David Flees to Ziklag
1David said to himself, “One of these days I’ll be swept away by Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape immediately to the land of the Philistines.27:1 1Sm 26:19 Then Saul will give up searching for me everywhere in Israel, and I’ll escape from him.”
2So David set out with his six hundred men27:2 1Sm 25:13 and went over to Achish son of Maoch,27:2 1Sm 2:10; 1Kg 2:39 the king of Gath.
3David and his men stayed with Achish in Gath. Each man had his family with him,27:3 1Sm 30:3; 2Sm 2:3 and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel,27:3 1Sm 25:42–44 Nabal’s widow.
4When it was reported to Saul that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.
5Now David said to Achish, “If I have found favor with you, let me be given a place in one of the outlying towns, so I can live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?”
6That day Achish gave Ziklag27:6 Jos 15:31; 19:5; Neh 11:28 to him, and it still belongs to the kings of Judah today.
7The length of time that David stayed in Philistine territory amounted to a year and four months.27:7 1Sm 29:1–11
8David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites,27:8 Jos 13:2,13 the Girzites,27:8 Alt Hb tradition reads Gezerites and the Amalekites.27:8 Ex 17:8; 1Sm 15:7–8 From ancient times they had been the inhabitants of the region through Shur27:8 Ex 15:22 as far as the land of Egypt.
9Whenever David attacked the land, he did not leave a single person alive, either man or woman, but he took flocks, herds, donkeys, camels, and clothing.27:9 1Sm 15:3; Jb 1:3 Then he came back to Achish,
10who inquired, “Where did you raid today?” 27:10 Some Hb mss, Syr, Tg; LXX, Vg, DSS read “Against whom did you raid today?”27:10 1Sm 23:27
David replied, “The south country of Judah,” “The south country of the Jerahmeelites,”27:10 1Sm 30:29; 1Ch 2:9,25 or “The south country of the Kenites.”27:10 Jdg 1:16; 4:11
11David did not let a man or woman live to be brought to Gath, for he said, “Or they will inform on us and say, ‘This is what David did.’” This was David’s custom during the whole time he stayed in the Philistine territory.
12So Achish trusted David, thinking, “Since he has made himself repulsive to his people Israel, he will be my servant forever.”