24 And when Saul came back from pursuing the Philistines they told him “David is in the wilderness of ʽEn-Gedi.” 2 And Saul took three thousand picked men out of all Israel and went to look for David and his men along the Ibex Rocks, 3 and came to the sheepfolds by the roadside. There there was a cave, and Saul went in to ease himself; and David and his men were at the back of the cave sitting down. 4 And David’s men said to him “Here is the day of which Jehovah said to you ‘I am giving your enemy into your hands, and you shall do with him as you think best.’” And David rose and cut off the flap of Saul’s robe quietly; 5 but after that David’s conscience pricked him for having cut off the flap of Saul’s robe, 6 and he said to his men “Jehovah forbid the thought of my doing such a thing to my sovereign, Jehovah’s anointed, as to lay hands on him, because he is Jehovah’s anointed.” 7 And David reprimanded his men and would not let them rise to attack Saul; and Saul rose and left the cave and went along the road. 8 And after that David rose and went out of the cave and called after Saul “Your majesty!” and Saul looked back, and David bowed his face to the ground and did reverence. 9 And David said to Saul “Why do you listen to men’s words ‘David is looking for a chance to injure you’? 10 * This day you have seen with your own eyes how Jehovah gave you into my hands today in the cave, and I refused to kill you, but spared you and said ‘I will not lay hands on my sovereign, because he is Jehovah’s anointed and my father.’ 11 Yes, see the flap of your robe in my hands! for by my cutting off the flap of your robe and not killing you you may see for yourself that I have no fault or offense upon my hands, and have not misconducted myself toward you; but you are trying to take my life. 12 Jehovah shall give judgment between us, and Jehovah shall avenge me on you; but my hands shall not be laid on you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says, knavery comes from knaves; but my hands shall not be laid on you. 14 Whom has the king of Israel come out against? whom are you pursuing? a dead dog, a single flea. 15 And Jehovah shall be arbiter, and give judgment between us, and uphold my rights and give me justice against you.” 16 And when David finished saying these things to Saul, Saul said “Is that your voice, son David?” and Saul wept aloud, 17 and said to David “You are more honest than I, because you have done good to me and I harm to you; 18 and it is a great good deed you have done to me today, that Jehovah put me into your hands and you did not kill me. 19 When a man finds his enemy and lets him go unmolested—Jehovah will repay you with good for this day, what you have done to me. 20 * And now, I know you are to be king and the kingship over Israel is to stand permanently in your hands: 21 now swear to me by Jehovah that you will not cut off my descendants after me and that you will not root out my name out of my family”; 22 and David swore to Saul. And Saul went home, and David and his men went up to the fastness.
The Bible in Living English