1 Samuel Chapter 30
Verses 1-5: David returned home and found that “Ziklag” had been ransacked by the Amalekites, one of the nations David raided (in 27:8). The “Amalekites” were placed under divine judgment (Deut. 25:19), because they had attacked the Israelites after the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 17:8-13).
1 Samuel 30:1 “And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;”
“Ziklag”: Serving as a temporary place of residence for David and his 600 men, Ziklag was located in the Negev and given to David by Achish the king of Gath (27:6). David used it as the base from which he would make raids on the neighboring tribes (27:8-11).
“Amalekites”: Reaping the consequences of Saul’s failure to utterly destroy the Amalekites (1 Sam. Chapter 15), and David’s raids against them (27:8), David and his men were the victims of a successful raid in which the Amalekites took all of their wives and livestock captive before burning Ziklag, their city.
Saul had failed to annihilate the Amalekites (15:2-3; 10-19).
We do not know just how far David had gone with Achish, but we do know that David was gone from his home for three days. He had taken his fighting men with him so it left Ziklag unprotected. The Amalekites waited for this opportunity when David was gone, and came in and attacked Ziklag. They burned the city with fire.
1 Samuel 30:2 “And had taken the women captives, that [were] therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried [them] away, and went on their way.”
There being no other to take, the men were gone with David.
“They slew not any, either great or small; that is, of the women, whether married or unmarried, old, or maidens, or children; which was very much, since David destroyed all that came within his reach, men and women, when he invaded them (1 Sam. 27:9). But perhaps this was not owing to their humanity, but to their covetousness, designing to make an advantage of them by selling them for slaves; no doubt they were restrained by the providence of God.
“But carried them away, and went on their way; homewards with their captives.
It appears that all of the women were taken captive in this, and none were killed. I would believe this is because of divine protection of God upon them.
1 Samuel 30:3 “So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, [it was] burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.”
They came to the place where it had stood, and where it now lay in ruins.
“And, behold, it was burnt with fire”: The whole city was laid in ashes.
“And their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives”: As it appeared afterwards; for upon their first coming they knew not but they were all destroyed. And which they might reasonably suppose from their former treatment of them, unless there were any left upon the spot which could inform them how things were, which does not appear, and which must make their distress the greater.
This had to be a tremendous shock when David realized the Amalekites have caught them gone, and ravaged their city. There are not dead bodies around, so David is aware the women and children have been taken captive. The Amalekites had spared the wives and children, because they were valuable as slave labor.
1 Samuel 30:4 “Then David and the people that [were] with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.”
They cried out in doleful shrieks and loud lamentations.
“And wept, until they had no more power to weep”: Until nature was quite exhausted, and there was no moisture left; so the Vulgate Latin version, “till tears failed in them”; they could shed no more.
We see a great sorrow for the loss of the wives and children here. Possibly, they are blaming David for leaving their families helpless while they went to war to help Achish.
1 Samuel 30:5 “And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.”
That is observed as one cause of his particular distress and another follows (in 1 Samuel 30:6).
“Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite”: That is, who had been his wife; for he was now dead (1 Sam. 25:39), and was so before she was married to David. Both these came with him to Gath, and were left at Ziklag when he went with Achish, and here they were taken (see 1 Sam. 25:42).
1 Samuel 30:6 “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
“Distressed” … grieved: Arriving home to the reality of their great tragedy caused David immense distress and provoked the wickedness of his men to entertain the treasonous idea of stoning him. Having not inquired of the Lord before his departure to support Achish in battle, David was in need of God’s getting his attention.
“Encouraged himself in the Lord”: This was a key to David being a man after God’s heart (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22).
Life had reduced David’s options to one. Sooner or later, life does that to everyone. And the solution for every person is the same. When David’s men turned on him in their despair, David “strengthened himself” (encourage his heart), “in the Lord.” His habit of worshiping Yahweh during difficult times produced many of the Psalms. Worship is a disciplined act of the will, not something to be engaged in only when God’s people feel like it.
