1 When Saul returned from battling Philistines,

               He was told, ‟David’s in the Desert of

               Engedi.” 2 With three thousand special troops

The king set out to look for him among

               The desert rocks and goats. 3 Next to some sheep 

               Pens was a cave, and Saul went in it to

Relieve himself, and it so happened that

               Hidden far back were David and his men.

               4 The men said, ‟Now’s your time! Today’s the day

The Lord was talking of when he foretold,

               ‛I’ll put your enemy within your hands

               For you to deal with him as you may wish.’”

Then David crept up quietly and slit

               Away a corner of Saul’s robe, 5 but then

               His conscience bothered him for having cut

Away a corner of Saul’s robe. 6 He told

               His men, ‟The Lord forbid that I should do

               A thing like this to God’s anointed king,

Or lift my hand against him, for he is

               Anointed of the Lord.” 7 So with these words

               He influenced his men not to attack

King Saul, and Saul departed from the cave

               And went along his way, 8 then David came

               Out from the cave 9 and called to Saul, ‟My lord

The king!” and when Saul looked back, David bowed

               Down low and prostrated himself, his face

               Down to the ground and said to Saul, ‟Why do

You listen when men tell you, ‛David wants

               To harm you’? 10 For this day you’ve seen that it’s

               Not true. The Lord delivered you to me

Back there inside the cave and some advised

               I kill you, but I spared you, for I said,

               ‛I’ll never harm him. He’s God’s chosen king.’

11 My father, see what I have in my hand?

               A corner of your robe! I cut it off,

               But did not kill you! Doesn’t this convince

You that I mean no harm and that I have

               Not sinned against you, even though you’re here

               Hunting me down like game to take my life?

12 The Lord will judge between us. May the Lord

               Avenge the wrongs you’ve done to me, but I

               Will never harm you, 13 for as the proverb says,

‛From evil men come wicked deeds,’ but though

               You’re wicked, I’ll not touch you. 14 Who’s the king

               Of Israel pursuing anyway?

Why should he waste his time pursuing one

               Worthless as a dead dog or as a flea?

               15 May God be judge which one of us is right!

He’s my lawyer and defender. He’ll

               Vindicate me and keep me from your hand.”

               16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked,

‟David, is that your voice, my son?” Then he

               Began to cry, 17 and said to David, ‟You’re

               A better man than I, for you’ve repaid good

For evil. 18 Yes, you have been kind to me

               Today, for when the Lord delivered me

               Into your hand, you didn’t take my life.

19 Who else would let his enemy escape

               When he was in his grasp? May God reward

               You well for how you treated me today.

20 And now I realize that you surely will

               Be king, with Israel as yours to rule.

               21 Now swear to me by God that you will not

Cut off my line or kill my family!”

               22 So David promised and the king returned

               Home to Jerusalem, but David, brave

And strong, went with his men back to their cave.


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