Workers For Jesus Online Bible Study Table of Contents

About this Bible Study........The King James Version of the Bible is written in a beautiful form of the English language. It can be hard for modern English readers to understand.  In this study, you will find notes and summaries in brown just above the the verses from the Bible. We recommend that you read the notes and summaries first, and then read the verses in their KJV form. 

The Book of 1 Samuel

This book starts with the birth of Samuel.  Samuel is the last judge of Israel. Samuel is also a prophet--he tells people what God wants them to know.   During Samuel's life, the Israelites decide that they want to have a king. This book tells the story of Samuel's life, the first king of Israel, Saul, and the second king of Israel, David.

Bible Timeline
Here is a good timeline to see the book of 1 Samuel in the history of the Bible


1 Samuel 22 -24
David continues to hide from Saul.
Saul kills most of the priests.
David and Saul meet.



1 Samuel 22

David's family visits his hiding place.

This is Adullam. It is about 2 miles south of the place where David killed Goliath. It is about 13 miles west of Bethlehem. The hill is about 500 feet high, and it has many caves in it.     From

David left Gath. He went and hid in a cave at Adullam. His brothers and his father's family heard he was there. They all went to see him.
[1] David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him.

About 400 other people heard that David was in the cave. They went to see him, too. These were people who were having a bad time or who owed a lot of money. They stayed with David, and David became their leader.
[2] And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

David went to the place called Mizpeh in the area of Moab. He talked to the king of Moab.  David asked if his mother and father could go there and stay in Moab for a while. He wanted them to stay there until he saw God's plan for him.
[3] And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me.


David took his parents to Moab. They stayed there while David was hiding.
[4] And he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold.

The prophet named Gad told David to go to the land of the tribe of Judah. David left and went to the wooded place called Hareth.
[5] And the prophet Gad said unto David, Abide not in the hold; depart, and get thee into the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hareth.


Saul kills all of the priests, except one.

Saul was sitting under a tree in his town of Gibeah. He was holding his spear, and his helpers were there with him. That is when he heard where David was.
[6] When Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that were with him, (now Saul abode in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him;)

Saul talked to the people around him. Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin, so most of his helpers were also from that tribe. He said if David becomes king, David won't give them land and farms. He said that David won't make them leaders in the army.
[7] Then Saul said unto his servants that stood about him, Hear now, ye Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds;

Saul said that everyone was against him. No one had told Saul that Jonathan was helping David. He said that no one felt sorry for him now that David was planning to fight him.
[8] That all of you have conspired against me, and there is none that sheweth me that my son hath made a league with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you that is sorry for me, or sheweth unto me that my son hath stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?


Ahimelech was a great grandson of Eli, the priest.
Hophni Phinehas







Back in 1 Samuel 2:27-33, God was angry with Eli's sons. The sons were priests, and they did not obey God. God promised that He would kill all of Eli's descendants.

Back in 1 Samuel 21, David went to see Ahimelech, the priest, in the place called Nob. One of Saul's helpers, a man named Doeg, saw David.

Now Doeg told Saul that he saw David in Nob. Doeg told Saul that David went to see Ahimelech (Ahimelech's father's name was Ahitub).  Ahimelech told David what God said to him. Ahimelech also gave David food and Goliath's sword.

[9] Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.
[10] And he inquired of the LORD for him, and gave him victuals, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.

Saul sent his workers to Nob. They brought back Ahimelech, Ahimelech's father's family, and all of the priests from Nob.
[11] Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father's house, the priests that were in Nob: and they came all of them to the king.

Saul said that Ahimelech should listen to him. Ahimelech said he would listen.
[12] And Saul said, Hear now, thou son of Ahitub. And he answered, Here I am, my lord.

Saul asked Ahimelech why he helped David. Saul said Ahimelech helped David against Saul, gave David food, gave David a sword, and asked God what he should do.  Now David is hiding and getting ready to fight Saul.
[13] And Saul said unto him, Why have ye conspired against me, thou and the son of Jesse, in that thou hast given him bread, and a sword, and hast inquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

Ahimelech answered Saul. He said that David was Saul's son-in-law, and David was one of Saul's most faithful and honored workers. In the past, Ahimelech asked God what David should do. It was all right to do that before. Ahimelech didn't understand why it wasn't all right this time.
[14] Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all thy servants as David, which is the king's son in law, and goeth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thine house?
[15] Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? be it far from me: let not the king impute any thing unto his servant, nor to all the house of my father: for thy servant knew nothing of all this, less or more.

Saul said that Ahimelech and all of his father's family will die.
[16] And the king said, Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all thy father's house.

Saul told his helpers to kill Ahimelech and all of the priests because they helped David. But the helpers refused. They would not kill the priests.
[17] And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD.

