1 Samuel 23:7
And it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah. And Saul said, God has delivered him into my hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that has gates and bars.
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(7) God hath delivered him into mine hand.—There was little chance, Saul knew, of his being able to capture or slay his foe when he was roaming at large through the desert and forests which lay to the south of Palestine, and which stretched far southward beyond the reach of any armed force that he could collect; but there was a hope of being able to compass his enemy’s destruction, either through treachery or a hand-to-hand encounter, in a confined space like a city with bars and gates, such as Keilah. Saul and his counsellors knew too well whom they had to deal with in the case of the citizens of that faithless, thankless city. It is strange, after all that had passed, that Saul could delude himself that his cause was the cause of God, and that David was the reprobate and rejected. The Hebrew word here is remarkable: God hath “repudiated or rejected him.” The LXX. renders “sold him” (into my hands).

1 Samuel 23:7. Saul said, God hath delivered him into my hand — David, who judged of other men’s generosity by his own, hoped he should be protected in Keilah; and Saul, who judged in the same manner of their baseness, believed he should not; and therefore he rejoiced upon receiving the news of David’s being shut up there, persuaded he should now get possession of his person. But it was strange he should imagine that God had taken measures to bring an innocent and pious man into his power, who was a contemner of God, a breaker of his commandments, and one that trampled on all laws, human and divine.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.If Gad was with David at the forest of Hareth 1 Samuel 22:5, and there inquired for him of the Lord 1 Samuel 23:2,1 Samuel 23:4, but did not accompany him to Keilah, and if Abiathar's flight occurred at the time of David's being at Keilah, we have an additional striking instance of God's watchful providential care of David in thus sending Abiathar to supply the place of Gad at so critical a moment. 1Sa 23:7-13. Saul's Coming, and Treachery of the Keilites.

7. it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah—Saul imagined himself now certain of his victim, who would be hemmed within a fortified town. The wish was father to the thought. How wonderfully slow and unwilling to be convinced by all his experience, that the special protection of Providence shielded David from all his snares!

He easily believed what he greedily desired, though his own experience had oft showed him how strangely God had delivered him out of his hands, and what a singular care God had over him.

For he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars; so that which he chose for his safety will be his certain ruin. And it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah,.... No doubt it was told him what he came thither for, to relieve it, and deliver it out of the hands of the Philistines, and what success he had; which one would have thought would have reconciled his mind to him, and made him think well of them; but instead of that, it only led him to contrive mischief against him:

and Saul said, God hath delivered him into mine hand; as if the success he had given to David was against, him, and in favour of Saul:

for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars; while he betook himself to caves, and fields, and woods, he had no great hopes of finding him out, and coming up with him, and seizing him; but now he had got into a fortified place, enclosed with walls, and that had gates to it, kept bolted and barred; when he brought his army against it, and surrounded it, he imagined he would not be able to get out, and escape his hands.

And it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah. And Saul said, God hath delivered him into mine hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars.
7–15. The treachery of the Keilites

7. hath delivered him] Lit. hath rejected him and delivered him. So blind was Saul as to imagine that it was not himself but David whom God had rejected. The Sept. reads “sold.”

a town, &c.] A city. It may have been one of the old Canaanite fortresses (see on Joshua 11:13), or have been fortified as an outpost against the Philistines.Verses 7, 8. - It was well nigh a hopeless matter to hunt David as long as he remained on the borders of the desert of Judah, but once shut up in a town his capture was inevitable. When Saul, therefore, heard that David was at Keilah, he said, God hath delivered him into my hand. The Syriac, Chaldee, and Vulgate translate in the same way, probably as the nearest equivalent to the Hebrew, while the Septuagint has a different reading - sold. The Hebrew phrase is a very strong one; literally, "God hath ignored him," hath treated him as a stranger, and so let, him fall "into my hand." Possibly Saul s metaphor was taken from the popular language, and no attempt should be made to get rid of unusual expressions, as if they were false readings. By entering into a town that hath gates and bars. Either the people of a walled town would give up David rather than expose themselves to the horrors of a siege (2 Samuel 20:21, 22), or, if they stood by him, its capture would be a mere matter of time. David, it seems, would have run the risk, but happily was prevented. Rescue of Keilah. - After his return to the mountains of Judah, David received intelligence that Philistines, i.e., a marauding company of these enemies of Israel, were fighting against Keilah, and plundering the threshing-floors, upon which the corn that had been reaped was lying ready for threshing. Keilah belonged to the towns of the lowlands of Judah (Joshua 15:44); and although it has not yet been discovered, was certainly very close to the Philistian frontier.
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