The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Samuel 24:1–23

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And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying: 'Behold, David is in the wilderness of En-gedi.'

1Sm24:2  And when Saul had returned after pursuing the Philistines, they reported to him, saying, “Behold, David is in the desert of Engedi.”

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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.

1Sm24:3  And he took with him three thousand men, chosen out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men in front of Saddaeem.

1Sm24:3  Therefore, Saul, taking three thousand elect men from all of Israel, traveled in order to search for David and his men, even upon the most broken rocks, which are passable only to mountain goats.

And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave.

1Sm24:4  And he came to the flocks of sheep that were by the way, and there was a cave there; and Saul went in to make preparation, and David and his men were sitting in the inner part of the cave.

1Sm24:4  And he arrived at the sheepfolds, which presented themselves along the way. And a cave was in that place, which Saul entered, so that he might ease his bowels. But David and his men were hiding in the interior part of the cave.

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And the men of David said unto him: 'Behold the day in which YHWH hath said unto thee: Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thy hand, and thou shalt do to him as it shall seem good unto thee.' Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily.

1Sm24:5  And the servants of David said to him: “Behold the day, about which the Lord said to you, ‘I will deliver your enemy to you, so that you may do to him as it will be pleasing in your eyes.’ ” Then David rose up, and he quietly cut off the edge of Saul’s cloak.

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

1Sm24:6  After this, his own heart struck David, because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s cloak.

But afterward David regretted that he had cut off the skirt of Saul's robe.

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And he said unto his men: 'YHWH forbid it me, that I should do this thing unto my lord, YHWH'S anointed, to put forth my hand against him, seeing he is the YHWH'S anointed.'

1Sm24:7  And David said to his men, The Lord forbid it me, that I should do this thing to my lord the anointed of the Lord, to lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.

1Sm24:7  And he said to his men: “May the Lord be gracious to me, lest I do this thing to my lord, the Christ of the Lord, so that I lay my hand upon him. For he is the Christ of the Lord.”

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So David checked his men with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. And Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way.

1Sm24:8  So David persuaded his men by his words, and did not suffer them to arise and slay Saul: and Saul arose and went his way.

1Sm24:8  And David restrained his men with his words, and he would not permit them to rise up against Saul. And so Saul, going out of the cave, continued to undertake his journey.

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 prostrated himself.

1Sm24:9  And David rose up and went after him out of the cave: and David cried after Saul, saying, My lord, O king! and Saul looked behind him, and David bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance to him.

1Sm24:9  Then David also rose up after him. And departing from the cave, he cried out behind the back of Saul, saying: “My lord, the king!” And Saul looked behind him. And David, bowing himself face down to the ground, reverenced.

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And David said to Saul: 'Wherefore hearkenest thou to men's words, saying: Behold, David seeketh thy hurt?

1Sm24:10  And he said to Saul: “Why do you listen to the words of men who say: ‘David seeks evil against you?’

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10  Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that YHWH had delivered thee to-day into my hand in the cave; and some bade me kill thee; but mine eye spared thee; and I said: I will not put forth my hand against my lord; for he is the YHWH'S anointed.

1Sm24:11  Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord has delivered you into my hand, in the cave. And I thought that I might kill you. But my eye has spared you. For I said: I will not extend my hand against my lord, for he is the Christ of the Lord.

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11  Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand; for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in my hand, and I have not sinned against thee, though thou layest wait for my soul to take it.

1Sm24:12  And behold, the skirt of thy mantle is in my hand, I cut off the skirt, and did not slay thee: know then and see to-day, there is no evil in my hand, nor impiety, nor rebellion; and I have not sinned against thee, yet thou layest snares for my soul to take it.

1Sm24:12  Moreover, see and know, O my father, the edge of your cloak in my hand. For though I cut off the top of your cloak, I was not willing to extend my hand against you. Turn your soul and see that there is no evil in my hand, nor any iniquity or sin against you. Yet you lie in wait for my life, so that you may take it away.

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12  YHWH judge between me and thee, and YHWH avenge me of thee; but my hand shall not be upon thee.

1Sm24:13  The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lord requite thee on thyself: but my hand shall not be upon thee.

1Sm24:13  May the Lord judge between me and you. And may the Lord vindicate me from you. But my hand will not be against you.

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13  As saith the proverb of the ancients: Out of the wicked cometh forth wickedness; but my hand shall not be upon thee.

1Sm24:14  As the old proverb says, Transgression will proceed from the wicked ones: but my hand shall not be upon thee.

1Sm24:14  So too, it is said in the ancient proverb, ‘From the impious, impiety will go forth.’ Therefore, my hand will not be upon you.

14  After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.

1Sm24:15  And now after whom dost thou come forth, O king of Israel? After whom dost thou pursue? After a dead dog, and after a flea?

1Sm24:15  Whom are you pursuing, O king of Israel? Whom are you pursuing? You are pursuing a dead dog, a single flea.

15  YHWH therefore be judge, and give sentence between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thy hand.'

1Sm24:16  The Lord be judge and umpire between me and thee, the Lord look upon and judge my cause, and rescue me out of thy hand.

1Sm24:16  May the Lord be the judge, and may he judge between me and you. And may he see and judge my case, and rescue me from your hand.”

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

1Sm24:17  And when David had completed speaking words in this way to Saul, Saul said, “Could this be your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice, and he wept.

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17  And he said to David: 'Thou art more righteous than I; for thou hast rendered unto me good, whereas I have rendered unto thee evil.

1Sm24:18  And Saul said to David, Thou art more righteous that I, for thou hast recompensed me good, but I have recompensed thee evil.

1Sm24:18  And he said to David: “You are more just than I am. For you have distributed good to me, but I have repaid evil to you.

18  And thou hast declared this day how that thou hast dealt well with me; forasmuch as when YHWH had delivered me up into thy hand, thou didst not kill me.

1Sm24:19  And thou hast told me to-day what good thou hast done me, how the Lord shut me up into thy hands to-day, and thou didst not slay me.

1Sm24:19  And you have revealed this day the good that you have done for me: how the Lord delivered me into your hand, but you did not kill me.

19  For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore YHWH reward thee good for that which thou hast done unto me this day.

1Sm24:20  And if any one should find his enemy in distress, and should send him forth in a good way, then the Lord will reward him good, as thou has done this day.

1Sm24:20  For who, when he will have found his enemy, will release him along a good path? So may the Lord repay you for this good turn, because you have acted on my behalf this day.

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20  And now, behold, I know that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thy hand.

1Sm24:21  And now I know certainly that you shall be king, and you shall have the kingdom of Israel in your hand.

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21  Swear now therefore unto me by YHWH, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father's house.'

1Sm24:22  Now then swear to me by the Lord, that thou wilt not destroy my seed after me, that thou wilt not blot out my name from the house of my father.

1Sm24:22  Swear to me in the Lord that you will not take away my offspring after me, nor take away my name from the house of my father.”

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22  And David swore unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men got them up unto the stronghold.

1Sm24:23  So David swore to Saul: and Saul departed to his place, and David and his men went up to the strong-hold of Messera.