David Goes Back to Ziklag
1The Philistines gathered all their soldiers at Aphek. Israel camped by the spring at Jezreel. 2The Philistine kings were marching with their groups of 100 and 1,000 men. David and his men were marching at the back with Achish. 3The Philistine commanders asked, “What are these Hebrews doing here?”
Achish told them, “This is David. He was an officer to Saul king of Israel. But he has been with me for over a year now. I have found nothing wrong in David since the time he left Saul and came to me.”
4But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish. They said, “Send David back! He must go back to the city you gave him. He can’t go with us into battle. If he’s here, we’ll have an enemy in our own camp. He would please his king by killing our own men. 5David is the one the Israelites sing about in their dances:
‘Saul has killed thousands of his enemies.
But David has killed tens of thousands.’”
6So Achish called David. He said to him, “As surely as the Lord lives, you are loyal. I would be pleased to have you serve in my army. Since the day you came to me, I have found no wrong in you. But the Philistine kings don’t trust you. 7Go back in peace. Don’t do anything to displease the Philistine kings.”
8David asked, “What wrong have I done? What evil have you found in me from the day I came to you until now? Why won’t you allow me to fight your enemies, my lord and king?”
9Achish answered, “I know you are as pleasing to me as an angel from God. But the Philistine commanders have said, ‘David can’t go with us into battle.’ 10Early in the morning you and your master’s servants, the Israelites, should go back. Go back to the city I gave you. Leave as soon as the sun comes up.”
11So David and his men got up early in the morning. They went back to the country of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.