1 Samuel 27

David lives among the Philistines

1 Then David thought, ‘I am sure that Saul will catch me one day. Then he will kill me. I must go to the country of the Philistines so that I will be safe from Saul. That is the best thing that I can do. When I am no longer in the land of Israel, Saul will stop looking for me here. I will escape from him.’

2 So David and his 600 men went across the border of Israel to Gath town. Maoch's son Achish was the king there. 3 David and his men lived in Gath with King Achish. They had their families with them. David's two wives were with him: Ahinoam from Jezreel, and Abigail from Carmel. Abigail was Nabal's widow. 4 Saul heard the news that David had run away to Gath. So he stopped looking for David.

5 One day David said to Achish, ‘I hope that you are pleased with me. If you are, please choose a place for me to live in one of the small towns. I do not need to live in the same big city as the king.’

6 So on that day King Achish gave Ziklag town to David. Since then, Ziklag has always belonged to Judah's king. 7 David lived in the country of the Philistines for one year and four months.

27:6Ziklag was near the border of Judah. But it was far away from Saul's town of Gibeah and the five important Philistine towns.

8 During that time David and his men attacked the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. These tribes had lived in that place for a very long time. Their land went as far as Shur and the border of Egypt. 9 Whenever David's men attacked them, they killed all the men and women. But they took all their sheep, cows, donkeys and camels, as well as their clothes. Then they would return to see King Achish.

10 Achish would ask David, ‘Which place did you go and attack today?’ Sometimes David would say, ‘We robbed the people of a town in Judah's desert.’ Or David might say, ‘We attacked a town in the desert where the people of Jerahmeel's clan live.’ Or he might say, ‘We attacked a town in the desert where the Kenites live.’

11 David killed all the people in the places that he attacked. He never took anyone back to Gath. He thought, ‘If any of the people are still alive, they might go to Gath and tell people what we have done.’

That is what David did for the whole time that he lived among the Philistines. 12 So King Achish trusted David. He thought, ‘The Israelites must now hate David very much. So David will have to be my servant for ever.’