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1 Samuel 24

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 1 And it came to pass, when Saul had returned from following the Philistines, that one told him, "Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi."

 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats.

 3 Saul came to the sheep pens by the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went into the cave to relieve himself. David and his men were hiding in the sides of the cave.

 4 And the men of David said to him, "Look, it is the day the LORD said to you, 'I will deliver your enemy into your hand, so that you may do to him as it pleases you.'" Then David arose and secretly cut off the skirt of Saul's robe.

 5 And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart condemned him because he had cut off Saul's skirt.

 6 And he said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the LORD's anointed, to stretch forth my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD."

 7 So David calmed his servants with these words, not allowing them to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave and went on his way.

 8 David also arose afterward and went out of the cave, crying after Saul, saying, "My lord the king." And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth and bowed himself.

 9 And David said to Saul, "Why do you listen to men's words, who say, 'David seeks your harm?'

 10 Look, this day your eyes can see how that the LORD had delivered you today into my hand in the cave; and some told me to 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.'

 11 Moreover, my father, see, yes, see the skirt of your robe in my hand. Since I cut off the skirt of your robe, but did not kill you, now you know you and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in my hand, and I have not sinned against you; yet you hunt my soul to take it.

 12 The LORD judge between me and you, and the LORD avenge me of you; but my hand shall not be upon you.

 13 As said the proverb of the ancients, 'Wickedness proceeds from the wicked,' but my hand shall not be upon you.

 14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog, after a flea?

 15 The LORD therefore be the judge, and judge between me and you; and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of your hand."

 16 And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, "Is this your voice, my son David?" And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept.

 17 And he said to David, "You are more righteous than I for you have rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded you evil.

 18 And you have showed this day how that you have dealt well with me; for though the LORD had delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me.

 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go well away? Therefore the LORD will reward you good for what you have done for me this day.

 20 And now, behold, I well know that you will surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.

 21 Swear now therefore to me by the LORD, that you will not cut off my children after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father's house."

 22 And David swore to Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men went up to the strong hold.


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