1Samuel 24

 

1Samuel 24:1–22

David Has the Opportunity to Kill King Saul


Outline of Chapter 24:

 

       v.      23:29     David Hides from Saul in the Wilderness of Engedi

       vv.    1–2        Saul Pursues David in the Wilderness of Engedi

       vv.    3–7        David Cuts the End of Saul’s Robe Surreptitiously in the Cave

       vv.    8–15      David Reasons with Saul

       vv.   16–21      Saul Expresses Personal Regrets for Pursing David and Elicits a Promise from David

       v.      22        David and Saul go their Separate Ways


Charts and Maps:

 

       v.      4           To Which Verse of Scripture do David’s Men Refer?

       v.      7           1Samuel 24:4–7


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

Masada

 

 

 


I ntroduction: Let’s say that God has promised you fortune and power and let’s say that the only person in your way was a corrupt leader holding the office that God had promised you. What would you do? Most would try to take that man down in any way possible. To them, this would be a no-brainer. God had promised you that office, they are in it, so now you simply need to remove that person and assume their power. David does not do that. In fact, when Saul is put in a completely helpless position before him, David refuses to touch the Lord’s anointed. David will not touch Saul because he has no authorization to do so. Saul is anointed by God to rule over Israel. Therefore, David has no right to remove him from this position.


A brief summary of this chapter: David spares Saul’s life when he finds him defecating in a cave. Saul suffers remorse over his actions. Now, for a little more detail: Saul had pursued David and was about to catch him when he heard of a Philistine attack against Israel. So he takes his soldiers to fight the Philistines while David relocates his men in the strongholds of Engedi. Later, apparently after having dealt with the Philistines menace, Saul took 3000 of his men to find David again (David, recall, has 600 men). When Saul comes to a cave, he goes into the cave to defecate (or to sleep), but it turns out that David is in there with his men. David’s men tell him that Saul has been delivered into his hand and it is obvious that God has given Saul over to David to be killed. David disagrees, telling his men that Saul is God’s anointed, and therefore, they cannot simply kill him. What David does, however, partially to appease his men, is to cut off the end of Saul’s royal robe with a sharp knife. After Saul exits the cave and walks far enough away, David calls out to him and holds up the piece of robe. Saul realizes that David could have easily killed him. David tells him he did not because he is God’s anointed; and says this proves his innocence. Saul publically confesses that he is wrong, that David is righteous, and he is not; and that David will ascend to his throne. Then he asks for David to promise not to kill him or his sons, a promise that David gives (and had already given to Jonathan).


Note: Because of the similarities between 1Sam. 24 and 26, many scholars have claimed that this is the same incident recorded from two different perspectives; or coming down via two separate traditions. In fact, Gnana Robinson generously informs us that this is the conclusion of most scholars. Footnote However, there are sufficient differences between the two incidents and a reason why David was tested again with a similar test, even though he passed the first test of this chapter (with one minor problem). Without going into detail, suffice it to say at this time that these are two separate incidents.


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David Hides from Saul in the Wilderness of Engedi


As mentioned in the previous chapter, 1Sam. 23:29 is actually 1Sam. 24:1 in the Hebrew. It also fits better in chapter 24, which is why I am including it here.


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so goes up David from there and he lives in strongholds of Engedi.

1Samuel

23:29

Then David went up from there and lived in the strongholds [or, summits] of Engedi.

Then David went up from there and lived in the hiding places of Engedi.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so goes up David from there and he lives in strongholds of Engedi.

Peshitta                                 And David went up from there and dwelt in Mizroth, which is in Gibaoth. [This is the final verse of 1Sam. 23 in the Peshitta].

The Septuagint                      And David rose up from there and lived in the narrow passes of Engaddi. [This is the first verse of 1Sam. 24 in the LXX].

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David left and went to live in the hideouts at En-Gedi.

NLT                                David then went to live in the strongholds of En-gedi.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         From there David went to stay in the fortified camps of En Gedi.

JPS (Tanakh)                        David went from there and stayed in the wildernesses of En-gedi. [This is the first verse of 1Sam. 24 in the Tanakh].


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     And David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of Engedi.

Young's Updated LT              And David goes up from there, and abides in fortresses at En-gedi.


What is the gist of this verse? David leaves his place in the wilderness of Maon and travels to the summits of Engedi.


1Samuel 23:29a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to go up, to ascend, to rise, to climb

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, on account of, since, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

shâm (ם ָש) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027


Translation: Then David went up from there... In the previous chapter, Saul and his army had almost caught up to David and they were called away because of an invasion of the Philistines. David and his army were in the wilderness of Maon and they were on a mountain with Saul’s army approach from both sides.


1Samuel 23:29b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâshab (ב ַשָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

to remain, to stay, to inhabit, to sit, to dwell

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

metsâd (ד ָצ  ׃מ) [pronounced me-TSAWD]

the top or summit [of a mountain]; a fortress, a mountain castle; a stronghold; secure hiding place

feminine plural construct

Strong’s #4679 BDB #844

This can refer both to where hunters to go to seek their prey and to where prey might flee to as a safe retreat from those hunting them.

׳êyn gedîy (י.ד∵ג ןי̤ע) [pronounced ģayn-GEH-dee]

Spring of the kid; and is transliterated Engedi

proper noun; a location

Strong’s #5872 BDB #745


Translation: ...and lived in the strongholds [or, summits] of Engedi. This obviously gives us the location of David’s next hideout. What we have here is actually a mountain range west of the middle section of the Dead Sea. Engedi refers to a spring and several connected streams which come from beneath the limestone cliffs off the central western shore of the Dead Sea. These streams reach a temperature of 80° F and the area is almost due east of Hebron (another city often associated with Abraham, Caleb, and David—particularly in the first few chapters of 2Samuel). The mountains of Engedi form a backwards L-shaped range with the city of Engedi being at the northernmost section. This city and/or area is mentioned rarely in Scripture. It was given over to the tribe of Judah in Joshua 15:62. It is mentioned here in relation to David. Then we won’t hear anything about this city until the time of Jehoshaphat (and but one reference—2Chron. 20:2). There are also briefs mentions of Engedi in SOS 1:14 and Ezek. 47:10. The latter will be a Millennial reference. According to ZPEB, there has never been a very large population in that area, due to the overwhelming heat of the Dead Sea valley (and certainly due to the lack of any sort of life in the Dead Sea). They estimate the population to be around 1000 during New Testament times. Footnote

 

Keil and Delitzsch give us a nice description of this general area: While Saul had gone against the Philistines, David left this dangerous place, and went to the mountain heights of Engedi, i.e., the present Ain-jidy (goat-fountain), in the middle of the western coast of the Dead Sea (see Joshua 15:62), which he could reach from Maon in six or seven hours. The soil of the neighbourhood consists entirely of limestone; but the rocks contain a considerable admixture of chalk and flint. Round about there rise bare conical mountains, and even ridges of from two to four hundred feet in height, which mostly run down to the sea. The steep mountains are intersected by wadys running down in deep ravines to the sea. “On all sides the country is full of caverns, which might then serve as lurking-places for David and his men, as they do for outlaws at the present day” (Rob. Pal. p. 203). Footnote

 

Edersheim gives us an even better description of Engedi: En-gedi, “the fountain of the goat,” leaping down a considerable height in a thin cascade, converts that desert into the most lovely oasis. In this plain, or rather slope, about one mile and a half from north to south, at the foot of abrupt limestone mountains, sheltered from every storm, in climate the most glorious conceivable, the city of En-gedi has stood, or, as it used to be called, Hazazon Tamar (the Cutting of the Palm-trees), perhaps the oldest place in the world (2Chron. 20:2). Through this town (Gen. 16:7) the hordes of Chedorlaomer had passed; unchanged it had witnessed the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, which must have been clearly visible from the heights above, where the eye can sweep the whole district far up the Jordan valley, and across the Dead Sea to the mountains of Moab. Quite close to the waters of that sea, on which the edoom of judgment has ever since rested, a scene of tropical beauty and wealth stretched, such as it is scarely possible to describe. Bounded by two perennial streams, between which the En-gedi itself makes its way, it must of old have been a little paradise; the plain covered with palm-trees, the slopes up the mountains with the choicest vineyards of Judæa, scented with camphire (Sol. Song 1:14). But all above was “wilderness,” bare round limestone hills rising from two hundred to four hundred feet, burrowed by numberless caves, to which the entrance is sometimes almost inaccessible. These were “the rocks of the wild goats,” and here was the cave—perhaps that of Wady Charitun, which is said to have once given shelter to no less than thirty thousand men—where David sought safety from the pursuit of the king of Israel. Footnote


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Saul Pursues David in the Wilderness of Engedi


And so he is when returned Saul from after Philistines and so they made known to him to say, “Behold, David [is] in a wilderness of Engedi.”

1Samuel

24:1

And is was just as Saul returned from [pursuing] after the Philistines that they made know to him that [lit., saying], “Listen, David [is] in the wilderness of Engedi.”

After Saul had returned from pursuing the Philistines, his staff told him, “Listen, David is in the wilderness of Engedi right now.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so he is when returned Saul from after Philistines and so they made known to him to say, “Behold, David [is] in a wilderness of Engedi.”

Peshitta                                 And it came to pass when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines that hit was told him, saying, “Behold, David is in Mizroth, which is in Gibaoth.”

Septuagint                             And it came to pass when Saul returned to pursuing after the Philistines, that is was reported to him, saying, “David [is] in the wilderness of Engaddi.”

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       When Saul got back from fighting off the Philistines, he heard that David was in the desert around En-Gedi.

NLT                                After Saul returned from fighting the Philistines, he was told that David had gone into the wilderness of En-gedi.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         When Saul came back from fighting the Philistines, he was told “Now David is in the desert near En Gedi.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Now it came about when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, saying, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.”

Young's Updated LT              And it comes to pass when Saul has turned back from [pursuing] after the Philistines, that they declare to him, saying, “Lo, David is in the wilderness of En-gedi.”


What is the gist of this verse? Saul completed his mission against the Philistines. When he returned (probably to his home town of Gibeah), he was told that David was in the wilderness of Engedi.


1Samuel 24:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately; combined with an infinitive, it can also take on the meaning as, often, when, as soon as

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

Together, kaăsher (ר ש ֲא ַ) [pronounced kah-uh-SHER] means as which, as one who, as, like as, just as; according to what manner; because.

shûwb (בש) [pronounced shoobv]

to return, to turn, to turn back, to reminisce, to restore something, to bring back something, to revive, to recover something, to make restitution

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, on account of, since, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

achar (ר ַח ַא) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind

preposition

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

Pelishetîy (י. ש ̣ל) [pronounced pe-lish-TEE]

transliterated Philistines

masculine plural gentilic adjective (acts like a proper noun)

Strong’s #6430 BDB #814


Translation: And is was just as Saul returned from [pursuing] after the Philistines... Saul was almost ready to envelop David with his superior forces, when he was told that the Philistines had invaded Israel. We don’t know where into Israel they had come, but Saul was required to leave immediately in order to protect Israel, so just missed running into David. Here, we are told that Saul had been pursuing the Philistines, which means that with his already assembled forces, he was not only able to repel the Philistines, but he pursued them, probably into Philistine territory.


1Samuel 24:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâgad (ד ַג ָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHD]

to make conspicuous, to make known, to expound, to explain, to declare, to inform, to confess, to make it pitifully obvious that

3rd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #5046 BDB #616

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

midebâr (רָ ׃ד ̣מ) [pronounced mide-BAWR]

wilderness, unpopulated wilderness, desert wilderness

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4057 BDB #184

׳êyn gedîy (י.ד∵ג ןי̤ע) [pronounced ģayn-GEH-dee]

Spring of the kid; and is transliterated Engedi

proper noun; a location

Strong’s #5872 BDB #745


Translation: ...that they made know to him that [lit., saying], “Listen, David [is] in the wilderness of Engedi.” Saul’s staff now had sent out feelers throughout Israel. Doeg the Edomite, a foreigner, had received, apparently, some preferential treatment, as he helped lead Saul to David. The rest of his men were influenced enough to make certain that if David could be tracked, that they did so. Here, to verb to tell, to make known is in the masculine plural, meaning that Saul didn’t just get one hot tip. Several men told him where David was (note the plural verb). Recall that David has been fairly active as of late, repelling Philistines and saving cities and groups of people, so it is almost common knowledge as to where he is.


And so takes Saul a trio of a thousand a man chosen from all Israel. And so he goes from a seeking of David and his men upon faces of a cliffs of the wild goat.

1Samuel

24:2

Saul then took 3000 chosen men from all Israel and he went to seek [lit., on account of a seeking of] David and his men in front of the cliffs of the mountain goat.

Saul then took 3000 chosen men of Israel and he went out to seek David and his men in front of the cliffs of the mountain goat.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so takes Saul a trio of a thousand a man chosen from all Israel. And so he goes from a seeking of David and his men upon faces of a cliffs of the wild goat.

Peshitta                                 Then Saul took 3000 chosen men out of all Israel and went to seek David and his men upon the mountains of the wild goats.

Septuagint                             And he took with him 3000 men chosen out of all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of Saddæem.

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                        Saul led three thousand of Israel's best soldiers out to look for David and his men near Wild Goat Rocks at En-Gedi.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Then Saul took 3,000 of the best-trained men from all Israel and went to search for David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats.

Young's Updated LT              And Saul takes three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and goes to seek David and his men, on the front of the rocks of the wild goats, ...


What is the gist of this verse? Saul took a moderately streamlined force of men from Israel to pursue David. At this point in time, David was in front of the cliffs of the wild goats.


1Samuel 24:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (ח ַק ָל) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

shelôshâh (הָשֹלש) [pronounced shiloh-SHAW]

a three, a trio, a triad, a threesome

feminine numeral construct

Strong’s #7969 BDB #1025.

eleph (ף ל א) pronounced EH-lef]

thousand, family, (500?); military unit

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #505 (and #504) BDB #48

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun

Strong's #376 BDB #35

bâchar (ר ַח ָ) [pronounced baw-KHAHR]

to choose

Qal passive participle

Strong's #977 BDB #103.

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, on account of, since, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

Yiserâêl (ל ֵא ָר  ׃  ̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation: Saul then took 3000 chosen men from all Israel... Saul probably had access to a great many more men. He instead chose to take a relatively small force which could move more quickly. Obviously, compared to David’s men, this was a large number of men. However, Saul wanted to (1) clearly outnumber David and yet (2) not have too large of a force to move efficiently.


1Samuel 24:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, on account of, since, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

bâqash (ש ַק ָ) [pronounced baw-KAHSH]

to seek, to search, to desire, to strive after, to attempt to get, to require, to demand, to ask, to seek with desire and diligence

Piel infinitive construct

Strong’s #1245 BDB #134

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

men; inhabitants, citizens; companions, soldiers, companions

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #376 BDB #35


Translation: ...and he went to seek [lit., on account of a seeking of] David and his men... I am a bit confused as to the use of the min preposition here as over against the lâmed preposition. The latter seems to make the most sense by far. The min preposition makes it appear as Saul is ceasing from seeking David.


1Samuel 24:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, against, above

preposition

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

pânîym (םי̣נָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces; presence

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, ׳âl and pânîym mean upon the face of, facing, in front of, before (as in preference to), in addition to, overlooking

tsûwr (רצ) [pronounced tzoor]

rock, cliff

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #6697 BDB #849

yâ׳êl (ל̤עָי) [pronounced yaw-ĢAYL]

mountain-goat, wild goat

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3277 BDB #418


Translation: ...in front of the cliffs of the mountain goat. We do not know for certain where this place is. It is likely a particular set of cliffs in the wilderness of Engedi.

 

Keil and Delitzsch: The expression “rocks of the wild goats” is probably not a proper name for some particular rocks, but a general term applied to the rocks of that locality on account of the number of wild goats and chamois that were to be found in all that region, as mountain goats are still (Rob. Pal. ii. p. 204. Footnote This sort of helps to set our scene, with Saul and his rage, as Jamieson tells us: Nothing but the blind infatuation of fiendish rage could have led the king to pursue his outlawed son-in-law among those craggy and perpendicular precipices, where were inaccessible hiding places. The large force he took with him seemed to give him every prospect of success. But the overruling providence of God frustrated all his vigilance. Footnote


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David Cuts the End of Saul's Robe Surreptitiously in the Cave


And so he comes in unto an enclosure of the flock upon the way and there [is] a cave. And so goes in Saul to a covering of his feet (and David and his men in a sides of the cave are sitting).

