27 David thought to himself, 1 “One of these days I’m going to be swept away by the hand of Saul! There is nothing better for me than to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of searching for me through all the territory of Israel and I will escape from his hand.”
2 So David left and crossed over to King Achish son of Maoch of Gath accompanied by his six hundred men. 3 David settled with Achish in Gath, along with his men and their families. 2 David had with him his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelite and Abigail the Carmelite, Nabal’s widow. 4 When Saul learned that David had fled to Gath, he did not mount a new search for him.
5 David said to Achish, “If I have found favor with you, let me be given a place in one of the country towns so that I can live there. Why should your servant settle in the royal city with you?” 6 So Achish gave him Ziklag on that day. (For that reason Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah until this very day.) 7 The length of time 3 that David lived in the Philistine countryside was a year 4 and four months.
8 Then David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. (They had been living in that land for a long time, from the approach 5 to Shur as far as the land of Egypt.) 9 When David would attack a district, 6 he would leave neither man nor woman alive. He would take sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothing and would then go back to Achish. 10 When Achish would ask, “Where 7 did you raid today?” David would say, “The Negev of Judah” or “The Negev of Jeharmeel” or “The Negev of the Kenites.” 11 Neither man nor woman would David leave alive so as to bring them back to Gath. He was thinking, “This way they can’t tell on us, saying, ‘This is what David did.’” Such was his practice the entire time 8 that he lived in the country of the Philistines. 12 So Achish trusted David, thinking to himself, 9 “He is really hated 10 among his own people in 11 Israel! From now on 12 he will be my servant.”
28 In those days the Philistines gathered their troops 1 for war in order to fight Israel. Achish said to David, “You should fully understand that you and your men must go with me into the battle.” 2 2 David replied to Achish, “That being the case, you will come to know what your servant can do!” Achish said to David, “Then I will make you my bodyguard 3 from now on.” 4
3 Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had lamented over him and had buried him in Ramah, his hometown. 5 In the meantime Saul had removed the mediums 6 and magicians 7 from the land. 4 The Philistines assembled; they came and camped at Shunem. Saul mustered all Israel and camped at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the camp of the Philistines, he was absolutely terrified. 8 6 So Saul inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him – not by dreams nor by Urim 9 nor by the prophets. 7 So Saul instructed his servants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, 10 so that I may go to her and inquire of her.” His servants replied to him, “There is a woman who is a medium in Endor.”
8 So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothing and left, accompanied by two of his men. They came to the woman at night and said, “Use your ritual pit to conjure up for me the one I tell you.” 11
9 But the woman said to him, “Look, you are aware of what Saul has done; he has removed 12 the mediums and magicians 13 from the land! Why are you trapping me 14 so you can put me to death?” 10 But Saul swore an oath to her by the Lord, “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not incur guilt in this matter!” 11 The woman replied, “Who is it that I should bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up for me Samuel.”
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out loudly. 15 The woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!” 13 The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid! What have you seen?” The woman replied to Saul, “I have seen one like a god 16 coming up from the ground!” 14 He said to her, “What about his appearance?” She said, “An old man is coming up! He is wrapped in a robe!”
Then Saul realized it was Samuel, and he bowed his face toward the ground and kneeled down. 15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul replied, “I am terribly troubled! The Philistines are fighting against me and God has turned away from me. He does not answer me – not by the prophets nor by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what I should do.”
16 Samuel said, “Why are you asking me, now that the Lord has turned away from you and has become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done exactly as I prophesied! 17 The Lord has torn the kingdom from your hand and has given it to your neighbor David! 18 Since you did not obey the Lord 18 and did not carry out his fierce anger against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this thing to you today. 19 The Lord will hand you and Israel over to the Philistines! 19 Tomorrow both you and your sons will be with me. 20 The Lord will also hand the army 21 of Israel over to the Philistines!”
20 Saul quickly fell full length on the ground and was very afraid because of Samuel’s words. He was completely drained of energy, 22 not having eaten anything 23 all that day and night. 21 When the woman came to Saul and saw how terrified he was, she said to him, “Your servant has done what you asked. 24 I took my life into my own hands and did what you told me. 25 22 Now it’s your turn to listen to your servant! Let me set before you a bit of bread so that you can eat. When you regain your strength, you can go on your way.”
23 But he refused, saying, “I won’t eat!” Both his servants and the woman urged 26 him to eat, so he gave in. 27 He got up from the ground and sat down on the bed. 24 Now the woman 28 had a well-fed calf 29 at her home that she quickly slaughtered. Taking some flour, she kneaded bread and baked it without leaven. 25 She brought it to Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they arose and left that same night.
29 The Philistines assembled all their troops 1 at Aphek, while Israel camped at the spring that is in Jezreel. 2 When the leaders of the Philistines were passing in review at the head of their units of hundreds and thousands, 2 David and his men were passing in review in the rear with Achish.
3 The leaders of the Philistines asked, “What about these Hebrews?” Achish said to the leaders of the Philistines, “Isn’t this David, the servant of King Saul of Israel, who has been with me for quite some time? 3 I have found no fault with him from the day of his defection until the present time!” 4
4 But the leaders of the Philistines became angry with him and said 5 to him, “Send the man back! Let him return to the place that you assigned him! Don’t let him go down with us into the battle, for he might become 6 our adversary in the battle. What better way to please his lord than with the heads of these men? 7 5 Isn’t this David, of whom they sang as they danced, 8
‘Saul has struck down his thousands,
but David his tens of thousands’?”
6 So Achish summoned David and said to him, “As surely as the Lord lives, you are an honest man, and I am glad to have you 9 serving 10 with me in the army. 11 I have found no fault with you from the day that you first came to me until the present time. But in the opinion 12 of the leaders, you are not reliable. 13 7 So turn and leave 14 in peace. You must not do anything that the leaders of the Philistines consider improper!” 15
8 But David said to Achish, “What have I done? What have you found in your servant from the day that I first came into your presence until the present time, that I shouldn’t go and fight the enemies of my lord the king?” 9 Achish replied to David, “I am convinced that you are as reliable 16 as the angel of God! However, the leaders of the Philistines have said, ‘He must not go up with us in the battle.’ 10 So get up early in the morning along with the servants of your lord who have come with you. 17 When you get up early in the morning, as soon as it is light enough to see, leave.” 18
11 So David and his men got up early in the morning to return 19 to the land of the Philistines, but the Philistines went up to Jezreel.