David Lives With the Philistines
1 But David thought to himself, “Saul will catch me some day. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up looking for me in Israel. That way I will escape from Saul.”
2 So David and his 600 men left Israel and went to Achish son of Maoch. Achish was king of Gath. 3 David, his men, and their families lived in Gath with Achish. David had his two wives with him—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel. Abigail was the widow of Nabal. 4 People told Saul that David had run away to Gath, so Saul stopped looking for him.
5 David said to Achish, “If you are pleased with me, give me a place in one of the country towns. I am only your servant. I should live there, not here with you in this royal city.”
6 That day Achish gave David the town of Ziklag. And Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since. 7 David lived with the Philistines one year and four months.
David Fools King Achish
David and his men went to fight the Amalekites and Geshurites who lived in the area from Telem*
near Shur all the way to Egypt. David’s men defeated them and took their wealth. 9
David defeated the people in that area. He took all their sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothes and brought them back to Achish. But David didn’t let any of those people live.
David did this many times. Each time Achish asked David where he fought and took those things. David said, “I fought against the southern part of Judah,” or “I fought against the southern part of Jerahmeel,” or “I fought against the southern part of the Kenizzites.”† 11
David never brought a man or woman alive to Gath. He thought, “If we let anyone live, they might tell Achish what I really did.”
David did this all the time he lived in the Philistine land. 12 Achish began to trust David and said to himself, “Now David’s own people hate him. The Israelites hate him very much. Now he will serve me forever.”