1 Samuel Chapter 23 to 24 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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David at Keilah

23 People told David, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against the city of Keilah. They are robbing grain from the threshing floors.* 2David asked the Lord, “Should I go and fight these Philistines?” The Lord answered David, “Yes, go attack the Philistines. Save Keilah.” 3But David’s men said to him, “Look, we are here in Judah and we are scared. Just think how scared we will be if we go to where the Philistine army is.” 4David again asked the Lord. And the Lord answered David, “Go down to Keilah. I will help you defeat the Philistines.” 5So David and his men went to Keilah. David’s men fought the Philistines. David’s men defeated the Philistines and took their cattle. In this way, David saved the people of Keilah. 6(When Abiathar ran away to David, Abiathar took an ephod* with him.) 7People told Saul that David was now at Keilah. Saul said, “God has given David to me! David has trapped himself. He went into a town that has gates and bars to lock the gates.” 8Saul called all his army together for battle. They prepared to go down to Keilah to attack David and his men. 9David learned that Saul was making plans against him. David then said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod.”* 10David prayed, “Lord God of Israel, I have heard that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town because of me. 11Will Saul come to Keilah? Will the people of Keilah give me to Saul? Lord God of Israel, I am your servant! Please tell me!” The Lord answered, “Saul will come.” 12Again David asked, “Will the people of Keilah give me and my men to Saul?” The Lord answered, “They will.” 13So David and his men left Keilah. There were about 600 men who went with David. David and his men kept moving from place to place. Saul learned that David escaped from Keilah. So Saul did not go to that city.

Saul Chases David

14David went to the desert and stayed in the fortresses* there. David also went to the hill country in the Desert of Ziph. Every day Saul looked for David, but the Lord didn’t let Saul catch him. 15David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph. He was afraid, because Saul was coming to kill him. 16But Saul’s son Jonathan went to see David at Horesh. Jonathan helped David to have a stronger faith in God. 17Jonathan told David, “Don’t be afraid. My father Saul won’t hurt you. You will become the king of Israel. And I will be second to you. Even my father knows this.” 18Jonathan and David both made an agreement before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home. And David stayed at Horesh.

The People of Ziph Tell Saul About David

19The people from Ziph came to Saul at Gibeah. They told Saul, “David is hiding in our area. He is at the fortresses* of Horesh on Hakilah Hill, south of Jeshimon. 20Now, King, come down any time you want. It is our duty to give David to you.” 21Saul answered, “The Lord bless you for helping me. 22Go and learn more about David. Learn where he is staying. And learn who has seen David there. Saul thought, ‘David is smart. He is trying to trick me.’ 23Find all the hiding places that David uses. Then come back to me and tell me everything. Then I’ll go with you. If David is in the area, I will find him. I will find him even if I must look through all the families in Judah.” 24Then those people went back to Ziph. Saul went there later. David and his men were in the Desert of Maon. They were in the desert area south of Jeshimon. 25Saul and his men went to look for David. But people warned David. They told him that Saul was looking for him. David then went down to “The Rock” in the Desert of Maon. Saul heard that David had gone to the Desert of Maon. So Saul went to that place to find David. 26Saul was on one side of the mountain. David and his men were on the other side of the same mountain. David was hurrying to get away from Saul. Saul and his soldiers were going around the mountain to capture David and his men. 27Then a messenger came to Saul. The messenger said, “Come quickly! The Philistines are attacking us!” 28So Saul stopped chasing David and went to fight the Philistines. That is why people call this place “Slippery Rock.”* 29David left the Desert of Maon and went to the fortresses* near En Gedi.

threshing floors Places where grain is beaten or walked on to remove the hulls from the grain. ephod A special coat a man wore to show that he was a priest or a priest’s helper. The priest wore an ephod when he went to ask the Lord for advice. fortress(es) A building or city with tall, strong walls for protection. Slippery Rock Or, “Sela Hammahlekoth.”

David Shames Saul

24 After Saul had chased the Philistines away, people told Saul, “David is in the desert area near En Gedi.” 2So Saul chose 3,000 men from all over Israel. Saul took these men and began looking for David and his men. They looked near Wild Goat Rocks. 3Saul came to the sheep pens beside the road. There was a cave near there. Saul went into the cave to relieve himself. David and his men were hiding far back in the cave. 4The men said to David, “Today is the day the Lord talked about! The Lord told you, ‘I will give your enemy to you, then you can do anything you want with your enemy.’” So David crawled closer and closer to Saul. Then David cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Saul did not see David. 5Later, David felt bad about cutting off a corner of Saul’s robe. 6David said to his men, “I hope the Lord stops me from doing anything like that to my master again! Saul is the person the Lord chose to be king. I should not do anything against Saul, because he is the Lord’s chosen king!” 7David said these things to stop his men. David would not let his men hurt Saul. Saul left the cave and went his way. 8David came out of the cave. David shouted to Saul, “My lord the king!” Saul looked back. David bowed with his face to the ground. 9David said to Saul, “Why do you listen when people say, ‘David plans to hurt you’? 10{I don’t want to hurt you!} You can see that with your own eyes! The Lord let me have you today in the cave. But I refused to kill you. I was merciful to you. I said, ‘I won’t hurt my master. Saul is the Lord’s chosen king!’ 11Look at this piece of cloth in my hand. I cut off the corner of your robe. I could have killed you, but I didn’t! Now, I want you to understand this. I want you to know that I am not planning anything against you! I did nothing wrong to you! But you are hunting me and trying to kill me. 12Let the Lord be the judge! The Lord might punish you for the wrong you did me. But I myself won’t fight you. 13There is an old saying: ‘Bad things come from bad people.’ {I haven’t done anything bad! I am not a bad person!} I won’t hurt you. 14Who are you chasing? Who is the king of Israel coming to fight against? You are not chasing someone who will hurt you! It is like you are chasing a dead dog or a flea. 15Let the Lord be the judge. Let him decide between you and me. The Lord will support me and show that I am right. The Lord will save me from you.” 16David finished speaking, and Saul asked, “Is that your voice, David my son?” Then Saul began to cry. Saul cried very much. 17Saul said, “You are right, and I am wrong. You have been good to me. But I have been bad to you. 18You told me about the good things you did. The Lord brought me to you, but you did not kill me. 19{This shows I am not your enemy.} A man doesn’t catch his enemy, and then just let him go! He doesn’t do good things for his enemy. I hope the Lord rewards you for being good to me today. 20I know that you will become the new king. You will rule the kingdom of Israel. 21Now make a promise to me. Use the Lord’s name and promise that you will not kill my descendants,* even after I die. Promise me that you will not erase my name from my father’s family.” 22So David made a promise to Saul. David promised that he would not kill Saul’s family. Then Saul went back home. David and his men went up to the fort.

descendant(s) A person’s children and their future families.

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