1 Samuel Chapter 23  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 23
David Saves the City of Keilah

1David was told, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.”

2So David inquired of Yahweh, saying, “Should I go and strike these Philistines?” And Yahweh said to David, “Go strike the Philistines and save Keilah.”

3But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah, how much more so if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?”

4Then David inquired of Yahweh once again, and Yahweh answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.”
  5So David and his men went to Keilah and fought against the Philistines and killed them with a great slaughter, and then led away their livestock. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
  6Now it was when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand.

7It was told to Saul that David had come to Keilah. And Saul said, “God has made him known and given him into my hand, for he is shut in by entering into a town that has gates and bars.”
  8Saul summoned all the people to go down to war at Keilah, to besiege David and his men.

9When David knew that Saul was planning evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.”

10Then David said, “O Yahweh, God of Israel, your servant has heard, yes, heard that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to bring ruin to the city because of me.
  11Will the men of Keilah betray 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 men of Keilah betray me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And Yahweh said, “They will betray you.”

13Then David and his men, who were about 600, arose and departed out of Keilah and went wherever they could go. It was told to Saul that David had escaped from Keilah and he ceased going out there.
  14And David stayed in the wilderness, in the strongholds, and stayed in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.

David and Jonathan’s Covenant

15And David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh.
  16Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David at Horesh and strengthened his hand in God.
  17And he said to him, “Do not be afraid, for the hand of Saul my father will not find you; and you will be king over Israel, and I will be second-in-command to you. My father Saul knows this also.”
  18Then the two of them cut a covenant before Yahweh, and David stayed at Horesh and Jonathan went to his house.

Saul Pursues David

19Then some Ziphites came up to Saul to Gibeah, saying, “Isn’t David hiding himself with us in the strongholds at Horesh, in the hill of Hachilah that is on the south of Jeshimon?
  20So now, O king, come down, according to all your soul’s desire to come down, and our part will be to hand him over into the king’s hand.”

21And Saul said, “You are blessed by Yahweh, for you have taken pity on me.
  22Please go make sure once more, and know and see the place where his foot is and who has seen him there, for they have said to me that he is crafty, yes, crafty.”
  23So see and find out about all of the hiding places where he hides himself, and come again to me with dependable information and I will go with you, and it will be that if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.”
  24So they arose and went to Ziph ahead of Saul. Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of Jeshimon.
  25And Saul and his men went to seek him. When David was told, he went down to the rock and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. When Saul heard that, he pursued David in the wilderness of Maon.

26And Saul went on this side of the hill and David and his men on the other side of the hill, and David hurried to get away for fear of Saul, for Saul and his men were surrounding David and his men to catch them.
  27But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid on the land!”
  28So Saul turned back from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines, so they called that place the Rock of Separation.
  29Then David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of En-gedi.

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