They are so angry with David that his own men are speaking of stoning him to death. They have forgotten that David’s two wives were taken. David always places his faith in the LORD. He feels no differently here. David is assured that this is the plan of the LORD.
Verses 7-8: “Abiathar” was still acting as David’s high priest (23:9-10), and David was still properly consulting the sacred lots to hear from the Lord. God’ response to David (in contrast to His lack of response to Saul), showed that He was now guiding David.
1 Samuel 30:7 “And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David.”
“Abiathar the priest … ephod”: Serving as a source through which one could make direct and specific inquiry into the will of God, the High-Priest’s ephod, which contained the Urim and Thummim, was sought by David. The distress of the moment drew his focus away from the treasonous thoughts of his men and back to God in his desperation to know what God would have him do.
1 Samuel 30:8 “And David inquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake [them], and without fail recover [all].”
Before God answered more slowly and gradually (1 Sam. 23:1, 12), but now he answers speedily and fully at once, because the business here required more haste. So gracious is our God that he considers even the degree of other necessities, and accommodates himself to them.
The relationship with David and his LORD are not even comparable with any other in the Bible except for Jesus. David knows that the LORD has the answer to what he should do. As we have said before, the LORD spoke to the people through the ephod of the priest. David had placed his will into the hands of the LORD, by consulting Him before acting. The LORD tells David to take the men and pursue the enemy. He reassures David, that all will be saved. There will be no loss to David and his men. The only loss will be to the Amalekites.
Verses 9-10: “Brook Besor”: David most likely encountered the brook about 13 miles south of Ziklag. It consisted of seasonal rivers from the area of Beer-sheba which ran northwest and emptied into the Mediterranean. Likely, this was during the latter rains (Jan.-Apr.), and the brook was filled with a rampaging runoff that would account for the soldiers who were unable to cross over.
1 Samuel 30:9 “So David went, he and the six hundred men that [were] with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed.”
David was encouraged by the oracle of the Lord.
“And came to the brook Besor”: Which Andrichomius places in the tribe of Simeon; it is thought to be near Gaza. Aristaeus speaks of brooks that flowed by Gaza and Ashdod, places that belonged to the Philistines. Some take it to be the river of the wilderness in Amos (see Amos 6:14).
“Where those that were left behind stayed”: Or a part of them were left, as the Targum. All the six hundred came to this brook, but two hundred of them were left here (1 Sam. 30:10), and stayed here till the rest returned. For this is not to be understood of any that were left behind at Ziklag, for all came from thence to this brook.
1 Samuel 30:10 “But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor.”
Not discouraged with being obliged to leave a third part of his little army behind; though it was doubtless a trial of his faith, with these to pursue an enemy, whose numbers he knew not, which must greatly exceed his. For after the rout and slaughter of them, as many escaped on camels as David had with him (1 Sam. 30:17).
“For two hundred abode behind, which were so faint”: Through their grief and sorrow for the loss of their wives and children, and through their march from the camp of the Philistines to Ziklag, and from thence hither, that they looked like a corpse, as the word signifies.
“So that they could not go over the brook Besor”: Being so weak and feeble; for this was not owing to fear of their enemies, and faint heartedness on that account, then it would rather have been said, “they would not go over”. The Targum renders the word “faint” by “restrained” or prohibited, as if they were forbid by David to go over, but were ordered to tarry here by the stuff, while the rest pursued. And, according to the Syriac and Arabic versions, they were placed there, that none might go over the brook. And it seems (by 1 Samuel 30:22), that they had a good will to go over, but was made to abide there. Or as all Gideon’s army, but three hundred, were sent back, and not suffered to go with him, being too many (Judges 7:2).
David had probably moved at a very fast pace to catch up with the Amalekites, who had their wives and children. This move was so fast, that some of the men fell by the wayside too fatigued to go on. The brook Besor was a raging current at this time. It was difficult to cross over for any of the men, but 400 went on. These 200 men who stayed at the brook, kept the heavy part of the provisions they carried, so the other 400 could move faster.
