1 Samuel 30 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
David Recovers His Loved Ones
30 Now[a] when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. When they attacked Ziklag, they burned it with fire. 2 They took captive the women[b] who were in it, from the youngest to the oldest.[c] They did not kill anyone, but carried them off and went on their way. 3 When David and his men came to the city, they saw,[d] and it was burned with fire, and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until there was not enough strength in them to weep. 5 Two of David’s wives had been taken captive. Ahinoam from Jezreel[e] and Abigail, the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 6 And David was in a very precarious situation,[f] for the people spoke of stoning him, for the souls of all the people were bitter, each one over his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in Yahweh his God.
7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring the ephod here for me.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 And David inquired of Yahweh, saying, “Should I pursue after this band of raiders? Will I overtake them?” He said to him, “Pursue them, for you will certainly overtake them, and you will certainly rescue them.” 9 So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and they came to the Wadi[g] Besor, but the rest remained. 10 David pursued, he and four hundred men; but two hundred men stayed because they were too exhausted to pass over the Wadi Besor.
11 Then they found an Egyptian man in the open country and brought him to David, and they gave him food and he ate; they also gave him water. 12 They gave him a slice of fig cake and two raisin cakes; he ate and this revived him,[h] because he had not eaten food or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13 Then David said to him, “To whom do you belong,[i] and from where are you? The young man said, “I am an Egyptian young man, a servant of an Amalekite man, but my master abandoned me because I became ill three days ago. 14 We raided the Negev of the Kerethites and that which belongs to Judah and then the Negev of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire.” 15 So David asked him, “Will you take me down to this band of raiders?” He said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me and that you will not deliver me into my master’s hand! Then I will take you down to this band.” 16 So he took him down, and there they were,[j] spread out over the surface of all the land, eating and drinking and dancing because of all of the abundant plunder which they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17 Then David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped except[k] four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. 18 So David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken; David also rescued his two wives. 19 None of theirs was missing from the smallest to the greatest,[l] even sons and daughters, from the plunder up to everything they had taken for themselves; David brought back everything. 20 And David took all of the sheep,[m] and the cattle they drove along in front of that livestock, and they said, “This is David’s plunder.”
21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow[n] David; they had left them behind at the Wadi[o] Besor. They went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. David came near with the people and asked them how they were doing.[p] 22 Then all the corrupt and useless men among the men who went with David reacted and said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them anything from the plunder which we recovered, except[q] each man may take his own wife and children. They must take them along and go!” 23 But David said to them, “You should not do so, my brothers, with what Yahweh has given to us! He has preserved us and has given the raiding band that came against us into our hand. 24 And who would listen to you regarding this matter? For as the share of the one who went down into the battle, so the share of the one who remained with the baggage will be. They will share alike.” 25 So[r] from that day and beyond, he made it a rule and a regulation for Israel until this day.
26 Then David came to Ziklag, and he sent some of the plunder to the elders of Judah, to his friends, saying, “Here is[s] a gift for you from the plunder of the enemies of Yahweh!” 27 It was for those in Bethel, for those in Ramoth of the Negev, for those in Jattir, 28 for those in Aroer, for those in Siphmoth, for those in Eshtemoa, 29 for those in Racal, for those in the towns of the Jerahmeelites, for those in the towns of the Kenites, 30 for those in Hormah, for those in Bor Ashan, for those in Athach, 31 for those in Hebron, and for all the places where David and his men had roamed.[t]
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.