And David rose up from thence, and lived in the narrow passes of Engaddi. And it came to pass when Saul returned from pursuing after the Philistines, that it was reported to him, saying, David is in the wilderness of Engaddi. And he took with him three thousand men, chosen out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men in front of Saddaeem. And he came to the flocks of sheep that were by the way, and there was a cave there; and Saul went in to make preparation, and David and his men were sitting in the inner part of the cave. And the men of David said to him, Behold, this is the day of which the Lord spoke to you, that he would deliver your enemy into your hands; and you shall do to him as it is good in your sight. So David arose and * cut off the skirt of Saul's garment secretly. And it came to pass after this that David's heart struck him, because he had cut off the skirt of his garment. And David said to his men, The Lord forbid it me, that I should do this thing to my lord the anointed of the Lord, to lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the Lord. So David persuaded his men by his words, and did not suffer them to arise and kill Saul: and Saul arose and went his way. And David rose up and went after him out of the cave: and David cried after Saul, saying, My lord, O king! and Saul looked behind him, and David bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance to him. 10 And David said to Saul, Why do you listen to the words of the people, saying, Behold, David seeks your life? 11 Behold, your eyes have seen this day how that the Lord has delivered you this day into my hands in the cave; and I would not kill you, but spared you, and said, I will not lift up my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord's anointed. 12 And behold, the skirt of your mantle is in my hand, I cut off the skirt, and did not kill you: know then and see today, there is no evil in my hand, nor impiety, nor rebellion; and I have not sinned against you, yet you lay snares for my soul to take it. 13 The Lord judge between me and you, and the Lord requite you on yourself: but my hand shall not be upon you. 14 As the old proverb § says, Transgression will proceed from the wicked ones: but my hand shall not be upon you. 15 And now after whom do you come forth, O king of Israel? After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog, and after a flea? 16 The Lord be judge and umpire between me and you, the Lord look upon and judge my cause, and rescue me out of your hand. 17 And it came to pass when David had finished speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, Is this your voice, Son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. 18 And Saul said to David, You are more righteous that I, for you have recompensed me good, but I have recompensed you evil. 19 And you have told me today what good you have done me, how the Lord shut me up into your hands today, and you did not kill me. 20 And if any one should find his enemy in distress, and should send him forth in a good way, then the Lord will reward him good, as you have done this day. 21 And now, behold, I know that you shall surely reign, and the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. 22 Now then swear to me by the Lord, that you will not destroy my seed after me, that you will not blot out my name from the house of my father. 23 So David swore to Saul: and Saul departed to his place, and David and his men went up to ** the strong-hold of Messera.
* 24:5 Gr. took away. 24:9 Gr. stooped. 24:12 Gr. bindest my soul. § 24:14 Gr. is said. ** 24:23 Gr. narrow Messera.