Verses 11-15: The Lord used this unexpected encounter with the Egyptian in the wilderness to help David overcome his enemies and rescue all that had been taken from Ziklag.
1 Samuel 30:11 “And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water;”
The Amalekites, as above stated, were a nomad race; their wanderings would have taken them to the frontiers of Egypt, hence the probability of their having Egyptian slaves in their tribe. The savage nature of these untamed sons of the desert has been already commented upon when the war of extermination with Amalek was discussed. They seem to have been a ruthless, cruel race, the scourge of the desert, and of the people dwelling near its borders. From the narrative, they had evidently many camels in their force (1 Sam. 30:17), so the abandonment of the sick slave, left, without food or water to die of hunger, was a needless act of barbarity on their part.
1 Samuel 30:12 “And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk [any] water, three days and three nights.”
This was a note of time as to the amount of start the Amalekite leader with the plunder he had. It may well be conceived there was no time to lose. The cruelty of the Amalekites to their slaves was the cause of their ultimate discomfort, for with the very considerable start they already had, if David had not been quite certain, through the information of the Egyptian, of their route, the pursuit could have been utterly hopeless.
This slave was not thought of as an Amalekite. When he became fatigued, they just left him behind to die. They left him no provisions at all. It had been three days since he had eaten or drunk anything, and he was about to die when David’s men found him. When they fed him, he revived.
1 Samuel 30:13 “And David said unto him, To whom [belongest] thou? and whence [art] thou? And he said, I [am] a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick.”
God by his providence so ordering it, that he was not one of that cursed race of the Amalekites, who were to be utterly destroyed, but an Egyptian, who might be spared.
“My master left me”: In this place and condition which was barbarous inhumanity; for he ought, and easily might have carried him away with the prey which they had taken. But he paid dearly for this cruelty, for this was the occasion of the ruin of him and of all their company. And God by his secret providence ordered the matter thus for that very end. So that there is no fighting against God; who can make the smallest accidents serviceable to the production of the greatest effects.
The fact that the Amalekites left him behind to die shows their inhumanity. A slave was regarded as no more than cattle, or their other possessions. They were not thought of any value if they were sick. Of course, we know that this too was arranged by the LORD. He was not an Amalekite, but an Egyptian, so he had no particular loyalty to the Amalekites. He was just interested in saving his own life.
1 Samuel 30:14 “We made an invasion [upon] the south of the Cherethites, and upon [the coast] which [belongeth] to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.”
“South of the Cherethites”: Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites (2 Sam. 8:18), who are almost always mentioned together. They fled Jerusalem as allies with David (2 Sam. 15:18), and pursued Sheba the son of Bichri with Joab (2 Sam. 20:7). They were hand-picked by David to be present at Solomon’s anointing as king. The Cherethites appear to have come from Crete, and to have been a part of the king’s bodyguard (2 Sam. 23:20, 23).
“South of Caleb”: Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, was one of 12 spies chosen to check out the land, and one of only 2 spies who gave a favorable report (Num. 13:6-30). This was the land assigned to his family (Joshua 14:13-14).
His admission of their invasion shows, that he is of the same group that took David’s wives and the wives of the other men.
1 Samuel 30:15 “And David said to him, Canst thou bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company.”
The oath was to be by “Elohim,” not by Jehovah, of whom the Egyptian knew nothing.
“And he said, swear unto me by God”: The Targum is, by the Word of the Lord; but it is highly probable this man had no notion of Jehovah, and his Word, or of the true God. Only that there was a God, and that an oath taken by him was solemn, sacred, and inviolable, and might be trusted to and depended on.
“That thou wilt neither kill me”: For he found now he was in the hands of those whose city he had been concerned in plundering and burning, and so might fear his life was in danger.
