It happened, when Sha'ul was returned from following the Pelishtim, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of `En-Gedi.
Then Sha'ul took three thousand chosen men out of all Yisra'el, and went to seek David and his men on the rocks of the wild goats.
He came to the sheep pens by the way, where was a cave; and Sha'ul went in to cover his feet. Now David and his men were abiding in the innermost parts of the cave.
The men of David said to him, Behold, the day of which the LORD 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 Sha'ul's robe secretly.
It happened afterward, that David's heart struck him, because he had cut off Sha'ul's skirt.
He said to his men, the LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD's anointed, to put forth my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD's anointed.
So David checked his men with these words, and didn't allow them to rise against Sha'ul. Sha'ul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way.
David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Sha'ul, saying, My lord the king. When Sha'ul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the eretz, and did obeisance.
David said to Sha'ul, Why listen you to men's words, saying, Behold, David seeks your hurt?
Behold, this day your eyes have seen how that the LORD 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 the LORD's anointed.
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.
The LORD judge between me and you, and the LORD avenge me of you; but my hand shall not be on you.
As says the proverb of the ancients, Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness; but my hand shall not be on you.
After whom is the king of Yisra'el come out? after whom do you pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.
The LORD therefore be judge, and give sentence between me and you, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of your hand.
It came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words to Sha'ul, that Sha'ul said, Is this your voice, my son David? Sha'ul lifted up his voice, and wept.
He said to David, You are more righteous than I; for you have rendered to me good, whereas I have rendered to you evil.
You have declared this day how that you have dealt well with me, because when the LORD had delivered me up into your hand, you didn't kill me.
For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away unharmed? Therefore may the LORD reward you good for that which you have done to me this day.
Now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Yisra'el shall be established in your hand.
Swear now therefore to me by the LORD, that you will not cut off my seed after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father's house.
David swore to Sha'ul. Sha'ul went home; but David and his men got them up to the stronghold.