And Samuel died, and all Israel gathered together and mourned him and buried him at his house at Ramah. And David arose and went down to the wilderness of Paran. Bible other translations

“the wilderness of Paran.” With Samuel dead and Saul aggressively seeking his life, David fled out of Judah and went far down south into the wilderness of Paran, the wilderness area that was inhabited centuries earlier by Ishmael and his descendants (Gen. 21:21). Paran is a broad central area in the Sinai Peninsula, but its exact boundaries are only generally described. The whole of Paran is some 23,000 square miles, and there is plenty of rough country to get lost in. Exactly where in the wilderness of Paran that David went is not described; the point was not so much as exactly where David was as how far from Judah he went to get away from Saul. Despite being so far from Judah, David stayed in touch with people in south Judah, which is no doubt how he heard about Nabal and the sheep shearing that he was doing, which would have meant there was a lot of food available to David if Nabal was willing to help.

[For the details of David’s journeys once he started running from Saul, see commentary on 1 Sam. 19:18].

Commentary for: 1 Samuel 25:1