1 Samuel 29

The Philistine leaders will not have David in their army

1 The Philistine army met at the town called Aphek. The Israelites stayed by the water at Jezreel. 2 The Philistine kings marched out with their soldiers. The soldiers were in groups of 100 men and 1,000 men. David and his men were with King Achish at the back of the army. 3 The Philistine leaders said, ‘Why are these Hebrew people here?’

Achish said, ‘This is David. He was King Saul's servant. But he came to me more than a year ago. I have not found anything that was wrong with David since then.’

4 But the Philistine leaders were angry with Achish. They said to him, ‘Send David back to the town that you gave to him. He cannot go into the fight with us. He might become our enemy and he might start to fight us. He might want to be a friend of his king again. And it would make Saul very happy if David started to kill us. 5 The Israelites danced and sang about David. They sang,

“Saul has killed thousands of his enemies.

And David has killed tens of thousands of his enemies”.’

6 So Achish asked to meet David. He said, ‘I know that the Lord lives. And I know as certainly that you are my good friend. I would be happy to let you fight with me. Since the day that you came to me, I have never found anything wrong with you. But the other leaders do not want you to fight on my behalf. 7 So return to your home and be happy. Do not make the other Philistine leaders angry.’

8 David said, ‘What have I done that is wrong? Have you found anything wrong in me since I joined you? You are my master, the king. I want to go and to fight your enemies.’

9 Achish said, ‘I know that you are as good as an angel from God. But the Philistine leaders said that you must not go to the fight with us. 10 You and your master's servants must leave early tomorrow morning. You must get up early in the morning. Then, when it is light, you must go.’

11 So David and his men got up early in the morning. They returned to Ziklag. And the Philistine army went to Jezreel.