Chapter 23: Yah Tells David to Rescue the City of Keilah From the Philistines
1 Then they told David saying, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and they are robbing the threshing floors”. 2 Therefore David inquired of Yah saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines? And Yah said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah”. 3 But David’s men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Yahudah. How much more than if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines”? 4 Then David inquired of Yah once again. And Yah answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah. For I will deliver the Philistines into your hand”. 5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, struck them with a mighty blow and took away their livestock. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
Shaul Believing that Yah is with Him Goes to Keilah to Kill David
6 Now it happened, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, that he went down with an ephod in his hand. 7 And Shaul was told that David had gone to Keilah. So Shaul said, “Yah has delivered him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars”. 8 Then Shaul called all the people together for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.
Yah tells David that the People of Keilah Will Deliver Him to Shaul So David Flees
9 When David knew that Shaul plotted evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here”. 10 Then David said, “O Almighty Yah of Ysrayl, Your servant has certainly heard that Shaul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake. 11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Shaul come down, as Your servant has heard? O Almighty Yah of Ysrayl, I pray, tell Your servant”. And Yah said, “He will come down”. 12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Shaul”? And Yah said, “They will Deliver you”. 13 So David and his men, about six hundred arose and departed from Keilah and went wherever they could go. Then it was told Shaul that David had escaped from Keilah, so he halted the expedition.
David Goes to the Mountains of the Wilderness Ziph: Shaul Seeks to Kill David Daily but Yah does not deliver David to Shaul: David and Yahanathan Make a Covenant Again
14 And David stayed in strongholds in the wilderness and remained in the mountains in the wilderness of Ziph. Shaul sought him every day but Yah did not deliver him into his hand. 15 So David saw that Shaul had come out to seek his life. And David was in the Wilderness of Ziph in a forest (or in Horesh). 16 Then Yahanathan, Shaul’s son arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in Yah. 17 And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Shaul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Ysrayl and I shall be next to you. Even my father Shaul knows that”. 18 So the two of them made a covenant before Yah. And David stayed in the woods and Yahanathan went to his own house.
Shaul is Told David is in the Wilderness Ziph
19 Then the Ziphites came up to Shaul at Gibeah saying, “Is David not hiding with us in strongholds in the woods in the hill of Hachilah which is on the south of Yeshimon? 20 Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to come down and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand”. 21 And Shaul said, “Blessed are you of Yah, for you have compassion on me. 22 Please go and find out for sure and see the place where his hideout is and who has seen him there. For I am told he is very crafty. 23 See therefore and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hides and come back to me with certainty and I will go with you. And it shall be, if he in the land that I will search for him throughout all the clans (literally thousands) of Yahudah”.
David Flees to the Wilderness Maon: David on one side of the mountain and Shaul on the other side of the Mountain
24 So they arose and went to Ziph Before Shaul. But David and his men were in the Wilderness of Maon in the plain on the south of Yeshimon. 25 When Shaul and his men went to seek him, they (people) told David. Therefore, he went down to the rock and stayed in the Wilderness of Maon. And when Shaul heard that, he pursued David in the Wilderness of Maon. 26 Then Shaul went on one side of the mountain and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. So David made haste to get away from Shaul, for Shaul and his men were encircling David and his men to take them.
The Rock of Escape: Yah Stirs Up the Philistines So Shaul Goes and Fights the Philistines: David Flees to En Gedi
27 But a messenger came to Shaul saying, “Hurry and come for the Philistines have invaded the land”! 28 Therefore, Shaul returned from pursuing David and went against the Philistines. So they called that place the Rock of Escape (Hebrew Sela Hammahlekoth). 29 Then David went up from there and dwelt in strongholds at En Gedi.
Chapter 24: Yah Delivers Shaul into David’s Hand Saying Do With Him As You Please But Because of David’s Heart He Spares Shaul’s Life in the Cave Because He is Anointed of Yah
1 Now it happened, when Shaul had returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him saying, “Take note! David is in the Wilderness of En Gedi”. 2 Then Shaul took three thousand chosen men from all Ysrayl and went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 3 So he came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave and Shaul went in to attend to his needs. David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave. 4 Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which Yah said to you, ‘Behold I will deliver your enemy into your hand that you may do to him as it seems good to you’. And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Shaul’s robe. 5 Now it happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Shaul’s robe. 6 And he said to his men, “Yah forbid that I should do this thing to my master, Yah’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of Yah”. 7 So David restrained his servants with these words and did not allow them to rise against Shaul. And Shaul got up from the cave and went on his way.
David Humbles Himself Before Shaul and Explains to Shaul Why He Spared His Life: David Spared Yah’s Anointed Yet Shaul Wanted to Murder Yah’s Anointed David
8 David also rose afterward, went out of the cave and called out to Shaul saying, “My master the king”! And when Shaul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth and bowed down. 9 And David said to Shaul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Indeed David seeks your harm’? 10 Look, this day your eyes have seen that Yah delivered you today into my hand in the cave and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my master for he is Yah’s anointed’.” 11 “Moreover, my father, see! Yes, see the corner of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the corner of your robe and did not kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my hand and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it. 12 Let Yah judge between you and me and let Yah avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked’. But my hand shall not be against you. 14 After whom has the king of Ysrayl come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea? 15 Therefore, let Yah be judge and judge between you and me and see and plead my case and deliver me out of your hand”.
Shaul Cries and Calls David More Righteous: Shaul Realizes Yah’s Words are Coming to Pass: David Makes a Covenant Not to Cut off Shaul’s descendants From Ysrayl
16 So it was, when David had finished speaking these words to Shaul, that Shaul said, “Is this your voice, my son David”? And Shaul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 Then he said to David, “You are more righteous than I for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil. 18 And you have shown this day how you have dealt well with me for when Yah delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him get away safely? Therefore, may Yah reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. 20 And now I know indeed that you shall surely be king and that the kingdom of Ysrayl shall be established in your hand. 21 Therefore, swear now to me by Yah that you will not cut off my descendants after me and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s house”. 22 So David swore to Shaul. And Shaul went home but David and his men went up to the stronghold.