1 Samuel 23:13
Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went wherever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he declined to go forth.
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(13) Which were about six hundred.—This is the only note we have in this part of the narrative of the rapid increase of the number of “men-at-arms” who joined David.

Whithersoever they could.—That is, the armed camp of David was pitched without any fixed plan or aim. Probably the force was marched in the direction of any Philistine raid, and it carried on thus on behalf of Israel a perpetual border warfare.

1 Samuel 23:13-14. Which were about six hundred — His forces were increased two hundred since his famous victory over the Philistines at Keilah. Whithersoever they could go — To the first convenient place of safety to which a way lay open. In the wilderness of Ziph — A mountainous wilderness, within the precincts of the tribe of Judah, and upon the confines of Edom, Joshua 15:2. It was not far from Maon and Carmel, 1 Samuel 23:25, 1 Samuel 25:5. God delivered him not into his hand — Saul confidently pronounced, when he found David had entered into Keilah, that God had delivered him into his hand. And, therefore, to show the vanity of that ill-grounded confidence, the sacred writer makes use of the very same expression reversed, and declares God delivered him not into his hand, though Saul sought him every day.23:7-13 Well might David complain of his enemies, that they rewarded him evil for good, and that for his love they were his adversaries. Christ was used thus basely. David applied to his great Protector for direction. No sooner was the ephod brought him than he made use of it. We have the Scriptures in our hands, let us take advice from them in doubtful cases. Say, Bring hither the Bible. David's address to God is very solemn, also very particular. God allows us to be so in our addresses to him; Lord, direct me in this matter, about which I am now at a loss. God knows not only what will be, but what would be, if it were not hindered; therefore he knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and how to render to every man according to his works.The conduct of the men of Keilah would be like that of the men of Judah to Samson their deliverer Judges 15:10-13. 9. he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod—The consultation was made, and the prayer uttered, by means of the priest. The alternative conditions here described have often been referred to as illustrating the doctrine of God's foreknowledge and preordination of events. Which were about six hundred; two hundred being added to his former number, 1 Samuel 22:2, upon his last and great success against the Philistines.

Whithersoever they could go; hither or thither, where they could find refuge, or a hiding-place. Then David and his men, which were about six hundred,.... Having had an increase of two hundred since he was at the cave of Adullam, 1 Samuel 22:1, and upon his relief of Keilah, 1 Samuel 23:5; so that he sustained no loss of men by fighting with the Philistines, but had an addition to his small forces:

arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go; not knowing whither they should go, having no particular place in view; but went where they thought they could be safest, or that appeared the most proper place for them; so the Targum,"they went to a place which was fit to go unto;''which was fittest for their purpose, and most for their safety and security, be it where it would:

and it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; very likely some of the inhabitants informed him of it, since they were disposed to deliver David to him, had he stayed among them, and Saul had come down:

and he forbore to go forth: from the place where he was, in order to come to Keilah,

Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth.
As soon as Saul received intelligence of David's march to Keilah, he said, "God has rejected him (and delivered him) into my hand." נכּר does not mean simply to look at, but also to find strange, and treat as strange, and then absolutely to reject (Jeremiah 19:4, as in the Arabic in the fourth conjugation). This is the meaning here, where the construction with בּידי is to be understood as a pregnant expression: "rejection and delivered into my hand" (vid., Ges. Lex. s. v.). The early translators have rendered it quite correctly according to the sense מכר, πέπρακεν, tradidit, without there being any reason to suppose that they read מכר instead of נכּר. "For he hath shut himself in, to come ( equals coming, or by coming) into a city with gates and bolts."
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