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1 Samuel 24Amplified Bible (AMP)

David Spares Saul’s Life

24 When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, “Behold, David is in the [a]Wilderness of Engedi.” 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. 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. 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. Afterward, David’s [d]conscience bothered him because he had cut off the hem of Saul’s robe. 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.” 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.

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. 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. 12 May the Lord judge between me and you; and may the Lord avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes wickedness’; but my hand shall not be against you. 14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue [with three thousand men]? A dead dog, a single flea? 15 May the Lord be the judge and render judgment between me and you; and may He see and plead my cause and vindicate me by saving me from your hand.”

16 When David had finished saying these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” Then Saul raised his voice and wept. 17 He said to David, “You are more righteous and upright [in God’s eyes] than I; for you have done good to me, but I have done evil to you. 18 You have declared today the good that you have done to me, for when the Lord put me into your hand, you did not kill me. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away [e]unharmed? So may the Lord reward you with good in return for what you have done for me this day. 20 Now, behold, I know that you will certainly be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand. 21 So now swear to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants after me and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s household (extended family).” 22 David gave Saul his oath; and Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the mountain stronghold.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 24:1 I.e. an oasis overlooking the Dead (Salt) Sea.
  2. 1 Samuel 24:3 This was a wall of stones that had been unearthed from the field and stacked on each other as an enclosure for the flocks. The wall probably was built from the mouth of the cave and back.
  3. 1 Samuel 24:3 Lit cover his feet, a euphemism for the squatting position that one would take, with the outer robe touching the ground and concealing one’s feet as a result.
  4. 1 Samuel 24:5 Lit heart struck him.
  5. 1 Samuel 24:19 Lit on a good road.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

1 Samuel 24New International Version (NIV)

David Spares Saul’s Life

24 [a]After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi. So Saul took three thousand able young men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.

He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said[b] to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.

Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.

Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you’? 10 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. See that there is nothing in my hand to indicate that I am guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. 12 May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. 13 As the old saying goes, ‘From evildoers come evil deeds,’ so my hand will not touch you.

14 “Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Who are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea? 15 May the Lord be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand.”

16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked, “Is that your voice, David my son?” And he wept aloud. 17 “You are more righteous than I,” he said. “You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly. 18 You have just now told me about the good you did to me; the Lord delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me. 19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the Lord reward you well for the way you treated me today. 20 I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands. 21 Now swear to me by the Lord that you will not kill off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s family.

22 So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 24:1 In Hebrew texts 24:1-22 is numbered 24:2-23.
  2. 1 Samuel 24:4 Or “Today the Lord is saying
New International Version (NIV)

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