1 Samuel 27

27 But David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of seeking me any more within the borders of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand.

2 So David arose and went over with the 600 men who were with him to Achish son of Maoch, king of Gath.

3 And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s widow.

4 When it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath, he sought for him no more.

5 And David said to Achish, If I have now found favor in your eyes, let me be given a place to dwell in some country town; for why should your servant live in the royal city with you?

6 Then Achish gave David the town of Ziklag that day. Therefore Ziklag belongs to the kings of Judah to this day.

7 The time David dwelt in the Philistines’ country was a year and four months.

8 Now David and his men went up and made attacks on the Geshurites, Girzites, and Amalekites [enemies of Israel Joshua had failed to exterminate]. For from of old those nations inhabited the land, as one goes to Shur even to the land of Egypt.(A)

9 And David smote the land and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, oxen, donkeys, camels, and the apparel, and returned to Achish.

10 Achish would ask, Against whom have you made a raid today? And David would reply, [a]Against the South (Negeb) of Judah, or of the Jerahmeelites, or of the Kenites.

11 And David saved neither man nor woman alive to bring tidings to Gath, thinking, Lest they should say about us, So did David, and so will he do as long as he dwells in the Philistines’ country.

12 And Achish believed David, saying, He has made his people Israel utterly abhor him; so he shall be my servant always.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 27:10 How could David be “a man after His [God’s] own heart” (I Sam. 13:14) and lie and deceive like that? God hates lying (Prov. 12:22), and those who deal in falsehood and deception are to be excluded from heaven (Rev. 22:15). The truth is that David had gone through such a long period of persecution and threatening circumstances that he had fallen into a bit of mistrust of God Himself. God had sworn to make him king, to rid him of his enemies, to give him a sure house; yet here he was in a panic, concluding that God had forsaken him and that if he was to remain alive he must manage it himself. It was very dishonoring to God. But God was standing by His stricken child, waiting for the moment when he would realize his own utter helplessness and turn in blessed surrender to the almighty arms of Him who had been watching over him all along. That time came at Ziklag, when, in the bitterest hour of his life, we are told, “But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (I Sam. 30:6), truly “a man after God’s own heart.”

Cross references

  1. 1 Samuel 27:8 : Deut. 25:19; Josh. 13:1, 2, 13.

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