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.”

2Therefore David inquired of Yahweh, saying, “Should I go and strike these Philistines?”

Yahweh said to David, “Go strike the Philistines and save Keilah.”

3David’s men said to him, “Behold, 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 Yahweh yet again. Yahweh answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.”
  5David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their livestock and killed them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
  6It came to pass when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah that he came down with an ephod in his hand.

7It was told Saul that David had come to Keilah. Saul said, “God has 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 war to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.

9David knew that Saul was devising mischief against him, and he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.”

10Then David said, “O Yahweh, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake.
  11Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? Yahweh, the God of Israel, I beg you, tell your servant.”

Yahweh said, “He will come down.”

12Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?”

Yahweh said, “They will deliver you up.”

13Then David and his men, who were about 600, arose and departed out of Keilah and went wherever they could go. It was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah and he gave up going there.
  14David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God didn’t deliver him into his hand.

David and Jonathan’s Covenant

15David 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 into the woods and strengthened his hand in God.
  17He 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 next to you; and that also Saul my father knows.”
  18They both cut a covenant before Yahweh; and David stayed at Horesh and Jonathan went to his house.

Saul Pursues David

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

21Saul said, “You are blessed by Yahweh, for you have had compassion on me.
  22Please go make yet more sure, and know and see his place where his haunt is and who has seen him there; for it is told me that he deals very subtly.
  23See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hides himself, and come again to me with certainty and I will go with you; and it will happen, if he is in the land, that I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.”
  24They arose and went to Ziph before Saul.

But David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah on the south of the desert.
  25Saul 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.

26Saul went on this side of the mountain and David and his men on that side of the mountain, and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men surrounded David and his men to take them.
  27But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid on the land!”
  28So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines; therefore they called that place Sela Hammahlekoth.
  29David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of En-gedi.

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