1Samuel

24:3

So he came to a sheep enclosure and along the way there [was] a cave. So Saul went in to cover his feet, while [lit., and] David and his men were sitting in the recesses of the cave.

Saul came to a sheepfold and along the way there was a cave. So Saul went into the cave in order to defecate. However, David and his men were hiding in the recesses of this cave.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so he comes in unto an enclosure of the flock upon the way and there [is] a cave. And so goes in Saul to a covering of his feet (and David and his men in a sides of the cave are sitting).

Peshitta                                 And he came to the sheepfolds on the way where there was a cave; and Saul went into the cave and lay down there; and David and his men were staying on the slope of the cave.

Septuagint                             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.

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       There were some sheep pens along the side of the road, and one of them was built around the entrance to a cave. Saul went into the cave to relieve himself. David and his men were hiding at the back of the cave.

REB                                       There beside the road were some sheepfolds, and nearby was a cave, in the inner recesses of which David and his men were concealed, Saul came to the cave and went in to relieve himself.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         He came to some sheep pens along the road where there was a cave. Saul went into it to relieve himself while David and his men were sitting further back in the cave.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     And he came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve [lit., cover his feet] himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave.

Young's Updated LT              ...and he comes in unto folds of the flock, on the way, and there is a cave, and Saul goes in to cover his feet; and David and his men in the sides of the cave are abiding.


What is the gist of this verse? Saul chooses to take a dump (or a nap) where David just happens to be hiding with his own men.


1Samuel 24:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

gedêrâh (הָר̤ד) [pronounced gehday-RAW]

enclosure, a place fortified with a wall [a stall in the open fields]; hedge, fence [of a vineyard]; wall [or a city]

feminine plural construct

Strong’s #1448 BDB #155

tsôn (ןאֹצ) [pronounced tzohn]

small cattle, sheep and goats, flock, flocks

feminine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6629 BDB #838

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

When not showing a physical relationship between two things, ׳al can take on a whole host of new meanings: on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, besides, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by on to, towards, to, against, in the matter of, concerning, as regards to. It is one of the most versatile prepositions in Scripture. This word often follows particular verbs. In the English, we have helping verbs; in the Hebrew, there are helping prepositions.

dereke ( ר ) [pronounced DEH-reke]

way, distance, road, journey, manner, course

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #1870 BDB #202


Translation: So he came to a sheep enclosure... This merely sets the scene. There is a sheepfold or a livestock holding area which is fenced in, open above; and that is what Saul comes to here. We cannot tell from the narrative whether we are in a valley, or whether we are still on the steep hills and cliffs right here. There must have been some flat land around, as well as a trail, since we have a sheepfold here.


What some suggest is, the cave was a good place to bring the sheep to get them out of the hot sun in the midday; I don’t know about this, as it seems it would be easy for them to wander and get lost.


1Samuel 24:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâm (ם ָש) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

me׳ârâh (ה ָר ָע  ׃מ) [pronounced me-ģaw-RAW]

cave

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4631 BDB #792


Translation: ...and along the way there [was] a cave. Nearby, or perhaps even within this pen, is a cave. Saul has been on the road for awhile and he needs to defecate. He cannot simply go off into a field, because he is unprotected there. And no one wants an armed guard just standing there while you are doing your business. The cave was perfect, as Saul’s soldiers could stand outside as guards, to protect him while he is at his most vulnerable.

 

Keil and Delitzsch: V. de Velde (R. ii. p. 74) supposes the place, where the sheep-folds by the roadside were, to have been the Wady Chareitun, on the south-west of the Frank mountain, and to the north-east of Tekoah, a very desolate and inaccessible valley. “Rocky, precipitous walls, which rise up one above another for many hundred feet, form the sides of this defile. Stone upon stone, and cliff above cliff, without any sign of being habitable, or of being capable of affording even a halting-place to anything but wild goats.” Near the ruins of the village of Chareitun, hardly five minutes' walk to the east, there is a large cave or chamber in the rock, with a very narrow entrance entirely concealed by stones, and with many side vaults in which the deepest darkness reigns, at least to any one who has just entered the limestone vaults from the dazzling light of day. It may be argued in favour of the conjecture that this is the cave which Saul entered, and at the back of which David and his men were concealed, that this cave is on the road from Bethlehem to Ain-jidy, and one of the largest caves in that district, if not the largest of all, and that, according to Pococke (Beschr. des Morgenl. ii. p. 61), the Franks call it a labyrinth, the Arabs Elmaama, i.e., hiding-place, whilst the latter relate how at one time thirty thousand people hid themselves in it “to escape an evil wind,” in all probability the simoom. The only difficulty connected with this supposition is the distance from Ain-jidy, namely about four or five German miles (fifteen or twenty English), and the nearness of Tekoah, according to which it belongs to the desert of Tekoah rather than to that of Engedi. Footnote Whether this is the cave or not, the descriptions here give us a good feel for the kind of area where Saul and David were.

 

Clarke quotes Dr. Pococke: Dr. Pococke observes: “Beyond the valley (of Tekoa) there is a very large grotto, which the Arabs call El Maamah, a hiding place; the high rocks on each side of the valley are almost perpendicular, and the way to the grotto is by a terrace formed in the rock, which is very narrow. There are two entrances into it; we went by the farthest, which leads by a narrow passage into a large grotto, the rock being supported by great natural pillars; the top of it rises in several parts like domes; the grotto is perfectly dry. There is a tradition that the people of the country, to the number of thirty thousand, retired into this grotto to avoid a bad air. This place is so strong that one would imagine it to be one of the strong holds of En-gedi, to which David and his men fled from Saul; and possibly it may be that very cave in which he cut off Saul’s skirt, for David and his men might with great ease lie hid there and not be seen by him.” Footnote


1Samuel 24:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

çâkake (ַכָס) [pronounced saw-KAHK]

to fence, to fence around; to cover, to protect

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong’s #5526 BDB #696

When covering one’s feet, this has been thought to mean to defecate; to urinate [from a squatting position]; to sleep. Although the second meaning seems least reasonable, the third also makes little sense, as there are a variety of other ways, none very euphemistic, for a person laying down to rest. Only the first meaning seems to make sense, as it is common in many countries to (1) squat in order to defecate and (2) to have a euphemism for this activity. Several suggest that all Saul is doing is taking a nap, which is not out of the question.

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

regel (ל ג ר) [pronounced REH-gel]

foot, feet

feminine plural noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7272 BDB #919


Translation: So Saul went in to cover his feet,... This is a euphemism which means that Saul is defecating. In order to do this, his robe has to hang down over his feet (we find the same expression in Judges 3:24). Therefore, Saul is in an extremely vulnerably position. This is why Saul chose to go into a cave; this gave him privacy and protection (or so he thought). As mentioned, this could also refer to Saul going into the cave to sleep. Footnote This also puts him in a vulnerable position and makes David’s next action more reasonable. The only problem with this interpretation is, as Keil and Delitzsch Footnote suggest, why have a euphemism for it? Why not simply say, Saul is going into the cave to lie down or to sleep?


Clarke makes a big deal out of Saul going into this cave, but not suspecting that David may have been there. The Rabbis of old have also questioned this. The Rabbinical tradition is that a spider put up his web at the front of the cave, so Saul assumed that it was safe to go in because of this spider. Footnote You may be thinking, with 600 men, there are going to be a lot of footprints and disturbances along this trail. No, not exactly. First of all, David does not want to be easily tracked, so he and his men are not going to accidentally leave an easy trail behind which can be tracked. Second of all, there is a sheepfold there; that means that sheep have been in this general vicinity. Therefore, when Saul sees that someone has been in this general area, he will assume that it is sheep. The problem, albeit minor, is solved simply by paying attention to the context.


1Samuel 24:3d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

 

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

men; inhabitants, citizens; companions, soldiers, companions

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #376 BDB #35

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

yarekâh (הָכ ר-י) [pronounced yahre-KAW]

flank, side, extreme parts, recesses, remote regions

feminine dual construct

Strong’s #3411 BDB #438

me׳ârâh (ה ָר ָע  ׃מ) [pronounced me-ģaw-RAW]

cave

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4631 BDB #792

yâshab (ב ַשָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

inhabiting, staying, dwelling, sitting

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong's #3427 BDB #442


Translation: ...while [lit., and] David and his men were sitting in the recesses of the cave. What Saul does not know (nor do his troops), is that David chose this very same cave to hide in. Obviously, we are talking a very large cave with hidden recesses. David and apparently 400 men are with him in this cave.

 

Gill tells us that David and his 600 men are...unseen and unobserved by Saul, even six hundred of them; nor need this seem strange, since in those parts of the world there were caves exceeding large, made so either by nature or art. Vansleb (b) speaks of a cave in Egypt so extraordinary large, that, without hyperbole, a thousand horses might there draw up in battle array, and of another larger than that; and Strabo says (c), that towards Arabia and Iturea are mountains difficult to be passed, and in which are deep caves, one of which would hold four thousand men: and as the mouths of these caves were generally narrow, and the further parts of them large, and also dark, persons at the entrance of them could be seen, when those in the more remote parts could not; and this cave is said to be extremely dark (d); which accounts for Saul's being seen when he came into the cave, whereas David and his men could not be seen by him. Footnote


The situation is simple, really. David and his men are in the recesses of the cave. There is always a guard or two posted out in front and inside near the cave’s entrance; so there is no difficulty in spotting Saul and his 3000 men, or observing Saul’s entrance into the cave. Also, we do not have 600 men inside the cave shuffling around; most of them are in the recesses of the cave to begin with.


And so say men of David unto him, “Behold the day which had said Yehowah unto you, ‘Behold I am giving your enemies in your hand and you have done to him as which is good in your [two] eyes.’ ” And so arises David and so he cuts off an extremity of a robe which [is] to Saul in the surreptitiousness.

1Samuel

24:4

The men of David then said to him, “Listen, [this is] the day that Yehowah spoke [of] to you, [when He said], ‘Look, I have given your enemies into your hand; do to him that which is good in your eyes.’ ” So David arose and he cut of the end of the robe surreptitiously.

Then the David’s soldiers said to him, “Listen, this is the day the Jehovah spoke of to you when he said, “David, I have given your enemies into your hand; do what you think is best.’ ” So David got up and he cut off the very end of Saul’s robe surreptitiously.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so say men of David unto him, “Behold the day which had said Yehowah unto you, ‘Behold I am giving your enemies in your hand and you have done to him as which is good in your [two] eyes.’ ” And so arises David and so he cuts off an extremity of a robe which [is] to Saul in the surreptitiousness.

Peshitta                                 And the men of David said to him, “Behold, this is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hands, that you may do to him as seems good in your sight.’ ” then David arose and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe stealthily.

Septuagint                             And the men of David said to him, “Behold, this pis[ the day of which the Lord spoke to you, that He would deliver your enemy into your hands. And you will do to him as [is] good in your sight.” So David arose and cut off the skirt of Saul’s garment secretly.

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       They whispered to David, “The Lord told you he was going to let you defeat your enemies and do whatever you want with them. This must be the day the Lord was talking about.” David sneaked over and cut off a small piece of Saul's robe, but Saul didn't notice a thing.

NLT                                “Now’s your opportunity!” David’s men whispered to him. “Today is the day the Lord was talking about when he said, ‘I will certainly put Saul into your power, to do with as you wish.’ ” Then David crept forward and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David's men told him, “Today is the day the Lord referred to when he said, ‘I'm going to hand your enemy over to you. You will do to him whatever you think is right.’ ” David quietly got up and cut off the border of Saul's robe.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Updated Emphasized Bible   So David’s men said to him, —

Lo! The day of which Yahweh said to you—

Lo! I am about to deliver up your enemy into your hand;

therefore, you will do to him as is good in your eyes.

And David arose and cut off the corner [MT: wing] of the robe which belonged to Saul sureptitiously.

NASB                                     And the men of David said to him, “Behold, this is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you [lit., in your eyes].’ ” Then David arose and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe secretly.

Young's Updated LT              And the men of David say unto him, “Lo, the day of which Jehovah said unto you, ‘Lo, I am giving your enemy into your hand, and you have done to him as it is good in your eyes;’ ” and David rises and cuts off the skirt of the upper robe which is on Saul—gently.


What is the gist of this verse? David and his men now found themselves in the same cave as Saul, who was in a very vulnerable position. David’s soldiers encourage him to take action, as Saul is essentially at his mercy, and they distort God’s Word in this matter. David does cut off a piece of Saul’s robe.


I should tell you at this point, I have read many commentaries on this verse, and not one of them really rang true to me. They all seemed close, but still inaccurate. David’s aides here are going to sound as if they are quoting Scripture; however, David really is not named in an existing Scripture; in fact, all we have are some of David’s psalms at this point. Therefore, the key to this verse is not going to be Samuel’s anointing of David; nor will it be David’s private conversations with Jonathan; but the key will be whatever David has already written to which his men have attributed divine authority. First, let us exegete this verse:


1Samuel 24:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

men; inhabitants, citizens; companions, soldiers, companions

masculine plural construct

Strong's #376 BDB #35

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

yôwm (םי) [pronounced yohm]

day; today (with a definite article)

masculine singular noun with a definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39


Translation: The men of David then said to him, “Listen, [this is] the day that Yehowah spoke [of] to you,... First of all, recall that David’s men are a little raw. These were former criminals, outcasts and debtors. David has begun to whip them into shape; however, they express a certain enthusiasm for action in appropriately. These men are well aware of David’s destiny to become king over Israel. The topic of David vs. Saul had become the hot topic of Israel since David was forced to become estranged from Saul. Many of the men joined up with David partially as a revolutionary act. They have spent the past month or so running from Saul and hiding. When they risked their lives on behalf of others, there was no remuneration, only betrayal. So, now, they are all in the same cave as Saul. Saul does not know that they are there. He has taken off his robe and he is in a further recess defecating, in a completely helpless position. Now, these men make application (or try to) of God’s promise. God promised David the kingdom of Israel—well, now obviously (obviously in their eyes), this is the day that this promise comes to fruition. “God promised you the kingship over Israel? Well, David, sir, today is that day!”


1Samuel 24:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

ânôkîy (י.כֹנָא) [pronounced awn-oh-KEE]

I, me

1st person singular personal pronoun (sometimes a verb is implied)

Strong’s #595 BDB #59

nâthan (ן ַתָנ) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set

Qal active participle

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

âyabv (בַי ָא) [pronounced aw-YABV]

enemy, the one being at enmity with you; enmity, hostility

masculine plural, Qal active participle with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #340 BDB #33

Written enemies; but read enemy. Both written and read enemy in one early printed edition. Footnote He fails to point out that this reads enemy in the Septuagint and the Peshitta (I am assuming the latter, as I have only the English translation). Although this would be a great place for the Dead Sea Scrolls to weigh in, most of this verse is missing from them.

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

hand

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388


Translation: ...[when He said], ‘Look, I have given your enemies into your hand;... Let’s first of all deal with the masculine plural, Qal active participle enemies. As you see in Rotherham’s footnotes, whether or not this is a plural is questioned. In my version of the Septuagint, it is in the singular. It is easy to see why after the fact, one would want to change this into the singular, as we are only speaking of one man, Saul. However, it is less likely for a later scribe to slip up and change the singular into a plural. Therefore, it would be reasonable to assume this is a plural. This may help us to determine to what David’s men were referring.


The NIV Study Bible suggests, at this point, that there was no Scripture in existence that these men were quoting and that they were either making this application from the fact that David had been anointed (something which was apparently known by some—Abigail will know about it in the next chapter—1Sam. 25:30); or they derived this from David’s conversations with Jonathan where Jonathan gave him assurances that Saul would not kill him (1Sam. 20:14–15 23:17). Footnote The problem with the second suggestion is that these men are not going to know about David’s private conversations with Jonathan and the general problem with both of these suggestions is that they do not match what the men say to David. “This is the day that Jehovah spoke of to you: ‘Listen, I am about to give your enemies into your hand’ and you will do to him as you choose.” Sure, these men may have the interpretation all wrong, but they are referring here to something which God said to David, and it is pretty specific. Therefore, we cannot agree with the NIV notes.