“Nor deliver me into the hands of my master”: Who had been a cruel one to him, and therefore would gladly be clear of him. And if he had nothing else against him, his late usage of him was sufficient to raise his resentment of him.
“And I will bring thee down to this company”: Or show him where they were, having heard them say where they would stop, and make merry, and divide their spoil. Perhaps his master might tell him they would be at such a place at such a time, where, if he was better, he might come to them. the Vulgate Latin version adds, “and David swore to him”: which, though not expressed in the original text, was no doubt done by him. The Syriac and Arabic versions (begin 1 Samuel 30:16 thus), “when David had sworn to him”.
We see that the Egyptian was trying to save his own life. He had no loyalty at all to his slave master. It made no difference to him whether he was the Amalekite’s slave, or the slave of David. He knew if David turned him over to the Amalekite that he would kill him. This is a reasonable thing to ask.
Verses 16-20: David’s successful rescue mission, in which “nothing … was lacking” or unaccounted for, helped set the stage for David’s rise to the throne. The way he took care of his men and their belongings convinced the people they could trust him.
1 Samuel 30:16 “And when he had brought him down, behold, [they were] spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and 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.”
“All the great spoil”: The Amalekites had not only what they took from Ziklag, but much more plunder from all their raids. After David conquered the Amalekites (verses 17-18), he returned what belonged to Ziklag (verses 19, 26), and spread the rest all over Judah (verses 26-31).
These Amalekites felt they were safe, because the men of David had gone with the Philistines to fight against the Israelites. They had not taken into consideration that David would be released from that war. They were celebrating their victory and not expecting anyone to retaliate. Drinking here, is speaking of alcoholic beverages, which dulled the senses.
1 Samuel 30:17 “And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled.”
“Four hundred young men”: It is obvious from Moses’ encounter (Exodus 17:8-16), Saul’s failure (1 Sam. Chapter 15), and Mordecai’s opposition (Est. 3:1; 10-13), that the Amalekites were wicked people who hated God’s people and died hard.
They came in on them unawares and killed all of the men, except the 400 young men who got away on Camels. It appears from the verse above, that David and his men fought them all through the night and until dark the second day. One thing that leaves no doubt that David attacked them in the late evening, was that they were drinking and dancing, which would not have been happening early in the morning.
1 Samuel 30:18 “And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.”
The wives and children of the Israelites, and their goods, excepting the provisions they had eaten.
“And David rescued his two wives”: Which is particularly observed, because a special concern of his.
This is not just speaking of all the women and children that the Amalekites had taken, but all of the spoil as well. David’s personal gain in this was the recovering of his two wives.
1 Samuel 30:19 “And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any [thing] that they had taken to them: David recovered all.”
“Nothing lacking” In spite of David’s previous failures, God showed Himself to be more than gracious and abundant in His stewardship of the wives, children, livestock and possessions of David and his men.
1 Samuel 30:20 “And David took all the flocks and the herds, [which] they drove before those [other] cattle, and said, This [is] David’s spoil.”
Which they had taken from the land of the Philistines, or which belonged to the Amalekites properly.
“Which they drove before those other cattle”: Which had been carried from Ziklag. First went the spoil taken from other places, and then those taken from David and his men, or what was found at Ziklag. Abarbinel supposes the meaning to be this, that the herds were driven before the flocks, that the oxen were led out first, and then the sheep followed, as being the weaker sort, and more easily to be driven, and carried off. But the former sense seems best.
“And said, this is David’s spoil”: Either the whole of it, it being owing to him that it was got or brought back; or this may respect some peculiar part of it made a present of to him. Or it may represent what the Amalekites had taken from others, which was at the disposal of David, as distinguished from what was taken from Ziklag, and was restored, or to be restored to the proper owners. It may be taken in the first and more general sense, as being the song, or the burden of the song, sung by David’s men as they returned with the spoil, giving him all the honor of it, of whom, but a little before, they talked of stoning him.
