David Spares Saul’s Life

24 [a]Now (A)when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, (B)it was reported to him, saying, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.” Then (C)Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and went to search for David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Mountain Goats. And he came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul (D)went in to [b]relieve himself. Now (E)David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave. Then David’s men said to him, “Behold, (F)this is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold; (G)I am about to hand your enemy over to you, and you shall do to him as it seems good [c]to you.’” Then David got up and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe secretly. But it came about afterward that (H)David’s [d]conscience bothered 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 the Lord that I would do this thing to my lord, the Lords anointed, to reach out with my hand against him, since he is the Lords anointed.” And David rebuked his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. And Saul got up, [e]left the cave, and went on his way.

Afterward, however, David got up 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 face to the ground and prostrated himself. And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men [f]who say, ‘Behold, David is seeking [g]to harm you’? 10 (K)Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord had handed you over to me today in the cave, and (L)someone said to kill you, but [h]I spared you; and I said, ‘I will not reach out with my hand against my lord, because he is the Lords anointed.’

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  1. 1 Samuel 24:1 Ch 24:2 in Heb
  2. 1 Samuel 24:3 Lit cover his feet
  3. 1 Samuel 24:4 Lit in your eyes
  4. 1 Samuel 24:5 Lit heart struck
  5. 1 Samuel 24:7 Lit from
  6. 1 Samuel 24:9 Lit saying
  7. 1 Samuel 24:9 Lit your harm
  8. 1 Samuel 24:10 As in ancient versions; MT, my eye had pity on