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27 David was convinced that someday Saul would succeed—that whatever he might have said, he would track David down to kill him. So David decided his safest choice would be to escape to Philistia, because Saul could not pursue him outside Israel and he would be safe. So David with his 600 men went to King Achish, son of Maoch, in Gath. David and his men stayed with King Achish in Gath. All their families and David’s two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal, were there also.

When Saul heard that David had gone to Gath and allied himself with the Philistines, he gave up his pursuit.

David (to King Achish): If I have found favor with you, then give us someplace in one of the villages to live. Why should you share the royal city with me, your servant?

So Achish set aside Ziklag for them; and ever after, it belonged to the kings of Judah. David lived in the land of the Philistines for a year and four months.

Now David and his men raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites (the inhabitants of the country of much earlier times from Shur and on toward Egypt). David and his men invaded these areas, killing everyone, men and women, but bringing cattle, donkeys, sheep, camels, and garments of these territories back to the land of Achish.

Achish: 10 Whom did you raid today?

David (lying to him): Today we went out into the desert country in the south against Judah, the Jerahmeelites, and the Kenites.

11 The reason David never permitted survivors of his raids was because he could not risk one of them being brought alive to the Philistines in Gath and telling the truth—that David has done this or that. This was David’s practice during the entire time he lived in the land of the Philistines.

12 Because he did not know the truth, Achish trusted David. He thought David had made himself such an enemy of Israel that he would have to remain Achish’s servant for the rest of his life.

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