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David Spares Saul at En-gedi

24 Now when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, they told him saying, “Look, David is in the wilderness of En-gedi.” So Saul took 3,000 chosen men from all Israel and went to search for David and his men near the rocks of the mountain goats. When he came across the sheepfolds along the way where there was a cave, Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were already sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. So David’s men said to him, “Look, it’s the day Adonai spoke to you about, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, so you may do to him as seems good in your eyes.’” Then David crept and cut off the corner of Saul’s robe stealthily.

But afterward, David’s conscience bothered him for cutting off the edge of Saul’s robe. So he said to his fellow men, “Adonai forbid that I should do such a thing to my lord, Adonai’s anointed, stretching out my hand against him—for he is Adonai’s anointed.” So David persuaded his fellow men with these words and did not let them rise against Saul. Then Saul left the cave and went on his way.

David also rose afterward, went out of the cave, and called out after Saul saying, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and prostrated himself. Then David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to men’s words saying: ‘Look, David intends you harm’? 10 Look, today your own eyes should see how Adonai delivered you today into my hand, in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but my eye had pity on you, and I said: ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is Adonai’s anointed.’ 11 Moreover, my father, see! Yes, look at the corner of your robe in my hand! For in cutting off the corner of your robe, yet not killing you, you should know and realize that there is no evil or rebellion in my hand. I haven’t sinned against you, even though you are lying in wait for my life, to take it. 12 May Adonai judge between me and you, and may Adonai avenge me of you, but my hand will not be against you. 13 As the old proverb goes, ‘Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness’—but my hand will never be on you. 14 Whom has the king of Israel come after? Who are you chasing? A dead dog? A single flea? 15 May Adonai be judge and decide between me and you! And may He see and plead my cause and vindicate me against you.”

16 Now when David finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son, David?” Then Saul lifted up his voice and wept aloud. 17 Then he said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have done good to me, while I have done evil to you. 18 You’ve told today how well you’ve dealt with me, for Adonai had delivered me up into your hand, yet you did not kill me. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away on a good road? May Adonai reward you with good in return for what you have done to me today. 20 Now behold, I know for certain that you will be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will rise in your hand. 21 Swear now to me by Adonai that you won’t cut off my descendants after me, and that you won’t wipe out my name from my father’s house.” 22 So David swore to Saul. Then Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.