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Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: 1 Samuel 23

Chapter 23

Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshingfloors.


Keilah was a city of Judah, situated, according to Eusebius, eight miles from Eleutheropolis, towards Hebron. Sozomen says that the prophet Habakkuk's tomb was shewn there.

Joshua 15:44 Nehemiah 3:17,18

rob the

Leviticus 26:16 Deuteronomy 28:33,51 Judges 6:4,11 Micah 6:15

Therefore David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the LORD said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.


In what way David made this enquiry we are not told; but it was probably by means of Abiathar; and therefore it would seem, that with Houbigant, we should read the sixth verse immediately after the first.--This adventure was truly noble and patriotic. Had not David loved his country, and been above all motives of private and personal revenge, he would have rejoiced in this invasion of Judea, as producing a strong diversion in his favour, and embroiling his inveterate enemy. In most cases, a man with David's wrongs would have joined with the enemies of his country, and avenged himself on the author of his calamities; but he thinks of nothing but succouring Keilah, and using his power and influence in behalf of his brethren.

4,6,9-12 30:8 Numbers 27:21 Joshua 9:14 Judges 1:1 2 Samuel 5:19,23 1 Chronicles 14:10 Psalms 32:8 Proverbs 3:5,6 Jeremiah 10:23

And David's men said unto him, Behold, we be afraid here in Judah: how much more then if we come to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?


15,23,26 Psalms 11:1 Jeremiah 12:5

Then David enquired of the LORD yet again. And the LORD answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hand.

yet again

28:6 Judges 6:39

for I will

Joshua 8:7 Judges 7:7 2 Samuel 5:19 2 Kings 3:18

And it came to pass, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand.

when Abiathar


an ephod

14:3,18,36,37 Exodus 28:30,31

And it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah. And Saul said, God hath delivered him into mine hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars.

A. M. 2943. B.C. 1061. An. Ex. Is. 430. God hath

14 24:4-6 26:8,9 Psalms 71:10,11

he is shut

Exodus 14:3 15:9 Judges 16:2,3 Job 20:5 Luke 19:43,44

And David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod.


Jeremiah 11:18,19 Acts 9:24 14:6 23:16-18


6 14:18 30:7 Numbers 27:21 Jeremiah 33:3

Then said David, O LORD God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake.

destroy the city

8 22:19 Genesis 18:24 Esther 3:6 Proverbs 28:15 Romans 3:15,16

Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O LORD God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the LORD said, He will come down.

And the Lord

Psalms 50:15 Jeremiah 33:3 Matthew 7:7,8

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 thee up.


Heb. shut up.

Psalms 31:8

They will

7 Psalms 62:1 118:8 Ecclesiastes 9:14,15 Isaiah 29:15 Hebrews 4:13

Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth.

six hundred

22:2 25:13 30:9,10

And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand.

a mountain

Psalms 11:1-3

the wilderness

Ziph is mentioned in Joshua with Carmel and Maon, near which it seems to have been situated; and as we have mention of Carmel and Maon in the history of David, as adjoining to Ziph, it cannot be doubted that by the Ziph, in the wilderness of which David now lay, and where was the hill of Hachilah, is to be understood Ziph near Carmel and Maon.

Joshua 15:24,55


27:1 Psalms 54:3,4 Proverbs 1:16 4:16

but God

7 Psalms 32:7 37:32,33 54:3,4 Proverbs 21:30 Jeremiah 36:26 Romans 8:31 2 Timothy 3:11 4:17,18

And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.


Deuteronomy 3:28 Nehemiah 2:18 Job 4:3,4 16:5 Proverbs 27:9,17 Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Isaiah 35:3,4 Ezekiel 13:22 Luke 22:32,43 Ephesians 6:10 2 Timothy 2:1 Hebrews 12:12,13

And he 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 shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth.

Fear not

Isaiah 41:10,14 Hebrews 13:6

shall not

Job 5:11-15 Psalms 27:1-3 46:1,2 91:1,2 Proverbs 14:26 Isaiah 54:17

thou shalt be

Luke 12:32

I shall be

Proverbs 19:21 Acts 28:16 Romans 15:24

that also Saul

20:31 24:20 Acts 5:39

And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.

18:3 20:12-17,42 2 Samuel 9:1 21:7

Then came up the Ziphites to Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself with us in strong holds in the wood, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon?

the Ziphites

22:7,8 26:1 Psalms 54:1 *title; Psalms 54:3,4 Proverbs 29:12


Calmet states, that Hachilah was a mountain about ten miles south of Jericho, where Jonathan MaccabÊus built the castle of Massada, west of the Dead Sea, and not far from En-gedi.


on the south

Heb. on the right hand. Jeshimon. or, the wilderness. Eusebius places Jeshimon ten miles south of Jericho, near the Dead Sea; which agrees extremely well with the position of Hachilah, as stated by Calmet.

Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of thy soul to come down; and our part shall be to deliver him into the king's hand.

all the desire

Deuteronomy 18:6 2 Samuel 3:21 Psalms 112:10 Proverbs 11:23

our part

1 Kings 21:11-14 2 Kings 10:5-7 Psalms 54:3 Proverbs 29:26

And Saul said, Blessed be ye of the LORD; for ye have compassion on me.

22:8 Judges 17:2 Psalms 10:3 Isaiah 66:5 Micah 3:11

Go, I pray you, prepare yet, and know and see his place where his haunt is, and who hath seen him there: for it is told me that he dealeth very subtilly.

haunt is

Heb. foot shall be.

Job 5:13

See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hideth himself, and come ye again to me with the certainty, and I will go with you: and it shall come to pass, if he be in the land, that I will search him out throughout all the thousands of Judah.

take knowledge

Mark 14:1,10,11 John 18:2,3

I will search

2 Samuel 17:11-13 1 Kings 18:10 Proverbs 1:16 Romans 3:15,16

the thousands

Numbers 10:36 Micah 5:2

And they arose, and went to Ziph before Saul: but David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of Jeshimon.

the wilderness

Maon, from which the adjoining mountainous district derived its name, was city in the most southern parts of the tribe of Judah, and a neighbouring town to Carmel. Hence Nabal (ch. 25:2) is described as a man of Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and though he might dwell generally in Maon, yet he is styled Nabal the Carmelite, from the place where his estate lay. Calmet supposes it to be the city MinoÔs, which Eusebius places in the vicinity of Gaza; and the Moenoemi Castrum, which the Theodosian code places near Beersheba.


25:2 Joshua 15:55

the south

Verse 25

Saul also and his men went to seek him. And they told David: wherefore he came down into a rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon.

into a rock

or, from the rock.

28 Judges 15:8

And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.

David made haste

19:12 20:38 2 Samuel 15:14 17:21,22 Psalms 31:22


2 Chronicles 20:12 Psalms 17:9,11 22:12,16 118:11-13 140:1-9 2 Corinthians 1:8 Revelation 20:9

But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Haste thee, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land.

there came

Genesis 22:14 Deuteronomy 32:36 2 Kings 19:9 Psalms 116:3

the Philistines

2 Kings 19:9 Revelation 12:16


Heb. spread themselves upon.

1 Chronicles 14:13

Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines: therefore they called that place Selahammahlekoth.


that is, the rock of divisions. Because, says the Targum, "the heart of the king was divided to go hither and thither." Here Saul was obliged to separate himself from David, in order to go and oppose the invading Philistines; which deliverance of David was of such a nature as made the Divine interposition fully visible.

And David went up from thence, and dwelt in strong holds at Engedi.

24:1 Genesis 14:7 Joshua 15:62 2 Chronicles 20:2 Song of Solomon 1:14 Ezekiel 47:10