These men are quoting Scripture. God did promise that He would make David king over Israel. However, that does not appear to be the reference that David’s men are making. We don’t know what psalms David had written exactly, except for a handful of them. Possibly David had already penned and presented The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” (Psalm 110:1).


Psalm 27 is also a good candidate for David’s men to be quoting from). However, given David’s particular stage of spiritual growth, Psalm 27 is better placed after 1Sam. 25 or 26. This could also be a reference back to Psalm 54:7, which reads: Your name rescues me from every trouble. My eyes will gloat over my enemies. We have just covered that, but it seems to not be an exact application (however, remember, these are David’s men who may not correctly apply doctrine). This could also be a reference to Psalm 9:6 13:1–6 21:8 31:15 41:11 61:3 68:1, 21, 23; the problem is, these psalms are dedicated to the choir director or overseer. This could also be a reference to Psalm 18:3, 17, 37, 40, 48; but this psalm seems to be written after the fact (i.e., after Saul had died and David was made king).


The most reasonable question at this point is, to which psalm do David’s men refer. What may be advisable is to simply look at every instance that we find hand and enemies in the same verse in the Psalms. There are eight instances of this.

To Which Verse of Scripture do David’s Men Refer?

Psalm

Quote

Reasons For or Against

18 inscription

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David, the servant of Jehovah, who spoke to Jehovah the words of this song in the day that Jehovah delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul; and he said...

This is almost identical to 2Sam. 22. However, this would not be the psalm to which David’s men refer, as this is obviously written after David had been delivered.

21:8

Your hand shall find out all Your enemies; Your right hand shall find out those who hate You.

The continued referees to the king in this verse (vv. 17) would suggest that David is on the throne of Israel already (even though the reference may be to the King). The reference to devising plots (v. 11) further suggests that David is king when he writes this psalm.

31:15

My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.

David is asking for deliverance from the hand of his enemies here; the implication is, he has not been delivered quite yet.

81:14

I would soon have humbled their enemies, and would have turned My hand against their foes.

This is a psalm of Asaph (see the inscription).

89:42

You have set up the right hand of his enemies; You have made all his enemies rejoice.

This psalm confirms the Davidic Covenant, which is not dealt with in any detail until after David becomes king.

106:42

And their enemies oppressed them, and they were humbled under their hand.

This obviously could not be the psalm to which David’s men refer, as the enemies are oppressing them, not being delivered into their hand (and this refers to the enemies of Israel early in their history—see vv. 32–41).

110:1

Jehovah said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand until I place Your enemies as Your footstool.

There are many factors which suggest to us that this is the verse to which David’s men refer. First of all, we have Jehovah speaking. Secondly, did you ever notice how most people recall the first line of a hymn or the first stanza? This would be typical for these men to call upon the beginning of a psalm rather than the end of a psalm. That they have completely missed the boat when it comes to interpretation is to be expected. Finally, we have Jehovah says to my Lord; these men have suggested that Jehovah said this to David; nowhere else in David’s psalms can we find a statement which suggests this (I think that it is premature for these men to be able to recognize that David’s psalms are inspired by God the Holy Spirit).

138:7

If I walk in the midst of trouble, You will give me life; You shall stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand shall save me.

This is the second most reasonable verse that David’s men may be referring to. They are not being delivered into David’s hand, per se, but we don’t really have that particular saying anywhere in the Psalms.

Psalms where we have the words hand and enemy: Psalm 31:8 78:42 106:10 107:2. Psalms 78 and 106 clearly refer to Israel as a whole. And the latter three psalms are not attributed to David. Psalm 31:8, on the other hand, is also a good choice; however, enemy is in the singular.

It would be good to recognize that what David’s men are saying is a misapplication of whatever they are getting their doctrine from. Although several commentators refer back to David being promised the kingdom, none of those promises carried with them a quote similar to the one found in this verse. What we should expect is to find a quote which could be misapplied to this situation.

The best choice of the psalms named is Psalm 110:1. What this implies is that, David possibly wrote this psalm while in the desert regions of Judæa, on the run from Saul. As written about himself, this sounds like something that David would write about the future. Obviously, this psalm is written about Jesus Christ in the future.


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Although I believe that these men were referring to Psalm 110:1, it really doesn’t matter to which psalm or words to which they refer, recorded or not, as they are misinterpreting them. David cannot kill God’s anointed, nor is he allowed to avenge himself. David already knows the former, which he will reveal in this chapter; and he will learn the latter in the next chapter. His men, on the other hand, do not know enough doctrine to come in out of the rain, but they knew enough to be dangerous. God had promised David protection, deliverance and the rulership over Israel; these men misinterpreted that to mean that today was the day to kill Saul. They also knew that there was something about David triumphing over his enemies or having his enemies delivered into his hand. So, when Saul is helpless before David, and easy prey, then David’s men assume that God has delivered Saul into David’s hand. Saul was without any sort of protection. “Saul is your enemy and he is defecating over there without so much as a guard. Kill him and take the kingdom that God promised” is their sentiment.


Application: The non-Biblical statement, God helps those who help themselves is inaccurate in many of its applications. Whereas, the opportunist would take advantage of this situation and kill Saul, such action is wrong for a number of different reasons. The biggest problem is that Saul is the king by divine appointment. When God wants Saul removed, God will remove him. There is no authorization for David to murder Saul.


Application: This does not mean that you go and sit on a park bench and wait for God to do everything for you. That is another misapplication. If you need a job, you do not find one by sitting on a park bench, awaiting the perfect employer to walk by and hire you. You go out and you hustle up a job. The deal is, you do not just take one verse or one application and apply it to all circumstances.


Application: You cannot just learn one or two verses and practice the hell of those verses. That is not how God’s Word works. When you just hold to a smattering of verses, you often end up with a corrupt theology. Christian Science is a perfect illustration of this; so are the various holy roller cults (the charismatics). Christian science took the healing that Jesus did and completely misunderstood it. The holy roller cults took one verse, principally and completely misinterpreted and misapplied it (I Cor. 13:1). Properly interpret that verse or remove it from Scripture, and the holy rollers lose speaking with the tongues of angels altogether, a cornerstone of their doctrine.


Application: If you belong to a cult which emphasizes a handful of verses, and if your doctrine can be severely affected by the removal of one or two verses, then you know you are anti-Biblical. Your chief doctrines cannot rest upon just one or two verses. God did not give us a pamphlet; He gave us the entire Bible. Admittedly, this involves some careful balancing of concepts and precepts, but, if we are functioning on positive volition, then God will provide for us the teaching to guide us.


Finally, note how God trusts David with a decision like this; an action the results of which are clearly observed by his men. God did not trust Saul with the same sort of option: And David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand (1Sam. 23:14).


1Samuel 24:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳âsâh (ה ָ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately; combined with an infinitive, it can also take on the meaning as, often, when, as soon as

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

Together, kaăsher (ר ש ֲא ַ) [pronounced kah-uh-SHER] means as which, as one who, as, like as, just as; according to what manner; because.

yâţab (ב ַטָי) [pronounced yaw-TABV]

to be good, well, to be pleasing, to do good, to deal well, to make glad, to make a thing good

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3190 BDB #405

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

׳ayin (ן̣יַע) [pronounced ĢAH-yin]

spring, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes, spring

feminine dual noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744


Translation: ...do to him that which is good in your eyes.’ ” What these men wanted David to do was obvious—they wanted David to kill Saul. Now, they are not going to order David to do something like that. These men are subservient to him. But they are certainly going to make their will known with great respect and deference to David. So, what they say is carefully couched in a language of deference to David. “Here is Saul, your enemy, at your mercy. Do what you think is right.” They hope that David’s thinking is aligned with their own.


This event is certainly an opportunity for David—but not an opportunity to get ahead in life, but an opportunity for testing, for approval, and for teaching. Because David makes the correct choice here, we know that his life went better than it would have, had he simply got his revenge. Although, I don’t want to spend too much time speculating, recall the Saul has several sons, he has the support of many of the Israelites, so that his untimely death could result in a bloody civil war, as opposed to the relatively calm transferral of power which we will observe when the Philistines kill Saul and all his sons. Killing Saul would have altered the history of Israel significantly, and not for the better. This is why God trusts David with such an important decision.


1Samuel 24:4d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qûwm (םק) [pronounced koom]

to stand, to rise up, to establish, to establish a vow, to cause a vow to stand, to confirm or to fulfill a vow

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6965 BDB #877

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: So David arose... The verb qûwm has two connotations: there is the literal understanding that David gets up out of his chair, or he stands up; or he moves from a prone position to a standing position. However, the verb more connotes taking a stand, about to make a decision, about to take a stand. This verb has as much metaphorical meaning as actual. The idea is that David will now respond to what these men are suggesting to him. Now he is going to spring into action.


1Samuel 24:4e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

kârath (תַרָ) [pronounced kaw-RAHTH]

to cut off, to cut down; to kill, to destroy; to make a covenant

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3772 BDB #503

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kânâph (ף ָנ ָ) [pronounced kaw-NAWF]

wings of birds (Gen. 1:21 Ex. 19:4 Deut. 32:11) as well as the extremity of a garment (Deut. 22:12, 30 Ruth 3:9)

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #3671 BDB #489

Just as a bird’s wing sticks out from the torso of the bird; so also the end of Samuel’s robe was away from his body. Or, as the wing of a bird flaps, so did the extremity of Samuel’s robe. This is the connection between the two meanings.

me׳îyl (לי.עמ) [pronounced meĢEEL]

robe, upper coat or cloak

masculine singular construct with the definite article

Strong’s #4598 BDB #591

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: ...and he cut of the end of the robe... We don’t know exactly what is going on here. I first envisioned Saul squatting over and David quietly cutting a portion from his robe that he was wearing. However, Saul probably took off his outer robe and was squatting a short distance away. David does not, therefore, come up to Saul, but he comes up to the robe, fully cognizant of where Saul is. Bear in mind, David probably knows this cave quite well and the cave is probably quite large. He has been in that cave for a great deal of time, so his eyes are completely adjusted to the lack of light. Saul has come out of a bright day and could barely see as he entered into this cave. He simply went to a fairly shallow recess in the cave in order to do his business. David is aware of Saul and his position, and Saul does not have a clue. The other option is that Saul has lain down to take a nap, and the robe is covering him. This would make it very reasonable for David to come up to him and cut off the corner of his robe. In either case, David is close enough to kill Saul and Saul is helpless to do anything against him.


Killing Saul would be the easiest thing that David could do, but he chooses not to. Now you know what this reminds me of? This situation appears to be a parallel to our Lord’s temptations. Recall that the Lord was offered the kingdoms of the earth if he would but fall down and worship Satan (Matt. 4). David here has the kingdom of Israel before him—all he has to do is kill God’s anointed. And this would be very easy to justify—Saul, after all, is a believer who is out of control and his thinking is anything but godly. David’s men support such a move. Saul is attempting to track and to kill David. This is self-defense—no doubt about it! So, just about anyone could rationalize David killing Saul right now and taking the kingdom. The average Christian could rationalize this. But David does not. David is not going to kill God’s anointed, and Saul is God’s anointed. If God wants to take Saul out, find; however, David is not going to take Saul out himself. God has nowhere specifically told David to do that. David is going to err on the side of caution, so to speak (although this is not an error in his judgment). So David knows where Saul is; he can also see the robe, and now he will surreptitiously cut a piece of Saul’s robe.


1Samuel 24:4f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

lâţ (טאָל) [pronounced lawt] (also spelled without the aleph)

surreptitiousness, quietness, secrecy; surreptitiously; privately

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3814 & #3909 BDB #532

Lâţ comes from the verb to muffle, to cover (Strong’s #3813); or is the participle of to wrap (Strong’s #3874). The former understanding obviously makes the most sense.


Translation: ...surreptitiously. These last couple words indicate that David did this with great care. While Saul was defecating (or sleeping), David cut the robe, and he did it so that Saul was not aware of what he did.


You may not recognize what David is doing, but he is attempting to meet his advisors halfway. They want him to kill Saul, and they have misapplied Psalm 110:1 in order to urge him to do this. David knows that this is wrong, but he is not really sure what to do in front of these men. So, rather than kill Saul, and probably without even telling them what he is going to do, David sneaks up on Saul with an extremely sharp knife. David’s aides remain absolutely quiet and allow David to act. More than likely, they cannot see what he is doing. Unsure of what to do, David does not kill Saul, but he surreptitiously cuts off a corner of Saul’s robe. Saul will not notice it until he is yelling distance from David.


And so he is following so and so strikes a heart of David him upon that had cut off an extremity which [was] to Saul.

1Samuel

24:5

However [lit., and], it was afterwards that [lit., and, then] David’s heart struck him because he had cut off the edge [of the robe] which belonged to Saul.

Afterwards, however, David’s conscience bothered him for cutting off that piece of Saul’s robe.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so he is following so and so strikes a heart of David him upon that had cut off an extremity which [was] to Saul.

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

Septuagint                             And it came to pass after this that David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off the skirt of his garment.

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Afterwards, David was sorry that he had even done that,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         But afterward, David's conscience bothered him because he had cut off the border of Saul's robe.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Updated Emphasized Bible   And it came to pass afterwards that David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off the corner [MT: wing] [LXX, Syriac and the Vulgate add: of the robe] which belonged to Saul.

NASB                                     And it came about afterward that David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe.

Young's Updated LT              And it comes to pass afterwards that the heart of David strikes him, because that he has cut off the skirt which is on Saul,...


What is the gist of this verse? David is soon thereafter bothered by the fact that he cut off a portion of the king’s robe.


1Samuel 24:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

achar (ר ַח ַא) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind

preposition

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

kên (ן ֵ) [pronounced kane]

so, thus; upright, honest; rightly, well; [it is] so, such, so constituted;

properly, an active participle; used primarily as an adverb

Strong's #3651 BDB #485

Together, achar and kên mean after so (literally) or afterward, afterwards.

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâkâh (ה ָכ ָנ) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong #5221 BDB #645

Owen has that this is a Qal, but nâkâch is not supposed to show up in the Qal. The New Englishman’s Hebrew Concordance lists this as a Hiphil imperfect.

lêb (בֵל) [pronounced laybv]

heart, inner man, mind, will, thinking

masculine singular construct

Strong's #3820 BDB #524

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated mark of a direct object

affixed to a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #853 BDB #84


Translation: However [lit., and], it was afterwards that [lit., and, then] David’s heart struck him... David did not kill Saul; David only cut a piece of his robe. He had shown Saul that he could have killed him when he was vulnerable. This as a statement that David made, sort of a compromise between what he knew to be right (he could not kill Saul) and what his men wanted him to do: to kill Saul.


1Samuel 24:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

This combination of ׳al and ăsher mean because, because that, in that.

kârath (תַרָ) [pronounced kaw-RAHTH]

to cut off, to cut down; to kill, to destroy; to make a covenant

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #3772 BDB #503

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kânâph (ף ָנ ָ) [pronounced kaw-NAWF]

wings of birds (Gen. 1:21 Ex. 19:4 Deut. 32:11) as well as the extremity of a garment (Deut. 22:12, 30 Ruth 3:9)

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #3671 BDB #489

Just as a bird’s wing sticks out from the torso of the bird; so also the end of Samuel’s robe was away from his body. Or, as the wing of a bird flaps, so did the extremity of Samuel’s robe. This is the connection between the two meanings.

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: ...because he had cut off the edge [of the robe] which belonged to Saul. David had a conscience problem, because even though he did not kill Saul, he humiliated Saul by what he had done. He insulted the king. David’s action was inconsistent with the respect due the office of the King of Israel. This would be similar to David defecating on Saul’s robe and leaving it there.


Application: You cannot compromise doctrine. There is no nice midway point between what is right and what others want you to do. David tried to hit this midway point so that he both impressed (or placated) his men, but did not result in Saul’s death. He chose humiliating Saul and Saul’s men. Saul would emerge from the tent with a damaged robe. His royalty was tied to that robe. It didn’t give him super powers, but it is what distinguished him from the crowd. This would be like the president addressing the nation in a torn t-shirt. That’s something that you just don’t do. David recognized after the fact that what he had done, while not as wrong as it could have been (i.e., he did not kill Saul), it was something that he should not have done.


Application: David has made a mistake. He will not fall apart; this is not the end of the world for him. He stumbles here and he picks himself up again. That is what the believer does. Don’t panic if you’ve made a misstep or a mistake. It’s part of the plan.


