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!

Berean Study Bible
Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? 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.

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

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

Good News Translation
Look at what the king of Israel is trying to kill! Look at what he is chasing! A dead dog, 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
13As the old proverb says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked.’ But my hand will never be against you. 14Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea? 15May the LORD be our judge and decide between you and me. May He take notice and plead my case and deliver me from your hand.”…
Cross References
1 Samuel 17:43
"Am I a dog," he said to David, "that you come at me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

1 Samuel 26:20
So do not let my blood fall to the ground far from the presence of the LORD. For the king of Israel has come out to look for a flea, like one who hunts a partridge in the mountains."

2 Samuel 3:8
Abner was furious over Ish-bosheth's accusation. "Am I the head of a dog that belongs to Judah?" he asked. "All this time I have been loyal to the house of your father Saul, to his brothers, and to his friends. I have not delivered you into the hand of David, but now you accuse me of wrongdoing with this woman!

2 Samuel 9:8
Mephibosheth bowed down and said, "What is your servant, that you should show regard for 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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