1 And it came to pass, when Saul returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, “Behold, Dawid is in the wilderness of Engedi.”
2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Yisrael, and went to seek Dawid and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats.
3 And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet; and Dawid and his men remained in the sides of the cave.
4 And the men of Dawid said unto him, “Behold the day of which יהוה said unto you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto you.’” Then Dawid arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe privily.
5 And it came to pass afterward, that Dawid’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt.
6 And he said unto his men, “יהוה forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, יהוה’s anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of יהוה.”
7 So Dawid stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way.
8 Dawid also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, “My lord (Adoni) the king.” And when Saul looked behind him, Dawid stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself.
9 And Dawid said to Saul: “Why hearest you men’s words, saying, ‘Behold, Dawid seeketh your hurt’?
10 Behold, this day your eyes have seen how that יהוה had delivered you today into mine hand in the cave; and some bade me kill you: but mine eye spared you; and I said, ‘I will not put forth mine hand against my lord (adoni); for he is יהוה’s anointed (mashiach).’
11 Moreover, my father, see! Yea, see the skirt of your robe in my hand; for in that I cut off the skirt of your robe, and killed you not, know you and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against you; yet you huntest my soul to take it.
12 יהוה judge between me and you, and יהוה avenge me of you; but mine hand shall not be upon you.
13 As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked; but mine hand shall not be upon you.
14 After whom is the king of Yisrael come out? After whom dost you pursue? After a dead dog, after a flea.
15 יהוה therefore be 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 Dawid had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son Dawid?” And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept.
17 And he said to Dawid, “You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded you evil.
18 And you have shewed this day how that you have dealt well with me; forasmuch as when יהוה had delivered me into your hand, you killedst me not.
19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go well away? Therefore may יהוה reward you good for that you have done unto me this day.
20 And now, behold, I know well that you shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Yisrael shall be established in your hand.
21 Swear now therefore unto me by יהוה, that you wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that you wilt not destroy my name out of my father’s house.”
22 And Dawid sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but Dawid and his men gat them up unto the stronghold.