23:1 And they told David, saying: Behold the Philistines fight against Ceila, and they rob the barns.
23:2 Therefore David consulted the Lord, saying: Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the Lord said to David: Go, and thou shalt smite the Philistines, and shalt save Ceila.
23:3 And the men that were with David, said to him: Behold we are in fear here in Judea, how much more if we go to Ceila against the hands of the Philistines?
23:4 Therefore David consulted the Lord again. And he answered and said to him: Arise, and go to Ceila: for I will deliver the Philistines into thy hand.
23:5 David therefore, and his men, went to Ceila, and fought against the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and made a great slaughter of them: and David saved the inhabitants of Ceila.
23:6 Now at that time, when Abiathar the son of Achimelech fled to David to Ceila, he came down having an ephod with him.
23:7 And it was told Saul that David was come to Ceila: and Saul said: The Lord hath delivered him into my hands, and he is shut up, being come into a city, that hath gates and bars.
23:8 And Saul commanded all the people to go down to fight against Ceila, and to besiege David, and his men.
23:9 Now when David understood, that Saul secretly prepared evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest: Bring hither the ephod.
23:10 And David said: O Lord God of Israel, thy servant hath heard a report, that Saul designeth to come to Ceila, to destroy the city for my sake:
23:11 Will the men of Ceila deliver me into his hands? and will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O Lord God of Israel, tell thy servant. And the Lord said: He will come down.
23:12 And David said: Will the men of Ceila deliver me, and my men, into the hands of Saul? And the Lord said: They will deliver thee up.
23:13 Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose, and departing from Ceila, wandered up and down uncertain where they should stay: and it was told Saul that David was fled from Ceila, and had escaped: wherefore he forbore to go out.
23:14 But David abode in the desert in strong holds, and he remained in a mountain of the desert of Ziph, in a woody hill. And Saul sought him always: but the Lord delivered him not into his hands.
23:15 And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life. And David was in the desert of Ziph, in a wood.
23:16 And Jonathan the son of Saul arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hands in God: and he said to him:
23:17 Fear not: for the hand of my father Saul shall not find thee, and thou shalt reign over Israel, and I shall be next to thee, yea, and my father knoweth this.
23:18 And the two made a covenant before the Lord: and David abode in the wood: but Jonathan returned to his house.
23:19 And the Ziphites went up to Saul in Gabaa, saying: Lo, doth not David lie hid with us in the strong holds of the wood, in mount Hachila, which is on the right hand of the desert.
23:20 Now therefore come down, as thy soul hath desired to come down: and it shall be our business to deliver him into the king's hands.
23:21 And Saul said: Blessed be ye of the Lord, for you have pitied my case.
23:22 Go therefore, I pray you, and use all diligence, and curiously inquire, and consider the place where his foot is, and who hath seen him there: for he thinketh of me, that I lie craftily in wait for him.
23:23 Consider and see all his lurking holes, wherein he is bid, and return to me with the certainty of the thing, that I may go with you. And if be should even go down into the earth to hide himself, I will search him out in all the thousands of Juda.
23:24 And they arose and went to Ziph before Saul: and David and his men were in the desert of Maon, in the plain at the right hand of Jesimon.
23:25 Then Saul and his men went to seek him: and it was told David, and forthwith he went down to the rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon: and when Saul had heard of it he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon.
23:26 And Saul went on this side of the mountain: and David and his men were on the other side of the mountain: and David despaired of being able to escape from the face of Saul: and Saul and his men encompassed David and his men round about to take them.
23:27 And a messenger came to Saul, saying: Make haste to come, for the Philistines have poured in themselves upon the land.
23:28 Wherefore Saul returned, leaving the pursuit of David, and went to meet the Philistines. For this cause they called that place, the Rock of division.
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