This is speaking of all the Amalekites had taken from them. It is apparent that David, also, spoiled the Amalekites, and took their animals.
Verses 21-25: David’s wisdom in dealing with his men’s jealousy is a concrete example of his remarkable leadership skills. He pointed out that all they had recaptured was a gift from God, “what the Lord has given us.” The custom of honoring those who stayed back to watch the baggage as well as those who fought in the battle is good military strategy because it builds loyalty and unity.
1 Samuel 30:21 “And David came to the two hundred men, which were so faint that they could not follow David, whom they had made also to abide at the brook Besor: and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people that [were] with him: and when David came near to the people, he saluted them.”
These were the ones who were left at the brook Besor.
“Who were so faint that they could not follow David”: Or, as the Targum, were restrained from going over after him; either through faintness of spirits, and weakness of body, or through the order of David that they should not follow him. And which seems to receive some countenance from what follows.
“Whom they had made also to abide at the brook Besor”: To guard the passage there, and to tarry by and keep the stuff.
“And they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people that were with him”: To congratulate them upon the victory they had obtained, and to see and receive their wives and children, and what portion of the spoil might be divided to them.
“And when David came near to the people, he saluted them; asked them of their welfare, whether they were in better health, and recovered of their faintness and weakness, as it should seem they were, by their coming forth to meet him.
We must look carefully at the men who were left behind at the brook. They did not stay there, because of cowardice. They were left there to take care of the goods left behind and because, they were not physically able to go on. They had not refused to go with David. They went as far as their physical bodies would allow them to go. David had specifically given them permission to stay at the brook, because of their weakened condition. They had rested at the brook and ran out to meet David on his return.
1 Samuel 30:22 “Then answered all the wicked men and [men] of Belial, of those that went with David, and said, Because they went not with us, we will not give them [ought] of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead [them] away, and depart.”
“Wicked men”: (or some translations “worthless). From the beginning of David’s flight from Saul, he became captain of those who were in distress, discontent, and in debt (22:2), the least likely to exercise kindness and grace to others. This same expression was used of the sons of Eli (2:12), of those who doubted Saul’s ability as king (10:27), of Nabal the fool by his servant (25:17), of Nabal the fool by his wife (25:25), of David when he was cursed by Shimei (2 Sam. 16:7), of Sheba the son of Bichri who lead a revolt against David (2 Sam. 20:1), and of those who would be thrust away like thorns by David (2 Sam. 23:6).
The word translated “worthless” is also used (in 1 Samuel) to describe a supposedly drunken woman, Hannah (1:16); Eli’s sons (2:12); men who foolishly opposed Saul (10:27); and Nabal (25:25).
Notice what the Scripture calls those with this attitude. It calls them wicked, and men of Belial (worthless). Their selfishness is showing. One of the things that set the Israelites apart from the heathen was their fairness with each other. This was showing no fairness at all.
1 Samuel 30:23 “Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand.”
Though he saw through their wickedness, and disapproved of the bad sentiments they had embraced, yet he deals gently with them, calling them brethren, being of the same nation and religion, and his fellow soldiers. Yet at the same time keeps up and maintains his dignity and authority as a general, and declares it should not be as they willed, and gives his reasons for it; that it was not fit they should do as they pleased.
“With that which the Lord hath given us”: What they had was given them, and therefore, as they had freely received, they should freely give; and what was given them, was not given to them only, but to the whole body, by the Lord.
“Who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand”: It was not by their own power and might that they got the victory over the enemy, and the spoil into their hands, but it was through the Lord only; and therefore, as they should not assume the honor of the victory to themselves, so neither should they claim the spoil as wholly belonging to them.
David is scolding them for this attitude. It was not by their strength that they defeated the Amalekites; it was the might of the LORD. David immediately tells them that this victory is of the LORD.
1 Samuel 30:24 “For who will hearken unto you in this matter? But as his part [is] that goeth down to the battle, so [shall] his part [be] that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike.”
