T this neighbourhood, then, Saul is pursuing David,guided by the highlanders from Ziph (xxiii. 19).And one day, tired with his morning's march in therough country, the king withdraws for a short rest in oneof the dark caves on the hill-side. There he lies downto sleep, with his royal cloak lightly thrown across hisfeet, and he little dreams that in the side-hollows andchambers of his resting-place David and his men arehidden. There is no mistaking the rank of the intruder.His towering height would betray him in an instant, if his jewelled armour and the deference of his retinuefailed to do it. The sleeper is Saul. God has deliveredthe arch-enemy into the hands of justice. There runs awhisper through the dark vaults and passages that thegreat hour of David's life is come — and perhaps for amoment David thinks the same. One stroke withGoliath's sword — and he is king. But a glance at thesleeper's face revives the past, obliterates the bittermemories of wrong, recalls the hour when he first stood,a ruddy shepherd-lad, in the presence of the Lord'sanointed. He cannot kill him. His tender and gallantheart forbids the murder. ' The Lord forbid that Ishould do this thing unto my master, the Lord'sanointed.' Then he stoops down, over the heart thathates him so, and with a deft stroke severs the goldenfringe of the royal cloak. What means that stirring andquick breathing round the cave ? It is David's followerseager to rise and slay. But David stays them — crushesthem down, the word is ; and Saul rises up out of thecave and goes his way. David was never more truly aking than when he refused, in En-gedi, to grasp thecrown. And then how David goes out and cries on Saul,174 DAVID AD SAUL [24TH SUDAYand how Saul's heart is moved, even to tears — all thatforms the unequalled close of an unequalled chapter.