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24
David Spares Saul at En-gedi
1Now when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, they told him saying, “Look, David is in the wilderness of En-gedi.”
2So Saul took 3,000 chosen men from all Israel and went to search for David and his men near the rocks of the mountain goats.
3When he came across the sheepfolds along the way where there was a cave, Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were already sitting in the innermost parts of the cave.
4So David’s men said to him, “Look, it’s the day Adonai spoke to you about, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, so you may do to him as seems good in your eyes.’” Then David crept and cut off the corner of Saul’s robe stealthily.
5But afterward, David’s conscience bothered him for cutting off the edge of Saul’s robe.
6So he said to his fellow men, “Adonai forbid that I should do such a thing to my lord, Adonai’s anointed, stretching out my hand against him—for he is Adonai’s anointed.”
7So David persuaded his fellow men with these words and did not let them rise against Saul. Then Saul left the cave and went on his way.
8David also rose afterward, went out of the cave, and called out after Saul saying, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and prostrated himself.
9Then David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to men’s words saying: ‘Look, David intends you harm’?
10Look, today your own eyes should see how Adonai delivered you today into my hand, in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but my eye had pity on you, and I said: ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is Adonai’s anointed.’
11Moreover, my father, see! Yes, look at the corner of your robe in my hand! For in cutting off the corner of your robe, yet not killing you, you should know and realize that there is no evil or rebellion in my hand. I haven’t sinned against you, even though you are lying in wait for my life, to take it.
12May Adonai judge between me and you, and may Adonai avenge me of you, but my hand will not be against you.
13As the old proverb goes, ‘Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness’—but my hand will never be on you.
14Whom has the king of Israel come after? Who are you chasing? A dead dog? A single flea?
15May Adonai be judge and decide between me and you! And may He see and plead my cause and vindicate me against you.”
16Now when David finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son, David?” Then Saul lifted up his voice and wept aloud.
17Then he said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have done good to me, while I have done evil to you.
18You’ve told today how well you’ve dealt with me, for Adonai had delivered me up into your hand, yet you did not kill me.
19For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away on a good road? May Adonai reward you with good in return for what you have done to me today.
20Now behold, I know for certain that you will be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will rise in your hand.
21Swear now to me by Adonai that you won’t cut off my descendants after me, and that you won’t wipe out my name from my father’s house.”
22So David swore to Saul. Then Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.
24
CHAPTER 24.
1Then David went up from thence, and dwelt in strong holds of Engaddi.
2And when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, they told him, saying: Behold, David is in the desert of Engaddi.
3Saul therefore took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went out to seek after David, and his men, even upon the most craggy rocks, which are accessible only to wild goats.
4And he came to the sheepcotes, which were in his way. And there was a cave, into which Saul went, to ease nature: now David and his men lay hid in the inner part of the cave.
5And the servants of David said to him: Behold the day, of which the Lord said to thee: I will deliver thy enemy unto thee, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good in thy eyes. Then David arose, and secretly cut off the hem of Saul's robe.
6After which David's heart struck him, because he had cut off the hem of Saul's robe.
7And he said to his men: The Lord be merciful unto me, that I may do no such thing to my master the Lord's anointed, as to lay my hand upon him, because he is the Lord's anointed.
8And David stopped his men with his words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rising up out of the cave, went on his way.
9And David also rose up after him: and going out of the cave cried after Saul, saying: My lord the king. And Saul looked behind him: and David bowing himself down to the ground, worshipped,
10And said to Saul: Why dost thou hear the words of men that say David seeketh thy hurt?
11Behold this day thy eyes have seen, that the Lord hath delivered thee into my hand, in the cave, and I had a thought to kill thee, but my eye hath spared thee. For I said: I will not put out my hand against my lord, because he is the Lord's anointed.
12Moreover see and know, O my father, the hem of thy robe in my hand, that when I cut, off the hem of thy robe, I would not put out my hand against thee. Reflect, and see, that there is no evil in my hand, nor iniquity, neither have I sinned against thee: but thou liest in wait for my life, to take it away.
13The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lord revenge me of thee: but my hand shall not be upon thee.
14As also it is said in the old proverb: From the wicked shall wickedness come forth: therefore my hand shall not be upon thee. After whom dost thou come out, O king of Israel?
15After whom dost thou pursue? After a dead dog, after a flea.
16Be the Lord judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and judge my cause, and deliver me out of thy hand.
17And when David had made an end of speaking these words to Saul, Saul said: Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept.
18And he said to David: Thou art more just than I: for thou hast done good to me, and I have rewarded thee with evil.
19And thou hast shewn this day what good things thou hast done to me: how the Lord delivered me into thy hand, and thou hast not killed me.
20For who when he hath found his enemy, will let him go well away? But the Lord reward thee for this good turn, for what thou hast done to me this day.
21And now as I know that thou shalt surely be king, and have the kingdom of Israel in thy hand:
22Swear to me by the Lord, that thou wilt not destroy my seed after me, nor take away my name from the house of my father.
23And David swore to Saul. So Saul went home: and David and his men went up into safer places.