And so he says to his men, “Far be it to me from Yehowah if I do the word the this to my Adonai, to an anointed of Yehowah, to put forth my hand in him, for anointed of Yehowah he [is].”

1Samuel

24:6

Therefore [lit., then] he said to his men, “It’s wrong for me apart from [or, on account of] Yehowah if I do this thing to my lord, to Yehowah’s anointed; [that is], to put forth my hand against him, because he [is] Yehowah’s anointed.”

Therefore, David said to his soldiers, “It was wrong for me, in opposition to Jehovah, to do this thing to my lord—to Jehovah’s anointed—to act against him, because he is Jehovah’s anointed.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so he says to his men, “Far be it to me from Yehowah if I do the word the this to my Adonai, to an anointed of Yehowah, to put forth my hand in him, for anointed of Yehowah he [is].”

Peshitta                                 And David said to the men who were with him, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch forth my hand against him, because he is the anointed of the Lord.”

Septuagint                             And David said to his men, “The Lord forbids me that I should do this thing to my lord, the anointed of the Lord, to life my hand against him, for he is the anointed of the Lord.”

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...and he told his men, "Stop talking foolishly. We're not going to attack Saul. He's my king, and I pray that the Lord will keep me from doing anything to harm his chosen king." Saul left the cave and started down the road. [The CEV combines vv. 6–7].

NLT                                “The Lord knows I shouldn’t have done it,” he said to his men. “It is a serious thing to attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         He said to his men, “It would be unthinkable for me to raise my hand against His Majesty, the Lord’s anointed king, since he is the Lord’s anointed.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     So he said to his men, “Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.”

Young's Updated LT              ...and he says 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 he is the anointed of Jehovah.”


What is the gist of this verse? David confesses his sin to his men; he tried to compromise and it didn’t work. One simply does not raise his hand against God’s anointed.


1Samuel 24:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

men; inhabitants, citizens; companions, soldiers, companions

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #376 BDB #35

châlîylâh (ה ָלי ̣ל ָח) [pronounced khaw-LEE-law]

far be it [from me or you], to profane [something], a profanity!, a blasphemy!

adverb, substantive, interjection

Strong’s #2486 BDB #321

Châlîylâh might be updated to no way, impossible, ridiculous, absurd, that’s wrong, that’s so wrong, it’s wrong, you’re completely mistaken.

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, away from, out from, out of, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

îm (ם ̣א) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

׳âsâh (ה ָ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

bvâr (ר ָב ָ) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

word, saying, doctrine, thing, matter, command

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #1697 BDB #182

zeh (הז) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, thus

demonstrative adjective with a definite article

Strong’s #2088, 2090 (& 2063) BDB #260

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âdôwn (ןד ָא) [pronounced aw-DOHN]

lord, master, owner, superior, sovereign

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #113 BDB #10


Translation: Therefore [lit., then] he said to his men, “It’s wrong for me apart from [or, on account of] Yehowah if I do this thing to my lord,... First thing is, when you sin, don’t you confess it to God? Why is David confessing this sin to his men? David is the leader of these men. He has just publically (before his men) committed an act which humiliated the king of Israel. I don’t know if I can come up with a decent analogy, but if we did something to a president that we don’t like that shames him—this is what David did to Saul. His men encouraged David to kill Saul, and David, instead, chose to humiliate him. David realizes that he has compromised what he believes in, he has compromised his own integrity, and he did it in front of his soldiers that he leads. David has got to straighten this out. He has got to tell his men that he is wrong and he needs to teach them why he is wrong. Do you see how David’s leadership skills are improving with each day? Do you see why God places him in this situation? Do you see what God did not put David in as king immediately? If you simply read this book of Samuel without giving it much thought, you do not realize that David is going through various and specific growth stages. He is not ready to be king over all Israel yet; but God is getting him ready.


As a teacher who speaks 5+ hours a day, I am going to inevitably say something wrong. I am going to insult a student, I’m going to make a comment which is not appropriate, or I will say something that I just should not have said with a classroom of adolescents listening. So, although I silently confess this to God, I also apologize to the students as a whole or to an individual student—whichever is appropriate. As one who is leading these adolescents both academically and by personal example, I cannot allow myself to say the wrong thing, and then just go on as if nothing happened. I have to acknowledge it. This is the proper way for me to lead or guide these young people.


Now, interestingly enough, whereas David will confess his wrong to his men, he does not make any such confession to Saul. He will not call out to Saul and say, “Here’s the corner of your robe that I just cut off; I shoudn’t have done it, I know that now. Please accept my forgiveness.” My point being is, you do not necessarily confess your sins to those you have sinned against. As a teacher, I may teach that it is wrong to gossip about someone; however, when I sin and gossip about someone, I don’t call them up on the phone and say, “Hey Charlie Brown, I have been gossiping about you. My bad.” And then hang up. David is not afraid to admit that he has done wrong—he does not want to encourage disrespect for the office of king among his men—but he is also not moved to confess this wrong to Saul, as we will see in the upcoming verses.


Application: It is not always necessary to confess your sins to the person that you have sinned against. In fact, in most cases, this is ill-advised. You have sinned against God, so you confess your sins to God. Once in a great while, you might confess your sins to the person you sinned against—however, I cannot think of an instance right now where you would. Perhaps if you have stolen from someone, and you are going to confess, then also be ready to make a generous restitution at that time. Or don’t confess to them directly but reimburse them anonymously. As you see, even though this is narrative, we learn a lot from what David is doing.


1Samuel 24:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mâshîyach (-חי.שָמ) [pronounced maw--SHEE-ahkh]

anointed, anointed one, messiah

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4899 BDB #603

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...to Yehowah’s anointed;... The office of king is something which must be respected, just as the position of president of the United States is a position which must be respected. You may oppose the president who is in power and believe that his party is the essence of evil; however, when introduced to the president, there is a certain decorum and respect that should guide your behavior. Saul is God’s anointed; he is the man that God chose. God has not removed Saul from office so he is still God’s chosen man for the job. When God chooses to remove Saul will signal that there is time for a regime change. However, there is nothing in Scripture which would allow David to militarily oppose Saul. There is nothing in Scripture which would allow David to strike Saul or to take action against Saul. David cannot even take some grassroots action against Saul, to drum up opposition to Saul. You will note that David, throughout these chapters, does not take a political approach. He does not take that which Saul does and put a negative spin on it. Now Saul, on the other hand, is a born politician. He has taken many of the innocuous things that David has done—e.g., his friendship with Jonathan—and has twisted it to mean something that it does not. Saul has made it sound as though David and Jonathan are in league against him and that David caused this rift between Saul and his son. That’s politics.


1Samuel 24:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for, to send forth, to send away, to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s# none BDB #88


Translation: ...[that is], to put forth my hand against him,... Saul is God’s anointed; therefore David cannot justify in any way taking a stand against Saul. He is wrong even to choose the lesser of two evils—mildly humiliating Saul as opposed to killing him. David does not have the right to do this. What David is telling his men is, it would have been wrong to have killed Saul; and it was even wrong for him to have


1Samuel 24:6d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

mâshîyach (-חי.שָמ) [pronounced maw--SHEE-ahkh]

anointed, anointed one, messiah

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4899 BDB #603

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

he, it

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214


Translation: ...because he [is] Yehowah’s anointed.” Again, David points out the key to Saul’s office: he is God’s anointed. God chose Saul to lead Israel and God has not removed Saul. God appointed Saul to this high office and only God could remove him. Therefore, David is not about to even attempt to do what God has not done Himself. There are actually several reasons why David should not harm Saul—he will learned one reason in the next chapter: that David, as God’s man, needs to allow God to exact personal revenge for him.


And so divided David his men in the words and he has not given them to stand unto Saul and Saul has stood from the cave and so he goes in the way.

1Samuel

24:7

David tore apart his men with arguments [lit., words] and he did not permit [lit., give] them to oppose [lit., to take a stand] against Saul. Saul then arose out from the cave and went on [his] way.

David logically persuaded his men [to understand his point of view] and he did not allow them to oppose Saul. Saul, meanwhile, rose up, left the cave, and went on his way.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so divided David his men in the words and he has not given them to stand unto Saul and Saul has stood from the cave and so he goes in the way.

Peshitta                                 So David restrained the men who were with him with these words, and he did not permit them to rise against Saul. And Saul rose up out of the cave and went on his way.

Septuagint                             So David persuaded his men by [his] words and he did not allow them to rise up and kill Saul; and Saul arose and went his way.

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       [intermingled with the previous verse].

NLT                                So David sharply rebuke his men and did not let them kill Saul.

After Saul had left the cave and gone on his way,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         So David stopped his men by saying this to them and didn't let them attack Saul. Saul left the cave and went out onto the road.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     And David persuaded [lit., tore apart] his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. And Saul arose, left [lit., from] the cave, and went on his way.

Young's Updated LT              And David subdues his men by words, and has not permitted them to rise against Saul; and Saul has risen from the cave, and goes on the way;...


What is the gist of this verse? David convinced his men not to strike Saul, despite his vulnerability. Saul gets up and leaves the cave.


1Samuel 24:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâça׳ (ע -סָש) [pronounced shaw-SAHĢ]

to cleave; to divide, to tear apart, to tear in pieces; to tear apart [verbally]

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #8156 BDB #1042

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

men; inhabitants, citizens; companions, soldiers, companions

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #376 BDB #35

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s# none BDB #88

bvâr (ר ָב ָ) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

words, sayings, doctrines, commands; things, matters, reports

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #1697 BDB #182


Translation: David tore apart his men with arguments [lit., words]... We find a very creative use of words in this verse. We first have David dividing or tearing apart his men. What he is doing is presenting several arguments which demolish their point of view. David does not simply tell his men, “This is the way it is. I’m the boss; deal with it.” He makes persuasive arguments which explain why he regrets the action that he took. Saul is God’s anointed, and it is not up to David to question the time frame of Saul’s reign. It is not up to David to remove Saul as king and it is not up to David to attempt to humiliate Saul. Now, David will want to let Saul know that he could have struck him down, but chose not to. David possibly still holds hope that Saul might be reasoned with.


David can definitely still reason with his own men. What he does not want to see is his men tear out after Saul. First of all, David just had the chance to kill Saul and he knew enough not to. He is in charge of these men and he cannot allow them to do the same. If it is wrong for him, it would be wrong for them. So David must dissuade them before they get the idea in their heads that they can chase after Saul. Secondly, there is no telling how many lives would be lost in such an attack. God may also preserve Saul during such an attack, which would result in the deaths of David’s men.


David has a teaching ministry here as well. David, even as the crown prince of Israel, will teach doctrine. David is responsible for a portion of the Old Testament. It is possible that he wrote part of Samuel, or edited portions of it. He wrote about half of the psalms. He will reinstituted the sacrifices, Tent of God services, and the Ark. These things had been separated for a long time (since 1Sam. 7 or before).


Speaking of the psalms, I hope you have recognized in our study just how important David’s teaching through the psalms has been. Not only do they chronicle his growth process (as does this portion of the book of Samuel), but they also present a great deal of doctrine—as long as they are not relegated to devotional literature (this approach often obscures the meaning of the psalms).


1Samuel 24:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

nâthan (ן ַתָנ) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

qûwm (םק) [pronounced koom]

to stand, to rise up, to establish, to establish a vow, to cause a vow to stand, to confirm or to fulfill a vow

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #6965 BDB #877

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: ...and he did not permit [lit., give] them to oppose [lit., to take a stand against] Saul. We will find the verb qûwm used twice in this verse. Qûwm means to take a stand, to stand up, to rise up. It is first used metaphorically here, and then rather crudely in the next portion of this verse (Saul stands up after taking a dump). We also find the frequent verb nâthan (which the KJV gives about 80 some different English translations). With the negative, David is not going to give or to allow his men to oppose (take a stand against) Saul. So David does two things: he gives an explanation as to why his men cannot oppose Saul and his rulership over Israel; and then he does not allow them to oppose Saul. He both approaches this logically and as the man in authority.


So, what this means is, David did not allow his men to speak out against Saul; he did not allow them to be disrespectful toward Saul; he did not allow them to plot Saul’s death. His men, although fugitives from Saul, just like David, had to live with Saul as the ruler of Israel. Again, his reasoning was simple: Saul is the anointed of God—meaning that God chose Saul to be king over Israel—therefore, there is nothing that could be done against Saul. They had to depend upon God to remove Saul from the throne.


Few commentators recognize the importance of David’s teaching ministry here. These 600 men are going to become David’s most trusted aides. When David becomes king, he will need to look to men he can trust. As king, David cannot do everything. He cannot go on every campaign, sit in on every meeting, and plan ever single event. A king must delegate his authority and one characteristic of a good leader is someone who can delegate authority and delegate it properly.


Application: You must be able, as a good leader, to let go of some of the authority which you are entrusted with. The greater the position, the more responsibilities that you must delegate. Furthermore, you must know the proper people to delegate authority to, and it is not always those you like or who like you. You are an idiot if you only trust people who like you or vice versa. Look for those who have great integrity, who have a good worth ethic, whose values are straight. It doesn’t matter if their personality rubs you the wrong way, or if they are quiet, shy and haven’t said two words to you (nor have they brown-nosed you).


At the beginning of the book of 2Samuel, we will run into certain situations where David delegated authority to the wrong person, and wrong decisions were made. Bear in mind that mistakes are inevitable in the devil’s world, so just because someone under you makes a mistake, this does not call for their dismissal (however, in some cases, it will necessitate their execution). Footnote


1Samuel 24:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

qûwm (םק) [pronounced koom]

to stand, to rise up, to establish, to establish a vow, to cause a vow to stand, to confirm or to fulfill a vow

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6965 BDB #877

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, on account of, since, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

me׳ârâh (ה ָר ָע  ׃מ) [pronounced me-ģaw-RAW]

cave

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4631 BDB #792


Translation: Saul then arose out from the cave... While David explains briefly to his men what they are not allowed to do and why they are not allowed to do it, Saul finishes his business and stands up. It says, literally, that Saul takes a stand outside the cave. The stand that Saul takes is a lot less ceremonious.


1Samuel 24:7d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s# none BDB #88

dereke ( ר ) [pronounced DEH-reke]

way, distance, road, journey, manner, course

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #1870 BDB #202


Translation: ...and went on [his] way. Saul then picks up and departs with his men, still in search of David who as within a few feet of him only moments ago. This is typical of Saul, who does not have even a clue.


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Some English translations rearranged some vv. 4–7; since the NKJV did not, I will list that one first:

1Samuel 24:4–7

NKJV

CEV

James Moffatt Translation

REB

4 Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’ ” and David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.

5 Now it happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe.

6 And he said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master., the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.”

7 So David restrained his servants with these words, and did not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul got up from the cave and went on his way.

    David and his men were hiding at the back of the cave. 4 They whispered to David, "The LORD told you he was going to let you defeat your enemies and do whatever you want with them. This must be the day the LORD was talking about."

   David sneaked over and cut off a small piece of Saul's robe, but Saul didn't notice a thing. 5 Afterwards, David was sorry that he had even done that, 6–7 and he told his men, "Stop talking foolishly. We're not going to attack Saul. He's my king, and I pray that the LORD will keep me from doing anything to harm his chosen king." Saul left the cave and started down the road.

Now David and his men were seated in the recesses of the cave; and David’s men whispered to him, “Here is the day on which the Eternal promised that he would put your enemy in your power and let you do what you like to him.” But he said to his men, “The Eternal forbid that I should do this to my lord, to the Eternal’s anointed!—that I should lift my hand against him, when he is the Eternal’s anointed!” With these words David restrained his men and would not let them attack Saul. But David got up and secretly cut off the skirt of Saul’‘s robe (though afterwards David reproached himself for having cut off Saul’s skirt). Meanwhile Saul left the cave and went on his way.

4–7 David’s men said to him, ‘The day has come; the Lord has put your enemy into your hands, as he promised he would. You may do what you lease with him.’ David said to his men, ‘God forbid that I should harm my master, the Lord’s anointed.’ So David reproved his men and would not allow them to attack Saul. He himself got up stealthily and cut off a piece of Saul’s cloak; but after he had cut it off, he was struck with remorse.

    Saul left the cave and went on his way; 8 whereupon David also came out of the cave and called after Saul...

