Achish Sends David Back to Ziklag

29 The Philistines gathered(A) all their forces at Aphek,(B) and Israel camped by the spring in Jezreel.(C) As the Philistine rulers marched with their units of hundreds and thousands, David and his men were marching at the rear(D) with Achish. The commanders of the Philistines asked, “What about these Hebrews?”

Achish replied, “Is this not David,(E) who was an officer of Saul king of Israel? He has already been with me for over a year,(F) and from the day he left Saul until now, I have found no fault in him.”

But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said, “Send(G) the man back, that he may return to the place you assigned him. He must not go with us into battle, or he will turn(H) against us during the fighting. How better could he regain his master’s favor than by taking the heads of our own men? Isn’t this the David they sang about in their dances:

“‘Saul has slain his thousands,
    and David his tens of thousands’?”(I)

So Achish called David and said to him, “As surely as the Lord lives, you have been reliable, and I would be pleased to have you serve with me in the army. From the day(J) you came to me until today, I have found no fault in you, but the rulers(K) don’t approve of you. Now turn back and go in peace; do nothing to displease the Philistine rulers.”

“But what have I done?” asked David. “What have you found against your servant from the day I came to you until now? Why can’t I go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”

Achish answered, “I know that you have been as pleasing in my eyes as an angel(L) of God; nevertheless, the Philistine commanders(M) have said, ‘He must not go up with us into battle.’ 10 Now get up early, along with your master’s servants who have come with you, and leave(N) in the morning as soon as it is light.”

11 So David and his men got up early in the morning to go back to the land of the Philistines, and the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

New International Version (NIV)

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

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.

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?

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?

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

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.

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

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?

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.

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