1 Samuel 23

1 Then they told Dawid, saying, “Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshingfloors.”

2 Therefore Dawid enquired of יהוה, saying, “Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And יהוה said unto Dawid, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.”

3 And Dawid’s men said unto him, “Behold, we be afraid here in Judah (Yehudah); how much more then if we come to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?

4 Then Dawid enquired of יהוה yet again. And יהוה answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.”

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

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

7 And it was told Saul that Dawid was come to Keilah. And Saul said, “God (Elohim) hath delivered him into mine hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars.”

8 And Saul called all the people together to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege Dawid and his men.

9 And Dawid knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Aviyahthar the priest (kohen), “Bring hither the ephod.”

10 Then said Dawid, “O יהוה God of Israel (Elohei Yisrael), your servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh 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 Your servant hath heard? O יהוה God of Israel (Elohei Yisrael), I beseech you, tell Your servant.” And יהוה said, “He will come down.”

12 Then said Dawid, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And יהוה said, “They will deliver you up.”

13 Then Dawid and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that Dawid was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth.

14 And Dawid abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God (Elohim) delivered him not into his hand.

15 And Dawid saw that Saul was come out to seek his life; and Dawid was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood.

16 And Jonathan (Yehonatan) Saul’s son arose, and went to Dawid into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God (Elohim).

17 And he said unto him, “Fear not, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you; and you shalt be king over Yisrael, and I shall be next unto you; and that also Saul my father knoweth.”

18 And they two made a covenant before יהוה; and Dawid abode in the wood, and Jonathan (Yehonatan) went to his house.

19 Then came up the Ziphites to Saul to Gibeah, saying, “Doth not Dawid hide himself with us in strong holds in the wood, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Yeshimon?

20 Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to come down; and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand.”

21 And Saul said, “Blessed be you of יהוה, for you have compassion on me.

22 Go, I pray you, prepare yet, and know and see his place where his haunt is, and who hath seen him there; for it is told me that he dealeth very subtilly.

23 See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hideth himself, and come you again to me with the certainty, and I will go with you; and it shall come to pass, if he be in the land, that I will search him out throughout all the thousands of Judah (Yehudah).”

24 And they arose, and went to Ziph before Saul; but Dawid and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of Yeshimon.

25 Saul also and his men went to seek him. And they told Dawid; wherefore he came down into a rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after Dawid in the wilderness of Maon.

26 And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and Dawid and his men on that side of the mountain; and Dawid made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed Dawid and his men round about to take them.

27 But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, “Haste you, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land!”

28 Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing after Dawid, and went against the Philistines; therefore they called that place ‘the Rock of Escapes’ (Sela Hammachleqot).

29 And Dawid went up from thence, and dwelt in strong holds at Engedi.