1 Samuel 24:16-22

16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked, “Is that your voice, David my son?” And he wept aloud.
17 “You are more righteous than I,” he said. “You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly.
18 You have just now told me about the good you did to me; the LORD delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me.
19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the LORD reward you well for the way you treated me today.
20 I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands.
21 Now swear to me by the LORD that you will not kill off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s family.”
22 So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

1 Samuel 24:16-22 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 24:16-22 In-Context

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.”
16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked, “Is that your voice, David my son?” And he wept aloud.
17 “You are more righteous than I,” he said. “You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly.
18 You have just now told me about the good you did to me; the LORD delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me.
19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the LORD reward you well for the way you treated me today.
20 I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands.
21 Now swear to me by the LORD that you will not kill off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s family.”
22 So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

Cross References 11

  • 1. 1 Samuel 26:17
  • 2. Genesis 38:26; 1 Samuel 26:21
  • 3. Matthew 5:44
  • 4. S Exodus 9:27
  • 5. 1 Samuel 26:23
  • 6. S Ruth 2:12; S 2 Chronicles 15:7
  • 7. S 1 Samuel 20:31; 1 Samuel 23:17
  • 8. S 1 Samuel 13:14
  • 9. Genesis 21:23; S Genesis 47:31; S 1 Samuel 18:3; 2 Samuel 21:1-9
  • 10. S 1 Samuel 20:14-15
  • 11. 1 Samuel 23:29