1 Samuel 23:1-6

David Saves Keilah

1 When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors,”
2 he inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The LORD answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.”
3 But David’s men said to him, “Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!”
4 Once again David inquired of the LORD, and the LORD answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.”
5 So David and his men went to Keilah, fought the Philistines and carried off their livestock. He inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the people of Keilah.
6 (Now Abiathar son of Ahimelek had brought the ephod down with him when he fled to David at Keilah.)

1 Samuel 23:1-6 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 23:1-6 In-Context

1 When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors,”
2 he inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The LORD answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.”
3 But David’s men said to him, “Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!”
4 Once again David inquired of the LORD, and the LORD answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.”
5 So David and his men went to Keilah, fought the Philistines and carried off their livestock. He inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the people of Keilah.
6 (Now Abiathar son of Ahimelek had brought the ephod down with him when he fled to David at Keilah.)
7 Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, and he said, “God has delivered him into my hands, for David has imprisoned himself by entering a town with gates and bars.”
8 And Saul called up all his forces for battle, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.
9 When David learned that Saul was plotting against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod.”
10 David said, “LORD, God of Israel, your servant has heard definitely that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me.

Cross References 8

  • 1. S Joshua 15:44
  • 2. S Numbers 18:27; S Judges 6:11
  • 3. ver 4,12; 1 Samuel 22:10; 1 Samuel 30:8; 2 Samuel 2:1; 2 Samuel 5:19,23; Psalms 50:15
  • 4. S ver 2
  • 5. S 1 Samuel 9:16
  • 6. S Joshua 8:7; Judges 7:7
  • 7. S 1 Samuel 22:20
  • 8. S 1 Samuel 2:28