1 Samuel 26:21
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New International Version
Then Saul said, "I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Because you considered my life precious today, I will not try to harm you again. Surely I have acted like a fool and have been terribly wrong."

New Living Translation
Then Saul confessed, "I have sinned. Come back home, my son, and I will no longer try to harm you, for you valued my life today. I have been a fool and very, very wrong."

English Standard Version
Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have acted foolishly, and have made a great mistake.”

New American Standard Bible
Then Saul said, "I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will not harm you again because my life was precious in your sight this day. Behold, I have played the fool and have committed a serious error."

King James Bible
Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Saul responded, "I have sinned. Come back, my son David, I will never harm you again because today you considered my life precious. I have been a fool! I've committed a grave error."

International Standard Version
Then Saul said, "I've wronged you. Return, my son David, for I won't harm you again because my life was precious to you today. Look, I've acted foolishly and have made a very great mistake."

NET Bible
Saul replied, "I have sinned. Come back, my son David. I won't harm you, for you treated my life with value this day. I have behaved foolishly and have made a very terrible mistake!"

New Heart English Bible
Then Saul said, "I have sinned. Return, my son David; for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Look, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"My servant David," Saul said, "I have sinned. Come back. I will not harm you again, because you valued my life today. I've acted like a fool and made a terrible mistake."

JPS Tanakh 1917
Then said Saul: 'I have sinned; return, my son David; for I will no more do thee harm, because my life was precious in thine eyes this day; behold, I have played the fool and erred exceedingly.'

New American Standard 1977
Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will not harm you again because my life was precious in your sight this day. Behold, I have played the fool and have committed a serious error.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Saul said, I have sinned; return, my son David; for I will do no more harm unto thee because my life was precious in thine eyes today. Behold, I have played the fool and have erred exceedingly.

King James 2000 Bible
Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do you harm, because my soul was precious in your eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.

American King James Version
Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do you harm, because my soul was precious in your eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.

American Standard Version
Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David; for I will no more do thee harm, because my life was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Saul said: I have sinned, return, my son David, for I will no more do thee harm, because my life hath been precious in thy eyes this day: for it appeareth that I have done foolishly, and have been ignorant in very many things.

Darby Bible Translation
And Saul said, I have sinned: return, my son David; for I will no more do thee harm, because my life was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have acted foolishly, and have erred exceedingly.

English Revised Version
Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my life was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thy eyes this day: behold I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.

World English Bible
Then Saul said, "I have sinned. Return, my son David; for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly."

Young's Literal Translation
And Saul saith, 'I have sinned; turn back, my son David, for I do evil to thee no more, because that my soul hath been precious in thine eyes this day; lo, I have acted foolishly, and do err very greatly.'
Study Bible
Saul Acknowledges his Sin
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." 21Then Saul said, "I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will not harm you again because my life was precious in your sight this day. Behold, I have played the fool and have committed a serious error." 22David replied, "Behold the spear of the king! Now let one of the young men come over and take it.…
Cross References
Exodus 9:27
Then Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "I have sinned this time; the LORD is the righteous one, and I and my people are the wicked ones.

1 Samuel 15:24
Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice.

1 Samuel 15:30
Then he said, "I have sinned; but please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and go back with me, that I may worship the LORD your God."

1 Samuel 24:17
He said to David, "You are more righteous than I; for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt wickedly with you.

1 Samuel 26:22
David replied, "Behold the spear of the king! Now let one of the young men come over and take it.

Psalm 72:14
He will rescue their life from oppression and violence, And their blood will be precious in his sight;
Treasury of Scripture

Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do you harm, because my soul was precious in your eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.

I have sinned

1 Samuel 15:24,30 And Saul said to Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the …

1 Samuel 24:17 And he said to David, You are more righteous than I: for you have …

Exodus 9:27 And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, …

Numbers 22:34 And Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew …

Matthew 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. …

I will no

1 Samuel 27:4 And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no …

my soul

1 Samuel 26:24 And, behold, as your life was much set by this day in my eyes, so …

1 Samuel 18:30 Then the princes of the Philistines went forth: and it came to pass, …

Psalm 49:8 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceases for ever:)

Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

(21) I have played the fool.--There seems something more in these words of Saul than sorrow for the past. He seems to blame himself here, as the Dean of Canterbury well suggests, for putting himself again in David's power through overweening confidence in his own strength. He reproaches himself with the unguarded state of his camp, but he pledges himself to do no harm to David for the future. He even begs that he will return to his court. But in these words, and also in his blessing of David (1Samuel 26:25), there is a ring of falseness; and this was evidently the impression made on the outlaw, for he not only silently declined the royal overtures, but almost immediately removed from the dominions of Saul altogether, feeling that for him and his there was no longer any hope of security in the land of Israel so long as his foe, King Saul, lived.

Here the two whom Samuel had anointed as kings--the king who has forfeited his crown, and the king of the golden future--parted for ever. They never looked on each other's faces again; not even when the great warrior Saul by dead was his former friend able to take a farewell look at the face he once loved so well. The kindest services his faithful subjects of Jabesh Gilead could show to their king's dishonoured remains, for which they had risked their lives, was at once, with all solemnity and mourning, to burn the disfigured body, and to draw a veil of flame over the mutilated corpse of Saul.

Verse 21. - I have sinned. Saul's answer here is very different from that in 1 Samuel 24:17-21, where the main idea was wonder that David should with such magnanimity spare the life of an enemy so manifestly delivered into his hand. Here a sense of vexation seems uppermost, and of annoyance, not merely because his purpose was frustrated, but because his own military arrangements had been so unsoldierlike. I have played the fool. His first enterprise had ended in placing his life in David's power, and it was folly indeed a second time to repeat the attempt. But though the words of Saul convey the idea rather of vexation with himself than of sorrow for his maliciousness, yet in one point there is a sign of better things. He bids David return, evidently with reference to the grief expressed with such genuine feeling by David at being driven away from Jehovah's land. It was of course impossible, as Saul had given David's wife to another, and David had himself married two other women, but at least it expressed a right and kindly feeling. Then said Saul, I have sinned,.... Which is more than he acknowledged before, and yet, it is to be feared he had no true sense of his sin, and real repentance for it; but, like Pharaoh, his guilty conscience for the present forced this confession from him; see Exodus 9:27,

return, my son David: meaning to his own house, or rather to his palace, since he had disposed of his wife to another man:

for I will no more do thee harm: or seek to do it by pursuing him from place to place, as he had done, which had given him a great deal of trouble and fatigue:

because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day; and therefore spared, when he could have taken it away; which showed that his life was dear to him, of great worth and value in his account; and therefore he would neither take it away himself, nor suffer another to do it:

behold, I have played the fool, and erred exceedingly: in seeking after his life, and pursuing him again, when he had such a convincing proof of his sincerity and faithfulness, and of his cordial affection for him, when he only cut off the skirts of his garment in the cave, and spared his life. 26:21-25 Saul repeated his good words and good wishes. But he showed no evidence of true repentance towards God. David and Saul parted to meet no more. No reconciliation among men is firm, which is not founded in an cemented by peace with God through Jesus Christ. In sinning against God, men play the fool, and err exceedingly. Many obtain a passing view of these truths, who hate and close their eyes against the light. Fair professions do not entitle those to confidence who have long sinned against the light, yet the confessions of obstinate sinners may satisfy us that we are in the right way, and encourage us to persevere, expecting our recompence from the Lord alone.
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OT History: 1 Samuel 26:21 Then said Saul I have sinned: return (1Sa iSam 1 Sam i sa) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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