1 Samuel 23

1 And they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and are robbing the threshing-floors.

2 Therefore David inquired of LORD, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And LORD said to David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.

3 And David'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?

4 Then David inquired of LORD yet again. And LORD answered him, and said, Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will deliver the Philistines into thy hand.

5 And David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and killed them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

6 And it came to pass, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand.

7 And it was told Saul that David came to Keilah. And Saul said, God has delivered him into my hand, for he is shut in by entering into a town that has gates and bars.

8 And Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.

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

10 Then said David, O LORD, the God of Israel, thy servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake.

11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? Will Saul come down as thy servant has heard? O LORD, the God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And LORD said, He will come down.

12 Then David said, Will the men of Keilah deliver up me and my men into the hand of Saul? And LORD said, They will deliver thee up.

13 Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went wherever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah, and he ceased to go forth.

14 And David abode in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill-country in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand.

15 And David saw that Saul came out to seek his life, and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in the forest.

16 And Jonathan, Saul's son, arose, and went to David into the forest, and strengthened his hand in God.

17 And he said to him, Fear not, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee. And thou shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to thee. And that, Saul my father also knows.

18 And those two made a covenant before LORD. And David abode in the forest, and Jonathan went to his house.

19 Then the Ziphites came up to Saul to Gibeah, saying, Does not David hide himself with us in the strongholds in the forest, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of the desert?

20 Now therefore, O king, come down, according to all the desire of thy soul to come down, and our part shall be to deliver him up into the king's hand.

21 And Saul said, Blessed be ye of LORD, for ye have had compassion on me.

22 Go, I pray you, 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 shrewdly.

23 See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking-places where he hides himself, and come ye again to me of a certainty. And I will go with you, and it shall come to pass, if he is in the land, that I will search him out among a

24 And they 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.

25 And Saul and his men went to seek him. And they told David. Therefore he came down to the rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard [that], he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon.

26 And Saul 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 encompassed David and his men round about to take them.

27 But there came a messenger to Saul, saying, Hasten thee, and come, for the Philistines have made a raid upon the land.

28 So Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines. Therefore they called that place Sela-hammahlekoth.

29 And David went up from there, and dwelt in the strongholds of En-gedi.