1 Samuel 23

1 Then told they David, saying,Lo! the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are plundering the threshing-floors.

2 So David enquired of Yahweh, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And Yahweh said unto DavidGo, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.

3 But the men of David said unto him, Lo! we, here, in Judah, are afraid,how much more, then, if we go to Keilah, against the ranks of the Philistines?

4 So David yet again enquired if Yahweh, and Yahweh answered him,and saidArise, go down to Keilah, for I am about to deliver the Philistines into thy hand.

5 David therefore went, with his men, to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and drave forth their cattle, and smote them, with a great smiting, so David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

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

7 And, when it was told Saul that David had entered Keilah, Saul saidGod hath given him over into my hand, for he hath shut himself in by entering into a city with folding doors and bar.

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

9 And David ascertained that, against him, Saul was contriving mischief,so he said unto Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod.

10 Then said David: O Yahweh, God of Israel, thy servant, hath heard, that Saul is seeking to come unto Keilah,to destroy the city, for my sake:

11 Will the owners of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O Yahweh, God of Israel, I pray thee, tell thy servant. And Yahweh saidHe will come down.

12 Then said David, Will the owners of Keilah surrender me and my men, into the hand of Saul? And Yahweh saidThey will surrender.

13 Then arose David and his men, about six hundred, and went forth out of Keilah, and went to and fro, whithersoever they could,and, unto Saul, it was told that David had escaped out of Keilah, so he forbare to go forth.

14 Then David abode in the wilderness, in the fortresses, and he abode in the hill country, in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him continually, but God delivered him not into his hand.

15 Then David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life, David, being in the wilderness of Ziph, in the thicket.

16 So Jonathan, Sauls son, arose and went unto David in the thicket,and strengthened his hand in God;

17 and said unto him,Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee, but, thou, shalt become king over Israel, and, I, shall be, next, unto thee, yea and, Saul my father, knoweth this.

18 And they two solemnised a covenant before Yahweh,and David remained in the thicket, but, Jonathan, departed to his own house.

19 Then came up the Ziphites unto Saul in Gibeah, saying,Is not David hiding himself with us, in the strongholds in the thicket, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the right of Jeshimon?

20 Now, therefore, according to all the desire of thy soul O king, to come down, come! and, ours, to surrender him into the hand of the king.

21 Then said Saul, Blessed, be ye, of Yahweh,because ye have taken pity upon me.

22 Go, I pray you, make ready yet further, and get to know and see his place, where may be his track, who hath seen him there,for it hath been said unto me, Cunning indeed, is, he!

23 See, then, and get to knowof all the hiding places, where he hideth himself, and return unto me, for certainty, then will I go with you,and it shall be, if he is in the land, that I will search him out, through all the thousands of Judah.

24 So they arose and departed to Ziph, before Saul,but, David and his men, were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah, to the right of Jeshimon.

25 Then Saul and his men departed, to seek ; but it had been told David, and he had gone down the cliff, and taken up his abode in the wilderness of Maon,and when Saul had, heard it, he pursued 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,wherefore David became hurried, to get away from the presence of Saul, but, Saul and his men, were surrounding David and his men, to capture then:

27 when, a messenger, came unto Saul, saying,Haste thee and come! for the Philistines have spread over the land.

28 Then returned Saul from pursuing David, and departed to meet the Philistines,for which cause, they called that place Sela-hammahlekoth "the Cliff of Separation" .

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