1 Samuel 23–24 (ESV)
1 Samuel 23:1 Now they told David, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.”
1 Samuel 23:2 Therefore David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the LORD said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.”
1 Samuel 23:3 But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?”
1 Samuel 23:4 Then David inquired of the LORD again. And the LORD answered him, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.”
1 Samuel 23:5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
1 Samuel 23:6 When Abiathar the son of Ahimelech had fled to David to Keilah, he had come down with an ephod in his hand.
1 Samuel 23:7 Now it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah. And Saul said, “God has given him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars.”
1 Samuel 23:8 And Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.
1 Samuel 23:9 David knew that Saul was plotting harm against him. And he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.”
1 Samuel 23:10 Then David said, “O LORD, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account.
1 Samuel 23:11 Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O LORD, the God of Israel, please tell your servant.” And the LORD said, “He will come down.”
1 Samuel 23:12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the LORD said, “They will surrender you.”
1 Samuel 23:13 Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the expedition.
1 Samuel 23:14 And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.
1 Samuel 23:15 David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh.
1 Samuel 23:16 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God.
1 Samuel 23:17 And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.”
1 Samuel 23:18 And the two of them made a covenant before the LORD. David remained at Horesh, and Jonathan went home.
1 Samuel 23:19 Then the Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding among us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is south of Jeshimon?
1 Samuel 23:20 Now come down, O king, according to all your heart’s desire to come down, and our part shall be to surrender him into the king’s hand.”
1 Samuel 23:21 And Saul said, “May you be blessed by the LORD, for you have had compassion on me.
1 Samuel 23:22 Go, make yet more sure. Know and see the place where his foot is, and who has seen him there, for it is told me that he is very cunning.
1 Samuel 23:23 See therefore and take note of all the lurking places where he hides, and come back to me with sure information. Then I will go with you. And if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.”
1 Samuel 23:24 And they arose and went to Ziph ahead of Saul. Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah to the south of Jeshimon.
1 Samuel 23:25 And Saul and his men went to seek him. And David was told, so he went down to the rock and lived in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon.
1 Samuel 23:26 Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. And David was hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them,
1 Samuel 23:27 a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.”
1 Samuel 23:28 So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. Therefore that place was called the Rock of Escape.
1 Samuel 23:29 And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of Engedi.
1 Samuel 24:1 When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.”
1 Samuel 24:2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Wildgoats’ Rocks.
1 Samuel 24:3 And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave.
1 Samuel 24:4 And the men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the LORD said to you, ‘Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.’ ” Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.
1 Samuel 24:5 And afterward David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.
1 Samuel 24:6 He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD’s anointed.”
1 Samuel 24:7 So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way.
1 Samuel 24:8 Afterward David also arose and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and paid homage.
1 Samuel 24:9 And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Behold, David seeks your harm’?
1 Samuel 24:10 Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the LORD gave you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you, but I spared you. I said, ‘I will not put out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’s anointed.’
1 Samuel 24:11 See, my father, see the corner of your robe in my hand. For by the fact that I cut off the corner of your robe and did not kill you, you may know and see that there is no wrong or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you hunt my life to take it.
1 Samuel 24:12 May the LORD judge between me and you, may the LORD avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you.
1 Samuel 24:13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes wickedness.’ But my hand shall not be against you.
1 Samuel 24:14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog! After a flea!
1 Samuel 24:15 May the LORD therefore be judge and give sentence between me and you, and see to it and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand.”
1 Samuel 24:16 As soon as David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept.
1 Samuel 24:17 He said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil.
1 Samuel 24:18 And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the LORD put me into your hands.
1 Samuel 24:19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safe? So may the LORD reward you with good for what you have done to me this day.
1 Samuel 24:20 And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.
1 Samuel 24:21 Swear to me therefore by the LORD that you will not cut off my offspring after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father’s house.”
1 Samuel 24:22 And David swore this to Saul. Then Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.