1 Samuel 24 ©

Saul, having heard that David was by Engedi, pursues him there, v. 1, etc. Comes into a cave, in which David was with his men, who cuts off the skirt of Saul’s mantle, but will not lay hand on him, 4. Evidences thereby his innocence and integrity towards Saul, whom he follows, and communes with him, 9. Saul is moved thereat, confesses his fault, and takes an oath of David, 17.


AND it came to pass, when Saul was returned 1from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of En-gedi.


Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men 2upon the rocks of the wild goats.


And he came to the 3sheepcotesa by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in 4to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.


And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day 5of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe 6privily.


And it came to pass afterward, that David’s 7heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt.


And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid 8that I should do this thing unto my master, 9the LORD’S anointed, 10to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.


So David 11stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went 12on his way.


David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David 13stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself.


¶And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men's words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy 14hurt?


Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that 15the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and 16some bade me 17kill thee: but 18mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD's anointed.


19Moreover, my father, see, yea, 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 thou and see 20that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet 21thou huntest my soul to take it.


The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.


22As saith the proverb of the ancients, 23Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.


After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? 24after a dead dog, after a flea.


The LORD therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand.


¶And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept.


And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.


And thou hast shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the LORD had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not.


For if a man find his enemy, 25will he let him go well away? wherefore the LORD reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this 26day.


And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt 27surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be 28established in thine hand.


Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, 29that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father's house.


And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but 30David and his men gat them up unto the hold.