Daily Tanach Sunday Shmuel 1 Chapter 23: Dovid’s further escapes from Shaul

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 23: Dovid’s further escapes from Shaul

1.      The battle against the Philistines in the city of Kiela:

  • Dovid was informed that the Philistines were battling in the city of Kiela and that they were looting the storehouses of grain.
  • Dovid gathers an army from Yehuda and consults with G-d: Dovid consulted with G-d [through the Urim Vetumim that was brought by Avyasar the surviving son of Achimelech], asking him if he should go and smite these Philistines. G-d replied to Dovid that he should go and smite the Philistines and save the Jewish people in the city of Keila.
  • The people of Dovid said to him, we the people of Yehuda are fearful of [even Shaul, and certainly we are fearful[1] of] heading to the city of Kiela to fight the battle the Philistines. So Dovid resumed to again consult with G-d, and G-d answered him he should get out and descend towards the city of Kiela “As I have given them into your hands.”
  • Their success in battle: So Dovid and his men descended to the city of Kiela and waged battle against the Philistines. They were very successful in capturing their cattle and smiting them a great blow. Dovid saved the inhabitants of the city of Kiela from the Philistines.

2.      Avyasar brought to Dovid the Choshen and Urim Vetumim:

  • When Avyasar, the surviving son of Achimelech, fled towards Dovid towards the borders of the city of Keila, he brought with him the Eiphod [which contained within it the Choshen and Urim Vetumim].

3.      Shaul discovers that Dovid is in Keila and prepares to battle him:

  • Shaul was informed that Dovid had arrived in the city of Keila. Shaul said to himself that it is evident that G-d had handed him over into his hands, as Dovid has [foolishly now] taken refuge for himself in a fortified city [of which he certainly feels no need to run away from]. So, Shaul summoned all of the nation to go out to war against Dovid, to the center the city of Keila to capture Dovid and all of his men.
  • Dovid discovers Shaul’s plot: Dovid discovers Shaul’s plot that Shaul was plotting evil against him and he therefore asked Avyasar to bring him the Eiphod [which contain the Choshen and Urim Vetumim in order to consult with G-d].
  • Dovid consults with G-d regarding what to do about the threat from Shaul: Dovid spoke with Hashem the G-d of Israel saying, “Please listen to your servant, as Shaul is seeking to come to the city of Keila and to destroy the entire city due to me. Please inform me oh G-d, the G-d of Israel, will the residents of the city of Keila hand me over into Shaul’s hand. Will Shaul come down to the city as your servant has heard?” So, Hashem [answered only the second question, as one cannot ask Hashem through the Urim Vetumum more than one question at a time, and the second question was of greater importance and should have been preceded by Dovid[2]] told Dovid that Shaul is planning to descend to the city. So Dovid asked again, “Would the residents of the city of Keila hand me and my men over to the hands of Shaul?” Hashem replied to Dovid that “Indeed, yes, they would hand them over.”

[1] Radak and Ralbag 23:3

[2] See Rashi 23:11 and all other Mefarshim

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