23 Then told they David, saying,—Lo! the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are plundering the threshing-floors.
2 So David enquired of Yahweh, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And Yahweh said unto David—Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.
3 But the men of David said unto him, Lo! we here in Judah are afraid,—how much more then if we go to Keilah, against the ranks of the Philistines?
4 So David yet again enquired of Yahweh, and Yahweh answered him,—and said—Arise, go down to Keilah, for I am about to deliver the Philistines into thy hand.
5 David therefore went with his men to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and drave forth their cattle, and smote them with a great smiting, so David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
6 Now it came to pass, when Abiathar son of Ahimelech fled unto David to Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand.
7 And when it was told Saul that David had entered Keilah, Saul said—God hath given him over into my hand, for he hath shut himself in by entering into a city with folding doors and bar.
8 So Saul summoned all the people to war,—to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.
9 And David ascertained that against him Saul was contriving mischief,—so he said unto Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod.
10 Then said David: O Yahweh, God of Israel, thy servant hath heard that Saul is seeking to come unto Keilah,—to destroy the city for my sake:
11 Will the owners of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down as thy servant hath heard? O Yahweh, God of Israel, I pray thee, tell thy servant. And Yahweh said—He will come down.
12 Then said David, Will the owners of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul? And Yahweh said—They will surrender.
13 Then arose David and his men about six hundred and went forth out of Keilah, and went to and fro whithersoever they could,—and unto Saul it was told that David had escaped out of Keilah, so he forbare to go forth.
14 Then David abode in the wilderness, in the fortresses, and he abode in the hill country, in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him continually, but God delivered him not into his hand.
15 Then David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life, David being in the wilderness of Ziph, in the thicket.
16 So Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went unto David in the thicket,—and strengthened his hand in God;
17 and said unto him,—Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee, but thou shalt become king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee,—yea, and Saul my father knoweth this.
18 And they two solemnised a covenant before Yahweh,—and David remained in the thicket, but Jonathan departed to his own house.
19 Then came up the Ziphites unto Saul in Gibeah, saying,—Is not David hiding himself with us, in the strongholds in the thicket, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the right of Jeshimon?
20 Now, therefore, according to all the desire of thy soul, O king, to come down, come! and ours [will it be] to surrender him into the hand of the king.
21 Then said Saul, Blessed be ye of Yahweh,—because ye have taken pity upon me.
22 Go, I pray you, make ready yet further and get to know and see his place where may be his track, who hath seen him there,—for it hath been said unto me, Cunning indeed is he!
23 See, then, and get to know—of all the hiding places where he hideth himself, and return unto me, for certainty, then will I go with you,—and it shall be if he is in the land that I will search him out through all the thousands of Judah.
24 So they arose and departed to Ziph before Saul,—but David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah, to the right of Jeshimon.
25 Then Saul and his men departed to seek [him]; but it had been told David and he had gone down the cliff, and taken up his abode in the wilderness of Maon,—and when Saul had heard it, he pursued 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,—wherefore David became hurried to get away from the presence of Saul, but Saul and his men were surrounding David and his men to capture them:
27 when a messenger came unto Saul, saying,—Haste thee and come! for the Philistines have spread over the land.
28 Then returned Saul from pursuing David, and departed to meet the Philistines,—for which cause they called that place Sela-hammahlekôth [“the Cliff of Separation”].
29 And David went up from thence,—and abode in the strongholds of En-gedi.