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1 Samuel 24:3 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— 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.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— 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.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— 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.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And he came into the sheep-folds by the way, there, being a cave, which Saul entered, to cover his feet,—David and his men, in the hinder part of the cave, having taken up their abode.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 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.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— 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.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And hee came to the sheepe coates by the way, where [was] a caue, and Saul went in to couer his feete: and Dauid and his men remained in the sides of the caue.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And he came to the flocks of sheep that were by the way, and there was a cave there; and Saul went in to make preparation, and David and his men were sitting in the inner part of the cave.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where [was] a cave; and Shaul went in to cover his feet: and Dawid and his men remained in the sides of the cave.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And he came 935
{0935} Prime
בּוֹא
bow'
{bo}
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
to x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
the sheepcotes 1448
{1448} Prime
גְּדֵרָה
g@derah
{ghed-ay-raw'}
Feminine of H1447; inclosure (especially for flocks).
6629
{6629} Prime
צֹאן
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 x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the way, 1870
{1870} Prime
דֶּרֶךְ
derek
{deh'-rek}
From H1869; a road (as trodden); figuratively a course of life or mode of action, often adverbially.
where x8033
(8033) Complement
שָׁם
sham
{shawm}
A primitive particle (rather from the relative H0834); there (transfered to time) then; often thither, or thence.
[was] a cave; 4631
{4631} Prime
מְעָרָה
m@`arah
{meh-aw-raw'}
From H5783; a cavern (as dark).
and l שָׁאוּל 7586
{7586} Prime
שָׁאוּל
Sha'uwl
{shaw-ool'}
Passive participle of H7592; asked; Shaul, the name of an Edomite and two Israelites.
went in 935
{0935} Prime
בּוֹא
bow'
{bo}
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
to cover 5526
{5526} Prime
סָכַךְ
cakak
{saw-kak'}
A primitive root; properly to entwine as a screen; by implication to fence in, cover over, (figuratively) protect.
z8687
<8687> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 1162
x853
(0853) Complement
אֵת
'eth
{ayth}
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
his feet: 7272
{7272} Prime
רֶגֶל
regel
{reh'-gel}
From H7270; a foot (as used in walking); by implication a step; by euphemism the pudenda.
and Dwi דָּוִד 1732
{1732} Prime
דָּוִד
David
{daw-veed'}
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
and his men y582
[0582] Standard
אֱנוֹשׁ
'enowsh
{en-oshe'}
From H0605; properly a mortal (and thus differeing from the more dignified H0120); hence a man in general (singly or collectively). It is often unexpressed in the English Version, especially when used in apposition with another word.
x376
(0376) Complement
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
remained 3427
{3427} Prime
יָשַׁב
yashab
{yaw-shab'}
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry.
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
in the sides 3411
{3411} Prime
יַרְכָה
y@rekah
{yer-ay-kaw'}
Feminine of H3409; properly the flank; but used only figuratively, the rear or recess.
of the cave. 4631
{4631} Prime
מְעָרָה
m@`arah
{meh-aw-raw'}
From H5783; a cavern (as dark).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Samuel 24:3

_ _ he came to the sheepcotes — most probably in the upper ridge of Wady Chareitun. There a large cave — I am quite disposed to say the cave — lies hardly five minutes to the east of the village ruin, on the south side of the wady. It is high upon the side of the calcareous rock, and it has undergone no change since David’s time. The same narrow natural vaulting at the entrance; the same huge natural chamber in the rock, probably the place where Saul lay down to rest in the heat of the day; the same side vaults, too, where David and his men were concealed. There, accustomed to the obscurity of the cavern, they saw Saul enter, while, blinded by the glare of the light outside, he saw nothing of him whom he so bitterly persecuted.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on 1 Samuel 24:1-8.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Samuel 24:3

Went in — To sleep there: Saul being a military man, used to sleep with his soldiers upon the ground. And it is not improbable, that being weary with his eager and almost incessant pursuit, first of David, then of the Philistines, and now of David again, he both needed and desired some sleep, God also disposing him thereto, that David might have this eminent occasion to demonstrate his integrity to Saul, and to all Israel. Of the cave — For that there were vast caves in those parts is affirmed, not only by Josephus, but also by Heathen authors; Strabo writes of one which could receive four thousand men.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

[[no comment]]

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
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 30,000, retired into this grotto, to avoid a bad air. This place is so strong, that one would imagine it to be one of the strong holds of En-gedi, to which David and his men fled from Saul, and possibly it may be that very cave in which he cut off Saul's skirt; for David and his men might, with good ease, lie hid there and not be seen by him." Travels, vol. ii. P. 1. p. 41.

and Saul:

Psalms 141:6 When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.

to cover:

Judges 3:24 When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour [were] locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber.

David:

Psalms 57:1 [[To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.]] Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until [these] calamities be overpast.
Psalms 142:1 [[Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave.]] I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.
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Jg 3:24. Ps 57:1; 141:6; 142:1.

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