1 Samuel 24:14
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Who are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea?

New Living Translation
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 single flea?

English Standard Version
After whom has the king of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog! After a flea!

New American Standard Bible
"After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, a single flea?

King James Bible
After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Who has the king of Israel come after? What are you chasing after? A dead dog? A flea?

International Standard Version
After whom is the king of Israel going out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog or a single flea?

NET Bible
Who has the king of Israel come out after? Who is it that you are pursuing? A dead dog? A single flea?

New Heart English Bible
Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? After a dead dog, or one flea?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? One flea?

JPS Tanakh 1917
After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.

New American Standard 1977
“After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, a single flea?

Jubilee Bible 2000
After whom is the king of Israel come out? After whom dost thou pursue? After a dead dog? After a flea?

King James 2000 Bible
After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom do you pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.

American King James Version
After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom do you pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.

American Standard Version
After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.

Douay-Rheims Bible
After whom dost thou pursue? After a dead dog, after a flea.

Darby Bible Translation
After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a single flea.

English Revised Version
After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.

Webster's Bible Translation
After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea?

World English Bible
Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea?

Young's Literal Translation
'After whom hath the king of Israel come out? after whom art thou pursuing? -- after a dead dog! after one flea!
Study Bible
David Spares Saul
13"As the proverb of the ancients says, 'Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness'; but my hand shall not be against you. 14"After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, a single flea? 15"The LORD therefore be judge and decide between you and me; and may He see and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand."…
Cross References
1 Samuel 17:43
The Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

1 Samuel 26:20
"Now then, do not let my blood fall to the ground away from the presence of the LORD; for the king of Israel has come out to search for a single flea, just as one hunts a partridge in the mountains."

2 Samuel 3:8
Then Abner was very angry over the words of Ish-bosheth and said, "Am I a dog's head that belongs to Judah? Today I show kindness to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers and to his friends, and have not delivered you into the hands of David; and yet today you charge me with a guilt concerning the woman.

2 Samuel 9:8
Again he prostrated himself and said, "What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?"
Treasury of Scripture

After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom do you pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.

the king

2 Samuel 6:20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter …

1 Kings 21:7 And Jezebel his wife said to him, Do you now govern the kingdom of …

a dead dog

1 Samuel 17:43 And the Philistine said to David, Am I a dog, that you come to me …

2 Samuel 3:8 Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ishbosheth, and said, …

2 Samuel 9:8 And he bowed himself, and said, What is your servant, that you should …

2 Samuel 16:9 Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah to the king, Why should this …

a flea

1 Samuel 26:20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face …

Judges 8:1-3 And the men of Ephraim said to him, Why have you served us thus, …

(14) After a dead dog, after a flea.--These homely but vivid similes are very common in Oriental discourse. David certainly, in his protestations of loyalty, could scarcely humble himself more than by drawing a comparison between the king of Israel in his grandeur and power and a poor dead dog--evidently an object held in special loathing by the Hebrews. "After a flea"--the original is even stronger, after "one flea" (a single flea)--"against a single flea," which is not easily caught, and easily escapes, and if it is caught, is poor game for a royal hunter.--Berl. Bible and Lange.

Verses 14, 15. - Finally, David makes a pathetic appeal to Saul, contrasting him in his grandeur as the king of Israel with the fugitive whom he so relentlessly persecuted. In calling himself a dead dog he implies that he was at once despicable and powerless. Even more insignificant is a flea, Hebrew, "one flea," "a single flea." The point is lost by omitting the numeral. David means that it is unworthy of a king to go forth with 3000 men to hunt a single flea. As the king's conduct is thus both unjust and foolish, David therefore appeals to Jehovah to be judge and plead his cause, i.e. be his advocate, and state the proofs of his innocence. For deliver me out of thy hand, the Hebrew is, "will judge me out of thy hand," i.e. will judge me, and by doing so justly will deliver me from thy power. After whom is the king of Israel come out?.... From his court and palace, with an army of men, and at the head of them:

after whom dost thou pursue? with such eagerness and fury:

after a dead dog; as David was in the opinion, and according to the representation of his enemies, a dog, vile, mean, worthless, of no account; a dead dog, whose name was made to stink through the calumnies cast upon him; and if a dead dog, then as he was an useless person, and could do no good, so neither could he do any hurt, not so much as bark, much less bite; and therefore it was unworthy of so great a prince, a lessening, a degrading of himself, as well as a vain and impertinent thing, to pursue after such an one, that was not worthy of his notice, and could do him neither good nor harm:

after a flea? a little contemptible animal, not easily caught, as it is observed by some, and when caught good for nothing. David, by this simile, fitly represents not only his weakness and impotence, his being worthless, and of no account, and beneath the notice of such a prince as Saul; but the circumstances he was in, being obliged to move from place to place, as a flea leaps from one place to another, and is not easily taken, and when it is, of no worth and value; signifying, that as it was not worth his pains to seek after him, so it would be to no purpose, he should not be able to take him. 24:8-15 David was falsely charged with seeking Saul's hurt; he shows Saul that God's providence had given him opportunity to do it. And it was upon a good principle that he refused to do it. He declares his fixed resolution never to be his own avenger. If men wrong us, God will right us, at farthest, in the judgment of the great day.
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