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1 Samuel 23:7-17

Context
23:7 When Saul was told that David had come to Keilah, Saul said, “God has delivered 1  him into my hand, for he has boxed himself into a corner by entering a city with two barred gates.” 2  23:8 So Saul mustered all his army to go down to Keilah and besiege David and his men. 3 

23:9 When David realized that Saul was planning to harm him, 4  he told Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod!” 23:10 Then David said, “O Lord God of Israel, your servant has clearly heard that Saul is planning 5  to come to Keilah to destroy the city because of me. 23:11 Will the leaders of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down as your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, please inform your servant!”

Then the Lord said, “He will come down.” 23:12 David asked, “Will the leaders of Keilah deliver me and my men into Saul’s hand?” The Lord said, “They will deliver you over.”

23:13 So David and his men, who numbered about six hundred, set out and left Keilah; they moved around from one place to another. 6  When told that David had escaped from Keilah, Saul called a halt to his expedition. 23:14 David stayed in the strongholds that were in the desert and in the hill country of the desert of Ziph. Saul looked for him all the time, 7  but God did not deliver David 8  into his hand. 23:15 David realized 9  that Saul had come out to seek his life; at that time David was in Horesh in the desert of Ziph.

23:16 Then Jonathan son of Saul left and went to David at Horesh. He encouraged him 10  through God. 23:17 He said to him, “Don’t be afraid! For the hand of my father Saul cannot find you. You will rule over Israel, and I will be your second in command. Even my father Saul realizes this.”

1 tn The MT reading (“God has alienated him into my hand”) in v. 7 is a difficult and uncommon idiom. The use of this verb in Jer 19:4 is somewhat parallel, but not entirely so. Many scholars have therefore suspected a textual problem here, emending the word נִכַּר (nikkar, “alienated”) to סִכַּר (sikkar, “he has shut up [i.e., delivered]”). This is the idea reflected in the translations of the Syriac Peshitta and Vulgate, although it is not entirely clear whether they are reading something different from the MT or are simply paraphrasing what for them too may have been a difficult text. The LXX has “God has sold him into my hands,” apparently reading מַכַר (makar, “sold”) for MT’s נִכַּר. The present translation is a rather free interpretation.

2 tn Heb “with two gates and a bar.” Since in English “bar” could be understood as a saloon, it has been translated as an attributive: “two barred gates.”

3 tn Heb “So Saul mustered all his army for battle to go down to Keilah to besiege against David and his men.”

4 tn Heb “Saul was planning the evil against him.”

5 tn Heb “seeking.”

6 tn Heb “they went where they went.”

7 tn Heb “all the days.”

8 tn Heb “him”; the referent (David) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

9 tn Heb “saw.”

10 tn Heb “strengthened his hand.”



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