1 Samuel 24 New King James Version (NKJV)
David Spares Saul
24 Now it happened, when Saul had returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, “Take note! David is in the Wilderness of En Gedi.” 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 3 So he came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to attend to his needs. (David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave.) 4 Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’ ” And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 5 Now it happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe. 6 And he said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.” 7 So David restrained his servants with these words, and did not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul got up from the cave and went on his way.
8 David also arose afterward, went out of the cave, and called out to Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed down. 9 And David said to Saul: “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Indeed David seeks your harm’? 10 Look, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 Moreover, my father, see! Yes, see the corner of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the corner of your robe, and did not kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it. 12 Let the Lord judge between you and me, and let the Lord avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked.’ But my hand shall not be against you. 14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea? 15 Therefore let the Lord be judge, and judge between you and me, and see and plead my case, and deliver me out of your hand.”
16 So it was, when David had finished speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 Then he said to David: “You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil. 18 And you have shown this day how you have dealt well with me; for when the Lord delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him get away safely? Therefore may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. 20 And now I know indeed that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. 21 Therefore swear now 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 house.”
22 So David swore to Saul. And Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.
1 Samuel 24 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
24 (23:29) From there David went up and lived in the strongholds of ‘Ein-Gedi. 2 (1) When Sha’ul returned from pursuing the P’lishtim, he was told that David was in the desert at ‘Ein-Gedi. 3 (2) Sha’ul took three thousand men chosen from all Isra’el and went searching for David and his men on the cliffs where the mountain goats are. 4 (3) Near some sheep pens along the way was a cave, and Sha’ul went inside to relieve himself. It happened that David and his men were sitting in the recesses at the back of the cave; 5 (4) and David’s men said to him, “Look! The day has come that Adonai told you about when he said to you, ‘I will turn your enemy over to you, and you will do to him whatever seems good to you.’” Then David stole over unobserved and cut off the corner of Sha’ul’s cloak. 6 (5) But after doing this, David felt remorse over cutting Sha’ul’s garment. 7 (6) He said to his men, “Adonai forbid that I should do such a thing to my lord, Adonai’s anointed, as raise my hand against him! After all, he is Adonai’s anointed.” 8 (7) By saying this, David stopped his men and would not let them do anything to Sha’ul. Sha’ul got up, left the cave and went on his way.
9 (8) Then David too got up and went outside the cave, where he called after Sha’ul, “My lord the king!” When Sha’ul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the ground and prostrated himself. 10 (9) David said to Sha’ul, “Why do you listen to people who say, ‘David is out to harm you?’ 11 (10) Here, today you have seen with your own eyes that Adonai put you in my power there in the cave. Some of my men said I should kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I won’t raise my hand against my lord, because he is Adonai’s anointed.’ 12 (11) Moreover, my father, look! Here in my hand you see the corner of your cloak. By the fact that I only cut off a piece of your cloak and didn’t kill you, you can see and understand that I have no plan to do harm or rebel, and that I haven’t sinned against you — even though you are seeking every chance you get to take my life. 13 (12) May Adonai judge between you and me, and may Adonai avenge me on you! But I will not lay a hand on you — 14 (13) as the old saying has it, ‘Out of the wicked comes wickedness, but I will not lay a hand on you.’ 15 (14) The king of Isra’el has come on a campaign — after whom? Whom are you chasing? A dead dog! A single flea! 16 (15) Adonai be the judge; let him decide between you and me. May he take my side and rescue me from your power!”
17 (16) After David had finished speaking to Sha’ul, Sha’ul said, “Is that your voice, my son David?” Then Sha’ul cried out and wept; 18 (17) and he said to David, “You are more righteous than I, because you have treated me well, while I have been treating you badly. 19 (18) You have made it clear to me today that you have done me good; for when Adonai put my fate in your hands, you didn’t kill me. 20 (19) A man finds his enemy and lets him go unharmed?! May Adonai reward you well for what you did to me today. 21 (20) Now I’m certain that you will indeed become king, and that the kingship of Isra’el will be established in your hands. 22 (21) So swear to me by Adonai that you will not kill my descendants after I die or blot out my name from my father’s family.” 23 (22) David swore to Sha’ul, and Sha’ul went home, but David and his men went back up to the stronghold.