David Saves the City of Keilah
1Then they told David, saying, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against #1 Kin. 2:26Keilah, and they are robbing the threshing floors.”
2Therefore David #Josh. 15:44; Neh. 3:17, 18inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?”
And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah.”
3But David’s men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” 4Then David inquired of the Lord once again.
And the Lord answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah. For I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.” 5And David and his men went to Keilah and #1 Sam. 22:10; 23:4, 6, 9; 28:6; 30:8; 2 Sam. 5:19, 23fought with the Philistines, struck them with a mighty blow, and took away their livestock. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
6Now it happened, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech #1 Sam. 19:8; 2 Sam. 5:20fled to David at Keilah, that he went down with an ephod in his hand.
7And Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah. So Saul said, “God has delivered him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars.” 8Then Saul called all the people together for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.
9When David knew that Saul plotted evil against him, #1 Sam. 22:20he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10Then David said, “O Lord God of Israel, Your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah #Num. 27:21; 1 Sam. 23:6; 30:7to destroy the city for my sake. 11Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.”
And the Lord said, “He will come down.”
12Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?”
And the Lord said, “They will deliver you.”
13So David and his men, #1 Sam. 22:19about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah and went wherever they could go. Then it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah; so he halted the expedition.
David in Wilderness Strongholds
14And David stayed in strongholds in the wilderness, and remained in #1 Sam. 22:2; 25:13the mountains in the Wilderness of #Ps. 11:1Ziph. Saul #Josh. 15:55; 2 Chr. 11:8sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand. 15So David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. And David was in the Wilderness of Ziph in a forest. 16Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God. 17And he said to him, #Ps. 32:7; 54:3, 4“Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. #(Ps. 27:1–3; Heb. 13:6)Even my father Saul knows that.” 18So the two of them #1 Sam. 20:31; 24:20made a covenant before the Lord. And David stayed in the woods, and Jonathan went to his own house.
19Then the Ziphites #1 Sam. 18:3; 20:12–17, 42; 2 Sam. 9:1; 21:7came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not hiding with us in strongholds in the woods, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon? 20Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to come down; and #1 Sam. 26:1; Ps. 54:titleour part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand.”
21And Saul said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, for you have compassion on me. 22Please go and find out for sure, and see the place where his hideout is, and who has seen him there. For I am told he is very crafty. 23See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hides; and come back to me with certainty, and I will go with you. And it shall be, if he is in the land, that I will search for him throughout all the clans of Judah.”
24So they arose and went to Ziph before Saul. But David and his men were in the Wilderness #Ps. 54:3of Maon, in the plain on the south of Jeshimon. 25When Saul and his men went to seek him, they told David. Therefore he went down to the rock, and stayed in the Wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued David in the Wilderness of Maon. 26Then Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. #Josh. 15:55; 1 Sam. 25:2So David made haste to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men #Ps. 31:22were encircling David and his men to take them.
27#Ps. 17:9But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have invaded the land!” 28Therefore Saul returned from pursuing David, and went against the Philistines; so they called that place the Rock of Escape. 29Then David went up from there and dwelt in strongholds at #2 Kin. 19:9En Gedi.