And they arose, and went to Ziph, before Saul
Not before his person, as if he went with them, and they before him leading the way; but they went thither before he went, to prepare things more exactly, and with more certainty, before he came, and in order to return to him again and go with him:
but David and his men [were] in the wilderness at Maon;
for by the time the Ziphites returned home, David had intelligence of their design, and therefore removed from the wilderness of Ziph to the wilderness of Maon; which, though in the same tribe, was a distinct place; (See Gill on Joshua 15:55);
in the plain on the south of Jeshimon;
the same as in ( 1 Samuel 23:19 ) ; only David was now farther to the south of it, and in a plain, whereas before he was on an hill.