23:28 So Saul stopped pursuing David and went to confront the Philistines. Therefore that place is called Sela Hammahlekoth. 1 23:29 (24:1) 2 Then David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of En Gedi.
24:1 (24:2) When Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, they told him, “Look, David is in the desert of En Gedi.” 24:2 So Saul took three thousand select men from all Israel and went to find 3 David and his men in the region of 4 the rocks of the mountain goats. 5 24:3 He came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave. Saul went into it to relieve himself. 6
Now David and his men were sitting in the recesses of the cave. 24:4 David’s men said to him, “This is the day about which the Lord said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hand, and you can do to him whatever seems appropriate to you.’” 7 So David got up and quietly cut off an edge of Saul’s robe. 24:5 Afterward David’s conscience bothered him 8 because he had cut off an edge of Saul’s robe.
1 sn The name הַמַּחְלְקוֹת סֶלַע (Sela Hammakhleqoth) probably means “Rock of Divisions” in Hebrew, in the sense that Saul and David parted company there (cf. NAB “Gorge of Divisions”; TEV “Separation Hill”). This etymology assumes that the word derives from the Hebrew root II חלק (khlq, “to divide”; HALOT 322 s.v. II חלק). However, there is another root I חלק, which means “to be smooth or slippery” (HALOT 322 s.v. I חלק). If the word is taken from this root, the expression would mean “Slippery Rock.”
2 sn Beginning with 23:29, the verse numbers through 24:22 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 23:29 ET = 24:1 HT, 24:1 ET = 24:2 HT, 24:2 ET = 24:3 HT, etc., through 24:22 ET = 24:23 HT. With 25:1 the verse numbers in the ET and HT are again the same.
3 tn Heb “to search [for].”
4 tn Heb “upon the face of.”
5 tn Or “the region of the Rocks of the Mountain Goats,” if this expression is understood as a place name (cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV, TEV, CEV).
6 tn Heb “to cover his feet,” an idiom (euphemism) for relieving oneself (cf. NAB “to ease nature”).
7 tn Heb “is good in your eyes.”
8 tn Heb “the heart of David struck him.”