Chapter 12

  1. 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 rear guard with Achish. Then said the princes of the Philistines, What are these Hebrews doing here? And Achish said unto the princes of the Philistines, Is not this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or these years? And I have found no fault in him, since he fell unto me unto this day.
  2. And the princes of the Philistines were angry with him. And the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this man return, that he may go again to his place which you have appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us. For with what 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?
  3. Then Achish called David and said unto him, Surely, as the Lord lives, you have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the host is good in my sight; for I have not found evil in you since the day of your coming unto me unto this day. Nevertheless, the lords favor you not. Wherefore, now return, and go in peace, that you displease not the lords of the Philistines.
  4. And David said unto Achish, But what have I done? And what have you found in your servant, so long as I have been with you 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 you are 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. Wherefore now, rise up early in the morning with your master’s servants who have come with you, and as soon as you are up early in the morning and have light, depart. 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.
  5. And it came to pass, when David and his men had come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire, 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. 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.
  6. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives were taken captives: Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail, the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke 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.
  7. And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray you, bring me here the ephod. And Abiathar brought there the ephod to David. And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? Shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them, and without fail recover all. 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. But David pursued, he and four hundred men — for two hundred remained behind, who were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor.
  8. 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. 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.
  9. And David said unto him, To whom do you belong? And where are you from? 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. We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the border which belongs to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire.
  10. And David said to him, Can you bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear unto me by God that you will neither kill me nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring you down to this company. 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.
  11. 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 who rode upon camels and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor anything that they had taken to them; David recovered all. And David took all the flocks and the herds which they drove before those other cattle, and said, This is David’s spoil.
  12. And David came to the two hundred men who were so exhausted 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.
  13. 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 any of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away and depart. Then said David, you shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the Lord has given us, who has preserved us and delivered the company that came against us into our hand. For who will listen unto you in this matter? But as his part is that goes down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarries by the stuff; they shall part alike. And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day.
  14. 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, to them who were in Beth-el, and to them who were in south Ramoth, and to them who were in Jattir, and to them who were in Aroer, and to them who were in Siphmoth, and to them who were in Eshtemoa, and to them who were in Racal, and to them who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to them who were in the cities of the Kenites, and to them who were in Hormah, and to them who were in Chorashan, and to them who were in Athach, and to them who were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were accustomed to haunt.
  15. Now the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines and fell down slain in Mount Gilboa. And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons. And the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons. And the battle went heavy against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was severely wounded of the archers.
  16. Then said Saul unto his armor-bearer, Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through and abuse me. But his armor-bearer would not, for he was sorely afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword and died with him. So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, that same day together.
  17. And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side of Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities and fled. And the Philistines came and dwelled in them.
  18. And it came to pass on the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in Mount Gilboa. And they cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about to publish it in the house of their idols and among the people. And they put his armor in the house of Ashtaroth, and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.
  19. And when the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul, all the valiant men arose and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh and burned them there. And they took their bones and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.