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1 Samuel 23

1 Then they reported to David, saying, Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are plundering the threshing floors.

2 Therefore David inquired of Jehovah, saying, Shall I go and strike these Philistines? And Jehovah said to David, Go and strike 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 ranks of the Philistines?

4 So David inquired of Jehovah once again. And Jehovah answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah. For I am delivering the Philistines into your hand.

5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, struck them with a great slaughter, and led away their livestock. Thus David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

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

7 And it was reported to Saul that David had gone to Keilah. So Saul said, God has alienated him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars.

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

9 But David knew that Saul plotted evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring the ephod here.

10 Then David said, O Jehovah the God of Israel, Your servant has heard to understand that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city because of me.

11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? O Jehovah the God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant. And Jehovah said, He will come down.

12 Then David said, Will the lords of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And Jehovah said, They will deliver you.

13 And David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah and went wherever they could go. Then it was reported to Saul that David had escaped from Keilah; so he left off to go.

14 And David stayed in strongholds in the wilderness, and remained in the mountains 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 had come out to seek his soul. And David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a forest.

16 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the forest and encouraged his hand in God.

17 And he said to him, Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. And my father Saul knows that.

18 And the two of them made a covenant before Jehovah. And David stayed in the forest, and Jonathan went to his house.

19 Then the Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, Is David not hiding with us in strongholds in the forest, in the hill of Hachilah, which is south of the desert?

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

21 And Saul said, Blessed are you of Jehovah, for you have had compassion on me.

22 Please go and find out for sure, know and see the place where his feet are, and who has seen him there; for it has been said that he is crafty and shrewd.

23 See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hides; and come back to me with certainty, and I shall go with you. And it shall be, if he is in the land, that I shall search for him throughout 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 plain to the south of the desert.

25 And when Saul and his men went to seek him, they reported it to David. Therefore he went down to the rock, and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued David in the wilderness of Maon.

26 And Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. And David made haste to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were encircling David and his men to catch them.

27 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, Hasten and come, for the Philistines have raided the land!

28 Therefore Saul returned from pursuing David, and went to meet the Philistines; therefore they called that place the Rock of Escape.

29 And David went up from there and dwelt in the strongholds at En Gedi.

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