Front Page

Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: 1 Samuel

(Return to Old Testament Contents)


FRAMEWORKS: 1 Samuel 30: David Destroys the Amalekites


v.1-6 David finds Ziklag pillaged by the Amalakites

v.7-10 David gets guidance to pursue them but not all are up to it

v.11-16 They find an Egyptian slave who guides them

v.17-19 David's men overcome the Amalekites and recover everyone

v.20-25 A new law of sharing plunder is established

v.26-31 David shares plunder around Judah



v.1-6 David finds Ziklag pillaged by the Amalakites


v.1 David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it,

v.2 and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way.

v.3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive.

v.4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.

v.5 David's two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel.

v.6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.


[Notes: When David gets back to their home base, now at Ziklag, he finds that the nomadic Amalekites have been there and plundered the city and taken all the families off as slaves and the city left destroyed by fire. He and his men are devastated by this.]



v.7-10 David gets guidance to pursue them but not all are up to it


v.7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him,

v.8 and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?”

“Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”

v.9 David and the six hundred men with him came to the Besor Valley, where some stayed behind.

v.10 Two hundred of them were too exhausted to cross the valley, but David and the other four hundred continued the pursuit.


[Notes: David sends for the priest (and prophet?) and enquires of the Lord and is told he will succeed in a rescue. However they have already come some distance since leaving Achish, and a third of the army are too exhausted to continue very far and so stop part way.]



v.11-16 They find an Egyptian slave who guides them


v.11 They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave him water to drink and food to eat—

v.12 part of a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisins. He ate and was revived, for he had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and three nights.

v.13 David asked him, “Who do you belong to? Where do you come from?”

He said, “I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I became ill three days ago.

v.14 We raided the Negev of the Kerethites, some territory belonging to Judah and the Negev of Caleb. And we burned Ziklag.”

v.15 David asked him, “Can you lead me down to this raiding party?”

He answered, “Swear to me before God that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master, and I will take you down to them.”

v.16 He led David down, and there they were, scattered over the countryside, eating, drinking and reveling because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah.


[Notes: David with the remaining two thirds of the army continues the pursuit south and comes across a wandering and worn out Egyptian who turns out to have been a slave to the Amalekites. They feed him and persuade him to act as a guide to follow the Amalekites.]



v.17-19 David's men overcome the Amalekites and recover everyone


v.17 David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled.

v.18 David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives.

v.19 Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back.


[Notes: David and his men fall on the feasting Amalekites and destroy many of them and recover their families and everything that had been taken from Ziklag as well as flocks and herds belonging to the Amalekites.]



v.20-25 A new law of sharing plunder is established


v.20 He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, “This is David's plunder.”

v.21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left behind at the Besor Valley. They came out to meet David and the men with him. As David and his men approached, he asked them how they were.

v.22 But all the evil men and troublemakers among David's followers said, “Because they did not go out with us, we will not share with them the plunder we recovered. However, each man may take his wife and children and go.”

v.23 David replied, “No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the Lord has given us. He has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us.

v.24 Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.”

v.25 David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this.


[Notes: They make their way back north on the way home and encounter their recovering third of the army still resting. Some of his men don't want to share the captured plunder with them but David establishes a rule that even those who stay back should share in the plunder.]



v.26-31 David shares plunder around Judah


v.26 When David reached Ziklag, he sent some of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends, saying, “Here is a gift for you from the plunder of the Lord 's enemies.”

v.27 David sent it to those who were in Bethel, Ramoth Negev and Jattir;

v.28 to those in Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa

v.29 and Rakal; to those in the towns of the Jerahmeelites and the Kenites;

v.30 to those in Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athak

v.31 and Hebron; and to those in all the other places where he and his men had roamed.


[Notes: However when they get home, David doesn't only share the plunder around his men, he also shares it around the areas where they have been moving recently.]