1 It happened, when Saul was returned from following the
Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness
of En Gedi. 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel,
and went to seek David and his men on the rocks of the wild goats. 3 He
came to the sheep pens by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to
relieve himself. Now David and his men were abiding in the innermost parts of
the cave. 4 The men of David said to him, Behold, the day of which Yahweh
said to you, Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, and you shall
do to him as it shall seem good to you. Then David arose, and cut off the
skirt of Saul’s robe secretly. 5 It happened afterward, that David’s heart
struck him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. 6 He said to his men,
Yahweh forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, Yahweh’s anointed, to
put forth my hand against him, seeing he is Yahweh’s anointed. 7 So David
checked his men with these words, and didn’t allow them to rise against Saul.
Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way. 8 David also arose
afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord
the king. When Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the
earth, and did obeisance. 9 David said to Saul, Why listen you to men’s
words, saying, Behold, David seeks your hurt? 10 Behold, this day your
eyes have seen how that Yahweh had delivered you today into my hand in the
cave: and some bade me kill you; but my eye spared you; and I said, I
will not put forth my hand against my lord; for he is Yahweh’s anointed.
11 Moreover, my father, behold, yes, see the skirt of your robe in my
hand; for in that I cut off the skirt of your robe, and didn’t kill you, know
you and see that there is neither evil nor disobedience in my hand, and I
have not sinned against you, though you hunt after my life to take it.
12 Yahweh judge between me and you, and Yahweh avenge me of you; but my
hand shall not be on you. 13 As says the proverb of the ancients, Out of
the wicked comes forth wickedness; but my hand shall not be on you.
14 After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom do you pursue?
after a dead dog, after a flea. 15 Yahweh therefore be judge, and give
sentence between me and you, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out
of your hand. 16 It came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking
these words to Saul, that Saul said, Is this your voice, my son David? Saul
lifted up his voice, and wept. 17 He said to David, You are more righteous
than I; for you have rendered to me good, whereas I have rendered to you
evil. 18 You have declared this day how that you have dealt well with me,
because when Yahweh had delivered me up into your hand, you didn’t kill me.
19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away unharmed?
Therefore may Yahweh reward you good for that which you have done to me this
day. 20 Now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the
kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. 21 Swear now
therefore to me by Yahweh, that you will not cut off my seed after me, and
that you will not destroy my name out of my father’s house. 22 David swore
to Saul. Saul went home; but David and his men got them up to the