24 When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, “Behold, David is in the [a]Wilderness of Engedi.” 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel and went to search for David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 3 On the way he came to the [b]sheepfolds where there was a cave; and Saul went in to [c]relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the cave’s innermost recesses. 4 David’s men said to him, “Behold, this is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will hand over your enemy to you, and you shall do to him as seems good to you.’” Then David arose [in the darkness] and stealthily cut off the hem (edge) of Saul’s robe. 5 Afterward, David’s [d]conscience bothered him because he had cut off the hem of Saul’s robe. 6 He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, since he is the anointed of the Lord.” 7 So David strongly rebuked his men with these words and did not let them rise up against Saul. Saul got up, left the cave and went on his way.
8 Then David also got up afterward and went out of the cave and called after Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the ground and lay himself face down. 9 David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘David seeks to harm you?’ 10 Behold, your eyes have seen today how the Lord had given you into my hand in the cave. Some told me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not reach out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 Look, my father! Indeed, see the hem of your robe in my hand! Since I cut off the hem of your robe and did not kill you, know and understand [without question] that there is no evil or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait to take my life.
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