6 Now it came about, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand. 7 When it was reported to Saul that David had come to Keilah, Saul said, “God has handed him over to me, for he shut himself in by entering a city with double gates and bars.” 8 So Saul summoned all the people for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men. 9 But David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him; so he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then David said, “Lord God of Israel, Your servant has heard for certain that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to destroy the city on my account. 11 Will the citizens of Keilah hand me over to him? Will Saul come down just as Your servant has heard? Lord God of Israel, please, tell Your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the citizens of Keilah hand me and my men over to Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will hand you over.” 13 Then David and his men, about six hundred, rose up and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When it was reported to Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up [c]the pursuit. 14 David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul searched for him every day, but God did not hand him over to him.
15 Now David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life while David was in the wilderness of Ziph, at Horesh. 16 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, set out and went to David at Horesh, and [d]encouraged him in God. 17 He said to him, “Do not be afraid, because the hand of Saul my father will not find you, and you will be king over Israel, and I will be second in command to you; and Saul my father knows that as well.” 18 So the two of them made a covenant before the Lord; and David stayed at Horesh, while Jonathan went to his house.
19 Then Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not keeping himself hidden with us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is south of [e]Jeshimon? 20 Now then, O king, come down, [f]since you fully desire to [g]do so; and our part shall be to hand him over to the king.” 21 Saul said, “May you be blessed of the Lord, since you have had compassion on me. 22 Go now, be more persistent, and investigate and see his place where [h]he is hiding, and who has seen him there; for I am told that he is very cunning. 23 So look, and learn about all the hiding places where he keeps himself hidden, and return to me with certainty, and I will go with you; and if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.”
24 So they set out and went to Ziph ahead of Saul. Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah to the south of [i]Jeshimon. 25 When Saul and his men went to seek him, they informed David, and he came down to the rock and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard about it, he pursued David in the wilderness of Maon. 26 Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain; and David was hurrying to get away from Saul, while Saul and his men were surrounding David and his men to apprehend them. 27 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have launched an attack against the land!” 28 So Saul returned from pursuing David and went to confront the Philistines; therefore they called that place [j]the Rock of Division. 29 [k]And David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of Engedi.
1 [l]Now when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, it was reported to him, saying, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.” 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and went to search for David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Mountain Goats. 3 And he came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to [m]relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave. 4 Then David’s men said to him, “Behold, this is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold; I am about to hand your enemy over to you, and you shall do to him as it seems good [n]to you.’” Then David got up and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe secretly. 5 But it came about afterward that David’s [o]conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe. 6 So he said to his men, “Far be it from me because of the Lord that I would do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to reach out with my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.” 7 And David rebuked his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. And Saul got up, [p]left the cave, and went on his way.
8 Afterward, however, David got up and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the ground and prostrated himself. 9 And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men [q]who say, ‘Behold, David is seeking [r]to harm you’? 10 Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord had handed you over to me today in the cave, and someone said to kill you, but [s]I spared you; and I said, ‘I will not reach out with my hand against my lord, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 So, my father, look! Indeed, look at the edge of your robe in my hand! For by the fact that I cut off the edge of your robe but did not kill you, know and understand that there is no evil or [t]rebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait for my life, to take it. 12 May the Lord judge between [u]you and me, and may the Lord take vengeance on you for me; but my hand shall not be against you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes wickedness’; but my hand shall not be against you. 14 After whom has the king of Israel gone out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, a single flea? 15 May the Lord therefore be judge and decide between [v]you and me; and may He see and plead my cause and save me from your hand.”
16 When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” Then Saul raised his voice and wept. 17 And he said to David, “You are more righteous than I; for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt maliciously with you. 18 You have declared today that you have done good to me, that the Lord handed me over to you and yet you did not kill me. 19 Though if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away [w]unharmed? May the Lord therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day. 20 Now, behold, I know that you will certainly be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand. 21 So now swear to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my [x]descendants after me, and that you will not eliminate my name from my father’s household.” 22 And David swore an oath to Saul. Then Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.