1 Samuel 23:28

28 Then Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to meet the Philistines. That is why they call this place Sela Hammahlekoth.a

Read 1 Samuel 23:28 Using Other Translations

Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines: therefore they called that place Selahammahlekoth.
So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. Therefore that place was called the Rock of Escape.
So Saul quit chasing David and returned to fight the Philistines. Ever since that time, the place where David was camped has been called the Rock of Escape.

What does 1 Samuel 23:28 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Samuel 23:28

Therefore Saul returned from pursuing after David
Stopped short at once, as soon as ever he received the message:

and went against the Philistines;
to stop them in their progress, and drive them out of his country:

therefore they called that place Selahammahlekoth,
which signifies the rock of divisions. David and his men, very probably, gave it this name, not only because it divided between Saul and his men, and David and his men, when they were one on one side of it, and the other on the other side of it; but because Saul was, by the providence of God, divided and separated from David here, whereby he escaped falling into his hands. The Targum is,

``therefore they called that place the rock of division, the place where the heart of the king was divided to go here and there:''

he was divided in his own mind, and at a loss what to do; he was in two minds, as Jarchi says, and did not know which to follow, whether to return and deliver his country from the hands of the Philistines, or to pursue and take David; and others represent the soldiers of Saul as divided, some saying that since the son of Jesse was just falling into their hands, they should not leave him; others, that the war of Israel should be regarded before him, who might be found at any time F21.


FOOTNOTES:

F21 Midrash apud Yalkut in loc.
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