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.