Since there is no inspiration in the verse designations themselves, rearranging a few verses to better improve the narrative flow is not some sort of a sin. Of course, it should be done with the utmost care, so that the reader does not have a mistaken impression of the events.

The difference between this and the normal ordering of the verses is, in the latter two translations, David rebukes his men before he cuts Saul’s robe. Given the fact that he Hebrew does not always approach an incident from its chronological order, means that we cannot say for certain which logical order is correct. Robert Gordon, who is quite accurate in his commentary of I and 2Samuel, believes firmly in the accepted text, the traditional order, and says this transposition, carried out in the interests of logic and orderliness, is unnecessary, and not without its own difficulties. Footnote

As an addendum, it is typical that liberal authors (e.g., Gnana Robinson) and liberal translators (e.g., James Moffatt) prefer the rearrangement of these verses. Essentially, they will support any position which questions the divine origins of Scripture. Footnote


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David Reasons with Saul


And so arises David after thus and so he goes out from the cave and so he calls after Saul, to say, “My adonai, the king!” And so looks [intently] behind him and so [David] bows his [two] nostrils earth-ward and so he bows himself down.

1Samuel

24:8

Afterwards, David arose and he went out of the cave and called out to Saul, saying, “My lord [lit., adonai], the king!” Then Saul looked intently back [lit., behind him] and David bowed his face to the ground and prostrated himself.

David then got up and exited the cave, calling out to Saul, “My lord the king!” Saul then squinted, looking back toward the sound of David’s voice. He could see that David had prostrated himself in respect.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so arises David after thus and so he goes out from the cave and so he calls after Saul, to say, “My adonai, the king!” And so looks [intently] behind him and so [David] bows his [two] nostrils earth-ward and so he bows himself down.

Septuagint                             And David rose up and [and went] after him out of the cave; and David called out after Saul, saying, “Lord, king!” And Saul looked behind him, and David bowed with his face to the ground and did obeisance to him.

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Soon, David also got up and left the cave. “Your Majesty!” he shouted from a distance. Saul turned around to look. David bowed down very low.

NLT                                David came out and shouted after him, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked around, David bowed low before him.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Later, David got up, left the cave, and called to Saul, “Your Majesty!” When Saul looked back, David knelt down with his face touching the ground.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Young's Updated LT              ...and David rises afterwards, and he goes out from the cave, and he calls after Saul, saying, “My lord, O king!” And Saul looks attentively behind him, and David bows—face to the earth—and does obeisance.


What is the gist of this verse? David follows Saul out of the cave, and calls out to him after Saul is a safe distance from him. When Saul looks around, David bows low, as was the custom of that day.


1Samuel 24:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qûwm (םק) [pronounced koom]

to stand, to rise up, to establish, to establish a vow, to cause a vow to stand, to confirm or to fulfill a vow

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6965 BDB #877

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

achar (ר ַח ַא) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind

preposition

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

kên (ן ֵ) [pronounced kane]

so, thus; upright, honest; rightly, well; [it is] so, such, so constituted;

properly, an active participle; used primarily as an adverb

Strong's #3651 BDB #485

Together, achar and kên mean after so (literally) or afterward, afterwards.


Translation: Afterwards, David arose... David still feels as though there might be some hope here. Saul is pretty much over the edge when it comes to his feelings about David, but David does not realize just how severe Saul’s condition is. He has a phenomenal hatred towards David, and it is unbridled and can be, at best, distracted for a time. David, like Jonathan, kept holding out hope that Saul could be reasoned with to see that David was not his enemy.


Application: There are just some people with whom you cannot reason. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try; however, realize that it is a fact of their makeup or their disorder. Being a school teacher at one time, and coming in contact with as many people as I have, I found that to be true on several occasions. All the logic in the world is not going to sway Saul for any appreciable amount of time. We can see this, as we have a bird’s eye view of this situation and how Saul has interacted with David and Jonathan (as well as, we have observed the orders which he has issued to his men). So we know that Saul is not going to be permanently dissuaded from his hatred for and jealousy of David.


1Samuel 24:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâtsâ (א ָצ ָי) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go out, to come out, to come forth

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

me׳ârâh (ה ָר ָע  ׃מ) [pronounced me-ģaw-RAW]

cave

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4631 BDB #792


Translation: ...and he went out of the cave... David is going to try once again to reason with Saul. Saul has left the cave and he is barely within yelling distance. So David also exits the cave, and he waits until Saul can see and hear him, but just barely.


1Samuel 24:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qârâ (א ָר ָק) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

This is a homonym; the other qârâ means to encounter, to befall, to meet, to assemble.

achar (ר ַח ַא) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind

preposition

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: ...and called out to Saul,... David calls out to Saul with a very loud voice. Saul is quite a distance away. David did not simply step out of the cave and tap Saul on the shoulder. David is willing to take a chance here, but he is not going to be stupid about it. He knows that God has granted him the kingdom of Israel; we know by Psalms 34 and 56 that David is back in fellowship and that he has trusted God for the outcome of this situation. But, he puts at least a half mile between himself and Saul and, although it is not said here, I am sure that David had an escape route planned just in case.

 

Jamieson comments: The closeness of the precipitous cliffs, though divided by deep wadies, and the transparent purity of the air enable a person standing on one rock to hear distinctly the words uttered by a speaker standing on another. Footnote


Application: Trusting God does not mean that you act like an ass or that you do stupid things. If you believe God will get you from your home to your work on any given day, you do not drive that trip at 100 mph to show that you trust God. You know that God is going to take care of your financial needs; this does not mean that you give every cent that you have to the church nor does this mean that you invest all of your money in lottery tickets or in the slots. The Christian is never asked to forsake his common sense; he is rarely expected to do things which show a lack of any sense, Paul’s short message of I Cor. 1:17–3:19 notwithstanding. Footnote


Application: Although this is an extremely important point for new Christians, it also applies to those who have been Christians for a long time. Do not make major decisions that you have serious doubts about or are apprehensive about, and then rely on God just to fix everything after you make a mess of it. Yes, God will take care of the stupid things that you do; however, nowhere in Scripture are we encouraged to do stupid things (say, get married on a whim, sell everything and stand on top of a hill with a sheet on, forsake your family and join some religious cult). Paul does tell us, if we are new Christians, and we are about ready to make a life-changing decision, don’t. Just stay in the state that you were called. Now, if doctrine causes you to make a life-altering decision, and you have no question about that, then it’s okay—to make a life-altering decision, not to do something completely idiotic. David does stand ten feet from Saul and say, “Hey, look what I did.” He allows Saul to move a comfortable distance away, and then David calls out to him.


1Samuel 24:8d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

âdôwn (ןד ָא) [pronounced aw-DOHN]

lord, master, owner, superior, sovereign

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #113 BDB #10

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572


Translation: ...saying, “My lord [lit., adonai], the king!” Saul is God’s anointed. This simply means that God installed Saul as king over Israel; it does not mean that Saul’s every decision is good. It does not mean that his actions are necessarily admirable. But God has placed him in this position, and David shows him the proper deference. The word adonai can be applied both to man and to God. There is no implication of Saul’s deity by virtue of being king. David is simply expressing deference to Saul’s authority. He is recognizing Saul’s authority and office.


1Samuel 24:8e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâbaţ (ט ַבָנ) [pronounced nawb-VAHT

to look intently at, to examine carefully; to regard, to consider

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #5027 BDB #613

achar (ר ַח ַא) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind

preposition with the 3rd person singular suffix

Strong’s #310 BDB #29


Translation: Then Saul looked intently back [lit., behind him]... Saul can hear himself being called, but he can barely see the person who is calling him. The verb used here is not the verb for to see, but a verb which means to intently look at, to examine carefully. Saul squinted his eyes and looked back to where the voice was and he could barely make out the figure of David.


1Samuel 24:8f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qâdad (ד-ד ָק) [pronounced kaw-DAHD]

to bow down, to worship, to prostrate oneself [out of honor or reverence]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6915 BDB #869

aph (ף ַא) [pronounced ahf]

nose, nostril, but is also translated face, brow, anger

masculine dual noun

Strong’s #639 BDB #60

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land

feminine singular noun with the directional hê suffix

Strong's #776 BDB #75


Translation: ...and [David] bowed his face to the ground... From a distance, David has to do something which is a universal symbol of obeisance. He bows his face to the ground. Again, this is not the pagan custom of recognizing the king as god; this is an Oriental custom of simply showing respect to the king, as well as allegiance and deference. Although the word used here is generally translated nostril or anger, it is also used to mean face. The Hebrews generally referred to the face in the plural, as it referred to a plurality of features. Just like we use the term pants, when there is only one item meant.


1Samuel 24:8e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâchah (הָחָש) [pronounced shaw-KHAW]

to bow down, to prostrate oneself, to do obeisance to; to honor [with prayers]; to do homage to, to submit to

3rd person masculine singular suffix, Hithpael imperfect

Strong’s #7812 BDB #1005

The Hithpael is the reflexive of the Piel (or intensive) stem. The Hithpael conveys the idea that one puts himself into the state or the action of the verb, which is an achieved state. Its primary use is reflexive—the verb describes action on or for oneself.


Translation: ...and prostrated himself. From where Saul stands, he can hear and recognize David’s voice; and he can see that David has bowed his face to the ground and he is probably bringing his torso up and down in a short, slow, abbreviated movement.


Application: Those who have authority over you deserve your respect—or, at the very least, at least the respect of their office. This is what David is giving Saul.


And so says David to Saul, “For why do you listen [to] words of a man, to say, ‘Behold, David is seeking your evil.’

1Samuel

24:9

David then said to Saul, “Why do you listen [to] the words of men, who [lit., to] say, ‘Listen, David seeks your injury.’

David then reasoned with Saul: “Why do you listen to the words of men? Men who tell you that I am seeking your hurt?”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so says David to Saul, “For why do you listen [to] words of a man, to say, ‘Behold, David is seeking your evil.’

Peshitta                                 And David said to Saul, “You must not listen to the words of the men who say, ‘Behold, David seeks your hurt.’

Septuagint                             And David aid to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of the people, saying, ‘Behold, David seeks your life?’

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...and said: Your Majesty, why do you listen to people who say that I'm trying to harm you?

NJB                                        David then said to Saul, ‘Why do you listen to people who say, “David intends your ruin!’?

NLT                                Then he shouted to Saul, “Who do you listen to the people who say I am trying to harm you?


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David asked Saul, "Why do you listen to rumors that I am trying to harm you?


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Young's Updated LT              And David says to Saul, “Why do you hear the words of man, saying, ‘Lo, David is seeking thine evil?’


What is the gist of this verse? David, under the impression that Saul is led by his advisors, calls out to him, saying, “Why do you listen to those who claim I intend to do you harm?”


1Samuel 24:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mâh (ה ָמ) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

Lâmed + mâh can be rendered why, for what reason, to what purpose, for what purpose, indicating an interrogatory sentence.

shâma׳ (ע ַמ ָש) [pronounced shaw-MAHĢ]

to listen, to hear, to listen intently, to listen and obey, to listen and act upon, to listen and give heed to, to hearken to, to be attentive to, to listen and take note of, to listen and be cognizant of

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #8085 BDB #1033

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

bvâr (ר ָב ָ) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

words, sayings, doctrines, commands; things, matters, reports

masculine plural construct

Strong's #1697 BDB #182

âdâm (ם ָד ָא) [pronounced aw-DAWM]

a man, a human being, mankind, Adam

masculine singular noun

Strong's #120 BDB #9


Translation: David then said to Saul, “Why do you listen [to] the words of men,... David is not really aware of the situation. He cannot believe that Saul, Jonathan’s father, has come up with this on his own. He has assumed that there is some sort of political intrigue which has influenced Saul to think the way he does. David is guessing that maybe Saul has some advisors who have mislead him or have undue influence over him.


In the United States, we have had a number of presidents who, because of the increasing complexity of the world, depend a great deal upon their advisors and their cabinet. Since political ideology is more of a vote-getting tool than a president’s actual philosophy, the most important issue when it comes to the presidency is, what sort of people does this president surround himself with? This will better indicate what the president will do, more than the sound bytes strewn throughout the media by his campaign team.


On the other hand, this is not the case with Saul. He surrounds himself with yes-men, and listens primarily to Satan. He allows himself to be demon-influenced, but Saul is not influenced for any length of time by those advisors who present to him alternative views (e.g., Jonathan in 1Sam. 20). What we have here is a vicious circle. Saul has expressed great hatred for David, so his men further misinterpret or make up lies about David in order to feed Saul’s hatred. Saul then hates David even more.


1Samuel 24:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

bâqash (ש ַק ָ) [pronounced baw-KAHSH]

to seek, to search, to desire, to strive after, to attempt to get, to require, to demand, to ask, to seek with desire and diligence

Piel participle

Strong’s #1245 BDB #134

râ׳âh (הָעָר) [pronounced raw-ĢAW]

evil, misery, distress, disaster, injury, iniquity, aberration, that which is morally reprehensible

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7451 BDB #949


Translation: ...who [lit., to] say, ‘Listen, David seeks your injury.’ David is supposing that perhaps there are men on Saul’s staff who have convinced him that David is looking to harm him in some way or another.


Behold, the day the this have seen your eyes which gave you Yehowah into my hand in the cave. And he said to kill you, and so I looked with compassion upon you. And so I say, ‘I will not put forth my hand in my adonai for anointed of Yehowah he [is].’

1Samuel

24:10

Listen, your eyes have seen this day that Yehowah gave you into my hand in the cave. And [one] said to kill you, but I looked upon you with compassion and I said, ‘I will not put forth my hand against my lord [adonai] for he [is] Yehowah’s anointed.’

Listen, you have seen with your own eyes that Jehovah delivered you into my hand in the cave. One of my men even recommended that I kill you, but I looked upon you with compassion, saying, ‘I will not raise my hand against my lord because he is Jehovah’s anointed.’


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       Behold, the day the this have seen your eyes which gave you Yehowah into my hand in the cave. And he said to kill you, and so I looked with compassion upon you. And so I say, ‘I will not put forth my hand in my adonai for anointed of Yehowah he [is].’

Peshitta                                 Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the Lord had delivered you today into my hand in the cave; and the men who were with me bade me kill you, but I had pity on you, and I said, ‘I will not put forth my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’

Septuagint                             Behold, your eyes have seen this day how that the Lord has delivered you this day into my hands in the cave; and I would not kill you, but I spared you, and I said, ‘I will not lift up my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       You can see for yourself that the Lord gave me the chance to catch you in the cave today. Some of my men wanted to kill you, but I wouldn't let them do it. I told them, “I will not harm the Lord’s chosen king!”

NLT                                This very day you can see with your eyes it isn’t true. For the Lord placed you at my mercy back there in the cave, and some of my men told me to kill you, but I spared you. For I said, ‘I will never harm him—he is the Lord’s anointed one.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Today you saw how the Lord handed you over to me in the cave. Although I was told to kill you, I spared you, saying, ‘I will not raise my hand against Your Majesty because you are the Lord’s anointed.’

JPS (Tanakh)                        You can see for yourself now that the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave today. And though I was urged to kill you, I showed you pity; for I said, ‘I will not raise a hand against y lord, since he is the Lord’s anointed.’


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Updated Emphasized Bible   Lo! ║This day║ have you seen with your own eyes how Yahweh had delivered you up today into my hand in the cave and <when one urged me to kill you>, I [as per the Aramaic, LXX, and Syriac] looked with compassion upon you, and I said—

I will not put forth my hand against my lord, for ║the Anointed of Yahweh║ is he!

NRSV                                    This very day your eyes have seen how the Lord gave you into my hand in the cave; and some urged me to kill you, but I spared [Greek, Syriac, Targum, Vulgate; Hebrew: it (my eye) spared] you. I said, ‘I will not raise my hand against the lord; for he is the Lord’ anointed.’

Young's Updated LT              Lo, this day have your eyes seen how that Jehovah has given you today into my hand in the cave; and one said to slay you, and my eye had pity on you, and I say, I do not put forth my hand against my lord, for the anointed of Jehovah he is.


What is the gist of this verse? David tells Saul that he has seen with his own eyes that God delivered him into his hand, and that David could have killed him (which some suggested that he do), but he chose not to. David adds, “I would not raise my hand against my lord (Saul) because you are Jehovah’s anointed.”