Then Saul asked Doeg to kill the priests. Doeg did that. He killed 85 priests.
[18] And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod.

Then he attacked the city named Nob where the priests lived. He killed everyone in the city. He killed every man, woman, child, baby, cow, donkey, and sheep. He killed them all with his sword.
[19] And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.

But one of Ahimelech's sons escaped. His name was Abiathar. He went to find David. He told David that Saul killed all of the priests.
[20] And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David.
[21] And Abiathar shewed David that Saul had slain the LORD's priests.

David remembered that Doeg saw him when he was with Ahimelech. He knew Doeg would tell Saul. David felt responsible that Ahimelech and his family were killed.
[22] And David said unto Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of thy father's house.

David told Abiathar to stay with him. Saul wanted to kill both of them. If Abiathar stays with David, he will be safe.
[23] Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard.

1 Samuel 23

David saves the people who live in Keilah.

Someone told David that the Philistines were attacking the place called Keilah. They were stealing grain.  David asked God if he should go and fight with the Philistines. God said yes. God said that he should go and save Keilah.
[1] Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshingfloors.
[2] Therefore David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the LORD said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.

David's soldiers were already afraid because they were hiding from Saul. They didn't want to go to Keilah to fight the Philistines.
[3] And David's men said unto him, Behold, we be afraid here in Judah: how much more then if we come to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?

So David asked God again if they should fight the Philistines. God said yes; they should go to Keilah. He will help them defeat the Philistines.
[4] Then David inquired of the LORD yet again. And the LORD answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hand.

David and his soldiers obeyed God. They went to Keilah. They fought the Philistines and took their cattle. They killed many of them and saved the people who lived in Keilah.
[5] So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

When Abiathar escaped and went to David, he carried an ephod. The ephod (priest's robe) had the Urim and Thummin in it so the priest could ask God questions.
[6] And it came to pass, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand.

Saul heard that David went to Keilah. Saul said that God was helping him catch David because David was trapped in Keilah. Keilah had gates and bars.
[7] 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.

Saul called his soldiers to go fight David and his men at Keilah.
[8] And Saul called all the people together to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.

David knew that Saul really wanted to kill him. He asked Abiathar the priest to bring the ephod.
[9] And David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod.

Abiathar used the Urim and Thummin in the ephod to ask God questions. David asked if Saul was coming to get him at Keilah. God told him yes; Saul was coming to Keilah.
[10] Then said David, O LORD God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake.
[11] Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O LORD God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the LORD said, He will come down.

Then David asked if the men in Keilah will give them to Saul. God said yes; the men in Keilah will give him to Saul.
[12] Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the LORD said, They will deliver thee up.

So, David and his soldiers (about 600 men) left Keilah and escaped. Saul heard that David escaped, so he stopped going to Keilah.
[13] 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.


Jonathan and David meet again.

David stayed out in the Ziph wilderness (country with  no towns) and hid in caves in the mountains. Saul continued to look for him every day. But God did not let Saul find David.
[14] And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand.

David was hiding in the woods in Ziph. David knew that Saul was getting close to him.
[15] And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life: and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood.

Jonathan went to see David in the woods. Jonathan talked to David. Jonathan told David not to worry. He said that Saul will not find him , and David will be Israel's king.  Jonathan will support David as king. Jonathan said that Saul knows that David will be the king.
[16] And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.
[17] And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth.

They promised again to be friends. Then Jonathan left and went back to his house. David stayed in the woods.
[18] And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.



These are some of the places that David went when
he was  hiding from Saul.


God helps David hide from Saul.

The people who lived in the area of Ziph were called Ziphites. They told Saul that David was hiding in their land. They said David was in the woods on a hill called Hachilah. This area was south of the area called Jeshimon. The Ziphites told Saul to come, and they would help him catch David.

[19] Then came up the Ziphites to Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself with us in strong holds in the wood, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon?
[20] Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of thy soul to come down; and our part shall be to deliver him into the king's hand.

Saul said the Ziphites were blessed because they were helping him find David. He told them to go and find out exactly where David was hiding. Saul heard that David was very sneaky and moved around a lot.  After the Ziphites learn about David's hiding places, they should come and tell Saul.  Then Saul will go with them. He will search all over Judah's land and find him.
[21] And Saul said, Blessed be ye of the LORD; for ye have compassion on me.
[22] Go, I pray you, prepare yet, and know and see his place where his haunt is, and who hath seen him there: for it is told me that he dealeth very subtilly.
[23] See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hideth himself, and come ye again to me with the certainty, and I will go with you: and it shall come to pass, if he be in the land, that I will search him out throughout all the thousands of Judah.

