1 And it cometh to pass when Saul hath turned back from after the Philistines, that they declare to him, saying, ‘Lo, David is in the wilderness of En-gedi.’ 2And Saul taketh three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and goeth to seek David and his men, on the front of the rocks of the wild goats, 3and he cometh in unto folds of the flock, on the way, and there is a cave, and Saul goeth in to cover his feet; and David and his men in the sides of the cave are abiding. 4And the men of David say unto him, ‘Lo, the day of which Jehovah said unto thee, Lo, I am giving thine enemy into thy hand, and thou hast done to him as it is good in thine eyes;’ and David riseth and cutteth off the skirt of the upper robe which is on Saul—gently. 5And it cometh to pass afterwards that the heart of David smiteth him, because that he hath cut off the skirt which is on Saul, 6and he saith to his men, ‘Far be it from me, by Jehovah; I do not do this thing to my lord—to the anointed of Jehovah—to put forth my hand against him, for the anointed of Jehovah he is.’ 7And David subdueth his men by words, and hath not permitted them to rise against Saul; and Saul hath risen from the cave, and goeth on the way; 8and David riseth afterwards, and goeth out from the cave, and calleth after Saul, saying, ‘My lord, O king!’ And Saul looketh attentively behind him, and David boweth—face to the earth—and doth obeisance.
9 And David saith to Saul, ‘Why dost thou hear the words of man, saying, Lo, David is seeking thine evil? 10Lo, this day have thine eyes seen how that Jehovah hath given thee to-day into my hand in the cave; and one said to slay thee, and mine eye hath pity on thee, and I say, I do not put forth my hand against my lord, for the anointed of Jehovah he is.
11 ‘And, my father, see, yea see the skirt of thine upper robe in my hand; for by cutting off the skirt of thy upper robe, and I have not slain thee, know and see that there is not in my hand evil and transgression, and I have not sinned against thee, and thou art hunting my soul to take it!
12 ‘Jehovah doth judge between me and thee, and Jehovah hath avenged me of thee, and my hand is not on thee; 13as saith the simile of the ancients, From the wicked goeth out wickedness, and my hand is not on thee.
14 ‘After whom hath the king of Israel come out? after whom art thou pursuing?—after a dead dog! after one flea! 15And Jehovah hath been for judge, and hath judged between me and thee, yea, he seeth and pleadeth my cause, and doth deliver me out of thy hand.’
16 And it cometh to pass, when David completeth to speak these words unto Saul, that Saul saith, ‘Is this thy voice, my son David?’ and Saul lifteth up his voice, and weepeth. 17And he saith unto David, ‘More righteous thou art than I; for thou hast done me good, and I have done thee evil; 18and thou hast declared to-day how that thou hast done good with me, how that Jehovah shut me up into thy hand, and thou didst not slay me, 19and that a man doth find his enemy, and hath sent him away in a good manner; and Jehovah doth repay thee good for that which thou didst to me this day.
20 ‘And, now, lo, I have known that thou dost certainly reign, and the kingdom of Israel hath stood in thy hand; 21and, now, swear to me by Jehovah—thou dost not cut off my seed after me, nor dost thou destroy my name from the house of my father.’ 22And David sweareth to Saul, and Saul goeth unto his house, and David and his men have gone up unto the fortress.