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1 Samuel 24 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

24 (23:29) From there David went up and lived in the strongholds of ‘Ein-Gedi. (1) When Sha’ul returned from pursuing the P’lishtim, he was told that David was in the desert at ‘Ein-Gedi. (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. (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; (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. (5) But after doing this, David felt remorse over cutting Sha’ul’s garment. (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.” (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.

(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.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

1 Samuel 24 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

David Spares Saul

24 When Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the wilderness near En-gedi.” So Saul took three thousand of Israel’s fit young men and went to look for David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. When Saul came to the sheep pens along the road, a cave was there, and he went in to relieve himself.[a] David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave, so they said to him, “Look, this is the day the Lord told you about: ‘I will hand your enemy over to you so you can do to him whatever you desire.’” Then David got up and secretly cut off the corner of Saul’s robe.

Afterward, David’s conscience bothered[b] him because he had cut off the corner of Saul’s robe.[c] He said to his men, “I swear before the Lord: I would never do such a thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed. I will never lift my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.” With these words David persuaded[d] his men, and he did not let them rise up against Saul.

Then Saul left the cave and went on his way. After that, David got up, went out of the cave, and called to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David knelt low with his face to the ground and paid homage. David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of people who say, ‘Look, David intends to harm you’? 10 You can see with your own eyes that the Lord handed you over to me today in the cave. Someone advised me to kill you, but I[e][f] took pity on you and said: I won’t lift my hand against my lord, since he is the Lord’s anointed. 11 Look, my father! Look at the corner of your robe in my hand, for I cut it off, but I didn’t kill you. Recognize[g] that I’ve committed no crime or rebellion. I haven’t sinned against you even though you are hunting me down to take my life.

12 “May the Lord judge between me and you, and may the Lord take vengeance on you for me, but my hand will never be against you. 13 As the old proverb says, ‘Wickedness comes from wicked people.’ My hand will never be against you. 14 Who has the king of Israel come after? What are you chasing after? A dead dog? A single flea? 15 May the Lord be judge and decide between you and me. May he take notice and plead my case and deliver[h] me from you.”

16 When David finished saying these things to him, Saul replied, “Is that your voice, David my son?” Then Saul wept aloud 17 and said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have done what is good to me though I have done what is evil to you. 18 You yourself have told me today what good you did for me: when the Lord handed me over to you, you didn’t kill me. 19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him go unharmed?[i] May the Lord repay you with good for what you’ve done for me today.

20 “Now I know for certain you will be king, and the kingdom of Israel will be established[j] in your hand. 21 Therefore swear to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s family.” 22 So David swore to Saul. Then Saul went back home, and David and his men went up to the stronghold.


  1. 24:3 Lit to cover his feet
  2. 24:5 Lit David’s heart struck
  3. 24:5 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Vg; other Hb mss omit robe
  4. 24:7 Or restrained
  5. 24:10 LXX, Syr, Tg; MT reads she or it
  6. 24:10 Or my eye
  7. 24:11 Lit Know and see
  8. 24:15 Lit render a verdict for
  9. 24:19 Lit go on a good way
  10. 24:20 Or will flourish
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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