1 Samuel 23:15-18

15 While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that[a] Saul had come out to take his life.
16 And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.
17 “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.”
18 The two of them made a covenant before the LORD. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.

1 Samuel 23:15-18 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO FIRST SAMUEL 23

This chapter gives an account of David's relieving Keilah, when it had like to have fallen into the hands of the Philistines, 1Sa 23:1-6; and of Saul's design to surprise him there, which David having notice of, and inquiring of the Lord, departed from thence; which when Saul heard of, he forbore to come forth, 1Sa 23:7-13; and of David's being in the wilderness of Ziph, where, in a wood there, he had an interview with Jonathan, 1Sa 23:14-18; and of the Ziphites offering to deliver him up to Saul, for which he commends them, and gives them instructions how they should behave to him in that affair, 1Sa 23:19-23; and of his seeking him in the wilderness of Maon, where David and his men were in great danger of being taken; which was prevented by the news of the Philistines invading the land coming to Saul just at the nick of time, 1Sa 23:24-29.

1 Samuel 23:15-18 In-Context

13 So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he did not go there.
14 David stayed in the wilderness strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands.
15 While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life.
16 And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.
17 “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.”
18 The two of them made a covenant before the LORD. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.
19 The Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Is not David hiding among us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hakilah, south of Jeshimon?
20 Now, Your Majesty, come down whenever it pleases you to do so, and we will be responsible for giving him into your hands.”

Cross References 4

  • 1. S 1 Samuel 20:1
  • 2. 1 Samuel 30:6; Psalms 18:2; Psalms 27:14
  • 3. S 1 Samuel 20:31; 1 Samuel 24:20
  • 4. S 1 Samuel 18:3; 1 Samuel 20:16,42; 2 Samuel 9:1; 2 Samuel 21:7

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "he was afraid because"
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.