1 Then men told David, saying, "Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and spoil the barns."
2 Then David asked the LORD's advice, saying, "Shall I go and smite the Philistines?" And the LORD said unto David, "Go, and smite the Philistines and save Keilah."
3 Then said David's men unto him, "See, we be afraid here in Judah. What shall we then be, when we come to Keilah, to the host of the Philistines?"
4 Then David asked the LORD again. And the LORD answered him and said, "Up, and go to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hands." 5 And so David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, and drave away their cattle and slew a great slaughter of them. And so David saved the inhabiters of Keilah. 6 And it chanced when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah that he brought an ephod in his hand.
7 And it was told Saul, that David was come to Keilah. Then said Saul, "God hath delivered him into mine hand. For he is shut in, that he is come into a town with gates and bars." 8 And Saul called all the people to war, for to go to Keilah to besiege David and his men.
9 But David had knowledge that Saul imagined mischief against him, and said therefore to Abiathar the priest, "Bring the ephod."
10 Then said David, "O LORD God of Israel, thy servant heareth that Saul is about to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake. 11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Or will Saul come as thy servant heareth say? LORD God of Israel, tell thy servant." And the LORD said, "He will come."
12 Then said David, "Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?" And the LORD said, "They will deliver you."
13 Then David and his men, which were upon a six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah and went whither chance drave them. And when it was told Saul, that David was fled from Keilah, he let the journey alone. 14 And David abode in the wilderness in strongholds, and in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him all his life, but God delivered him not into his hand.
15 And David saw that Saul was come out, to seek his life, while David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a thicket. 16 And Jonathan Saul's son arose and went to David to the thicket, and strengthened him in God, 17 and said unto him, "Fear not, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee, and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I must be next unto thee: And Saul my father thereto knoweth that it shall be so." 18 And they made a bond both of them together before the LORD. And David tarried still in the thicket, and Jonathan went to his house.
19 Then came the Ziphites to Saul, to Gibeah, saying, "David hideth himself fast by us in strongholds that are in a thicket in the hill of Hachilah on the rightside of the wilderness. 20 Now therefore, sir king, come down with all the lust that thy soul hath to come. And our part shall be to deliver him into the hands of the king."
21 Then said Saul, "Blessed are ye in the LORD: for ye have compassion on me. 22 Go, I pray you, and mark more diligently; and know and see his haunt, where his foot hath been, and who hath seen him there: for it is told me that he is very subtle. 23 See therefore and know all the lurking places where he lurketh, and come again to me with the certainty, and I will go with you. And then if he be in the land, I will hunt 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 wild field, on the righthand of the wilderness. 25 For when Saul was gone with his men to seek, it was told David. And therefore he went unto a rock and dwelt in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he followed after David into the wilderness of Maon.
26 And Saul and his men went on the one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other. And David, as a man amazed, made haste to get from Saul. For Saul and his men had compassed David and his men round about, to take them. 27 But there came a messenger to Saul, saying, "Haste thee and come, for the Philistines are come in and rove the land." 28 Wherefore Saul returned from persecuting David, and went against the Philistines. And therefore the place is called Selahammahelekoth. 29 And then David went thence and dwelt in holds at Engedi.