A fortified Judean city in the Shephelah. (Jos 15:20, 33, 44; 1Sa 23:7) Keilah was perhaps founded or, at one time, governed by some Calebite(s). (1Ch 4:15, 19) It is commonly identified with Khirbet Qila (Qeila), situated on a hill about 14 km (8.5 mi) NW of Hebron. As in the region of ancient Keilah, today grain is cultivated in the vicinity of Khirbet Qila.—Compare 1Sa 23:1.
David, while outlawed by King Saul, saved Keilah from falling to the Philistines. Yet afterward he and his men had to escape from the city to avoid being surrendered to Saul’s army by the landowners of Keilah.—1Sa 23:5, 8-13.
The city was reoccupied after the Babylonian exile. At the time that Jerusalem’s walls were being repaired under Nehemiah’s direction, there were two half districts of Keilah, each with its own “prince.”—Ne 3:17, 18.