1 Samuel Chapter 27 to 29 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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David Lives with the Philistines

27 But David thought to himself, “Saul will catch me some day. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up looking for me in Israel. That way I will escape from Saul.” 2So David and his 600 men left Israel. They went to Achish son of Maoch. Achish was king of Gath. 3David, his men, and their families lived in Gath with Achish. David had his two wives with him. They were Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel. Abigail was the widow* of Nabal. 4People told Saul that David had run away to Gath. So Saul stopped looking for him. 5David said to Achish, “If you are pleased with me, then give me a place in one of the country towns. I am only your servant. I should live there, not here with you in this royal city.” 6That day Achish gave David the town of Ziklag. And Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since. 7David lived with the Philistines one year and four months.

David Fools King Achish

8David and his men went to fight the Amalekites and Geshurites who lived in the area from Telem near Shur all the way to Egypt. David’s men defeated them and took their wealth. 9David defeated the people in that area. David took all their sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels and clothes and brought them back to Achish. But David didn’t let any of those people live. 10David did this many times. Each time Achish asked David where he fought and took those things. David said, “I fought against the southern part of Judah,” or “I fought against the southern part of Jerahmeel,” or “I fought against the southern part of the Kenizzites.”* 11David never brought a man or woman alive to Gath. David thought, “{If we let any person live,} that person might tell {Achish} what I really did!” David did this all the time he lived in the Philistine land. 12Achish began to trust David. Achish said to himself, “Now David’s own people hate him. The Israelites hate David very much. Now David will serve me forever.”

widow A woman whose husband has died. I fought … Judah, Jerahmeel, Kenizzites All these places belonged to Israel. David made Achish think he had fought against his own people, the Israelites.

The Philistines Prepare for War

28  Later the Philistines gathered their armies to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “Do you understand that you and your men must go with me to fight {against Israel}?” 2David answered, “Certainly! Then you can see for yourself what I can do!” Achish said, “Fine, I’ll make you my bodyguard. You will protect me forever.”

Saul and the Woman at Endor

3After Samuel died, all the people of Israel showed their sadness. Then they buried Samuel in Ramah, his home town. Saul had removed the mediums* and fortune tellers from Israel. 4The Philistines prepared for war. They came to Shunem and made their camp at that place. Saul gathered all the Israelites and made his camp at Gilboa. 5Saul saw the Philistine army, and he was scared. His heart pounded with fear. 6Saul prayed to the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him. God did not talk to Saul in dreams. God did not use the Urim* to give him an answer. And God did not use prophets to speak to Saul. 7Finally, Saul said to his officers, “Find me a woman who is a medium.* Then I can go ask her what will happen {in this war}.” His officers answered, “There is a medium* at Endor.” 8Saul put on different clothes so no one would know who he was. That night Saul and two of his men went to see the woman. Saul said {to the woman}, “I want you to bring up a ghost who can tell me what will happen in the future. You must call for the ghost of the person I name.” 9But the woman said to Saul, “You know what Saul did! He has forced all of the mediums* and fortune tellers to leave the land of Israel. You are trying to trap me and kill me.” 10Saul used the Lord’s name to make a promise to the woman. He said, “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for doing this.” 11The woman asked, “Who do you want me to bring up for you?” Saul answered, “Bring up Samuel.” 12{And it happened!} The woman saw Samuel and screamed loudly. She said to Saul, “You tricked me! You are Saul.” 13The king said to the woman, “Don’t be afraid! What do you see?” The woman said, “I see a spirit coming up out of the ground.*” 14Saul asked, “What does he look like?” The woman answered, “He looks like an old man wearing a special robe.” Then Saul knew it was Samuel. Saul bowed down. His face touched the ground. 15Samuel said to Saul, “Why did you bother me? Why did you bring me up?” Saul answered, “I am in trouble! The Philistines have come to fight against me, and God left me. God won’t answer me any more. He won’t use prophets or dreams to answer me. That’s why I called you. I want you to tell me what to do!” 16Samuel said, “The Lord left you. Now he is with your neighbor (David). So why are you bothering me? 17The Lord used me to tell you what he would do. And now the Lord is doing what he said he would do! The Lord is pulling the kingdom from your hands. And he is giving the kingdom to one of your neighbors. That neighbor is David. 18You did not obey the Lord. You did not destroy the Amalekites and show them how angry the Lord was at them. That is why the Lord is doing this to you today. 19The Lord will let the Philistines defeat you and the army of Israel today. And tomorrow, you and your sons will be here with me!” 20Saul quickly fell to the ground and lay there. Saul was afraid because of the things Samuel said. Saul was also very weak because he did not eat any food all that day and night. 21The woman came to Saul. She saw Saul was really scared. She said, “Look, I am your servant. I have obeyed you. I risked my life and did what you told me to do. 22Now please listen to me. Let me give you some food. You must eat. Then you will have enough strength to go on your way.” 23But Saul refused. He said, “I won’t eat.” Saul’s officers joined the woman and begged him to eat. Finally, Saul listened to them. He got up from the ground and sat on the bed. 24The woman had a fat calf at the house. She quickly killed the calf. She took some flour and pressed it with her hands. Then she baked some bread without yeast. 25The woman put the food before Saul and his officers. Saul and his officers ate. Then that same night they got up and left. 

medium(s) A person who tries to communicate with the spirits of dead people. Urim Priests used these stones to get answers from God. See Num. 27:20–22. ground Or, “Sheol, the place of death.”

“David Can’t Come With Us!”

29 The Philistines gathered all their soldiers at Aphek. The Israelites camped by the spring at Jezreel. 2The Philistine rulers were marching with their groups of 100 men and 1,000 men. David and his men were marching at the back with Achish. 3The Philistine captains asked, “What are these Hebrews doing here?” Achish told the Philistine captains, “This is David. David was one of Saul’s officers. David has been with me for a long time. I found nothing wrong in David since the time he left Saul and came to me.” 4But the Philistine captains were angry with Achish. They said, “Send David back! David must go back to the city you gave him. He can’t go with us into battle. {If he is here} we will have an enemy in our own camp. He would make his king happy by killing our men. 5David is the same person the Israelites sing and dance about when they sing this song: Saul has killed thousands of enemies. But David has killed tens of thousands! 6So Achish called David and said, “As sure as the Lord lives, you are loyal to me. I would be pleased to have you serve in my army. Since the day you came to me, I have found nothing wrong in you. Also, the {Philistine} rulers think you are a good man.* 7Go back in peace. Don’t do anything against the Philistine rulers.” 8David asked, “What have I done wrong? Have you found anything wrong with me since the day I came to you? {No!} Why won’t you let me go to fight the enemies of my lord the king?” 9Achish answered, “I believe that you are a good man. You are like an angel from God. But the Philistine captains still say, ‘David can’t go with us into battle.’ 10Early in the morning, you and your men should go back to the city I gave you. Don’t pay attention to the bad things the captains say about you. You are a good man. So leave as soon as the sun comes up.” 11So David and his men got up early in the morning and went back to the country of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

the Philistine rulers … man The Philistine rulers are pleased with David. It is the Philistine commanders of the army who are against him.

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