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Chapter 23

Keilah Liberated. David was informed that the Philistines were attacking Keilah and plundering the threshing floors.(A) So he consulted the Lord, asking, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The Lord answered, Go, attack them, and free Keilah.(B) But David’s men said to him: “Even in Judah we have reason to fear. How much more so if we go to Keilah against the forces of the Philistines!” Again David consulted the Lord, who answered: Go down to Keilah, for I will deliver the Philistines into your power.(C) So David went with his men to Keilah and fought against the Philistines. He drove off their cattle and inflicted a severe defeat on them, and freed the inhabitants of Keilah.

Abiathar, son of Ahimelech, who had fled to David, went down with David to Keilah, taking the ephod with him.(D)

Flight from Keilah. When Saul was told that David had entered Keilah, he thought: “God has put him in my hand, for he has boxed himself in by entering a city with gates and bars.” Saul then called all the army to war, in order to go down to Keilah and besiege David and his men. When David found out that Saul was planning to harm him, he said to the priest Abiathar, “Bring the ephod here.”(E) 10 Lord God of Israel,” David prayed, “your servant has heard that Saul plans to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account. 11 Will they hand me over? Will Saul come down as your servant has heard? Lord God of Israel, tell your servant.” The Lord answered: He will come down. 12 David then asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?” The Lord answered: They will deliver you.

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