Now 1whenSaulreturned from pursuing the Philistines, 2he was told, saying, "Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi."
Then 3Saultookthreethousandchosenmen from allIsrael and went to seekDavid and his men in front of the Rocks of the WildGoats.
He came to the sheepfolds on the way, wherethere was a cave; and Saul4went in to arelieve himself. Now 5David and his men were sitting in the innerrecesses of the cave.
The men of Davidsaid to him, "Behold, 6this is the day of which the LORDsaid to you, 'Behold; 7I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seemsgoodbto you.' " Then Davidarose and cutoff the edge of Saul'srobesecretly.
It came about afterward that 8David'scconsciencebothered him because he had cutoff the edge of Saul's robe.
So he said to his men, "9Far be it from me because of the LORD that I should dothisthing to my lord, the LORD'Sanointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the LORD'Sanointed."
7Daviddpersuaded his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up againstSaul. And Saularose, eleft the cave, and went on his way.
Now afterwardDavidarose and went out of the cave and calledafterSaul, saying, "My lord the king!" And when Saullookedbehind him, 10Davidbowed with his face to the ground and prostrated himself.
9Davidsaid to Saul, "Why do you listen to the words of men, saying, 'Behold, Davidseeksfto harm you'?
"11Behold, thisday your eyes have seen that the LORD had given you today into my hand in the cave, and 12some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, 'I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD'Sanointed.'
"Now, 13my father, see! Indeed, see the edge of your robe in my hand! For in that I cutoff the edge of your robe and did not kill you, know and perceive that there is noevil or grebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you 14are lying in wait for my life to take it.
"15May the LORDjudgebetweenhyou and me, and may the LORDavenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you.
"As the proverb of the ancientssays, '16Out of the wickedcomesforthwickedness '; but my hand shall not be against you.
14"Afterwhom has the king of Israelcome out? Whom are you pursuing? 17A deaddog, 18a singleflea?
"19The LORD therefore be judge and decidebetweeniyou and me; and may He see and 20plead my cause and jdeliver me from your hand."
When David had finishedspeakingthesewords to Saul, Saulsaid, "21Is this your voice, my sonDavid?" Then Saullifted up his voice and wept.
1722He said to David, "You are morerighteousthan I; for 23you have dealtwell with me, while I have dealtwickedly with you.
"You have declaredtoday that you have donegood to me, that 24the LORDdelivered me into your hand and yet you did not kill me.
"For if a man25finds his enemy, will he let him goawayksafely ? May the LORD therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me thisday.
20"Now, behold, 26I know that you will surely be king, and that 27the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand.
"So now28swear to me by the LORD that you will not cutoff my ldescendantsafter me and that you will not destroy my name from my father'shousehold."
22Davidswore to Saul. And Saulwent to his home, but David and his menwent up to 29the stronghold.