1 Samuel 24:12-13

12 May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.
13 As the old saying goes, ‘From evildoers come evil deeds,’ so my hand will not touch you.

1 Samuel 24:12 in Other Translations

KJV
12 The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.
ESV
12 May the LORD judge between me and you, may the LORD avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you.
NLT
12 “May the LORD judge between us. Perhaps the LORD will punish you for what you are trying to do to me, but I will never harm you.
MSG
12 Let's decide which of us is in the right. God may avenge me, but it is in his hands, not mine.
CSB
12 "May the Lord judge between you and me, and may the Lord take vengeance on you for me, but my hand will never be against you.

1 Samuel 24:12-13 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO FIRST SAMUEL 24

Saul being returned from following the Philistines, renews his pursuit after David, 1Sa 24:1,2; and they meeting in a cave, where David had the opportunity of taking away the life of Saul, which his men pressed him to, yet only cut off the skirt of his robe, 1Sa 24:3-8; which, calling after him, he held up to him to convince him he had his life in his hands, but spared it, 1Sa 24:9,10; upon which he very pathetically reasons with him about the unreasonableness and unrighteousness of his pursuit after him, to take away his life, 1Sa 24:11-15; which so affected Saul, that he confessed he was more righteous than he, and owned that the kingdom would be his, and only desired him to swear to him not to cut off his offspring, which David did, and so they parted, 1Sa 24:16-22.

1 Samuel 24:12-13 In-Context

10 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the LORD’s anointed.’
11 See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. See that there is nothing in my hand to indicate that I am guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life.
12 May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.
13 As the old saying goes, ‘From evildoers come evil deeds,’ so my hand will not touch you.
14 “Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Who are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea?
15 May the LORD be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand.”

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Genesis 16:5; Genesis 31:53; S 1 Samuel 25:38; S Job 9:15; Job 5:8
  • 2. S Numbers 31:3; Judges 11:27; 1 Samuel 26:10
  • 3. Matthew 7:20
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