1 Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshingfloors.
2 Therefore David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the LORD said unto David, Go and smite the Philistines and save Keilah.
3 But David’s men said unto him, Behold, we are afraid here in Judah, how much more than if we go to Keilah against the army of the Philistines?
4 Then David enquired of the LORD yet again. And the LORD answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will deliver the Philistines into thy hand.
5 So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
6 And it came to pass when Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech, fled to David to Keilah that the ephod came in his hand.
7 And it was told Saul how David had come to Keilah. And Saul said, God has delivered him into my hand, for he is shut in by entering into a town that has gates and bars.
8 And Saul called all the people together to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.
9 But David understood that Saul devised evil against him, and he said to Abiathar, the priest, Bring here the ephod.
10 Then David said, O LORD God of Israel, thy slave has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake.
11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? Will Saul come down as thy slave has heard? O LORD God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy slave. And the LORD said, He will come down.
12 Then David said, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the LORD said, They will deliver thee up.
13 So David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah and went from one place to another. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah, and he forbare to go forth.
14 And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand.
15 And David, seeing that Saul had come out to seek his soul, stayed in the woods in the wilderness of Ziph.
16 Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God.
17 And he said unto him, Do not fear, for the hand of Saul, my father, shall not find thee, and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and even my father knows this.
18 And the two made a covenant before the LORD, and David abode in the woods, and Jonathan returned to his house.
19 Then those of Ziph came to Saul to Gibeah, saying, Does not David hide himself with us in strong holds in the woods in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the right hand side of the wilderness?
20 Now, therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of thy soul to come down, and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand.
21 And Saul said, Blessed are ye of the LORD, for ye have compassion on me.
22 Go, I pray you, prepare yet and know and see his place where he places his foot and who has seen him there, for it is told me that he deals with great prudence.
23 See, therefore, and take knowledge of all the hiding places where he hides himself and come again to me with the certainty, and I will go with you; and it shall come to pass, if he is in the land that I will search him out with all the thousands of Judah.
24 And they arose and went to Ziph before Saul, but David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon in the plain on the right hand side of the wilderness.
25 Saul also and his men went to seek him. And they told David, and he came down from there into a rock and abode in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon.
26 And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain; and David made haste to get away from the presence of Saul, for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.
27 But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Make haste and come, for the Philistines have invaded the land.
28 Saul returned, therefore, from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. For this reason they called that place Selahammahlekoth. {Heb. the rock of divisions}
29 And David went up from there and dwelt in strong holds at Engedi.