Remember Keilah


Keilah, Hebrew for citadel. This was a town in the territory of Judah. Tel Qaylah site is 12km Northwest of Hebron, currently under Palestinian control.

1 Samuel 23:1 The Philistines attacked Keilah and were looting it.

1 Samuel 23:2 David asked the Lord whether he should help the people of Keilah.  The Lord answered; ‘Yes, relieve Keilah.’

1 Samuel 23:3  But David’s men said; ‘we are fugitives here in Judah, how can we fight at Keilah?’

1 Samuel 23:4 David consulted the Lord again; The Lord said; ‘go at once, I shall give the Philistines into your hand.’

1 Samuel 23:5 David and his men marched to Keilah and heavily defeated the Philistines.

1 Samuel 23:6 When Abiathar, son of the priest, who was killed by Saul, came to David at Keilah, he brought the Priests ephod (breastplate) with him.

1 Samuel 23:7-8 Saul was informed of David’s presence in Keilah. Now he is in a trap, Saul said and mobilised his army to march on Keilah.

1 Samuel 9-10 When David heard of this impending attack on him, he got the ephod and prayed to the Lord God of Israel.

1 Samuel 23:11 David asked the Lord; Will Saul come as I have heard?                The Lord answered; He will come.

1 Samuel 23:12 Then David asked the Lord; Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to Saul?  The Lord answered; ‘They will.’

1 Samuel 23:13 At once David left with his 600 men and moved to various places. When Saul was told that David had left Keilah, he called off the operation.

What is interesting about this Bible passage is how David seems to discuss his situation in a conversational way with the Lord. Perhaps in the future, the leaders of righteous Israel, living in the Land before the Return of Jesus,  will again be able to do this. Jeremiah 30:21

Reference:   Revised English Bible, verses abridged.