How David Became King

King Saul became more and more jealous of David. Again he threw a spear at David, trying to kill him. Then he sent some men to David's house to kill him. David escaped and his wife Michal put a statue in his bed to fool the men while he got away. Later Saul's son Jonathan found out for sure that his father wanted to kill David. He told David to leave, but they promised to be friends forever.

So David went to Nob, where the tabernacle had been moved to after the death of Eli. The new high priest was Ahimelech. David went to him and asked for five loaves of bread to eat on his trip. Ahimelech said, "The only bread we have is the holy bread," which only the priest was supposed to eat. But he said "If you and the men who will go with you are holy, you can have it." So he gave five loaves of holy bread. Then David asked, "Do you have a sword or a spear for me to use. I had to leave in such a hurry I didn't have time to get mine." Now Ahimelech did not know that David was running away from the king, so he said, "The only sword we have here is the sword of Goliath, whom you killed." David said, "Give it to me, there is no sword better than that." Then David left, but the man in charge of Saul's cattle, Doeg the Edomite, was in Nob that day and heard what David and Ahimelech said.

David first went to the land of the Philistines, but when he became afraid of them, he moved to the desert country in the south of Judah. There people came out to him and he had a small army of about four hundred men.

Now Saul said to his men, "You people don't care about me. Even my own son is on David's side." Doeg said, "I saw David when he went to Ahimelech at Nob. He gave David some food and the sword of Goliath the Philistine." So Saul sent to Nob and called for Ahimelech and the other priests to come. When they came Saul said, "Why did you help David? He is planning to kill me!" Ahimelech said, "I thought he was your most faithful officer. He is your son-in-law. I don't know anything about him planning to kill you." Then Saul told his guards, "Kill the Lord's priests! They helped David and didn't tell me." But the guards were more afraid of God than of Saul and so they wouldn't kill the priests. Then Saul to said Doeg, "You kill them," and so Doeg did. He killed 85 priests that day. But Abiathar the son of Ahimelech escaped and went to David. He later became the high priest.

Several times Saul took an army to the desert country of Judah to try to kill David, but with God's help David always escaped. He did not want to fight with Saul or kill him because Saul had been chosen to be king by God. Twice David had a chance to kill Saul but he would not do it.

After the prophet Samuel died, the Philistines again came to fight the Israelites. Saul gathered an army to fight them at Mount Gilboa. When he saw the Philistine army, he was afraid, especially because God would no longer tell him what to do. So he told his officers, "Find me a woman who talks with the spirits of the dead, and I will go see her." Now God had said to kill anyone who tried to do this and in his earlier days Saul had killed most of the people who talked with spirits. So When Saul's officers said, "There is a woman who does that at Endor," he put on different cloths, so she wouldn't know who he was and went there. He told the woman, "Ask the spirit what is going to happen. Bring up the spirit of the man I want to talk to." She said, "You know that king Saul kills those who do such things. Why are you trying to get me killed?" He swore to her, "By God I promise that you will not be punished." "All right," She said, "Who shall I call up? He said, "Samuel." When the spirit of Samuel really came up, the woman was afraid and screamed. She knew then who this man was, and she said, "Why have you tricked me? You are King Saul." "Don't be afraid," the king said. "What do you see?" She said, "I see an old man wearing a robe." Then the spirit of Samuel spoke to Saul, "Why are you bothering me?" Saul told him, "I am in trouble. I am at war with the Philistines, and God will not answer me, either by a prophet or by a dream. So you must tell me what o do." Samuel said, "Why do you call me when God has left you. He has done what he said through me that he would. He has taken the Kingdom away from you and given it to David. Tomorrow you and your sons will be dead with me and the Philistines will win the battle."

Then Saul fell to the ground and lay there a long time. Finally his officers and the woman got him to get up and eat something. Then he went back to Mount Gilboa. The next day the Philistines won the battle. Three of Saul's sons were killed including Jonathan. Saul was hit by an arrow and when he became afraid that the Philistines would capture him, he fell on his own sword and killed himself.

After this David became king over the tribe of Judah. One of Saul's sons was king over the other tribes. But when some of his own men killed him, David became king over all the Israelites. He made the city of Jerusalem the capital city. For seven years he was a king over the tribe of Judah and for thirty-three years he was the king over all the Israelites.

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