David Defeats the Philistines at Keilah
1Now they told David, “Look, the Philistines are fighting in Keilah and they are raiding the threshing floors.” 2So David inquired of Yahweh, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And Yahweh said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save#Or “deliver” or “rescue” Keilah.” 3But David’s men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more#Literally “also for” if we go to Keilah to the battle lines of the Philistines?” 4So David again inquired of Yahweh, and Yahweh answered him and said, “Get up, go down to Keilah, for I am giving the Philistines into your hand.” 5So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines. They drove off their livestock and dealt them a heavy blow.#Literally “he struck them with a great smiting” So David saved#Or “delivered” or “rescued” the inhabitants of Keilah.
David Flees from Saul at Keilah
6Now when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled#Literally “And it happened that at the fleeing of Abiathar son of Ahimelech” to David at Keilah, he went down with an ephod in his hand. 7When it was told to Saul that David had gone to Keilah, Saul said, “God has given him#Literally “has made him a stranger” into my hand, because he has shut himself in by going into a city with two barred gates.#Literally “two gates and a bar” 8Saul then summoned all of the army for the battle, to go down to Keilah to lay a siege against David and his men. 9When David learned that Saul was plotting evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10And David said, “O Yahweh, God of Israel, your servant has clearly heard that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to destroy the city because of me. 11Will the rulers of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down as your servant has heard? O Yahweh, God of Israel, please tell your servant!” And Yahweh said, “He will come down.” 12Then David said, “Will the rulers of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And Yahweh said, “They will deliver you.” 13So David and his men got up, about six hundred men, and went out from Keilah and wandered wherever they could go. When it was told to Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he stopped his pursuit.#Literally “he ceased to go out”
David Eludes Saul’s Pursuit
14David remained in the wilderness, in the strongholds, and in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him continually,#Literally “all the days” but God did not give him into his hand. 15When David realized that Saul had gone out to seek his life, David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 16So Jonathan the son of Saul got up and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him#Literally “he strengthened his hand” through God. 17He said to him, “Do not be afraid, for the hand of my father Saul will not find you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you.#Literally “I shall be for you as second” My father Saul knows this also.” 18Then the two of them made#Literally “cut” a covenant before Yahweh. David remained at Horesh, and Jonathan went to his house.
19Then the Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding among us in the strongholds at Horesh on the hill of Hakilah, which is south of Jeshimon? 20So then, O king, whenever you want#Literally “for all the wanting of your soul” to come down, come down, and it will be for us to deliver him into the hand of the king.” 21And Saul said to them, “May you be blessed by Yahweh, for you have shown me compassion! 22Go, please, make certain again! Find out and see exactly where he is#Literally “his place where his foot is” and who has seen him there! For they have said to me, ‘He is very cunning.’ 23Look, find out all of the hiding places where he hides. Then return to me with dependable information,#Literally “to being established” and I will go with you. And then if he is there in the land, then I will seek him among all the thousands of Judah.” 24Then they got up and went to Ziph before Saul.
Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon in the Arabah, to the south of Jeshimon. 25And Saul and his men went to seek him, and they told David, so he went down to the rock and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. When Saul heard this, he pursued David into the wilderness of Maon. 26Saul went on one side of the mountain,#Literally “from the side of the mountain from this” and David and his men went on the other side of the mountain.#Literally “from the side of the mountain from this” David was hurrying to get away from Saul, while Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them. 27But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, because the Philistines have made a raid on the land!” 28So Saul returned from pursuing David, and he went to confront#Hebrew “to meet” the Philistines. Therefore, they called that place the Rock of Division.#Hebrew “Sela’ Hammahlekot” 29#1 Sam 23:29–24:22 in the English Bible is 24:1–23 in the Hebrew Bible David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of En Gedi.