David Is Rejected by the Philistine Leaders
1 The Philistines assembled all their troops#tn Heb “camps.” at Aphek, while Israel camped at the spring that is in Jezreel. 2 When the leaders of the Philistines were passing in review at the head of their units of hundreds and thousands,#tn Heb “passing by with respect to hundreds and thousands.” This apparently describes a mustering of troops for the purpose of inspection and readiness. David and his men were passing in review in the rear with Achish.
3 The leaders of the Philistines asked, “What about these Hebrews?” Achish said to the leaders of the Philistines, “Isn’t this David, the servant of King Saul of Israel, who has been with me for quite some time?#tn Heb “these days or these years.” I have found no fault with him from the day of his defection until the present time!”#tn Heb “from the day of his falling [away] until this day.”
4 But the leaders of the Philistines became angry with him and said#tn Heb “and the leaders of the Philistines said.” to him, “Send the man back! Let him return to the place that you assigned him! Don’t let him go down with us into the battle, for he might become#tn Heb “so that he might not become.” our adversary in the battle. What better way to please his lord than with the heads of these men?#tn Or perhaps, “our men.” On this use of the demonstrative pronoun see Joüon 2:532 §143.e. 5 Isn’t this David, of whom they sang as they danced,#tn Heb “in dances.”
‘Saul has struck down his thousands,
but David his tens of thousands’?”
6 So Achish summoned David and said to him, “As surely as the Lord lives, you are an honest man, and I am glad to have you#tn Heb “it is good in my eyes.” Cf. v. 7. serving#tn Heb “your going forth and your coming in.” The expression is a merism. with me in the army.#tn Heb “camp.” I have found no fault with you from the day that you first came to me until the present time. But in the opinion#tn Heb “eyes.” of the leaders, you are not reliable.#tn Heb “good.” 7 So turn and leave#tn Heb “go.” in peace. You must not do anything that the leaders of the Philistines consider improper!”#tn Heb “and you must not do evil in the eyes of the leaders of the Philistines.”
8 But David said to Achish, “What have I done? What have you found in your servant from the day that I first came into your presence until the present time, that I shouldn’t go and fight the enemies of my lord the king?” 9 Achish replied to David, “I am convinced that you are as reliable#tn Heb “I know that you are good in my eyes.” as the angel of God! However, the leaders of the Philistines have said, ‘He must not go up with us in the battle.’ 10 So get up early in the morning along with the servants of your lord who have come with you.#tc The LXX and a couple of Old Latin mss include here the following words: “and you shall go to the place that I have appointed you. Don’t place an evil thing in your heart, for you are good before me.” When you get up early in the morning, as soon as it is light enough to see, leave.”#tn Heb “when you get up early in the morning and you have light, go.”
11 So David and his men got up early in the morning to return#tc Heb “to go in the morning to return.” With the exception of Origen and the Lucianic recension, the Old Greek tradition lacks the phrase “in the morning.” The Syriac Peshitta also omits it. to the land of the Philistines, but the Philistines went up to Jezreel.