way off; there was a wide space between them.
16 What you did was not well done. As Yahweh lives, you all deserve to die since you did not guard your lord, Yahweh's anointed. Look where the king's spear is now, and the pitcher of water which was beside his head!'
18 Why is my lord pursuing his servant?' he said. 'What have I done? What crime have I committed?
19 May my lord king now listen to his servant's words: if Yahweh has incited you against me, may he be appeased with an offering; but if human beings have done it, may they be accursed before Yahweh, since they have as effectively banished me today from sharing in Yahweh's heritage as if they had said, "Go and serve other gods!"
20 So I pray now that my blood shall not be shed on soil remote from Yahweh's presence, when the king of Israel has mounted an expedition to take my life, as one might hunt a partridge in the mountains!'
21 Saul replied, 'I have done wrong! Come back, my son David; I shall never harm you again, since today you have shown respect for my life. Yes, I have behaved like a fool, I have been profoundly in the wrong.'
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The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.
Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.
Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.