Sh知u弾l Alef (1 Samuel) Chapter 23

The corresponding letter to this chapter is Aleph- head; as in creator; King; the head of a bull appointed to sacrifice, etc.

Sh知u弾l Alef 23:1-6 Then they told David, saying, "Look, the P値ishtim are fighting against Ke段lah, and are plundering the threshing floors." So David inquired of the L-RD, saying, "Shall I go and attack these P値ishtim?" And the L-RD said to David, "Go and attack the P値ishtim, and deliver Ke段lah." But David's men said to him, "Look, we are afraid here in Y檀udah. How much more then if we go to Ke段lah against the ranks of the P値ishtim?" Then David inquired of the L-RD once more. And the L-RD answered him and said, "Arise, go down to Ke段lah, for I will give the P値ishtim into your hand." So David and his men went to Ke段lah and fought with the P値ishtim; and he led away their livestock and struck them with a great slaughter. Thus David delivered the inhabitants of Ke段lah. Now it came about, when Avyatar the son of P値ishti fled to David at Ke段lah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand.

Even though David痴 men were small in number they were able to beat the P値ishtim because G-d was with them.

Sh知u弾l Alef 23:7-14 When it was told Sha置l that David had come to Ke段lah, Sha置l said, "G-d has delivered him into my hand, for he shut himself in by entering a city with double gates and bars." So Sha置l summoned all the people for war, to go down to Ke段lah to besiege David and his men. Now David knew that Sha置l was plotting evil against him; so he said to Avyatar the priest, "Bring the ephod here." Then David said, "O L-RD G-d of Israel, your servant has heard for certain that Sha置l is seeking to come to Ke段lah to destroy the city on my account. Will the men of Ke段lah surrender me into his hand? Will Sha置l come down just as your servant has heard? O L-RD G-d of Israel, I pray, tell your servant." And the L-RD said, "He will come down." Then David said, "Will the men of Ke段lah surrender me and my men into the hand of Sha置l?" And the L-RD said, "They will surrender you." Then David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Ke段lah, and they went wherever they could go. When it was told Sha置l that David had escaped from Ke段lah, he gave up the pursuit. And David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Zif. And Sha置l sought him every day, but G-d did not deliver him into his hand.

The letters that were carved in the gems on the ephod spelled out the names of the various tribes of Israel. They were also used by HaShem to spell out answers to questions posed by the priests to G-d. A light would shine on the letters to give the answers.

David remains an outcast in the wilderness.

Sh知u弾l Alef 23:15-21 Now David became aware that Sha置l had come out to seek his life while David was in the wilderness of Zif at Horesh. And Y檀onathan, Sha置l's son, arose and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in G-d. This is what he said to him, "Do not be afraid, because the hand of Sha置l my father shall not find you, and you will be 適ING over Israel and I will be next to you; and Sha置l my father knows that also." So the two of them made a covenant before the L-RD; and David stayed at Horesh while Y檀onathan went to his house. Then Zifites came up to Sha置l at Giv誕h, saying, "Is David not hiding with us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hakhilah, which is on the south of Yeshimon? "Now then, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to do so; and our part shall be to surrender him into the king's hand." And Sha置l said, "May you be blessed of the L-RD; for you have had compassion on me.

Sha置l must be totally deluded at this point. He wants to remain in power and wants to murder David and still he thinks G-d will bless those that try to help him in his schemes. Many try to claim G-d is on their plans when He wants nothing to do with their ways.

Sh知u弾l Alef 23:22-29 Go now, make more sure, and investigate and see his place where his haunt is, and who has seen him there; for I am told that he is very cunning. So look, and learn about all the hiding places where he hides himself, and return to me with certainty, and I will go with you; and it shall come about if he is in the land that I will search him out among all the thousands of Y檀udah." Then they arose and went to Zif before Sha置l. Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Aravah to the south of Yeshimon. When Sha置l and his men went to seek him, they told David, and he came down to the rock and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. And when Sha置l heard it, he pursued David in the wilderness of Maon. And Sha置l went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain; and David was hurrying to get away from Sha置l, for Sha置l and his men were surrounding David and his men to seize them. But a messenger came to Sha置l, saying, "Hurry and come, for the P値ishti have made a raid on the land." So Sha置l returned from pursuing David, and went to meet the P値ishti; therefore they called that place the Rock of Escape. And David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of Ein-Gedi.