1 Samuel 30

David fights the Amalekites

1 David and his men arrived at Ziklag three days after they left Achish. The Amalekites had attacked part of the south of Judah's land. They had also attacked Ziklag. They had beaten the men there and they had burnt Ziklag. 2 They took women and everyone whether they were important or not important. They took them away but they did not kill anyone.

3 David and his men arrived at Ziklag. They saw that the Amalekites had burnt the city. They had taken away their sons and their daughters. 4 David and his men cried aloud. They continued to cry until they were too weak to cry any more. 5 David had two wives. One wife was Ahinoam from Jezreel. The other wife was Abigail. She had been the wife of Nabal from Carmel. The Amalekites had taken both of David's wives. 6 David was very, very sad because his men wanted to throw stones at him. They wanted to kill him. His men were very angry because they had lost their sons and their daughters. But David believed that the LORD his God would help them. And so he became stronger.

30:6In chapter 15, God had said to Saul that he must kill all the Amalekites. But Saul did not obey God. Now the Amalekites caused trouble for David.

7 Then David spoke to Abiathar the priest, who was the son of Ahimelech. David said, ‘Bring the ephod to me.’ So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 David asked the LORD, ‘Should I go after the men who attacked our town? Will I catch them?’

The LORD answered, ‘Run after them and you will certainly catch them. You will save your families from them.’

9-10 So David and his 600 men went out. They arrived at the Besor valley. Some of the men were too tired to go on across the valley. So 200 men remained by the river. David and 400 men continued to run after the Amalekites.

30:9-10The river Besor was a small river that was about 19 kilometres (12 miles) south-west of Ziklag.

11 David's men found a man from Egypt in a field. They took him to David. They gave to the man some water to drink and food to eat. 12 They gave to him some figs and some grapes that someone had made into dry fruit. He had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days. So, he felt stronger after he had eaten this food.

13 David asked the man, ‘Who is your master? Where do you come from?’

He answered, ‘I come from the country called Egypt. I am a slave of an Amalekite man. My master left me here three days ago because I was ill. 14 We attacked the south part of the land of the people called Kerethites. And we attacked the land of Judah and part of Caleb's land. We burned Ziklag too.’

30:14The Cherethites were a Philistine tribe that were loyal to David (2 Samuel 8:18). Caleb's land was to the south of the town of Hebron.

15 David said, ‘Can you take me to where these men are now?’

The man from Egypt answered, ‘I will do it if you say a promise to me. Do it while God watches us. Promise that you will not kill me. And promise that you will not send me back to my master.’

16 So he took David to the Amalekites. The men were sitting all over the ground. They were eating and drinking. And they were having a party. They were happy because they had taken so many things from the Philistines and from the people in Judah. 17 That evening, David fought the Amalekites. The fight continued until the next evening. They killed all of the Amalekites except for 400 young men. Those 400 men rode away on their camels. 18 David got back everything that the Amalekites had taken. And he saved his two wives. 19 The people had lost nothing. David brought everyone back, the young people and the old people, the sons and the daughters. He also brought back the valuable things and everything that the Amalekites had taken. 20 David took all the sheep and cows and animals. His men caused all these animals to go on in front of them. They said, ‘These animals are for David.’

21 David returned to the 200 men who had stayed by the Besor valley. These men had been too tired to go with David. David met the men at the river valley and he said ‘hello’ to them. 22 But some of the men with David were bad men. They wanted to cause trouble. They said, ‘These men did not come with us. We will not give to them any of the things that we have brought back. Each man can have only his wife and his children. Then he must go.’

23 David replied, ‘No, my brothers. You cannot do that. The LORD has given all this to us. The LORD kept us safe. He helped us to win the fight. 24 Nobody will agree with what you say. Each person will receive an equal part. Some men stayed with the tents. Some men were in the fight. But each person will receive the same amount.’ 25 David made this rule into a law. The Israelites have obeyed this law ever since that day.

26 David arrived at Ziklag with all the things that they had taken from the Amalekites. He sent some of the good things to his friends who were the leaders of Judah. David sent this message, ‘Here is a gift for you. We took these from the LORD's enemies.’

27-31 David sent some gifts to the leaders in all these places:

· Bethel

· Ramoth in south Judah

· Jattir

· Aroer

· Siphmoth

· Eshtemoa

· Racal

· the towns of the tribe of Jerahmeel

· the towns of the Kenites

· Hormah

· Bor Ashan

· Athach

· Hebron.

David and his men had lived in many places. So, David sent some gifts to the people who lived in all those places.