1Samuel 24:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

yôwm (םי) [pronounced yohm]

day; today (with a definite article)

masculine singular noun with a definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

zeh (הז) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, thus

demonstrative adjective with a definite article

Strong’s #2088, 2090 (& 2063) BDB #260

rââh (ה ָא ָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

2nd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

׳ayin (ן̣יַע) [pronounced ĢAH-yin]

spring, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes, spring

feminine dual noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

These possibly mean that which.

nâthan (ן ַתָנ) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

yôwm (םי) [pronounced yohm]

day; today (with a definite article)

masculine singular noun with a definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

me׳ârâh (ה ָר ָע  ׃מ) [pronounced me-ģaw-RAW]

cave

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4631 BDB #792


Translation: Listen, your eyes have seen this day that Yehowah gave you into my hand in the cave. Regardless of what has caused Saul to think that David was out to get him, David tells him here that he (Saul) has seen with his own eyes that God delivered him into David’s hand in the cave. The evidence is going to be irrefutable. It does not matter what Saul previously thought; it does not matter if Saul’s men have been talking smack about David. Saul sees on this day that David had the chance to kill him and he chose not to. Now, you would think that this would be the end of it, but it won’t be. Remember, when you are this filled with hatred and mental illness, there is no amount of reasoning which will have a lasting effect on you. Saul, for the time being, will be placated. However, this will change. He will go after David again. David will later find it necessary to escape to the land of the Philistines.


1Samuel 24:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

hârag (ג ַר ָה) [pronounced haw-RAHG]

to kill, to slay, to execute; to destroy, to ruin

Qal infinitive construct with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #2026 BDB #246


Translation: And [one] said to kill you,... David points out that even one of his men suggested that David kill Saul (actually, several did), but David did not take their suggestion. All of this is absolutely true. If David’s men had their druthers, Saul would be dead.


1Samuel 24:10c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

chûç (סח) [pronounced khoos]

to pity, to look upon with compassion

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #2347 BDB #299

Some manuscripts read I spared, I took pity (1st person singular). This is sort of a mess; this also reads as a 3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect. For this reason, the AV and the RV both inserted the words my eye (as the subject), following the lead of the Vulgate. What Dr. Ginsburg suggests is that, the Phœnician letters for I spared and she spared are almost identical, so one could be easily mistaken for the other (even WP doesn’t have these two characters in its 1500 character set). GInsburg claims that this was the ancient reading, which then found its way into the LXX, Chaldee and Syriac. Footnote I don’t know what Phœnician would have been the ancient text here, but perhaps it was unreadable in the Hebrew and a copyist then when to the Phœnician (implying that there had to be Phœnician text for this book). In any case, I have no explanation which is any better the Dr. Ginsburg’s.

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752


Translation: ...but I looked upon you with compassion... Instead of following the urges of his men, David looked with compassion upon Saul. He took pity on Saul. Saul was helpless and David chose not to take advantage of his helplessness.


Again, note what David did not say; he did not say, “Oh, by the way, I really shouldn’t have cut off the corner of your kingly robe. That was a bad decision on my part and I apologize for that.” When you sin, you admit your sin to God; only under unusual circumstances do you admit any specific sins to others.


I write this during a time of great militant activity amongst the more radical Muslims. They have beheaded many people to date, in order to make some obscure political statement. Even though these atrocities are committed against helpless and innocent people, I for one would have no idea what to do as an individual to appease the Muslim doctrine (if I were so disposed). There is nothing that I could do or say that would stop their atrocities or even keep me from being a target of their collective evil. If I was in a position of great political power, I know there would be no way to stop these atrocities because, if they work, if any of these radical factions are appeased for a moment by their terrorism, then not only they, but others, would jump in to continue such acts of terrorism.


1Samuel 24:10d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

1st person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for, to send forth, to send away, to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

âdôwn (ןד ָא) [pronounced aw-DOHN]

lord, master, owner, superior, sovereign

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #113 BDB #10


Translation: ...and I said, ‘I will not put forth my hand against my lord [adonai]... Recall that David discussed this with his men. He didn’t just make the executive decision, he explained to his men why he wouldn’t kill Saul. He gives Saul the same reasons. First off, Saul is David’s superior. He is king, and therefore, he is David’s lord. You don’t strike down your own king.


1Samuel 24:10e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

mâshîyach (-חי.שָמ) [pronounced maw--SHEE-ahkh]

anointed, anointed one, messiah

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4899 BDB #603

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

he, it

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214


Translation: ...for he [is] Yehowah’s anointed.’ Even more importantly, Saul is God’s anointed. Jehovah hand-picked Saul. He will remain king until God decides that Saul has lived out his reign. This is God’s decision, not David’s. Note, at this time, this is David’s only reason for not harming Saul.


Application: You have to be careful to allow God’s decisions to stand. Don’t be running around trying to change everything or fix everything. That’s not necessarily your part in life.


Application: Saul is a despotic ruler; he uses tax money to raise up and army to chase after David. But he also would fight against the Philistines when push came to shove (see 1Sam. 23:28). And God saw fit to leave him in power. Therefore, David needs to leave Saul in power. Our application: there are despotic, evil rulers all over the world. It is not our job to remove them all from power. Had I time to devote myself to a study of politics, I could easily come up with the names of maybe 100 kings, presidents, or prime ministers who I believe are evil, vicious, and should be removed from power. Had I the ability to remove them, either by political influence or covert operations, should I remove them? David here tells us no.


Application: Our battle is a spiritual one. There is no longer a nation Israel through which God works. Therefore, our political involvement is generally going to be quite limited. Even though the person in high political office is a man (or a woman) through whom God works, this does not mean that I am called as a believer to spend copious amounts of my day campaigning for this candidate or that. Even more repugnant is to partake in a smear campaign of this person or that. In the US, we live in a democracy, and voting is our right and privilege. Therefore, being aware of the issues and of the men that you vote for is important; thinking that this candidate or that is the answer to all our prayers is, however, something entirely different. Your relationship to God is 10X more important than who gets into office. You may see yourself as little man in small town, whose influence is not even measurable. You are wrong. God has a plan for ever single believer, and that includes you. The decisions that you make, the prayers that you offer, the amount of time you spend in fellowship and studying doctrine is all very important. And make no mistake about it: if you have to make a choice between voting in an important election or Bible class, even if you are the swing vote; you choose Bible class. In fact, this choice should be an easy choice. Hypothetical situation: it is election day, you have gotten out of work late, and you barely have enough time to get to Bible class, what do you do? You don’t stop to vote, you go directly to Bible class—no matter how close the election is.


Application: The busier your life is, the more important it is for you to have clear-cut priorities. Bible class needs to be at the top of those priorities. And don’t tell me how busy your are. I have had 4 jobs at the same time and still managed to find time for Bible class every single day. If you have the positive volition, then God will give you the time.


The problem here is, David needs more of a reason not to harm Saul. God will do that. Be patient, and we will come to those additional reasons in the next chapter.


And my father, look—also look—an extremity of your robe in my hand, for in my cutting of an extremity of your robe and I did not slay you. Know and look for not in my hand evil and violation and I have not sinned to you and you are chasing my soul to take her.

1Samuel

24:11

Look, my father, and look [carefully]: the end of your robe [is] in my hand, [but] when I cut the end of your robe, I did not kill you. See and realize [that there is] no iniquity or disobedience in my hand even though [lit., and] I have not sinned with respect to you, you chase my soul to seize it.

Listen, father, and observe carefully that I am holding the tip of your robe in my hand; however, when I cut this piece from your robe, and chose not to kill you. You need to recognize that I bear no iniquity or disobedience towards you and I have not sinned against you. Nevertheless, you continue pursuing me.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And my father, look—also look—an extremity of your robe in my hand, for in my cutting of an extremity of your robe and I did not slay you. Know and look for not in my hand evil and violation and I have not sinned to you and you are chasing my soul to take her.

Peshitta                                 Moreover, turn back, and see that even the skirt of your robe is in my hand; because when I cut off the skirt of your robe, I did not kill you. Now you should know and see that there is neither evil nor fault in my hand, and I have not sinned against you—yet you hunt me to take my life.

Septuagint                             And, behold, the skirt of your mantle [is] in my hand, I cut off the skirt, and I did not kill you. Know then and see today [that] there is no evil in my hand, nor impiety, nor rebellion; and I have not sinned against you, but you lay snares for my soul, to take it.

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Your Majesty, look at what I'm holding. You can see that it's a piece of your robe. If I could cut off a piece of your robe, I could have killed you. But I let you live, and that should prove I'm not trying to harm you or to rebel. I haven't done anything to you, and yet you keep trying to ambush and kill me.

NLT                                Look, my father, at what I have in my hand. It is a piece of your robe! I cut it off, but I didn’t kill you. this proves that I am not trying to harm you and that I have not sinned against you, even though you have been hunting for me to kill me.

REB                                       Look, my dear lord, see this piece of your cloak in my hand. I cut if off, but I did not kill you. this show that I have no thought of violence or treachery against you, and that I have done you no wrong. Yet you are resolved to take my life.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         My master, look at this! The border of your robe is in my hand! Since I cut off the border of your robe and didn't kill you, you should know and be able to see I mean no harm or rebellion. I haven't sinned against you, but you are trying to ambush me in order to take my life.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Please, sir [lit., my father], take a close look at the corner of your cloak in my hand; for when I cut off the corner of your cloak, I did not kill you. You must see plainly that I have done nothing evil or rebellious, and I have never wronged you. yet you are bent on taking my life.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Young's Updated LT              And, my father, see, yea see the skirt of your upper robe in my hand; for by cutting off the skirt of your upper robe, and I have not killed you, know and see that there is not in my hand evil and transgression, and I have not sinned against you, and you are hunting my soul to take it!


What is the gist of this verse? David continues to attempt to reason with Saul. David holds up the very end of Saul’s robe, revealing that he had a knife and was close enough to use this knife on Saul (as he did use it on Saul’s robe). David again emphasizes that he has not sinned against Saul, even though Saul continues to chase David down, seeking his life.


1Samuel 24:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

âbv (ב ָא,) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household or clan

masculine singular noun with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3

rââh (ה ָאָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

look, see, behold, view, see here, listen up

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

gam (ם ַ) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

rââh (ה ָאָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

look, see, behold, view, see here, listen up

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kânâph (ף ָנ ָ) [pronounced kaw-NAWF]

wings of birds (Gen. 1:21 Ex. 19:4 Deut. 32:11) as well as the extremity of a garment (Deut. 22:12, 30 Ruth 3:9)

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #3671 BDB #489

Just as a bird’s wing sticks out from the torso of the bird; so also the end of Samuel’s robe was away from his body. Or, as the wing of a bird flaps, so did the extremity of Samuel’s robe. This is the connection between the two meanings.

me׳îyl (לי.עמ) [pronounced meĢEEL]

robe, upper coat or cloak

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4598 BDB #591

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388


Translation: Look, my father, and look [carefully]: the end of your robe [is] in my hand,... David is quite a distance from Saul. He is close enough for Saul to see him, and for Saul to be able to hear him. David holds up the very end or border of Saul’s robe, and he tells Saul to carefully look in his hand for this piece of Saul’s robe. Saul no doubt did a double-take, and looked down at the end of his robe, to see that there was a piece missing. Then, Saul looks back up at David, holding his missing piece of robe.


1Samuel 24:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

kârath (תַרָ) [pronounced kaw-RAHTH]

to cut off, to cut down; to kill, to destroy; to make a covenant

Qal infinitive construct with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #3772 BDB #503

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kânâph (ף ָנ ָ) [pronounced kaw-NAWF]

wings of birds (Gen. 1:21 Ex. 19:4 Deut. 32:11) as well as the extremity of a garment (Deut. 22:12, 30 Ruth 3:9)

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #3671 BDB #489

me׳îyl (לי.עמ) [pronounced meĢEEL]

robe, upper coat or cloak

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4598 BDB #591


Translation: ...[but] when I cut the end of your robe,... David is going to word this carefully. Please understand that David had a sharp knife on him—sharp enough to quietly cut Saul’s robe without disturbing him. David could have just as easily slit Saul’s throat. However, David will not be graphic about that aspect of what happened. He simply refers to when he cut off the end of Saul’s robe. Saul will mentally fill in the blanks of what could have been.


1Samuel 24:11c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

hârag (ג ַר ָה) [pronounced haw-RAHG]

to kill, to slay, to execute; to destroy, to ruin

1st person singular, Qal perfect with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #2026 BDB #246


Translation: ...I did not kill you. David does not become graphic at this point; he simply points out that he could have killed Saul. Saul, seeing David in the distance, holding up the end of his robe has a chill pass up his spine. Saul knows full well that his life could have been ended but minutes before. David has provided Saul with incontrovertible evidence that he intends the king no harm.


1Samuel 24:11d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

yâda׳ (ע ַדָי) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

know; see; perceive, acquire knowledge, become acquainted, know by experience, have a knowledge of something

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

rââh (ה ָאָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

look, see, behold, view, see here, listen up

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

êyn (ןי̤א) [pronounced ān]

nothing, not, [is] not; not present, not ready; expresses non-existence, absence or non-possession; there is no [none, no one]

particle of negation; substantive of negation

Strong’s #369 BDB #34

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

râ׳âh (הָעָר) [pronounced raw-ĢAW]

evil, misery, distress, disaster, injury, iniquity, aberration, that which is morally reprehensible

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #7451 BDB #949

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

pesha׳ (ע ַש) [pronounced PEH-shahģ]

violation, infraction, disobedience, insubordination, rebellion, transgression, trespass

masculine plural noun with the 1st person plural suffix

Strong’s #6588 BDB #833


Translation: See and realize [that there is] no iniquity or disobedience in my hand... David still believes that he can reason with Saul. He still thinks that he can explain exactly the circumstances so that Saul will realize that David is not his sworn enemy. David asks Saul to look at what he is holding and to know without a doubt that David has not committed any iniquity against Saul, nor has he ever been disobedient to Saul.


Application: You must be thinking, doesn’t David get it yet? Saul can’t be reasoned with. Now, for some application: there are some people that you cannot reason with. There are some people who are so caught up in their own emotional arrogance that there is nothing you can say, nothing you can do, no point that you can make that will dissuade them from their evil behavior. The Nazis who ran the death camps; the terrorists who target innocent civilians—there is no cogent argument that you can put together to change their minds. They have a set way of thinking, and that is not going to change. Similarly, there are some cultists out there, e.g., for instance, Jehovah’s Witnesses, who cannot be reasoned with. Arguing the Jesus is God from the Greek of John 1:1–3, 14 is a simply thing to do with the most rudimentary understanding of Greek. I’ve made this argument on several occasions to several Jehovah Witnesses. What happened each and every time is that they would bring back someone else who knew more than they did. And I would argue that person into a corner. Then they would go and get someone who knew more, and I would out-argue that person. Finally, it became clear to me that, no matter how cogently I made the case for the deity of Jesus Christ, they weren’t going to buy it. Even though they were unable to out-argue me, they were not going to change their minds. When you encounter someone in emotional arrogance, then realize that, their viewpoints are often fixed and unalterable.


Tangent Application: This does not mean that you, in a position of authority, can simply make your edicts known as God did the Ten Commandments. There are different ways of making a policy known, and sometimes, presenting a cogent argument is a part of that process. When you discipline your children, and point out what is right and wrong to them, you might have to go into some detail. You might need to give them some explanation. The point here is, just because some people will not change their minds about anything no matter what, there are others who require an explanation.


Application: On the other hand, even though Saul can barely be reasoned with, and trusted even less, notice that David does not just kill him. David never says, “Okay, it is obvious that it is your or me, and I am going to choose me. Therefore, Saul, you die.” David is merciful toward Saul, even though Saul does not show him the same mercy. David is gracious towards Saul, even though Saul exhibits no grace to him. Just because someone is hopeless, this does not mean that you can discontinue being gracious towards them.


Application: We are hopeless. Our rebellion against God is complete and cannot be removed by our own actions. It is God’s graciousness which allows us to have fellowship with God. We are no more deserving of God’s grace than Saul is of David’s grace. That is the whole idea behind grace—the recipient is completely and totally undeserving.


