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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 27


But David said to himself: "I shall perish some day at the hand of Saul. I have no choice but to escape to the land of the Philistines; then Saul will give up his continual search for me throughout the land of Israel, and I shall be out of his reach."


Accordingly, David departed with his six hundred men and went over to Achish, son of Maoch, king of Gath.


David and his men lived in Gath with Achish; each one had his family, and David had his two wives, Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel.


When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.


David said to Achish: "If I meet with your approval, let me have a place to live in one of the country towns. Why should your servant live with you in the royal city?"


1 That same day Achish gave him Ziklag, which has, therefore, belonged to the kings of Judah up to the present time.


In all, David lived a year and four months in the country of the Philistines.


David and his men went up and made raids on the Geshurites, Girzites, and Amalekites-peoples living in the land between Telam, on the approach to Shur, and the land of Egypt.


In attacking the land David would not leave a man or woman alive, but would carry off sheep, oxen, asses, camels, and clothes. On his return he brought these to Achish,


who asked, "Whom did you raid this time?" And David answered, "The Negeb of Judah," or "The Negeb of Jerahmeel," or "The Negeb of the Kenites."


But David would not leave a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath, fearing that they would betray him by saying, "This is what David did." This was his custom as long as he lived in the country of the Philistines.


And Achish trusted David, thinking, "He must certainly be detested by his people Israel. I shall have him as my vassal forever."



1 [6] Has . . . belonged to the kings of Judah: as a personal holding, outside the system of tribal lands; Jerusalem, when taken by David, had a similar status ( 2 Sam 5:7-9).

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