1 Samuel 29:1-11

The Philistine leaders will not have David in their army

1 The Philistine army put up their tents at Aphek. The Israelites made their camp near the spring of water at Jezreel. 2 The Philistine rulers marched out with their groups of soldiers. They were in groups of 100 soldiers and 1,000 soldiers. David and his men were marching with King Achish at the back of the army. 3 The Philistine leaders asked, ‘Why are these Hebrew people here?’

Achish said to them, ‘This is David. He was the servant of Israel's King Saul. But he came to me more than a year ago. Since he turned against King Saul and came to me, he has always been faithful to me.’

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 must not go with us to fight the battle. He might turn against us and become our enemy. Then he would start to kill our own soldiers. That would make his master, Saul, very happy! 5 Remember who this man David is! The Israelites sing this about him when they dance:

“Saul has killed thousands of his enemies.

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

6 So Achish called David to come to him. He said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, I know that I can trust you. I would like you to go with me to fight the battle. Since the first day that you came to me, I have never found anything wrong with you. But the other leaders do not trust you. 7 So return to your home and have peace in your mind. Do not do anything that will make the other Philistine leaders angry.’

8 David said to King Achish, ‘What have I done that is wrong? You say that you have found nothing wrong with me all the time that I have been with you. You are my master and king. So why should I not go with you to fight your enemies?’

9 Achish replied, ‘I believe that you are as good as an angel from God. But the Philistine leaders have said, “David must not go with us to fight the battle.” 10 So you must all get up early tomorrow morning. As soon as there is light at dawn, you must leave with the men who came with you.’

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