1 Samuel 24
David cut off Saul's skirt (while he was going to the bathroom)
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 Engedi.
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.
When Saul returned from fighting the Philistines, he was told that David was hiding in the wilderness of Engedi.
So Saul took 3000 men to go find David and his men who were hanging out with wild goats.
And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went
in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the
When Saul arrived at the place where the sheep were kept, he went into a cave
"to cover his feet" (a biblical euphemism
for urinating or defecating), while David and his men were in the same cave.
And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said
unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou
mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut
off the skirt of Saul's robe privily.
David's men said to David, "Remember when God said he'd deliver Saul into your hand? Well, he just did it."
So David snuck in and cut off a piece of Saul's skirt while he was going to the bathroom. Saul was so busy with his
business that he didn't even see David or notice that his skirt was being cut.
David and Saul make up (and give long speeches)
And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he
had cut off Saul's skirt.
But later, David's heart smote for cutting off Saul's skirt.
And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto
my master, the LORD's anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him,
seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.
And he said to his men, "God forbid that I should do this to my master, seeing that he is the anointed of the Lord."
So David 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.
David told his men not to harm Saul. And Saul finished his business in 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
stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself.
But David ran after him crying, and saying, "My lord king!"
Saul looked behind him and saw David with his face to the ground.
And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men's words, saying,
Behold, David seeketh thy hurt?
Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee
to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye
spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for
he is the LORD's anointed.
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 mine hand, and I have
not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it.
The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but
mine hand shall not be upon thee.
As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the
wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.
After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue?
after a dead dog, after a flea.
The LORD therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and
plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand.
Then David made a little speech.
Where'd you get the idea that I wanted to hurt you?
God delivered you into my hands when you were relieving yourself in the cave, and some wanted me to kill you then,
but I decided not to, saying, "I won't hurt God's anointed."
If you don't believe me, look at your skirt in my hand. I cut off your skirt and didn't kill you. So you
see that I am innocent. Why then are you trying to kill me?
So let God be the judge between you and me. And though God may decide to kill me, I will never harm you.
For as the ancient proverb says, "Wickedness comes from wicked people." But my hand will not be upon you.
So who are you chasing? A dead dog? A flea?
Let God judge between you and me. (And let him be on my side.)
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.
After David's speech finally ended, Saul said, "Is this really you, David?" Then he lifted up his voice and cried.
And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast
rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.
And thou hast shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me:
forasmuch as when the LORD had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst
For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore the
LORD reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day.
And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the
kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand.
Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, that thou wilt not cut off my
seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father's
Then it was Saul's turn to make a speech.
David, you are more righteous than I, because you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil.
Today God delivered me into your hand (when I was going to the bathroom in the cave) yet you didn't kill me.
For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go? God will reward you for the good that you did today.
I know that you'll be king someday. So swear to me that you'll won't destroy my name or kill my descendants.
And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men gat
them up unto the hold.
David swore to Saul. Then Saul went home, but David and his men returned to their cave.