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1 Samuel 23

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 1 Then they told David, saying, "Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are robbing the threshing floors."

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

 3 And David's men said to him, "Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; we are even more afraid to go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?"

 4 Then David inquired of the LORD yet again. And the LORD answered him and said, "Arise, go down to Keilah for I will deliver the Philistines into your hand."

 5 So David and his men went to Keilah, fought with the Philistines, brought away their cattle, and killed them in 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  Saul was told that David was in Keilah, and Saul said, "God has delivered him into my hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that has gates and bars."

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

 9 David knew that Saul secretly plotted and conspired against him; and he sent for Abiathar the priest, saying, "Bring the ephod here [priest]."

 10 Then David said, "O LORD God of Israel, your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on account of me.

 11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? Will Saul come here as your servant has heard? O LORD God of Israel, I beseech you, tell your servant." And the LORD said, "He will come down."

 12 Then David asked, "Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?" And the LORD said, "They will deliver you up to Saul."

 13 Then David and his men, who numbered about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went wherever they could go. And Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah; and he ceased to his plan to pursue him.

 14 David then lived in the wilderness in strong holds, remaining on a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God did not allow David to be delivered into Saul's hand.

 15 David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life; and David was in a forest of the wilderness of Ziph.

 16 And Saul's son Jonathan arose, and went to David into the forest, and strengthened his hand in God.

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

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

 19 Then the Ziphites came up to Saul in Gibeah, saying," David hides himself with us in strong holds in the forest, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon.

 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 are you of the LORD for you have compassion on me.

 22 Go, I pray you, make further preparations by learning and seeing the place where he stays, and who has seen him there; for I am told that he deals very wilily.

 23 See therefore, and take note of all his hiding places, and come again to me with the certainty of his whereabouts, and I will go with you. And it shall come to pass, that if he is in the land, that I will search him out throughout all the thousands [of men] in 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 on the south of Jeshimon.

 25 Saul and his men went to seek him. When David was informed, he went down to the rock and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. When Saul heard about that, he pursued David in the wilderness of Maon.

 26 Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men were on the other side of the mountain. David made haste to get away for fear of Saul and his men because they had surrounded David, and they were about to capture them.

 27 But came a messenger to Saul, saying, "Come quickly for the Philistines have invaded the land."

 28 Therefore Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines; therefore they called that place Selahammahlekoth.

 29 And David went up from there, and dwelled in strong holds at Engedi.


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