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David Returns to Achish

27 Then David thought to himself,[a] “Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul! There is nothing better for me but that I must certainly escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will desist from searching for me further in all of the territories of Israel, and so I will escape from his hand.” So David got up and crossed over, he and the six hundred men who were with him, to Achish the son of Maoch, the king of Gath. David settled with Achish in Gath, he and his men, each with his household.[b] David took along his two wives Ahinoam from Jezreel[c] and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. And it was reported to Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he no longer searched for him.[d]

Then David said to Achish, “Please, if I have found favor in your eyes, then let them give me a place in one of the country towns[e] that I can live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city[f] with you?” So Achish gave him Ziklag on that day. (Therefore, Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah until this day.) The number of days that David lived in the countryside of the Philistines was one year and four months.

Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites and the Girzites and the Amalekites, for they had been living in the land for a long time in the direction of[g] Shur and as far as[h] the land of Egypt. So David struck the land and did not leave a man or a woman alive; he took the sheep,[i] the cattle, the donkeys, the camels, and the clothing. Then he returned and came to Achish. 10 And Achish said, “Against whom have you raided today?” David said, “Against the Negev of Judah and against the Negev of the Jerahmeelites and against the Negev of the Kenites.” 11 And David did not leave alive a man or a woman to bring them back to Gath, thinking,[j] “So that they will not report about us, saying, ‘David did thus and so.’” Thus was his practice all the days that he lived in the countryside of the Philistines. 12 And Achish trusted David, saying, “He has made himself utterly hated[k] among his people in Israel, and he will be my servant forever.”


  1. 1 Samuel 27:1 Literally “said to his heart”
  2. 1 Samuel 27:3 Or “family”
  3. 1 Samuel 27:3 Literally “the Jezreelitess”
  4. 1 Samuel 27:4 Literally “he does Qere did not again to seek him longer”
  5. 1 Samuel 27:5 Literally “towns of the open field”
  6. 1 Samuel 27:5 Literally “the city of the king”
  7. 1 Samuel 27:8 Literally “as you come”
  8. 1 Samuel 27:8 Literally “up to”
  9. 1 Samuel 27:9 Hebrew “flock,” referring to either sheep or goats or both
  10. 1 Samuel 27:11 Hebrew “saying”
  11. 1 Samuel 27:12 Literally “Stinking he stink” = “he really stinks”