No wise and just man will take on your side of the question, and join with you in excluding your brethren from a share in the spoil.
“But as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff”: As these two hundred men did; they were placed to abide by and watch the carriages, the bag and baggage the rest had left there, that they might be the lighter, and make their pursuit more swiftly. Besides, they guarded the pass here, and were also exposed to danger; for if the four hundred had been cut off, and the enemy had returned, they must all have perished. And therefore as they had their post assigned them, and was liable to danger, it was but just and reasonable they should have the share in the spoil. Especially since it was not want of will in them they did not go with them, but weakness of body.
“They shall part alike”: This was David’s determination and decision, and it was an equitable one. Something similar to this was directed by the Lord in the war of Midian (Num. 31:25), and was practiced in the times of Abraham (Gen. 14:24); and is agreeable to the light of nature, and what has been practiced by the Heathens, particularly the Romans, as Polybius relates. Who tells us, that every man brought booty into the camp, when the tribunes divided it equally to them all. Not only to those which remained in battle, but to those that guarded the tents and the baggage, to the sick, and to those that were appointed to any service (see Psalm 68:12).
1 Samuel 30:25 “And it was [so] from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day.”
“A statute and an ordinance”: In spite of the opposition David received from the worthless men among him, he legislated his practice of kindness and equity into law for the people.
David is the leader here. He will determine what shall be done with this. He is not ugly with the evil ones who propose this, but he does not listen to them either. He lets them know immediately, that this will not be tolerated. He even causes this to be a statute and ordinance forever with the Jews.
Verses 26-31: David’s sharing of the spoils of the victory over the Amalekites not only assured them of his gratitude from their friendship and help during his days of flight from the presence of Saul, but would convince his allies of his loyalty, despite the time spent with Achish. Moreover, it would prepare their hearts for his soon-coming kingship.
“Hebron”, mentioned last, stands in climactic position in the list, for “David” would make it his first capital city (2 Sam. 2:1-7). For the Amalekites (see the note on Judges 3:12-13).
Being no stranger to adversity and a life lived on the run; David realized the important role that so many others had played in his safety and welfare. Being the recipient of such kindness, David missed no opportunity to reciprocate kindness and generosity. It would be presumptuous to think that David was merely paying off debts or buying support; rather he was giving back as he had received, expressing his debt of gratitude for the kindness and support shown him (see note on 30:16).
1 Samuel 30:26 “And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, [even] to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the LORD;”
Perhaps with an intention to rebuild it, and make it still the place of his residence; and it is possible there might be some houses that escaped flames, and if not, tents might be pitched until the city was rebuilt, and it appears that he continued there some time.
“He sent of the spoil”: To have made it worthwhile to have sent presents to all the places enumerated below, the spoil of the Amalekites captured on this occasion must have been enormous. One special circumstance connected with the history besides leads us to this conclusion. Although these desert Arabs were surprised and attacked at a terrible disadvantage after a debauch, they seem (so great evidently was their numbers), to have held their ground from early morning until evening, and then 400 managed to escape on their swiftest camels. It was not improbably the main division of the great tribe, and they had with them the bulk of their flocks and herds, besides what they had just captured in their raid in southern Canaan. No doubt the cities to which rich gifts of cattle were sent were those places where, during his long wanderings, he and his followers had been kindly received and helped.
The spoil from the Amalekites seemed to be very large. He kept some for himself, gave some to his men, and there was still an abundance that he sent to the elders of Judah. These were not earned by the elders, but were a gift from David.
1 Samuel 30:27 “To [them] which [were] in Beth-el, and to [them] which [were] in south Ramoth, and to [them] which [were] in Jattir,”
One part of the spoil was sent to them; not to those in Bethel, in the tribe of Benjamin, but in Kirjath-jearim, called Beth-el, or the house of God, because the Ark was there (see 1 Sam. 7:1). Moreover, this place was also called Baalah, which some think is referred to (see Joshua 15:9).
