David and his men return to Ziklag to find their homes burned, their possessions stolen, and their families kidnapped. The men pursue the guilty Amalekites and exact their revenge.
David returns to Ziklag: “When David and his men came to the town and found it burned down, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive, David and the troops with him broke into tears, until they had no strength left for weeping.” (vv. 3-4)
III. Important Verses
1-4: By the time David and his men arrived in Ziklag, on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid into the Negeb and against Ziklag; they had stormed Ziklag and burned it down. They had taken the women in it captive, low-born and high-born alike; they did not kill any, but carried them off and went their way. When David and his men came to the town and found it burned down, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive, David and the troops with him broke into tears, until they had no strength left for weeping.
6a: David was in great danger, for the troops threatened to stone him; for all the troops were embittered on account of their sons and daughters.
6b-8: But David sought strength in the LORD his God. David said to the priest Abiathar son of Ahimelech, “Bring the ephod up to me.” When Abiathar brought up the ephod to David, David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue those raiders? Will I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall overtake and you shall rescue.”
17: David attacked them from before dawn until the evening of the next day; none of them escaped, except four hundred young men who mounted camels and got away.
21-25: When David reached the two hundred men who were too faint to follow David and who had been left at the Wadi Besor, they came out to welcome David and the troops with him; David came forward with the troops and greeted them. But all the mean and churlish fellows among the men who had accompanied David spoke up, “Since they did not accompany us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we seized — except that each may take his wife and children and go.” David, however, spoke up, “You must not do that, my brothers, in view of what the LORD has granted us, guarding us and delivering into our hands the band that attacked us. How could anyone agree with you in this matter? The share of those who remain with the baggage shall be the same as the share of those who go down to battle; they shall share alike.” So from that day on it was made a fixed rule for Israel, continuing to the present day.
1-2. The Amalekites raid Ziklag
3. David returns to a burnt city
4. The men lament
5. The status of David’s wives
6. David fears an insurrection
7-8. God tells David to attack
9-10. Only 400 of the 600 men advance
11-16. An Egyptian slave leads David to the marauders
17. David slaughters the Amalekites
18-20. All the people and possessions are recaptured
21-24. The men who stayed behind share in the booty
25. An Israelite practice
26-31. David sends booty to the elders of Judah
No comment today. Stay tuned.
VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Campbell, Antony F. “1 Samuel” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 7 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2003).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Klein, Ralph W. “1 Samuel” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 10 (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1983).
Photo taken from http://www.stolaf.edu/people/ceumb/research/Mongolia/Field3.jpg