1 Samuel 24 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
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.” 2 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. 3 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. 4 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.
5 But afterward, David’s conscience bothered him for cutting off the edge of Saul’s robe. 6 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.” 7 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.
8 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. 9 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.
1 Samuel 24 New 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.” 2 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.
3 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. 4 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.
5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 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.” 7 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.
8 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. 9 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.