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 a hundred and a thousand men. David and his men were marching behind Achish. 3The Philistine commanders asked, “What are these Hebrews doing here?”
Achish told them, “This is David. He served 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.”
4But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said, “Send David back to the city you gave him. He cannot go with us into battle. If he does, we’ll have an enemy in our own camp. He could please his king by killing our own men. 5David is the one the Israelites dance and sing about, saying:
‘Saul has killed thousands of his enemies,
but David has killed tens of thousands.’ ”
6So Achish called David and 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 other 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 can’t I go fight your enemies, my lord and king?”
9Achish answered, “I know you are as good as an angel from God. But the Philistine commanders have said, ‘David must not go with us into battle.’ 10Early in the morning you and your master’s servants should leave. Get up as soon as it is light and go.”
11So David and his men got up early in the morning and went back to the country of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
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