Overview

1 Samuel 29 is a chapter that delves into the intricacies of David’s position between the Israelites and the Philistines. As the Philistines prepare for battle against Israel, David finds himself in a precarious situation, highlighting the complex nature of his relationship with both sides. Key aspects include:
Philistines Prepare for Battle Against Israel: The Philistines gather their forces at Aphek to fight against Israel. David and his men, who have been staying in Philistine territory, are among the troops with Achish, king of Gath.
Philistine Commanders’ Distrust of David: As the Philistine forces assemble, their commanders notice the Hebrews (David and his men) and question Achish’s decision to include them. They express distrust towards David, fearing he might turn against them during the battle to regain favor with Saul.
Achish’s Reluctant Decision: Achish, who trusts David, reluctantly agrees with his commanders. He calls David and explains the situation, telling him that although Achish personally trusts him, the other Philistine lords do not. Achish orders David and his men to return to Ziklag.
David’s Response to Achish: David, feigning disappointment, questions Achish’s decision, asking what he and his men have done to lose trust. Achish reiterates his trust in David but insists that he cannot go against the wishes of the other lords.
David and His Men Return to Ziklag: David and his men leave the Philistine army and head back to Ziklag. This decision ultimately spares David from the moral dilemma of fighting against his own people, Israel.
1 Samuel 29 showcases David’s complex role as a leader who navigates between different factions. His temporary alignment with the Philistines and subsequent dismissal underscore the precariousness of his situation and his ability to adapt to changing circumstances. This chapter also highlights the political dynamics within the Philistine leadership and their perception of David as a potential threat. David’s return to Ziklag sets the stage for the events in the following chapter, further advancing the narrative of his journey to kingship.

1 Samuel 29

1  Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel.

2  And the lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands: but David and his men passed on in the rereward with Achish.

3  Then said the princes of the Philistines, What do these Hebrews here? And Achish said unto the princes of the Philistines, Is not this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, which hath been with me these days, or these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell unto me unto this day?

4  And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men?

5  Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands?

6  Then Achish called David, and said unto him, Surely, as the LORD liveth, thou hast been upright, and thy going out and thy coming in with me in the host is good in my sight: for I have not found evil in thee since the day of thy coming unto me unto this day: nevertheless the lords favour thee not.

7  Wherefore now return, and go in peace, that thou displease not the lords of the Philistines.

8  And David said unto Achish, But what have I done? and what hast thou found in thy servant so long as I have been with thee unto this day, that I may not go fight against the enemies of my lord the king?

9  And Achish answered and said to David, I know that thou art good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to the battle.

10  Wherefore now rise up early in the morning with thy master's servants that are come with thee: and as soon as ye be up early in the morning, and have light, depart.

11  So David and his men rose up early to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

End of 1 Samuel 29


1 Year Plan:  May 5 - 1 Sa 29, 1 Sa 30,  John 21

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