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1 NOW WHEN David and his men came home to Ziklag on the third day, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid on the South (the Negeb) and on Ziklag, and had struck Ziklag and burned it with fire,
2 And had taken the women and all who were there, both great and small, captive. They killed no one, but carried them off and went on their way.
3 So David and his men came to the town, and behold, it was burned, and their wives and sons and daughters were taken captive.
4 Then David and the men with him lifted up their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep.
5 David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail, the widow of Nabal the Carmelite.
6 David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
7 David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, I pray you, bring me the ephod. And Abiathar brought him the ephod.
8 And David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them? The Lord answered him, Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.
9 So David went, he and the 600 men with him, and came to the brook Besor; there those remained who were left behind.
10 But David pursued, he and 400 men, for 200 stayed behind who were too exhausted and faint to cross the brook Besor.
11 They found an Egyptian in the field and brought him to David, and gave him bread and he ate, and water to drink,
12 And a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins; and when he had eaten, his spirit returned to him, for he had eaten no food or drunk any water for three days and three nights.
13 And David said to him, To whom do you belong? And from where have you come? He said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me because three days ago I fell sick.
14 We had made a raid on the South (Negeb) of the Cherethites and upon that which belongs to Judah and upon the South (Negeb) of Caleb. And we burned Ziklag with fire.
15 And David said to him, Can you take me down to this band? And he said, Swear to me by God that you will neither kill me nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring you down to this band.
16 And when he had brought David down, behold, the raiders 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.
17 And David smote them from twilight even to the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except 400 youths who rode camels and fled.
18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken and rescued his two wives.
19 Nothing was missing, small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken; David recovered all.
20 Also David captured all the flocks and herds [which the enemy had], and the people drove those animals before him and said, This is David's spoil.
21 And David came to the 200 men who were so exhausted and faint that they could not follow [him] and had been left at the brook Besor [with the baggage]. They came to meet David and those with him, and when he came near to the men, he saluted them.
22 Then all the wicked and base men who went with David said, Because they did not go with us, we will give them nothing of the spoil we have recovered, except that every man may lead away his wife and children and depart.
23 David said, You shall not do so, my brethren, with what the Lord has given us. He has preserved us and has delivered into our hands the troop that came against us.
24 Who would listen to you in this matter? For as is the share of him who goes into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike.
25 And from that day to this he made it a statute and ordinance for Israel.
26 When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to the elders of Judah, his friends, saying, Here is a gift for you of the spoil of the enemies of the Lord:
27 For those in Bethel, Ramoth of the Negeb, Jattir,
28 Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa,
29 Racal, the cities of the Jerahmeelites, the cities of the Kenites,
30 Hormah, Bor-ashan, Athach,
31 Hebron, and for those in all the places David and his men had habitually haunted.
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation