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David's Wives Are Captured
1Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire 2and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. 3And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. 5David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
7And David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, "Bring me the ephod." So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8And David inquired of the Lord, "Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?" He answered him, "Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue." 9So David set out, and the six hundred men who were with him, and they came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind stayed. 10But David pursued, he and four hundred men. Two hundred stayed behind, who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor.
11They found an Egyptian in the open country and brought him to David. And they gave him bread and he ate. They gave him water to drink, 12and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. And when he had eaten, his spirit revived, for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13And David said to him, "To whom do you belong? And where are you from?" He said, "I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago. 14We had made a raid against the Negeb of the Cherethites and against that which belongs to Judah and against the Negeb of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire." 15And David said to him, "Will you take me down to this band?" And he said, "Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this band."
David Defeats the Amalekites
16And when he had taken him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17And David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. 18David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives. 19Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all. 20David also captured all the flocks and herds, and the people drove the livestock before him, and said, "This is David's spoil."
21Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow David, and who had been left at the brook Besor. And they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near to the people he greeted them. 22Then all the wicked and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David said, "Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except that each man may lead away his wife and children, and depart." 23But David said, "You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the Lord has given us. He has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us. 24Who would listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike." 25And he made it a statute and a rule for Israel from that day forward to this day.
26When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, "Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the Lord." 27It was for those in Bethel, in Ramoth of the Negeb, in Jattir, 28in Aroer, in Siphmoth, in Eshtemoa, 29in Racal, in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, in the cities of the Kenites, 30in Hormah, in Bor-ashan, in Athach, 31in Hebron, for all the places where David and his men had roamed.
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CHAPTER 30.
1Now when David and his men were come to Siceleg on the third day, the Amalecites had made an invasion on the south side upon Siceleg, and had smitten Siceleg, and burnt it with fire. 2And had taken the women captives that were in it, both little and great: and they had not killed any person, but had carried them with them, and went on their way. 3So when David and his men came to the city, and found it burnt with fire, and that their wives and their sons, and their daughters were taken captives, 4David and the people that were with him, lifted up their voices, and wept till they had no more tears. 5For the two wives also of David were taken captives, Achinoam the Jezrahelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal of Carmel. 6And David was greatly afflicted: for the people had a mind to stone him, for the soul of every man was bitterly grieved for his sons, and daughters: but David took courage in the Lord his God. 7And he said to Abiathar the priest the son of Achimelech: Bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8And David consulted the Lord, saying: Shall I pursue after these robbers, and shall I overtake them, or not? And the Lord said to him: Pursue after them: for thou shalt surely overtake them and recover the prey. 9So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and they came to the torrent Besor: and some being weary stayed there. 10But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred stayed, who being weary could not go over the torrent Besor. 11And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David: and they gave him bread to eat, and water to drink, 12As also a piece of a cake of figs, and two bunches of raisins. And when he had eaten them his spirit returned, and he was refreshed: for he had not eaten bread, nor drunk water three days, and three nights. 13And David said to him: To whom dost thou belong? or whence dost thou come? and whither art thou going? He said: I am a young man of Egypt, the servant of an Amalecite, and my master left me, because I began to be sick three days ago. 14For we made an invasion on the south side of Cerethi, and upon Juda, and upon the south of Caleb, and we burnt Siceleg with fire. 15And David said to him: Canst thou bring me to this company? And he said: Swear to me by God, that thou wilt not kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee to this company. And David swore to him. 16And when he had brought him, behold they were lying spread upon all the ground, eating and drinking, and as it were keeping a festival day, for all the prey, and the spoils which they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Juda. 17And David slew them from the evening unto the evening of the next day, and there escaped not a man of them, but four hundred young men, who had gotten upon camels, and fled. 18So David recovered all that the Amalecites had taken, and he rescued his two wives. 19And there was nothing missing small or great, neither of their sons or their daughters, nor of the spoils, and whatsoever they had taken: David recovered all. 20And he took all the flocks and the herds, and made them go before him: and they said: This is the prey of David. 21And David came to the two hundred men, who being weary had stayed, and were not able to follow David, and he had ordered them to abide at the torrent Besor: and they came out to meet David, and the people that were with him. And David coming to the people saluted them peaceably. 22Then all the wicked and unjust men that had gone with David answering, said: Because they came not with us, we will not give them any thing of the prey which we have recovered: but let every man take his wife and his children, and be contented with them, and go his way. 23But David said: You shall not do so, my brethren, with these things, which the Lord hath given us, who hath kept us, and hath delivered the robbers that invaded us into our hands. 24And no man shall hearken to you in this matter. But equal shall be the portion of him that went down to battle and of him that abode at the baggage, and they shall divide alike. 25And this hath been done from that day forward, and since was made a statute, and an ordinance, and as a law in Israel. 26Then David came to Siceleg, and sent presents of the prey to the ancients of Juda his neighbours, saying: Receive a blessing of the prey of the enemies of the Lord. 27To them that were in Bethel, and that were in Ramoth to the south, and to them that were in Jether, 28And to them that were in Aroer and that were in Sephamoth, and that were in Esthamo, 29And that were in Rachal, and that were in the cities of Jerameel, and that were in the cities of Ceni, 30And that were in Arama, and that were in the lake Asan, and that were in Athach, 31And that were in Hebron, and to the rest that were in those places, in which David had abode with his men.