David Serves King Achish of Gath
1David said in his heart, “I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul; there is nothing better for me than to escape to the land of the Philistines; then Saul will despair of seeking me any longer within the borders of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand.”2So David set out and went over, he and the six hundred men who were with him, to King Achish son of Maoch of Gath.3David stayed with Achish at Gath, he and his troops, every man with his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal's widow.4When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer sought for him.5Then David said to Achish, “If I have found favor in your sight, let a place be given me in one of the country towns, so that I may live there; for why should your servant live in the royal city with you?”6So that day Achish gave him Ziklag; therefore Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah to this day.7The length of time that David lived in the country of the Philistines was one year and four months.8Now David and his men went up and made raids on the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites; for these were the landed settlements from Telam on the way to Shur and on to the land of Egypt.9David struck the land, leaving neither man nor woman alive, but took away the sheep, the oxen, the donkeys, the camels, and the clothing, and came back to Achish.10When Achish asked, “Against whom have you made a raid today?” David would say, “Against the Negeb of Judah,” or “Against the Negeb of the Jerahmeelites,” or, “Against the Negeb of the Kenites.”11David left neither man nor woman alive to be brought back to Gath, thinking, “They might tell about us, and say, ‘David has done so and so.’ ” Such was his practice all the time he lived in the country of the Philistines.12Achish trusted David, thinking, “He has made himself utterly abhorrent to his people Israel; therefore he shall always be my servant.”Chapter 281In those days the Philistines gathered their forces for war, to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “You know, of course, that you and your men are to go out with me in the army.”2David said to Achish, “Very well, then you shall know what your servant can do.” Achish said to David, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.”Saul Consults a Medium
3Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. Saul had expelled the mediums and the wizards from the land.4The Philistines assembled, and came and encamped at Shunem. Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa.5When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly.6When Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, not by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets.7Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, so that I may go to her and inquire of her.” His servants said to him, “There is a medium at Endor.”8So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes and went there, he and two men with him. They came to the woman by night. And he said, “Consult a spirit for me, and bring up for me the one whom I name to you.”9The woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the wizards from the land. Why then are you laying a snare for my life to bring about my death?”10But Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.”11Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He answered, “Bring up Samuel for me.”12When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice; and the woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”13The king said to her, “Have no fear; what do you see?” The woman said to Saul, “I see a divine being coming up out of the ground.”14He said to her, “What is his appearance?” She said, “An old man is coming up; he is wrapped in a robe.” So Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance.15Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul answered, “I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams; so I have summoned you to tell me what I should do.”16Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy?17The Lord has done to you just as he spoke by me; for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand, and given it to your neighbor, David.18Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord, and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you today.19Moreover the Lord will give Israel along with you into the hands of the Philistines; and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me; the Lord will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.”20Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of the words of Samuel; and there was no strength in him, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night.21The woman came to Saul, and when she saw that he was terrified, she said to him, “Your servant has listened to you; I have taken my life in my hand, and have listened to what you have said to me.22Now therefore, you also listen to your servant; let me set a morsel of bread before you. Eat, that you may have strength when you go on your way.”23He refused, and said, “I will not eat.” But his servants, together with the woman, urged him; and he listened to their words. So he got up from the ground and sat on the bed.24Now the woman had a fatted calf in the house. She quickly slaughtered it, and she took flour, kneaded it, and baked unleavened cakes.25She put them before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they rose and went away that night.Chapter 29The Philistines Reject David
1Now the Philistines gathered all their forces at Aphek, while the Israelites were encamped by the fountain that is in Jezreel.2As the lords of the Philistines were passing on by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were passing on in the rear with Achish,3the commanders of the Philistines said, “What are these Hebrews doing here?” Achish said to the commanders of the Philistines, “Is this not David, the servant of King Saul of Israel, who has been with me now for days and years? Since he deserted to me I have found no fault in him to this day.”4But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him; and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Send the man back, so that he may return to the place that you have assigned to him; he shall not go down with us to battle, or else he may become an adversary to us in the battle. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of the men here?5Is this not David, of whom they sing to one another in dances,
‘Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his ten thousands’?”6Then Achish called David and said to him, “As the Lord lives, you have been honest, and to me it seems right that you should march out and in with me in the campaign; for I have found nothing wrong in you from the day of your coming to me until today. Nevertheless the lords do not approve of you.7So go back now; and go peaceably; do nothing to displease the lords of the Philistines.”8David said to Achish, “But what have I done? What have you found in your servant from the day I entered your service until now, that I should not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”9Achish replied to David, “I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God; nevertheless, the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us to the battle.’10Now then rise early in the morning, you and the servants of your lord who came with you, and go to the place that I appointed for you. As for the evil report, do not take it to heart, for you have done well before me. Start early in the morning, and leave as soon as you have light.”11So David set out with his men early in the morning, to return to the land of the Philistines. But the Philistines went up to Jezreel.Chapter 30David Avenges the Destruction of Ziklag
1Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negeb and on Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag, burned it down,2and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great; they killed none of them, but carried them off, and went their way.3When David and his men came to the city, they found it burned down, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive.4Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept, until they had no more strength to weep.5David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.6David was in great danger; for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in spirit for their sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.7David said to the priest Abiathar son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David.8David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue; for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.”9So David set out, he and the six hundred men who were with him. They came to the Wadi Besor, where those stayed who were left behind.10But David went on with the pursuit, he and four hundred men; two hundred stayed behind, too exhausted to cross the Wadi Besor.11In the open country they found an Egyptian, and brought him to David. They gave him bread and he ate, they gave him water to drink;12they also gave him a piece of fig cake and two clusters of raisins. When he had eaten, his spirit revived; for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights.13Then David said to him, “To whom do you belong? Where are you from?” He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite. My master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago.14We had made a raid on the Negeb of the Cherethites and on that which belongs to Judah and on the Negeb of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag down.”15David said to him, “Will you take me down to this raiding party?” He said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me, or hand me over to my master, and I will take you down to them.”16When he had taken him down, they were spread out all over the ground, eating and drinking and dancing, because of the great amount of spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah.17David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not one of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled.18David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken; and David rescued his two wives.19Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken; David brought back everything.20David also captured all the flocks and herds, which were driven ahead of the other cattle; people said, “This is David's spoil.”21Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow David, and who had been left at the Wadi Besor. They went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. When David drew near to the people he saluted them.22Then all the corrupt and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except that each man may take his wife and children, and leave.”23But David said, “You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the Lord has given us; he has preserved us and handed over to us the raiding party that attacked us.24Who would listen to you in this matter? For the share of the one who goes down into the battle shall be the same as the share of the one who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.”25From that day forward he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel; it continues to the present day.26When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, “Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the Lord”;27it was for those in Bethel, in Ramoth of the Negeb, in Jattir,28in Aroer, in Siphmoth, in Eshtemoa,29in Racal, in the towns of the Jerahmeelites, in the towns of the Kenites,30in Hormah, in Bor-ashan, in Athach,31in Hebron, all the places where David and his men had roamed.