1Samuel 24:11e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

châţâ (א ָט ָח) [pronounced khaw-TAW]

to sin, to miss, to miss the mark, to violate the law, to err; to do wrong, to commit a transgression

1st person singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #2398 BDB #306

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...even though [lit., and] I have not sinned with respect to you,... David apparently knows, possibly through Jonathan, that Saul has been bad-mouthing him; and it is possible that David even knows some of Saul’s accusations. They are essentially that David is an insurrectionist who has turned Saul’s own son against him. David points out that he has never sinned with regards to Saul. David would use a bêyth preposition if he was going to say, “I have not sinned against you.” However, the lâmed preposition, although it sounds weaker, indicates that David has not sinned whatsoever with respect to Saul. David has never done anything which is remotely related to sinning against Saul. David has never done anything which could even be remotely interpreted as a sin against Saul.


1Samuel 24:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

attâh (הָ-א) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

tsâdâh (הָדָצ) [pronounced tzaw-DAW]

to lie in wait for; to hunt, to chase; to lay desolate, to destroy, to lay waste; to hunt

Qal active participle

Strong’s #6658 BDB #841

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

nephesh (שפ נ) [pronounced NEH-fesh]

soul, life, living being, desire

feminine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #5315 BDB #659

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lâqach (ח ַק ָל) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542


Translation: ...you chase my soul to seize it. Here is the contrast; even though David has done nothing against Saul, Saul is after David’s life. Saul is out to capture David (David stops short here of saying, you are out to kill me).


And so judges Jehovah between me and between you and avenges me Jehovah from you; and my hand is not in you.

1Samuel

24:12

Jehovah will judge between you and I and Jehovah will avenge me on account of you; because [lit., and] my hand has never been [lit., is not] against you.

Jehovah will evaluate the situation between you and I and He will take my vengeance upon you, because I have never lifted my hand against you.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so judges Jehovah between me and between you and avenges me Jehovah from you; and my hand is not in you.

The Peshitta                          May the Lord judge between me and you, and the Lord avenger me of you; but my hand will not be against you.

Septuagint                             The Lord judge between you and me, and the Lord requite you on yourself; but my hand will not be upon you.

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       I'll let the LORD decide which one of us has done right. I pray that the LORD will punish you for what you're doing to me, but I won't do anything to you..

NLT                                The Lord will decide between us. Perhaps the Lord will punish you for what you are trying to do to me, but I will never harm you.

REB                                       May the Lord judge between us! But though he may take vengeance on you for my sake, my hand will not be against you.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         May the LORD decide between you and me. May the LORD take revenge on you for what you did to me. However, I will not lay a hand on you.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Young's Updated LT              Jehovah judges between me and you and Jehovah has avenged me of you, and my hand is not on you;....


What is the gist of this verse? David becomes quite brash and confident here; he tells Saul that God will judge the situation between them and then God will take vengeance upon Saul. One reason God will side with David is that David has never raised his hand against Saul.


1Samuel 24:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâphaţ (טַפָש) [pronounced shaw-FAHT]

to judge, to condemn, to punish; to defend [especially the poor and oppressed], to defend [one’s cause] and deliver him from his enemies; to rule, to govern

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #8199 BDB #1047

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

bêyn (ןיֵ) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #996 BDB #107

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bêyn (ןיֵ) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #996 BDB #107


Translation: Jehovah will judge between you and I... We have been studying David’s psalms side by side with this narrative. We have observed David’s spiritual growth and the changes that have occurred in David. David is completely confident, and rightly so, that he has not done anything to incur Saul’s wrath. So David does not offer a silly prayer here, “God, please judge or evaluate this problem that we are having.” He knows that God will evaluate this problem and God will rightly judge.


Application: As a believer, you will have beefs with both believers and unbelievers. Now, sometimes this will be because you are acting like a total ass, and they can’t help but comment on your behavior. However, for the times when you are minding your own business and some hell bitch swoops down from her self righteous perch with the intention of making your life miserable, you do not need to retaliate. You do not need to do anything about this. You don’t have to run around and explain yourself to everyone else in town. All you have to do is let God take care of the matter. God will rightly evaluate all disputes and God will settle all disputes.


By the way, you may have noticed that in the Hebrew, the speaker names himself first. This was the typical protocol of the Hebrew language, as we find in Gen. 16:5 23:15 31:49.


1Samuel 24:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâqam (ם-קָנ) [pronounced naw-KAHM]

to avenge, to take vengeance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect; with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #5358 BDB #667

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, on account of, since, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4480 BDB #577


Translation: ...and Jehovah will avenge me on account of you;... Again, there is no let God avenge me; God will avenge David. Now here, David is rather bold and confident; he knows that God will not only evaluate the situation, but God will also take action, which will involve judgement of Saul.


Application: You have to realize that God will take vengeance on those who have wronged you. This is a given. Believers will put you through hell. That is why God keeps some believers around, so that they can mess up your life. That is their purpose. Don’t react, don’t freak out, don’t take vengeance; just stand back and realize that God will take care of them, and they may or may not know what hit them.


I want you to note that David does not take the Pollyanna approach and tell Saul, “Hey, it’s all good. Snow cones and flowers to you, Saul. Whatever.” He tells Saul that Jehovah God will avenge him. We live in a world where people mean you harm. So, even though it is wrong for you to seek your own personal revenge, you may pray that God avenges you (imprecatory prayer) and you can, under certain circumstances, let this other person know that God will avenge you. However, know enough doctrine to be right, or (1) you are going to sound like an ass to this other person; and (2) God will be embarrassed. Footnote


1Samuel 24:12c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

Although Owen lists this as a Qal imperfect, I am pretty certain that it is a perfect tense, indicating that David had not done anything in the past against Saul. In the next verse, he will use the imperfect tense, meaning that he will never raise his hand against Saul in the future.

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s# none BDB #88


Translation: ....because [lit., and] my hand has never been [lit., is not] against you. Even in David’s psalms, he was careful not to name Saul is the vicious, half-crazed bastard that he was. David did refer to Saul several times in the psalms, and even once where he referred to Saul as Cush the Benjamite (Psalm 7:1).


Application: You don’t even run down your enemies—even those who deserve it! David could, at any juncture, call Saul a slimy, two-faced bastard, and he would be telling the truth—but he does not. David does not say this to Saul’s face nor does he say these things behind Saul’s back. Notice, to David’s men, by David’s description, Saul is the Lord’s anointed. So, not only is David’s hand not against Saul, but David does not even badmouth Saul. Watch and learn from David.


As that saying, a proverb of the ancients, ‘From malevolent ones comes malevolence;’ and my hand is not in you.

1Samuel

24:13

Just as the ancient proverb says, ‘Out from malevolent [men] comes malevolence;’ and my hand is not against you.

This is just like the ancient proverb, which says, “Malevolent men always produce malevolence;’ furthermore, my hand has never been against you.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       As that saying, a proverb of the ancients, ‘From malevolent ones comes malevolence;’ and my hand is not in you.

The Peshitta                          As it is said in the proverbs of the ancients, ‘Out of the wicked proceeds wickedness;’ but my hand will not be against you.

Septuagint                             As the old proverb says, ‘Transgression will proceed from the wicked ones;’ but my hand will not be upon you.

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       An old proverb says, "Only evil people do evil things," and so I won't harm you.

NLT                                As that old proverb says, ‘From evil people come evil deeds.’ So you can be sure I will never harm you.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         It's like people used to say long ago, 'Wickedness comes from wicked people.' But I will not lay a hand on you.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Young's Literal Translation    ...as says the simile of the ancients, From the wicked goes out wickedness, and my hand is not on you.


What is the gist of this verse? David quotes a saying of the ancients, “Out from the wicked comes wickedness.” Then he tells Saul again that his hand will never be against Saul.


1Samuel 24:13a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately; combined with an infinitive, it can also take on the meaning as, often, when, as soon as

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

Together, kaăsher (ר ש ֲא ַ) [pronounced kah-uh-SHER] means as which, as one who, as, like as, just as; according to what manner; because.

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

mâshâl (לָשָמ) [pronounced maw-SHAWL]

parable, proverb, discourse, memorable recitation; comparison, analogy

masculine singular construct

Strong's #4912 BDB #605

qademônîy (י.נֹמד-ק) [pronounced kade-moh-NEE]

former, ancient, eastern

adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #6931 BDB #870


Translation: Just as the ancient proverb says,... David is not quoting Scripture here, but he is simply going to quote something which Saul knew. I often render this memorable recitation. It is something which is well-known and well-remembered. We find this sort of thing done occasionally in Scripture, where a common proverb or saying of that time period is quoted. It would be just like me making a point, and then saying, “As the adage goes, ‘Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.’ It is a saying which is well-known. Footnote


1Samuel 24:13b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, on account of, since, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

râshâ׳ (ע ָש ָר) [pronounced raw-SHAWĢ]

malevolent ones, lawless ones, criminals, the corrupt; wicked, wicked ones

masculine plural adjective (here, it acts like a noun)

Strong’s #7563 BDB #957

yâtsâ (א ָצ ָי) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go out, to come out, to come forth

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

resha׳ (ע-ש∵ר) [pronounced REH-shahģ]

malevolent, corrupt, maleficent, wickedness, evil, malfeasance

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7562 BDB #957


Translation: ...‘Out from malevolent [men] comes malevolence;’... One of the qualities that seems to be true of a mâshâl is that it is memorable or easily memorized. This is no exception to that concept. We have a most common sandwiched between a noun and its adjectival cognate. That makes is very easy to recall. This could mean that wicked (or corrupt) people say wicked (or corrupt) things; or criminals perform criminal actions. We might make up our own saying, “An apple tree produces apples, not oranges.”


What exactly is David saying here? As you will recall from our studies in the psalms (particularly Psalm 52 57), that David was particularly irked by those who lied about him. The two glaring examples are Saul, who claimed that David had fomented revolution against Saul and had also turned Saul’s own son against him; and Doeg, who lied about what happened between David and Ahimelech, the priest of Nob. Saul’s lie resulted in David being pursued by Saul and his entire army. Doeg’s lie resulted in the death of all the inhabitants of the city of Nob.


We have similar sayings today. “Consider the source” when a statement is made that does not seem right. Or, “What did you expect from Charlie Brown?” When someone does something stupid, evil or whatever, this saying means, “Don’t be surprised; this is what you can expect from Charlie Brown.”


People nowadays have no clue as to the harm caused by lying and other verbal sins, such as gossip. I knew three women who worked each other up over gossip about me and many members of the staff of the high school where I worked. These gossip sessions had effects which lasted for 15 years (had I remained there, the effects of their gossip would have lasted even longer).


If this sounds familiar to you, Jesus said much the same thing a thousand years later: “Every good tree produces good fruit, and every corrupt tree produces corrupt fruit. A good tree cannot produce corrupt fruit and a corrupt tree cannot produce good fruit.” (Matt. 7:17–18). Our Lord’s application was to the production of God the Holy Spirit through believers in fellowship. David’s reference is to something a little more specific.


1Samuel 24:13c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s# none BDB #88


Translation: ...and my hand is not against you. David repeats exactly what he said in the previous verse. His hand is continually not against Saul. David has committed no acts of disloyalty or treason.


You may not realize it, but David has spoken to Saul in a very exact, logical way. “If a person is malevolent, then they will do malevolent things.” The equivalent statement to this (the contrapositive) is, “If a person does not do malevolent things, then they are not malevolent themselves.” To the unlearned, they may think the equivalent statement is, “If a person is not malevolent, then they do not commit malevolent acts.” However, this is wrong; Footnote and David’s logic is precisely correct. David states that his hand has not been against Saul (he has not done malevolence against Saul), which forces us (and Saul) to the conclusion that David is not a malevolent person.


After whom has come out a king of Israel? After whom [do] you pursue? After a dog dying? After a flea one?

1Samuel

24:14

After whom does the king of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog? After one flea?

Just exactly whom did the king of Israel come out against? Who exactly do you think you are pursuing? A dead dog? The flea from a dead dog?


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       After whom has come out a king of Israel? After whom [do] you pursue? After a dog dying? After a flea one?

Septuagint                             And now after whom do you come forth, O king of Israel? After whom do you pursue? After dead dog and after a flea?

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Why should the king of Israel be out chasing me, anyway? I'm as worthless as a dead dog or a flea.

NLT                                Who is the king of Israel trying to catch anyway? Should he spend his time chasing one who is as worthless as a dead dog or a flea?


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? One flea?


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Young's Updated LT              After whom has the king of Israel come out? after whom are thou pursuing? —after a dead dog! after one flea!


What is the gist of this verse? Saul has brought the armies of Israel out after one man—David; so David asks him, “Just who are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea?” The idea is, Saul is out to capture a person of no account.


1Samuel 24:14a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

achărêy (י̤רֲח ַא) [pronounced ah-kuh-RAY]

hinder parts; behind, after; following; after that, afterwards

preposition; plural form

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

mîy (י ̣מ) [pronounced mee]

who; occasionally rendered how, in what way

pronominal interrogative

Strong’s #4310 BDB #566

yâtsâ (א ָצ ָי) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go out, to come out, to come forth

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Yiserâêl (ל ֵא ָר  ׃  ̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation: After whom does the king of Israel come out? David reminds Saul of his position and responsibilities. Saul is not just some enemy of David’s; he is the king of Israel and he has brought out all of the his army to get David. The idea is, you are the ruler of all Israel, and you and your troops come out after me? David drives home this point in the next couple lines.


1Samuel 24:14b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

achar (ר ַח ַא) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind

preposition

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

mîy (י ̣מ) [pronounced mee]

who; occasionally rendered how, in what way

pronominal interrogative

Strong’s #4310 BDB #566

attâh (הָ-א) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

râdaph (ףַדָר) [pronounced raw-DAHF]

pursuing, persecuting; pursuer, persecutor

Qal active participle

Strong’s #7291 BDB #922


Translation: After whom do you pursue? David then asks Saul just exactly who exactly has he come out after. The idea is to, again, try to reason with Saul. Try to take him to a place that they can understand. Here Saul is, the king of Israel, leading the army of Israel, and who has he come out in pursuit? He has brought his army out to find David.


1Samuel 24:14c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

achărêy (י̤רֲח ַא) [pronounced ah-kuh-RAY]

hinder parts; behind, after; following; after that, afterwards

preposition; plural form

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

keleb (ב∵ל∵) [pronounced KEH-lebv]

dog

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3611 BDB #476

mûwth (תמ) [pronounced mooth]

to die

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

According to Owen, the Qal active participle acts as an adjective.


Translation: After a dead dog? The dog, in Israel, is one of most looked-down-upon creatures who walks the face of the earth. If you are thinking of the sweet poodle with the cute haircut, thing instead about an uncontrollably wild pit bull. Vicious and unpredictable. That is more the sort of dog that the Israelites were familiar with. The only thing more worthless in the mind of an Israelite than a dog is a dead dog (compare 2Sam. 9:8 16:9). David has no power; he has no army, per se; he is a man who is not just like a dog, but like a dead dog.


1Samuel 24:14d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

In the LXX, the Peshitta and the DSS, we have a copulative here.

achărêy (י̤רֲח ַא) [pronounced ah-kuh-RAY]

hinder parts; behind, after; following; after that, afterwards

preposition; plural form

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

pare׳ôsh (שֹער-) [pronounced pahre-ĢOHSH]

flea

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #6550 BDB #829

echâd (ד ָח א) [pronounced eh-KHAWD]

one, first, certain, only; but it can also mean a composite unity

numeral

Strong's #259 BDB #25


Translation: After one flea? David again emphasizes his relative unimportance in the scheme of things. What could be even less important than a dog? A dead dog. What could be even less important than a dead dog? One lone flea that lives in the dead dog’s fur. David is saying that Saul has brought his entire army out to find and deal with a dead dog. In fact, he has assembled the army of Israel, the arm of God, to come out and deal with one flea living on this dead dog. Although David is not treating Saul with any disrespect, he colorfully portrays Saul’s actions as unnecessary and way over the top.


Note that David, in these circumstances, still holds Saul to the high responsibility of his office. David does not insult or belittle Saul, but he does take him to task over his actions. “You are the king of Israel, Saul. The army of Israel is the arm of God. What the hell do you think you are doing? What is wrong with you?”


And is Yehowah to [be] a judge and He judged between me and between you and He sees and He debates my dispute and He judges me from your hand.

1Samuel

24:15

Furthermore, Jehovah is a Judge and He will judge between you and I and He sees and debates my contention; furthermore He will judge me from your hand.

