1 Samuel 24:17
And he said to David, You are more righteous than I: for you have rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded you evil.
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1 Samuel 24:17-19. Thou art more righteous than I — He ingenuously acknowledges David’s integrity and his own iniquity. If a man find his enemy, will he let him go? — That is, he will certainly destroy him to save himself. Thy behaviour, therefore, shows that thou hast no enmity to me. Wherefore the Lord reward thee good — Because he thought himself not able to recompense so great a favour, he prays God to recompense it. 24:16-22 Saul speaks as quite overcome with David's kindness. Many mourn for their sins, who do not truly repent of them; weep bitterly for them, yet continue in love and in league with them. Now God made good to David that word on which he had caused him to hope, that he would bring forth his righteousness as the light, Ps 37:6. Those who take care to keep a good conscience, may leave it to God to secure them the credit of it. Sooner or later, God will force even those who are of the synagogue of Satan to know and to own those whom he has loved. They parted in peace. Saul went home convinced, but not converted; ashamed of his envy to David, yet retaining in his breast that root of bitterness; vexed that when at last he had found David, he could not find in his heart to destroy him, as he had designed. Malice often seems dead when it is only asleep, and will revive with double force. Yet, whether the Lord bind men's hands, or affect their hearts, so that they do not hurt us, the deliverance is equally from him; it is an evidence of his love, and an earnest of our salvation, and should make us thankful.After whom ... - i. e., was it consistent with the dignity of the king of Israel to lead armies in pursuit of a weak and helpless individual like David? 1Sa 24:8-15. He Urges Thereby His Innocency.

8-15. David also arose … and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul—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 (Jud 9:7). The expostulation of David, followed by the visible tokens he furnished of his cherishing no evil design against either the person or the government of the king, even when he had the monarch in his power, smote the heart of Saul in a moment and disarmed him of his fell purpose of revenge. He owned the justice of what David said, acknowledged his own guilt, and begged kindness to his house. He seems to have been naturally susceptible of strong, and, as in this instance, of good and grateful impressions. The improvement of his temper, indeed, was but transient—his language that of a man overwhelmed by the force of impetuous emotions and constrained to admire the conduct, and esteem the character, of one whom he hated and dreaded. But God overruled it for ensuring the present escape of David. Consider his language and behavior. This language—"a dead dog," "a flea," terms by which, like Eastern people, he strongly expressed a sense of his lowliness and the entire committal of his cause to Him who alone is the judge of human actions, and to whom vengeance belongs, his steady repulse of the vindictive counsels of his followers; the relentings of heart which he felt even for the apparent indignity he had done to the person of the Lord's anointed; and the respectful homage he paid the jealous tyrant who had set a price on his head—evince the magnanimity of a great and good man, and strikingly illustrate the spirit and energy of his prayer "when he was in the cave" (Ps 142:1).

Thou hast rewarded me good for the evil that I have designed and done to thee.

I have rewarded thee evil for thy good will to me. And he said to David, thou art more righteous than I,.... By which it appears he thought himself righteous, though David was more so; the righteousness of David was so glaring, that his enemy himself being judge acknowledges it, but will not confess his own wickedness, having no true sense of sin, nor real sorrow for it:

for thou hast rewarded me good; in times past, and now; heretofore in killing Goliath, fighting his battles for him against the Philistines, driving the evil spirit from him, by playing on the harp before him, and now by sparing his life, only cutting off the skirt of his garment, when he could with equal ease have cut off his head:

whereas I have rewarded thee evil: in seeking to take away his life at various times, by casting a javelin at him more than once, sending messengers to kill him, and hunting after him from place to place, to take him and slay him.

And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.
To confirm what he said, he then showed him the lappet of his coat which he had cut off, and said, "My father, see." In these words there is an expression of the childlike reverence and affection which David cherished towards the anointed of the Lord. "For that I cut off the lappet and did not kill thee, learn and see (from this) that (there is) not evil in my hand (i.e., that I do not go about for the purpose of injury and crime), and that I have not sinned against thee, as thou nevertheless layest wait for my soul to destroy it."
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