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1 Samuel 23

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

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

3 And David's men said to him, Look, 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 Yahweh yet again. And Yahweh answered him, and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.

5 And David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and slew 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 has been 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 Yahweh, the God of Israel, your slave 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 your slave has heard? O Yahweh, the God of Israel, I urge you, tell your slave. And Yahweh said, He will come down.

12 Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver up me and my men into the hand of Saul? And Yahweh said, They will deliver you 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 had escaped from Keilah; then he stopped to go forth.

14 And David remained 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, Don't 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.

18 And they both made a covenant before Yahweh: and David remained in the forest, and Jonathan went to his house.

19 Then came up the Ziphites 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 your soul to come down; and our part will be to deliver him up into the king's hand.

21 And Saul said, Blessed be you{+} of Yahweh; for you{+} have had compassion on me.

22 Go, I pray you{+}, make yet more sure, and know and see his place where [the trace of] his foot is, [and] who has seen him there; for it is told me that he deals very subtly.

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

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 remained 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 hurried to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men surrounded David and his men to take them.

27 But there came a messenger to Saul, saying, Hurry, and come; for the Philistines have made a raid on 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.

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