I Samuel – Chapter 23

"Thanks a Lot, Guys!"

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

David got word that the Philistines were pillaging the granaries in a town called K’ila. Using the Urim and Tumim, David asked of G-d whether they should go to help; G-d said yes. Aware that, in the past, asking the wrong question had led to disastrous results (as in Judges chapter 20), David’s men were afraid to go. David restated the question and G-d reiterated that they should go, so they went.

David and his men saved K’ilah, but Shaul got wind of their whereabouts. Hearing that Shaul was on his way, David inquired of G-d whether the people of K’ilah would hand him over; G-d replied that they would. (This may seem ungracious of them after David just saved their food supply from the Philistines, but remember what Shaul did in Nov when he suspected them of aiding David!) So David left K’ilah for the wilderness of Ziff.

Jonathan went to see David in Ziff (the watchmen let him pass), and he told David that he knew his friend would one day be king. Furthermore, he added, Shaul knew it, too. They sealed a pact and Jonathan went on his way.

Some people from Ziff reported to Shaul where David was hiding and that they were willing to hand him over. Shaul blessed them and asked them to report to him on David’s activities. People told David that Shaul’s men were on to him again, so he fled to Maon. At one point, Shaul and David were in close proximity, on opposite sides of the mountain. Shaul’s forces were on the verge of capturing David when a messenger brought word that the Philistines were attacking. To his credit, Shaul broke off his personal vendetta in order to fulfill his duties as king, and he took his men to fight the Philistines. Because of the conflict of interests Shaul had between capturing David and fighting the Philistines, the place where he was notified became known as the Rock of Conflicts.

Download Audio File