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David Does Not Kill Saul

24 Now (A)when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, (B)he was told, saying, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.” Then (C)Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. And he came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul (D)went in to [a]relieve himself. Now (E)David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave. Then the men of David said to him, “Behold, (F)this is the day of which Yahweh said to you, ‘Behold, (G)I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good in your eyes.’” Then David arose and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe secretly. And it happened afterward that (H)David’s heart struck him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe. So he said to his men, “(I)Far be it from me because of Yahweh that I should do this thing to my lord, the anointed of Yahweh, to send forth my hand against him, since he is the anointed of Yahweh.” And David tore his men to pieces with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. And Saul arose, [b]left the cave, and went on his way.

Now afterward David arose and went out of the cave and called after Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, (J)David bowed with his [c]face to the ground and prostrated himself. And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men, saying, ‘Behold, David seeks [d]to do you evil’? 10 (K)Behold, this day your eyes have seen that Yahweh had given you today into my hand in the cave, and (L)some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, ‘I will not send forth my hand against my lord, for he is the anointed of Yahweh.’ 11 Now, (M)my father, see! Indeed, see the edge of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the edge of your robe and did not kill you, know and see that there is no evil or transgression in my hand, and I have not sinned against you, though you (N)are lying in wait for my life to take it. 12 (O)May Yahweh judge between [e]you and me, and may Yahweh avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘(P)Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness’; but my hand shall not be against you. 14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? (Q)After a dead dog, after (R)a single flea? 15 (S)Therefore Yahweh be judge and execute justice between [f]you and me; and may He see and (T)plead my cause and execute justice for me to escape from your hand.”

16 Now it happened that when David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “(U)Is this your voice, my son David?” Then Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 (V)And he said to David, “You are more righteous than I; for (W)you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt evil with you. 18 And you have declared today that you have done good to me, that (X)Yahweh surrendered me into your hand, and yet you did not kill me. 19 For if a man (Y)finds his enemy, will he let him go away [g]safely? May Yahweh therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day. 20 So now, behold, (Z)I know that you will surely be king, and that (AA)the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand. 21 So now (AB)swear to me by Yahweh that you will not cut off my seed after me and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s household.” 22 So David swore to Saul. And Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to (AC)the fortress.


  1. 1 Samuel 24:3 Lit cover his feet
  2. 1 Samuel 24:7 Lit from
  3. 1 Samuel 24:8 Lit nose
  4. 1 Samuel 24:9 Or your harm
  5. 1 Samuel 24:12 Lit me and you
  6. 1 Samuel 24:15 Lit me and you
  7. 1 Samuel 24:19 Lit on a good road