¶ AND it came to pass when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines that it was told him, saying, Behold.
David is in Mizroth, which is in Gibaoth.
Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the mountains of the wild goats.
And he came to the sheepfolds on the way where there was a cave;
and Saul went into the cave and lay down there;
and David and his men were staying on the slope of the cave.
And the men of David said to him, Behold, this is the day of which the LORD said to you, Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hands, that you may do to him as shall seem good in your sight.
Then David arose and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe stealthily.
But afterward David regretted that he had cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe.
And David said to the men who were with him, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch forth my hand against him, because he is the anointed of the LORD.
So David restrained the men who were with him with these words, and did not permit them to rise against Saul.
And Saul rose up out of the cave and went on his way.
David also arose afterward and went out of the cave and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king.
And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and did him obeisance.
¶ And David said to Saul, You must not listen to the words of the men who say, Behold, David seeks your hurt.
Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the LORD had delivered you today into my hand in the cave;
and the men who were with me bade me kill you, but I had pity on you, and I said, I will not put forth my hand against my lord;
for he is the LORD’S anointed.
Moreover, turn back, and see that even the skirt of your robe is in my hand;
because when I cut off the skirt of your robe I did not kill you;
now you should know and see that there is neither evil nor fault in my hand, and I have not sinned against you;
yet you hunt me to take my life.
May the LORD judge between me and you, and the LORD avenge me of you;
but my hand shall not be against you.
As it is said in the proverb of the ancients, Out of the wicked proceeds wickedness: but my hand shall not be against you.
After whom have you come out, O king of Israel?
After whom do you pursue?
After a dead dog, and after a flea?
The LORD therefore shall be judge, and judge between me and you, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me from your hands.
¶ And when David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said to him, Is this your voice, my son David?
And Saul lifted up his voice and wept.
And he said to David, You are more righteous than I;
for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil.
And you have showed this day how you have dealt well with me, in that the LORD had delivered me into your hands, and you did not kill me.
For when a man finds his enemy, and lets him go free, the LORD will reward him with good;
wherefore the LORD reward you with good for what you have done to me this day.
And now, behold, I know well that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.
Swear now therefore to me by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants after me and that you will not destroy my name out of my father’s house.
So David swore to Saul.
And Saul went to his home;
but David and the men who were with him went up to Mizpeh.