1And it came to pass when Saul had returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi. 2And Saul took three thousand men, chosen out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. 3And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet; and David and his men were abiding in the recesses of the cave. 4And David's men said to him, Behold the day of which Jehovah said to thee, Behold, I will give thine enemy into thy hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good to thee. And David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe secretly. 5And it came to pass afterwards that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt. 6And he said to his men, Jehovah forbid that I should do this thing to my master, Jehovah's anointed, to stretch forth my hand against him, for he is the anointed of Jehovah. 7And David checked his men with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. And Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way. 8David also arose afterwards, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king! And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth, and did obeisance.
9And David said to Saul, Why dost thou listen to words of men, saying, Behold, David seeks thy hurt? 10Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that Jehovah had given thee this day into my hand in the cave; and they bade me kill thee; but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth my hand against my lord, for he is the anointed of Jehovah. 11And see, my father, yes, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand. For in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in my hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou liest in wait for my life to take it. 12Jehovah judge between me and thee, and Jehovah avenge me of thee; but my hand shall not be upon thee. 13As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked; but my hand shall not be upon thee. 14After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a single flea. 15Jehovah therefore shall be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and do me justice in delivering me out of thy hand.
16And as soon as David had ended speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I; for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil. 18And thou hast shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me, forasmuch as when Jehovah had delivered me up into thy hand, thou didst not kill me. 19For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore Jehovah reward thee good for that thou hast done to me this day. 20And now behold, I know that thou shalt certainly be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thy hand. 21Swear now therefore to me by Jehovah, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father's house. 22And David swore to Saul. And Saul went home; and David and his men went up to the stronghold.