1. 'One of these days,' David thought, 'I shall perish at the hand of Saul. The best thing that I can do is to get away into the country of the Philistines; then Saul will give up tracking me through the length and breadth of Israel and I shall be safe from him.'

2. So David set off and went over, he and his six hundred men, to Achish son of Maoch, king of Gath.

3. He settled at Gath with Achish, he and his men, each with his family and David with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail widow of Nabal of Carmel.

4. When news reached Saul that David had fled to Gath, he stopped searching for him.

5. David said to Achish, 'If I have won your favour, let me be given a place in one of the outlying towns, where I can live. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?'

6. That very day Achish gave him Ziklag; and this is why Ziklag has been the property of the kings of Judah to the present day.

7. The time that David stayed in Philistine territory amounted to a year and four months.

8. David and his men went out on raids against the Geshurites, Girzites and Amalekites, for these are the tribes inhabiting the region which, from Telam, goes in the direction of Shur, as far as Egypt.

9. David laid the countryside waste and left neither man nor woman alive; he carried off the sheep and cattle, the donkeys, camels and clothing, and then came back again to Achish.

10. Achish would ask, 'Where did you go raiding today?' David would reply, 'Against the Negeb of Judah,' or 'the Negeb of Jerahmeel,' or 'the Negeb of the Kenites.'

11. David spared neither man nor woman to bring back alive to Gath, 'in case', as he thought, 'they inform on us and say, "David did such and such." ' This was the way David conducted his raids all the time he stayed in Philistine territory.

12. Achish trusted David. 'He has made himself detested by his own people Israel,' he thought, 'and so will be my servant for ever.'



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