I Samuel – Chapter 26

David Sneaks In - Again

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

The people of Ziff, who betrayed David once before, again told Shaul where David could be found. Shaul, easily influenced by people bad-mouthing David, set off after him again. David found out and learned where Shaul’s army was camped.

David and his nephew Avishai sneaked into Shaul’s camp while the army was sleeping. (G-d arranged it so that the entire army of 3,000 slept so soundly that none of them awoke – not even the ones who were supposed to be on guard duty!) They found Shaul and his general Avner (Abner) asleep in a circle of troops, Shaul’s spear plunged in the dirt near his head. Avishai offered to take the spear and end Shaul’s threat with it. Again, David refused to harm G-d’s anointed king. Instead, he took Shaul’s spear and his jug of water.

Crossing to a mountain on the other side of a stream, David called out to Avner. He criticized Avner for doing a poor job protecting his king, Shaul. He displayed the spear and the container of water to show that he had been there. Shaul joined the conversation and David complained that people keep turning Shaul against him when he had done nothing wrong. Shaul admitted that he was wrong and asked David to join him, but having been down this road before, David was taking no chances. He sent back the spear, which was Shaul’s personal property, but he kept the water. Shaul blessed David and they parted ways.

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