Then came up the Ziphites to Saul to Gibeah
Who though he had been out in quest of David, yet was now returned to Gibeah, the place of his residence, and where he kept his court; and hither came the Ziphites, the inhabitants of Ziph, in the wilderness of which David hid himself, with a proposal to deliver him to Saul; for though they were of the same tribe with David, yet being terrified with what Saul had done to Nob, they thought it best for their own security to inform Saul where he was, and make an offer to deliver him to him. Some interpreters, as Kimchi, think that this was done before Jonathan was with Saul, and should be rendered, "the Ziphites had come up to Saul"; and hence it is before said, and David saw for he had heard that the Ziphites should say to Saul, that David had hid himself there; and at this time it was that David wrote the fifty ninth psalm, ( Psalms 54:1-7 ) :
saying, doth not David hide himself with us in the strong holds in the
which is in the wilderness of Ziph, in their neighbourhood; they were informed he had hid himself there, and they thought it their duty to let the king know of it: and particularly
in the hill of Hachilah, which [is] on the south of Jeshimon?
Hachilah is by Jerom F17 called Echela; and he speaks of a village of that name seven miles from Eleutheropolis, and of Jeshimon as ten miles from Jericho to the south, near the dead sea; on the top of this hill, which was an ascent of thirty furlongs or about four miles, Jonathan the high priest built a castle, and called it Masada, often spoken of by Josephus; who says F18, that Herod built a wall around it of seven furlongs or about a mile, twelve cubits high, and eight broad, and thirty seven towers of fifty cubits stood in it.
F17 De loc. Heb. fol. 91. C.
F18 De Bello Jud. l. 7. c. 8. sect. 3. Vid. Adrichom. Theatrum T. S. p. 38. 2. & 39. 1.