1 Samuel 30 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
David’s War with the Amalekites
30 On the third day David and his men arrived at Ziklag. The Amalekites had raided southern Judah and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it. 2 They took the women and everyone in Ziklag as prisoners, both young and old. But they did not kill any of the people. They only took them away.
3 When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found the town had been burned. Their wives, sons and daughters had been taken as prisoners. 4 Then David and his army cried loudly until they were too weak to cry anymore. 5 David’s two wives had also been taken. They were Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal from Carmel. 6 The men in the army were threatening to kill David with stones. This upset David very much. Each man was sad and angry because his sons and daughters had been taken as prisoners. But David found strength in the Lord his God. 7 David said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring me the holy vest.”
8 Then David prayed to the Lord. He said, “Should I chase the people who took our families? Will I catch them?”
The Lord answered, “Chase them. You will catch them. You will succeed in saving your families.”
9 David and the 600 men with him came to the Besor Ravine. Some of the men stayed there. 10 David and 400 men kept up the chase. The other 200 men stayed behind because they were too tired and weak to cross the ravine.
11 David’s men found an Egyptian in a field. They took him to David. They gave the Egyptian some water to drink and some food to eat. 12 They gave him a piece of a fig cake and two clusters of raisins. He felt better after eating. He had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and nights.
13 David asked him, “Who is your master? Where do you come from?”
He answered, “I’m an Egyptian. I’m the slave of an Amalekite. Three days ago my master left me, because I became sick. 14 We attacked the southern area of the Kerethites. We attacked the land of Judah and the southern area belonging to Caleb. We burned Ziklag, as well.
15 David asked him, “Will you lead me to the people who took our families?”
He answered, “Yes, if you will make a promise to me before God. Promise that you won’t kill me or give me back to my master. Then I will take you to them.”
16 So the Egyptian led David to the Amalekites. They were lying around on the ground, eating and drinking. They were celebrating with the things they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah. 17 David fought them from sunset until evening the next day. None of them escaped, except 400 young men who rode off on their camels. 18 David got his two wives back. He also got back everything the Amalekites had taken. 19 Nothing was missing. David brought back everything: the young and old people, the sons and daughters, the valuable things and everything the Amalekites had taken. 20 David took all the sheep and cattle. His men made these animals go in front. They said, “They are David’s prize.”
21 Then David came to the 200 men who had been too tired and weak to follow him. He had made them stay at the Besor Ravine. They came out to meet David and the army with him. When he came near, the men at the ravine greeted David and his army.
22 But there were evil men and troublemakers in the group that followed David. They said, “These 200 men didn’t go with us. So we won’t give them any of the things we took. But each man may take his wife and children and go.”
23 David answered, “No, my brothers. Don’t do that after what the Lord has given us. He has given us the enemy who attacked us. 24 Who will listen to what you say? The share will be the same for the man who stayed with the supplies as for the man who went into battle. All will share alike.” 25 David made this an order and rule for Israel. This order and rule continues even today.
26 David arrived in Ziklag. Then he sent some of the things he had taken from the Amalekites to his friends, the leaders of Judah. He said, “Here is a present for you from the things we took from the Lord’s enemies.”
27 David sent some things from the Amalekites to the leaders in Bethel, Ramoth in the southern part of Judah, Jattir, 28 Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa 29 and Racal. He also sent some to the leaders of the cities of the Jerahmeelites and the Kenites, 30 to Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athach 31 and Hebron. He sent some things to the people in all the other places where he and his men had been.
1 Samuel 30 New International Version (NIV)
David Destroys the Amalekites
30 David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2 and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way.
3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5 David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.
7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him, 8 and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?”
“Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
9 David and the six hundred men with him came to the Besor Valley, where some stayed behind. 10 Two hundred of them were too exhausted to cross the valley, but David and the other four hundred continued the pursuit.
11 They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave him water to drink and food to eat— 12 part of a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisins. He ate and was revived, for he had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and three nights.
13 David asked him, “Who do you belong to? Where do you come from?”
He said, “I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I became ill three days ago. 14 We raided the Negev of the Kerethites, some territory belonging to Judah and the Negev of Caleb. And we burned Ziklag.”
15 David asked him, “Can you lead me down to this raiding party?”
He answered, “Swear to me before God that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master, and I will take you down to them.”
16 He led David down, and there they were, scattered over the countryside, eating, drinking and reveling because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah. 17 David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. 18 David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. 20 He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, “This is David’s plunder.”
21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left behind at the Besor Valley. They came out to meet David and the men with him. As David and his men approached, he asked them how they were. 22 But all the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers said, “Because they did not go out with us, we will not share with them the plunder we recovered. However, each man may take his wife and children and go.”
23 David replied, “No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the Lord has given us. He has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us. 24 Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.” 25 David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this.
26 When David reached Ziklag, he sent some of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends, saying, “Here is a gift for you from the plunder of the Lord’s enemies.”
27 David sent it to those who were in Bethel, Ramoth Negev and Jattir; 28 to those in Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa 29 and Rakal; to those in the towns of the Jerahmeelites and the Kenites; 30 to those in Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athak 31 and Hebron; and to those in all the other places where he and his men had roamed.