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1 Samuel 30

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 1 On the third day, when David and his men had arrived back in Ziklag,[they discovered] that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and had attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire;

 2 And had taken the women captive, who were in it; they did not kill any, either rich or poor, but carried them away with them on their way.

 3 So David and his men came to the city and saw it had been burned with fire; and that their wives, their sons, and their daughters, had been taken captive.

 4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.

 5 Also taken captive were David's two wives: Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail, the former wife of Nabal the Carmelite.

 6 David was greatly distressed when the people spoke of stoning him because the souls of all the people were so grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters; but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

 7 And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, "Please bring the ephod to me. And Abiathar brought the ephod there to David.1

 8 And David inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I pursue after this raiding army? Shall I overtake them?" And the Lord answered him, "Pursue them for you shall surely overtake them, and without fail you shall recover them all."

 9 So David left, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those stayed who were left behind.

 10 Because two hundred of the men had become so faint that they could not cross the brook Besor, and so they stayed behind. But David and four hundred men continued the pursuit

 11 They found an Egyptian in the field and brought him to David; they gave him bread, which he ate, and they made him drink water;

 12 And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins. He had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, for three days and three nights. But after he had eaten, his spirit was revived in him again.

 13 And David said to him, "To whom do you belong? And from where are you?" And he said, "I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me because three days ago I fell sick."

 14 We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, upon the territory that belongs to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire."

 15 And David said to him, "Can you take me to this raiding army?" And he said, "Swear to me by God that you will neither kill me nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will guide you to that army."

 16 When he had guided David to them, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating, drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah.

 17 David battled them from the dusk even to the evening of the next day [24 hours of killing]; and not one of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who rode on camels and fled.

 18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, including the return of his two wives.

 19 And there was nothing missing of theirs, neither rare nor common, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil nor anything that they had taken from them; David recovered all [just as God has said they would].

 20 And David captured all the enemies' flocks and the herds, which they were herding ahead of the other livestock, and said, "This is David's spoil."

 21 And David came to the two hundred men, who were so faint that they had been unable to follow David, and whom they had also made to stay at the brook Besor. They came out to meet David, and to meet the people who were with him; and when David came near to the men, he saluted them.

 22 Then all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David,2 answered and said, "Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any part of the spoil that we have recovered, except to return to every man his wife and his children, so that they may lead them away and depart."

 23 Then David said, "You shall not do this, my brothers, with what the LORD has given us, who has preserved us, and delivered the army that came against us into our hand.

 24 For who will listen to you in this matter? But as is the share for him who goes down to battle, so shall the same share be for those who guard our provisions; they shall divide [the spoil] alike."

 25 From that day forward this ruling became a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.

 26 And when David came to Ziklag, he sent portions of the spoil to the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, "Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the LORD." He sent portions to:

 27 Those in Bethel, those in south Ramoth, those in Jattir,

 28 Those in Aroer, those in Siphmoth, those in Eshtemoa,

 29 Those in Rachal, those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, those who were in the cities of the Kenites,

 30 Those in Hormah, those in Chorashan, those in Athach,

 31 Those in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were accustomed to visiting.


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1 Please bring the ephod to me. And Abiathar brought the ephod there to David. David evidently put on the ephod, before inquiring of the Lord. Yet later in life, he communed with the Lord in the night watches, laying on his bed; evidently without the need of an ephod to facilitate communication. The ephod was a linen garment covering for the back and breast, held together on the shoulders by two clasps or brooches of onyx stones set in gold, and fastened by a girdle of the same stuff as the ephod.

2 Then all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David. Wicked men and men of Belial were those who had no life of God in them, who did not listen to and obey the word of God in their hearts. All men were men of Belial until they turned to God, to listen and obey.

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