1 Samuel 24:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave.

New Living Translation
At the place where the road passes some sheepfolds, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. But as it happened, David and his men were hiding farther back in that very cave!

English Standard Version
And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave.

New American Standard Bible
He came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave.

King James Bible
And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When Saul came to the sheep pens along the road, a cave was there, and he went in to relieve himself. David and his men were staying in the back of the cave,

International Standard Version
He came to the sheepfolds beside the road. There was a cave there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave.

NET Bible
He came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave. Saul went into it to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the recesses of the cave.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
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.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave.

New American Standard 1977
And he came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he came to a flock of sheep by the way where there was a cave, and Saul went in to cover his feet, and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.

King James 2000 Bible
And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself: and David and his men remained in the recesses of the cave.

American King James Version
And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.

American Standard Version
And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet. Now David and his men were abiding in the innermost parts of the cave.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he came to the sheepcotes, which were in his way. And there was a cave, into which Saul went, to ease nature: now David and his men lay hid in the inner part of the cave.

Darby Bible Translation
And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet; and David and his men were abiding in the recesses of the cave.

English Revised Version
And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet. Now David and his men were abiding in the innermost parts of the cave.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he came to the sheep-cotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.

World English Bible
He came to the sheep pens by the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were abiding in the innermost parts of the cave.

Young's Literal Translation
and he cometh in unto folds of the flock, on the way, and there is a cave, and Saul goeth in to cover his feet; and David and his men in the sides of the cave are abiding.
Study Bible
David Spares Saul
2Then 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. 3He came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave. 4The 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.'" Then David arose and cut off the edge of Saul's robe secretly.…
Word Study

And he came
bow'  (bo)
to go or come (in a wide variety of applications)

to the sheepcotes
gderah  (ghed-ay-raw')
enclosure (especially for flocks) -- (sheep-) cote (fold) hedge, wall.
tso'n  (tsone)
from an unused root meaning to migrate; a collective name for a flock (of sheep or goats); also figuratively (of men)

by the way
derek  (deh'-rek)
a road (as trodden); figuratively, a course of life or mode of action, often adverb

where was a cave
m`arah  (meh-aw-raw')
a cavern (as dark) -- cave, den, hole.

and Saul
Sha'uwl  (shaw-ool')
asked; Shaul, the name of an Edomite and two Israelites -- Saul, Shaul.

went in
bow'  (bo)
to go or come (in a wide variety of applications)

to cover
cakak  (saw-kak')
to entwine as a screen; by implication, to fence in, cover over, (figuratively) protect -- cover, defence, defend, hedge in, join together, set, shut up.

his feet
regel  (reh'-gel)
a foot (as used in walking); by implication, a step; by euphem. the pudenda -- be able to endure, according as, after, coming, follow, (broken-)foot(-ed, -stool), great toe, haunt, journey, leg, piss, possession, time.

and David
David  (daw-veed')
loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse -- David.

and his men
'enowsh  (en-oshe')
a mortal; hence, a man in general (singly or collectively)English versions, especially when used in apposition with another word.

remained
yashab  (yaw-shab')
to sit down (specifically as judge. in ambush, in quiet); by implication, to dwell, to remain; causatively, to settle, to marry

in the sides
yrekah  (yer-ay-kaw')
the flank; but used only figuratively, the rear or recess -- border, coast, part, quarter, side.

of the cave
m`arah  (meh-aw-raw')
a cavern (as dark) -- cave, den, hole.

Commentary
Matthew Henry Commentary
24:1-7 God delivered Saul into David's hand. It was an opportunity given to David to exercise faith and patience. He had a promise of the kingdom, but no command to slay the king. He reasons strongly, both with himself and with his men, against doing Saul any hurt. Sin is a thing which it becomes us to startle at, and to resist temptations thereto. He not only would not do this bad thing himself, but he would not suffer those about him to do it. Thus he rendered good for evil, to him from whom he received evil for good; and was herein an example to all who are called Christians, not to be overcome of evil, but to overcome evil with good.
Cross References
Judges 3:24
When he had gone out, his servants came and looked, and behold, the doors of the roof chamber were locked; and they said, "He is only relieving himself in the cool room."

1 Samuel 26:3
Saul camped in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, beside the road, and David was staying in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness,

Psalm 57:1
For the choir director; set to Al-tashheth. A Mikhtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave. Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by.

Psalm 142:1
Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer. I cry aloud with my voice to the LORD; I make supplication with my voice to the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.

the sheepcotes. Caves in the rocks, in which it is still common for shepherds and their flocks to lodge. 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 very large grotto, the rock being supported by natural pillars; the top of it rises in several places like domes; the grotto is perfectly dry. There is a tradition, that the people of the country, to the number of

Travels, vol. ii. P.

Psalm 141:6 When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear …

to cover

Judges 3:24 When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, …

David

Psalm 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me: for my soul trusts in …

Psalm 142:1 I cried to the LORD with my voice; with my voice to the LORD did …

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