The Ziphites left and went back to their home land. But David and his soldiers had left the area of Ziph.  Now they were in the area of Maon which is south of Jeshimon.
[24] And they arose, and went to Ziph before Saul: but David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of Jeshimon.

Saul and his soldiers were looking for David. David heard about it, and he went to the rocky area of Maon.  Then Saul heard that David was in Maon, so he went looking for him there.
[25] Saul also and his men went to seek him. And they told David: wherefore he came down into a rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon.

Saul was on one side of a mountain. David was on the other side of the same mountain. David was hurrying to escape because he was afraid of Saul. Saul and his men were all around the mountain. They were close to catching David.
[26] And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.

But then, someone brought a message to Saul. They told him that the Philistines were attacking Israel. So Saul had to leave Maon and go fight the Philistines. From then on, that place was called Sela-hammahlekoth. That name means "cliffs (rocky places) of escape".
[27] But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Haste thee, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land.
[28] Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines: therefore they called that place Sela-hammahlekoth.

Then David left and went to hide in En-gedi. En-gedi was a strong place with rock walls and caves.
[29] And David went up from thence, and dwelt in strong holds at En-gedi.

En-gedi is an oasis near the Dead Sea.  An oasis is a wet place with dry land around it. In a desert, few plants grow. But in an oasis, there are many green plants.

En-gedi has very steep rock walls with caves in them. David hid in the caves.
Verse 2 mentions wild goats. These are wild goats in En-gedi.
This is a waterfall in En-gedi.

Photos from



1 Samuel 24

Saul finished fighting the Philistines. When he came back, people told him that David was hiding in the area of En-gedi.
[1] And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of En-gedi.

Saul took 3,000 soldiers and went to find David. David was in the area of the rocks and wild goats.
[2] Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats.

Saul saw some sheep pens by a cave. He went inside to rest. David and his men were hiding in the cave. David's men talked to David. They wanted David to get Saul. They said God promised that David would catch Saul. They said God promised that David could do anything to Saul that he wanted. The men thought that this was the day for David to do that. David sneaked over and cut off a piece of Saul's clothes.
[3] And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.
[4] And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily.

Then, David felt sorry that he cut off the piece of Saul's clothes. He told his men that Saul was the king that God picked. He said he shouldn't have done anything to Saul.

[5] And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt.
[6] And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD's anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.

David told his men not to do anything to Saul. Then Saul got up and left the cave. David and his men also left the cave. When Saul turned around and looked back at the cave, he saw David. David bowed down and put his face on the ground.
[7] So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way.
[8] David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself.


"David Spares Saul's Life"

Woodcut illustrations by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, originally printed in “Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden.”  They were scanned by Publications for Latin America, WELS, 

David talked to Saul. He asked Saul why he believed lies about him. He asked Saul why he listened to people who said David wanted to kill him. David said he could have killed Saul today in the cave.  He said the men with him wanted him to kill Saul. But David did not kill him.  David said that God made Saul the king. He would not kill the man God picked to be king.
[9] And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men's words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt?
[10] Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD's anointed.

David showed Saul the piece of his clothing in his hand. He told Saul he cut it off. He could have killed Saul, but he didn't. That should show Saul that David did not want to kill him. David hadn't done anything wrong, but Saul wanted to kill him.

[11] Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it.

David said that God will judge him and Saul. David prayed that God will punish Saul for trying to kill him. But David will not kill him.
[12] The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.

David said there was a proverb, or saying, that bad people do bad things. He will not do a bad thing and kill Saul.
[13] As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.


David asked Saul why he is chasing him. David said that he is not valuable. He is worthless like a flea or a dead dog.
[14] After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.

David asks God to be the judge. He wants God to judge to see who is right and who is wrong. David wants God to show Saul that he (David) is right. David wants God to make Saul stop trying to kill him.
[15] The LORD therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand.

David finished talking. Then Saul asked if it was David.  He called David his son and started crying.
[16] And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept.

Saul said that David was better than he was. Saul was trying to kill David, but David did not kill Saul.  David could have killed him, but he chose to only cut off a piece of his clothing.
[17] And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.
[18] And thou hast shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the LORD had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not.

Saul said that God should reward David. David found his enemy, Saul, but he let Saul live and escape.
[19] For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore the LORD reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day.

Saul said that he knows David will be the king. He knows that David and Israel will be great and powerful.
[20] And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand.

Saul wants David to make a promise. Saul asks David not to kill all of his descendants.  Saul wants his family name to continue.
[21] Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father's house.

David made a promise. He swore that he would not kill all of Saul's descendants. Then Saul went home. David and his men went back to their hiding place.
[22] And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men gat them up unto the hold.


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