23:1 And they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshing-floors.
23:2 And David inquired of Jehovah, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And Jehovah said to David, Go and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.
23:3 But 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?
23:4 And David inquired of Jehovah yet again. And Jehovah answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will give the Philistines into thy hand.
23:5 And David and his men went to Keilah, and fought against the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
23:6 And it came to pass, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah, he came down with an ephod in his hand.
23:7 And it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah. Then Saul said, God has cast him off into my hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a city that has gates and bars.
23:8 And Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.
23:9 And when David knew that Saul devised mischief against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring the ephod.
23:10 Then said David, Jehovah, God of Israel, thy servant hath heard for certain that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake.
23:11 Will the citizens of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? Jehovah, God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And Jehovah said, He will come down.
23:12 And David said, Will the citizens of Keilah deliver up me and my men into the hand of Saul? And Jehovah said, They will deliver [thee] up.
23:13 Then David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, and he forbore to go forth.
23:14 And David abode in the wilderness in strongholds, and abode in the mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.
23:15 And David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life; and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood.
23:16 And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.
23:17 And he said to him, Fear not; for the hand of Saul my father will not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next to thee; and that also Saul my father knows.
23:18 And they two made a covenant before Jehovah; and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.
23:19 And the Ziphites came up to Saul to Gibeah, saying, Does not David hide himself with us in strongholds in the wood, on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of the waste?
23:20 And now, O king, come down according to all the desire of thy soul to come down; and it will be for us to deliver him up into the king's hand.
23:21 And Saul said, Blessed be ye of Jehovah; for ye have compassion upon me.
23:22 Go, I pray you, make yet more sure, and know and see his place where his track is, who has seen him there; for it is told me that he deals very subtilly.
23:23 And see, and ascertain all the lurking-places where he hides himself, and come ye again to me with sure information, that I may go with you; and it shall come to pass, if he be in the land, that I will search him out throughout the thousands of Judah.
23:24 And they arose and went to Ziph before Saul; but David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of the waste.
23:25 And Saul and his men went to seek [him]. And they told David; and he came down from the rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon. And Saul heard [that], and he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon.
23:26 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 from Saul; and Saul and his men sought to surround David and his men to take them.
23:27 But there came a messenger to Saul, saying, Haste thee and come; for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.
23:28 And Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines; therefore they called that place Sela-hammahlekoth.
23:29 And David went up from thence, and abode in the strongholds of Engedi.