David Is Rejected by the Philistines
1The Philistines brought all their troops together at Aphek, while the Israelites camped at the spring in Jezreel Valley. 2The five Philistine kings marched out with their units of a hundred and of a thousand men; David and his men marched in the rear with King Achish. 3The Philistine commanders saw them and asked, “What are these Hebrews doing here?”
Achish answered, “This is David, an official of King Saul of Israel. He has been with me for quite some time now. He has done nothing I can find fault with since the day he came over to me.”
4But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said to him, “Send that fellow back to the town you gave him. Don't let him go into battle with us; he might turn against us during the fighting. What better way is there for him to win back his master's favor than by the death of our men? 5#1 S 18.7; 21.11 After all, this is David, the one about whom the women sang, as they danced, ‘Saul has killed thousands, but David has killed tens of thousands.’”
6Achish called David and said to him, “I swear by the living God of Israel that you have been loyal to me; and I would be pleased to have you go with me and fight in this battle. I have not found any fault in you from the day you came over to me. But the other kings don't approve of you. 7So go back home in peace, and don't do anything that would displease them.”
8David answered, “What have I done wrong, sir? If, as you say, you haven't found any fault in me since the day I started serving you, why shouldn't I go with you, my master and king, and fight your enemies?”
9“I agree,” Achish replied. “I consider you as loyal as an angel of God. But the other kings have said that you can't go with us into battle. 10So then, David, tomorrow morning all of you who left Saul and came over to me will have to get up early and leave as soon as it's light.”
11So David and his men started out early the following morning to go back to Philistia, and the Philistines went on to Jezreel.