Furthermore, Jehovah is the True Judge and He has already judged our dispute. He understands and disputes my case. Finally, He will judge me from your perspective.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And is Yehowah to [be] a judge and He judged between me and between you and He sees and He debates my dispute and He judges me from your hand.

The Peshitta                          The Lord therefore will be judge, and judge between me and you, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me from your hands.”

Septuagint                             The Lord be the judge and umpire between me and you; the Lord look upon and judge my cause, and rescue me out of your hand.”

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       I pray that the LORD will help me escape and show that I am in the right.

NAB                                       The Lord will be the judge; he will decide between me and you. May he see this, and take my part, and grant me justice beyond your reach!”

NLT                                May the Lord judge which of us is right and punish the guilty one. He is my advocate, and he will rescue me from your power!”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         So the LORD must be the judge. He will decide between you and me. He will watch and take my side in this matter and set me free from you.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        May the Lord be arbiter and may He judge between you and me! May He take note and uphold my cause, and vindicate me against you.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Young's Updated LT              And Jehovah has been for judge, and has judged between me and you; in fact, He sees and pleads my cause, and He delivers me out of your hand.”


What is the gist of this verse? David confidently points out to Saul that God is judge over all and He will judge this issue, this dispute which Saul has with him. God will plead David’s case and God’s judgment will result in David being delivered from Saul’s hand.


1Samuel 24:15a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

dayyân (ןָ-) [pronounced dahy-YAWN]

judge, defender, advocate

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #1781 BDB #193


Translation: Furthermore, Jehovah is a Judge... Jehovah functions as a judge over all of the earth. Jehovah is the preeminent judge. Jehovah is, was, and always will be judge over the earth. So David confidently calls upon God the make the call in this situation.


1Samuel 24:15b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâphaţ (טַפָש) [pronounced shaw-FAHT]

to judge, to condemn, to punish; to defend [especially the poor and oppressed], to defend [one’s cause] and deliver him from his enemies; to rule, to govern

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #8199 BDB #1047

bêyn (ןיֵ) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #996 BDB #107

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bêyn (ןיֵ) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #996 BDB #107


Translation: ...and He will judge between you and I... David really had no dispute with Saul, other than Saul’s constant attacks upon David and the lies that Saul has told about him. David has not initiated any of this. His behavior has been impeccable. So David knows that God will make a determination between Saul and himself.


1Samuel 24:15c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

rââh (ה ָא ָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect; apocopated form

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

rîybv (בי.ר) [pronounced reebv]

to debate, to contend, to dispute; to conduct a case or suit [against someone], to make a complaint [against someone]; to find fault

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect; apocopated form

Strong’s #7378 BDB #936

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

rîybv (בי.ר) [pronounced reebv

strife, dispute, controversy, legal contention, forensic cause; an argument used in a public discussion or debate

masculine singular noun with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #7379 BDB #936


Translation: ...and He sees and debates my contention;... God knows all of the facts and God will stand up for David. God will take David’s side and debate on behalf of David. You will recall in the psalms that we have studied of David’s increased confidence. We have seen him steadily increase in his confidence and in his assessment of the situation. David has gone from being afraid and acting in a panic, to understanding that God’s character has not changed; therefore, his relationship with God has not changed. Logically, then since God accurately judges all, God will judge this situation accurately and in David’s favor.


Application: You will be judged, maligned and gossiped about. You will suffer injustices. If you are in fellowship, if you have not been an ass in your job or in your dealings with other people, then you can trust that God will will take care of the situation. God knows what is right and wrong; God knows all of the facts. Therefore, if we suffer injustice, we know that God will take care of it.


Personal example: I had a principal who asked me to leave; at that time, I spend more time before and after school working with students than anyone else in my department. I had been set up and this had been a plot for over a year. I was too innocent to recognize what was going on. Two years later, I retired with more money than I have ever had before, and the students in his school suffered the worst setback in standardized testing in the department that I was in this history of the school. He went into another business. I had no reason to ever doubt what God was doing in this situation. God took care of everything, despite the fact that I made mistakes, said things that I should not have, and lacked trust now and again.


1Samuel 24:15d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâphaţ (טַפָש) [pronounced shaw-FAHT]

to judge, to condemn, to punish; to defend [especially the poor and oppressed], to defend [one’s cause] and deliver him from his enemies; to rule, to govern

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect; with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #8199 BDB #1047

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, on account of, since, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388


Translation: ...furthermore He will judge me from your hand. Most translations say that God will deliver David from Saul’s hand. This is the same word found earlier in this verse which means to judge. However, it can also mean to vindicate. David would be vindicated in this matter between he and Saul. Rather than Saul capturing David (i.e., David would be in his hand, or under Saul’s control); God will vindicate David out from or away from Saul’s control.


Notice that David does not simply walk away. David does not say, “Hey, Saul, I could have killed you. Let that be a lesson to you.” He tells Saul that Saul is shirking his responsibility. Saul is doing that which is wrong. Saul is using his great power improperly. David is the crown prince and Saul is the lame duck king; so David can speak to Saul ly this. “You know damn well that what you are doing is wrong; and God will judge you for these actions. God knows my heart and my actions and God knows your heart and your actions.” You may not realize this, but David is actually giving Saul advice to extend his time as king over Israel. “Take these duties before God seriously,” David says to Saul.


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Saul Expresses Personal Regrets for Pursing David and Elicits a Promise from David


And so he is as a completing David to speaks the words the these unto Saul, and so says Saul, “[Is] your voice this my son David?” And so lifts up Saul his voice and so he weeps.

1Samuel

24:16

And it is as David finishes shouting these words to Saul, that Saul says, “[Is] this your voice, David my son?” Then Saul lifted up his voice and he wept.

After David was finished shouting to Saul, Saul asked, “David, is this your voice I hear?” Then Saul began to weep uncontrollably.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so he is as a completing David to speaks the words the these unto Saul, and so says Saul, “[Is] your voice this my son David?” And so lifts up Saul his voice and so he weeps.

Septuagint                             And it came to pass when David had finished speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, “This your voice, son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept.

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       “David, my son--is that you?” Saul asked. Then he started crying...

NAB                                       When David finished saying these things to Saul, Saul answered, “Is that your voice, my son David?” And he wept aloud.

NLT                                Saul called back, “Is that really you, my son David?” Then he began to cry.



Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         When David finished saying this, Saul asked, "Is that you speaking, my servant David?" and Saul cried loudly.

JPS (Tanakh)                        When David finished saying these things to Saul, Saul said, “Is that your voice, my son David?” And Saul broke down and wept.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Young's Updated LT              And it comes to pass, when David completes to speak these words unto Saul, that Saul says, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifts up his voice, and he weeps.


What is the gist of this verse? Since David is so far away, Saul can only recognize David by his voice; he calls out to David, to see if it is really him; and then Saul breaks down and cries aloud.


David had a lot to say to King Saul. Now David will politely listen to what Saul has to say in reply.


1Samuel 24:16a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately; combined with an infinitive, it can also take on the meaning as, often, when, as soon as

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

kâlâh (ה ָל ָ) [pronounced kaw-LAWH]

to complete, to finish; to prepare; to come to an end; to consume, to waste, to destroy, to annihilate; to make pine away

Piel infinitive construct

Strong's #3615 BDB #477

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bvar (ר ַב ָד) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

Piel infinitive construct

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

bvâr (ר ָב ָ) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

words, sayings, doctrines, commands; things, matters, reports

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #1697 BDB #182

êlleh (ה  ֵא) [pronunced KEHLleh]

these, these things

demonstrative plural adjective with the definite article

Strong's #428 BDB #41

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: And it is as David finishes shouting these words to Saul,... David is a fair distance from Saul. Saul can barely hear him and see him. Saul does get the gist of what David is saying and he knows David’s voice (recall that David resided with him in the palace for some time). Saul understands exactly what had happened to him.


1Samuel 24:16b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

hă ( ֲה) [pronounced heh]

interrogative particle which acts almost like a piece of punctuation, like the upside-down question mark which begins a Spanish sentence. The verb to be may be implied.

Strong’s #none BDB #209

qôwl (לק) [pronounced kohl]

sound, voice, noise; loud noise, thundering

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6963 BDB #876

zeh (הז) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, thus

demonstrative adjective with a definite article

Strong’s #2088, 2090 (& 2063) BDB #260

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: ...that Saul says, “Is this your voice, David my son?” David is such a distance away, but Saul can hear and recognize his voice. Saul is soaking in what has just happened and he is putting things together.


Saul calls David his son for two reasons: (1) David moved into the palace and was a singer and guitarist to Saul, to sooth his craziness; Saul would see him as a son, going back to those times. (2) David had been promised to both of Saul’s daughters and he married one—this made him Saul’s son-in-law (although Saul has probably given Michel, David’s wife, to another—1Sam. 25:44). Note that these words represent such a change from Saul’s previous words against David, when he calls David, “The son of Jesse.” (1Sam. 22:8, 13). We can hear the change in the tone of his voice here.


1Samuel 24:16c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâsâ (אָָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

qôwl (לק) [pronounced kohl]

sound, voice, noise; loud noise, thundering

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6963 BDB #876

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bâkâh (הָכָ) [pronounced baw-KAW]

to weep, to cry, to bewail

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1058 BDB #113


Translation: Then Saul lifted up his voice and he wept. Saul has been chasing after David for months; suddenly he hears David’s voice. There is a wealth of emotion which sweeps over Saul, as he is an emotional wreck. Don’t forget that Saul had a great love for David at one time. He also hated him and wished David dead. He just realized that he was within a foot of David and that David let him live. Somewhere deep in his soul, beneath this mental illness, Saul remembers David and his faithfulness. Saul then just starts weeping controllably. Given the severity of Saul’s mental illness, it should not surprise us that he should suffer great mood swings.


And so he says unto David, “Righteous you {are] from me for you have produced [to] me the good and I have produced [for] you to the evil.”

1Samuel

24:17

Then he said to David, “You [are] righteous more than me because you have recompensed me good and I have recompensed you evil.”

Then he said to David, “You are more righteous than I am because you have recompensed good to me whereas I have recompensed you with evil.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so he says unto David, “Righteous you {are] from me for you have produced [to] me the good and I have produced [for] you to the evil.”

Septuagint                             And Saul said to David, “You [are] more righteous than I [am], for you have recompensed me good, but I have recompensed you evil.

 

Significant differences           .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...and said: David, you're a better person than I am. You treated me with kindness, even though I've been cruel to you.

NAB                                       Saul then said to David: “You are in the right rather than I; you have treated me generously, while I have done you harm.

NLT                                And he said to David, “You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil.

REB                                       He said, ‘The right is on your side, not mine: you have treated me so well; I have treated you so badly.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                          He told David, “You are more righteous than I. You treated me well while I treated you badly.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        He said to David, “You are right, not I; for you have treated me generously, but I have treated you badly.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Young's Updated LT              And he says unto David, “You are more righteous than I; for you have done me good, and I have done you evil;...


What is the gist of this verse? Saul has a moment of clarity where he recognizes that David has always treated him justly but he has treated David unfairly. Therefore, David is more righteous than he.


1Samuel 24:17a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

tsaddîyq (קי ̣ַצ) [pronounced tsahd-DEEK]

just, righteous, justified; absolute or perfect righteousness [if applied to God]

adjective, often used as a substantive

Strong’s #6662 BDB #843

attâh (הָ-א) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, on account of, since, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #4480 BDB #577


Translation: Then he said to David, “You [are] righteous more than me... Saul has a moment of clarity, which is one of the reasons why David (and others) tried to reason with him. Footnote Saul has put together all that has transpired and he recognizes that David has always treated him fairly and with respect. He tells David, “You are more righteous than I am.”


1Samuel 24:17b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

attâh (הָ-א) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

gâmal (לַמָ) [pronounced gaw-MAHL]

to produce [fruit]; to wean; to do, to make; to give, to recompense; to reward, to bestow [blessings as a result of a stage of growth; when followed by ל-ע]

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect; with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1580 BDB #168

ţôwb (בט) [pronounced tohbv]

pleasant, pleasing, agreeable, good, better

feminine singular adjective which acts like a substantive with the definite article

Strong’s #2896 BDB #373


Translation: ...because you have recompensed me good... In all of their dealings, David has always treated Saul fairly and justly. No matter what happened, David has always done right by Saul. Saul, here, admits to this fact; he admits that he knows that David has treated him well. In fact, what just happened, where David could have killed Saul but did not, is just another illustration of David’s proper treatment of Saul.


1Samuel 24:17c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ânîy (י.נָא) [pronounced aw-NEE]

I, me; in answer to a question, it means I am, it is I

1st person singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #589 BDB #58

gâmal (לַמָ) [pronounced gaw-MAHL]

to produce [fruit]; to wean; to do, to make; to give, to recompense; to reward, to bestow [blessings as a result of a stage of growth; when followed by ל-ע]

1st person singular, Qal perfect; with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1580 BDB #168

râ׳âh (הָעָר) [pronounced raw-ĢAW]

evil, misery, distress, disaster, injury, iniquity, aberration, that which is morally reprehensible

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7451 BDB #949


Translation: ...and I have recompensed you evil.” Saul, in his every action toward David has been evil. Even his offering his daughter to David in marriage was a self-serving act. In everything that Saul has done toward David, it was been evil and with the intention of causing David injury. At this moment, Saul has Israel’s army out combing the countryside for David, seeking his life.


Given Saul’s weeping, you can tell that this is genuine regret. He sincerely feels sorry for what he has done. If Saul were at an evangelistic meeting, everyone there would think that he is being convicted of sin and repenting of his evil ways. In fact, for all intents and purposes, Saul is doing exactly that which most people believe is part of the salvation package. How many pamphlets have you seen where you are urged to turned away from your sin, to cry out to the Lord for forgiveness. But let me make this pitifully clear: no matter how sorry you feel about sinning against God, that will not save you. You can vow never to sin again. That will not save you. Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ; how you feel about your sins up until that point in time is immaterial. Now, certainly, many of us are brought to our Lord because we are ashamed of our lives and what we have done. However, others of us are brought to Jesus Christ simply through the revealing of the gospel by God the Holy Spirit. We may feel rather ambivalent about our sins. It is trusting in Jesus Christ that saves us. For me, it was not the sins in my life that brought me toward Jesus Christ, but how depressed I felt. I thought I was facing some very difficult circumstances and I was very sad about them. This led me to pray to God, expressing some positive volition, which eventually led me to faith in Christ (which came within a few months of that). I do not recall sin being an issue to me.


On the other hand, it is clear that Saul is distressed over how he feels; he is clearly distressed about his sins against David. Saul is not putting on an act here. David is not standing next to Saul with a knife at his throat. Saul is absolutely safe. He could even make an attempt to return to the cave and attack David. However, that is the farthest thing from Saul’s mind. He truly regrets what he has done; he is truly sorry for what he has done. This is no act. Saul is not exercising his thespian talents. He is ashamed, he feels badly, and he confesses his wrong aloud, to David, to all those who can hear him (which would include his own men). Most evangelists and most believers would assume that Saul is either being saved or turning his life around. And they would be wrong. He will pursue David once again in 1Sam. 26:2.


Application: When it comes to salvation, approaching the gospel from the standpoint of base of sin is only one approach. Definitely, Jesus Christ dying for our sins is the basis of our salvation—and that apart from that, all the faith in the world would not save us. But salvation is gotten through faith in Christ. I recall witnessing to one person who picked me up hitchhiking (or maybe I picked him up; this was many years ago), and I explained to him that salvation only involved believing in Jesus Christ. He appeared very interested in this fact and I personally believe that he, sometime in the future, if not right then, trusted in Jesus Christ. I approached the gospel not based upon him being a bad person, but on the basis that Jesus Christ offered him salvation for free. There are many ways to give someone the gospel; many ways to approach it. If you’re only approach is, “You have sinned against God and you should be ashamed;” then you will not reach every person God places in front of you.


And you have made known the day which you have done with me good which had delivered me over Yehowah into your hand and you did not kill me.

1Samuel

24:18

You have made it known today that which you have done to me the honorable thing [lit., manufactured good to me] when Yehowah delivered me into your hand, but you did not kill me.

You made it clear today that you have again done honorably by me, for when Jehovah delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And you have made known the day which you have done with me good which had delivered me over Yehowah into your hand and you did not kill me.