1. David then went up from there and stayed in the hiding places at Engedi.
2. When Saul returned from his pursuit of the Philistines, he was told that David was in the desert of Engedi.
3. So Saul took three thousand picked men from all Israel and went in search of David and his men to the east of the Wild Goat crags.
4. When he came to the sheepfolds along the way, he entered a cave to relieve himself.
5. Now David and his men were far back in the cave. David's men said to him, "This is the day which Yahweh spoke of: look I will deliver your enemy into your hands and you will do with him as you see fit." So David moved up and stealthily cut off an end of Saul's robe.
6. But afterward, David regretted having cut off an end of Saul's robe,
7. and he said to his men, "Let me not lay my hands on my master, for he is Yahweh's anointed."
8. With these words, David restrained his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. Saul then left the cave and went on his way.
9. Then David himself stepped out of the cave and called after Saul, "My master, the king!" When Saul looked back, David knelt and then bowed to the ground in homage and asked him,
10. "Why do you listen to those who say that I want to harm you?
11. Look, today you have seen that Yahweh delivered you into my hands in the cave, and I was told to kill you but I held myself back and I said: 'I will not lift my hands against my master who is Yahweh's anointed.'
12. My father, look at this end of your robe which I am holding! I cut off the end of your robe but did not kill you. Now you may know that I mean you no harm or treason. I have done you no wrong and yet you are hunting me down to kill me.
13. May Yahweh be judge between you and me and may he exact justice from you in my case, but I shall do you no harm.
14. As the saying goes, 'From the wicked comes wickedness'; as for me, my hand shall not harm you.
15. But who is it you are after, O king of Israel? Are you pursuing a dead dog? A flea?
16. May Yahweh be judge between you and me. May he see and uphold my cause and deliver me from your hands."
17. After David had spoken these words, Saul asked, "Is that your voice, my son David?" He wept aloud
18. and said to David, "You are right and I am wrong, for you have repaid with kindness the harm I have inflicted on you.
19. This day you have shown your righteousness to me by not taking my life when Yahweh put me into your hands.
20. For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go unharmed? May Yahweh reward you for what you have done for me today.
21. Now I know for certain that you shall reign and the kingdom of Israel will be firm in your hand.
22. Now swear to me by Yahweh that you will not wipe out my descendants and erase the name of my family."
23. David swore to this before Saul after which Saul went home while David and his men went up to the hiding place.