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29 The Philistine army now mobilized at Aphek, and the Israelis camped at the springs in Jezreel. As the Philistine captains were leading out their troops by battalions and companies, David and his men marched at the rear with King Achish.

But the Philistine commanders demanded, “What are these Israelis doing here?”

And King Achish told them, “This is David, the runaway servant of King Saul of Israel. He’s been with me for years, and I’ve never found one fault in him since he arrived.”

But the Philistine leaders were angry. “Send them back!” they demanded. “They aren’t going into the battle with us—they’ll turn against us. Is there any better way for him to reconcile himself with his master than by turning against us in the battle? This is the same man the women of Israel sang about in their dances: ‘Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands!’”

So Achish finally summoned David and his men.

“I swear by the Lord,” he told them, “you are some of the finest men I’ve ever met, and I think you should go with us, but my commanders say no. Please don’t upset them, but go back quietly.”

“What have I done to deserve this treatment?” David demanded. “Why can’t I fight your enemies?”

But Achish insisted, “As far as I’m concerned, you’re as perfect as an angel of God. But my commanders are afraid to have you with them in the battle. 10 Now get up early in the morning and leave as soon as it is light.”

11 So David headed back into the land of the Philistines while the Philistine army went on to Jezreel.

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