“And to them which were in south Ramoth”: A city of the tribe of Simeon, which lie within the lot of Judah (of which see Joshua 19:8).
“And to them which were in Jattir”: A city of the tribe of Judah (see Joshua 15:48).
1 Samuel 30:28 “And to [them] which [were] in Aroer, and to [them] which [were] in Siphmoth, and to [them] which [were] in Eshtemoa,”
Not Aroer in the tribe of Gad beyond Jordan, where David is never said to be, but some city of this name in the tribe of Judah (the Greek version of Joshua 15:22), instead of Adadah, has Arouel.
“And to them which were in Siphmoth”: Which very probably was in the tribe of Judah, though nowhere else mentioned.
“And to them which were in Eshtemoa”: A Levitical city given to the Levites by the children of Judah (Joshua 21:14).
1 Samuel 30:29 “And to [them] which [were] in Rachal, and to [them] which [were] in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to [them] which [were] in the cities of the Kenites,”
Another city of the tribe of Judah, but nowhere else spoken of.
“And to them which were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites”: Which lay to the south of Judah (1 Sam. 27:10).
“And to them which were in the cities of the Kenites”: Who dwelt in the wilderness of Judah, in the south of Arad (Judges 1:16).
1 Samuel 30:30 “And to [them] which [were] in Hormah, and to [them] which [were] in Chorashan, and to [them] which [were] in Athach,”
This was a city also in the tribe of Judah (of which see Joshua 15:30).
“And to them which were in Chorashan”: Or the lake of Ashan, which was in the same tribe (see Joshua 15:42).
“And to them which were in Athach”: Nowhere else mentioned; the Greek version has Nombe instead of it, which some take to be the same with Nob; but that was in the tribe of Benjamin.
1 Samuel 30:31 “And to [them] which [were] in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt.”
Hebron is one of the most ancient known cities in the world. It is now called El-Khalil (“friend of God”), owing to Abraham’s residence there. During the early years of David’s rule, which followed the death of Saul, Hebron was the residence and royal city of David. Beneath the building of the present Mosque of Hebron is the famous Cave of Machpelah, where Abraham and Sarah and the patriarchs Isaac and Jacob, and his wife Leah, are buried.
All of these above, represent those who had befriended him in the past. One thing that shows us the type of man that David was is the fact that he shared the spoil. He was not a greedy man in his heart. His sharing with them was a way of showing his gratitude to the LORD for helping him. Some people cannot handle success. Some of his men were filled with greed when they experienced success. Others, like David, make them even more thoughtful of others. Whatever we are in our heart is the way we act, whether it is a small amount, or a large.
1 Samuel Chapter 30 Questions
1. When did David and his men get back to Ziklag?
2. What had happened at Ziklag, while they were gone?
3. Who had the Amalekites taken captive?
4. Why does the author believe the women were not killed?
5. What did David do, when he saw that Ziklag was burned, and the people taken captive?
6. What did some of the men want to do to David?
7. Who did David call to him to bring the ephod?
8. Why does David have him to bring the ephod?
9. How does the LORD answer David?
10. How many men went with David?
11. Where did those that were left behind stay?
12. How many men stayed behind?
13. Why did they stay behind?
14. Who did David’s men find in the field?
15. What condition was he in?
16. What did David ask him?
17. Under what conditions, did he tell David where the Amalekites were?
18. How did David know for sure, he was speaking of the same ones who raided Ziklag?
19. What were the Amalekites doing, when they found them?
20. Why were they not being more careful?
21. When did David smite them?
22. Who were killed?
23. Who did David recover?
24. What were the cattle of the Amalekites that were taken called?
25. Who did not want to share the spoil with those, who waited at the brook?
26. What does “Belial” mean?
27. David made it a __________ and an ____________ from that day forward.
28. Who did David send of the spoil to, when he came to Ziklag?
29. Who do verses 27 through 31 represent?
30. Whatever we are in our _________ is eventually the way we act.