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David Strikes Down the Amalekites

30 Then it happened when David and his men came to (A)Ziklag on the third day, that (B)the Amalekites had made a raid on the [a]Negev and on (C)Ziklag and had struck Ziklag and burned it with fire; and they took captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great—(D)they did not put anyone to death—and carried them off and went their way. Then David and his men came to the city, and behold, it was burned with fire, and their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive. So David and the people who were with him (E)lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. Now (F)David’s two wives had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the [b]widow of Nabal the Carmelite. Moreover David was greatly distressed because (G)the people said to stone him, for all the people were [c]embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But (H)David strengthened himself in Yahweh his God.

Then (I)David said to (J)Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring the ephod near to me.” So Abiathar brought the ephod near to David. (K)And David asked of Yahweh, saying, “(L)Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them?” And He said to him, “Pursue, for you will surely overtake them, (M)and you will surely deliver all.” So David went, (N)he and the six hundred men who were with him, and they came to the brook Besor, where those left behind remained. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men, for (O)two hundred who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor remained behind.

11 Then they found an Egyptian in the field and brought him to David and gave him bread, and he ate, and they provided him water to drink. 12 And they gave him a piece of fig cake and two clusters of raisins, and he ate; (P)then his spirit [d]revived. For he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13 And David said to him, “To whom do you belong? And where are you from?” And he said, “I am a young man of Egypt, a slave of an Amalekite; and my master forsook me when I fell sick three days ago. 14 We made a raid on (Q)the [e]Negev of the Cherethites and on that which belongs to Judah and on (R)the [f]Negev of Caleb, and (S)we burned Ziklag with fire.” 15 Then David said to him, “Will you bring me down to this band?” And he said, “Swear to me by God that you will not put me to death or surrender me into the hands of my master, and I will bring you down to this band.”

16 So he brought him down, and behold, they were [g]spread over all the land, (T)eating and drinking and [h]celebrating because of (U)all the great spoil that they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17 Then David struck them (V)down from the twilight [i]until the evening of [j]the next day; and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on (W)camels and fled. 18 So David (X)delivered all that the Amalekites had taken and [k]delivered his two wives. 19 Indeed nothing of theirs was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that they had taken for themselves; (Y)David brought it all back. 20 And David took all the sheep and the cattle which the people drove ahead of [l]the other livestock, and they said, “(Z)This is David’s spoil.”

David Apportions the Spoils

21 Then (AA)David came to the two hundred men who were too exhausted to follow David, who had also remained at the brook Besor, and they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him, and David approached the people and greeted them. 22 Then all the evil and vile men among those who went with David said, “Because they did not go with [m]us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have delivered, except to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away and depart.” 23 Then David said, “You must not do so, my brothers, with what Yahweh has given us, who has kept us and given into our hand the band that came against us. 24 And who will listen to you in this matter? For (AB)as is the portion of the one who goes down to the battle, so shall the portion be of the one who remains by the baggage; they shall be apportioned together.” 25 So it has been from that day forward, that he made it a statute and a judgment for Israel to this day.

26 Then David came to Ziklag and sent some of the spoil to the elders of Judah, to his friends, saying, “Behold, (AC)a [n]gift for you from the spoil of (AD)the enemies of Yahweh: 27 to those who were in (AE)Bethel, and to those who were in (AF)Ramoth of the [o]Negev, and to those who were in (AG)Jattir, 28 and to those who were in (AH)Aroer, and to those who were in Siphmoth, and to those who were in (AI)Eshtemoa, 29 and to those who were in Racal, and to those who were in the cities of (AJ)the Jerahmeelites, and to those who were in the cities of (AK)the Kenites, 30 and to those who were in (AL)Hormah, and to those who were in (AM)Bor-ashan, and to those who were in Athach, 31 and to those who were in (AN)Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men (AO)went about.”


  1. 1 Samuel 30:1 South country
  2. 1 Samuel 30:5 Lit wife
  3. 1 Samuel 30:6 Lit bitter in soul
  4. 1 Samuel 30:12 Lit returned to him
  5. 1 Samuel 30:14 South country
  6. 1 Samuel 30:14 South country
  7. 1 Samuel 30:16 Lit left
  8. 1 Samuel 30:16 Lit keeping a pilgrim-feast
  9. 1 Samuel 30:17 Lit even until
  10. 1 Samuel 30:17 Lit their
  11. 1 Samuel 30:18 Or David rescued
  12. 1 Samuel 30:20 Lit those livestock
  13. 1 Samuel 30:22 Lit me
  14. 1 Samuel 30:26 Lit blessing
  15. 1 Samuel 30:27 South country