1 Samuel 24
David Spares Saul
1 After Saul had returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the wilderness of En-gedi.” 2 So Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and went to look for David and his men in the region of the Rocks of the Wild Goats.
3 Soon Saul came to the sheepfolds along the road, where there was a cave, and he went in to relieve himself. a And David and his men were hiding in the recesses of the cave. 4 So David’s men said to him, “This is the day about which the LORD said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do with him as you wish.’ ”
Then David crept up secretly and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.
5 Afterward, David’s conscience was stricken because he had cut off the corner of Saul’s robe. 6 So he said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed. May I never lift my hand against him, since he is the LORD’s anointed.”
7 With these words David restrained his men, and he did not let them rise up against Saul. Then Saul left the cave and went on his way.
8 After that, David got up, went out of the cave, and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!”
When Saul looked behind him, David bowed facedown in reverence 9 and said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Look, David intends to harm you’? 10 Behold, this day you have seen with your own eyes that the LORD delivered you into my hand in the cave. I was told to kill you, but I spared you and said, ‘I will not lift my hand against my lord, since he is the LORD’s anointed.’
11 See, my father, look at the corner of your robe in my hand. For I cut it off, but I did not kill you. See and know that there is no evil or rebellion in my hands. I have not sinned against you, even though you are hunting me down to take my life.
12 May the LORD judge between you and me, and may the LORD take vengeance on you, but my hand will never be against you. 13 As the old proverb says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked.’ But my hand will never be against you.
14 Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea? 15 May the LORD be our judge and decide between you and me. May He take notice and plead my case and deliver me from your hand.”
David’s Oath to Saul
16 When David had finished saying these things, Saul called back, “Is that your voice, David my son?”
Then Saul wept aloud 17 and said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have rewarded me with good, though I have rewarded you with evil. 18 And you have shown this day how well you have dealt with me; for when the LORD delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me. 19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him go away unharmed? May the LORD reward you with good for what you have done for me this day.
20 Now I know for sure that you will be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands. 21 So now, swear to me by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s house.”
22 So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.
3 a Literally cover his feet , a euphemism for relieving oneself