The First Book of Samuel

Chapter 30

The Amalekites plunder Ziklag, 1-3. David, asking counsel, is encouraged by God to pursue them, 4-10. By the means of a revived Egyptian, he is brought to the enemies and recovers all the plunder, 11-21. David's law to divide the plunder equally between those who fight and those who keep the stuff, 22-25. He sends presents to his friends, 26-31.

1 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, smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire, 2 And had taken the women captive who were in it. They did not slay any, either great or small, but carried them away and went on their way. 3 So David and his men came to the city, and behold, it was burned with fire, and their wives, their sons, and their daughters were taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voice and wept until they had no more power to weep. 5 And David's two wives were taken captive—Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 6 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 the ephod here to me." And Abiathar brought the ephod there to David. 8 And David inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?" And he answered him, "Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all." 9 So David went—he and the six hundred men who were with him—and came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind remained. 10 But David pursued—he and four hundred men—while two hundred stayed behind, who were so faint that they could not go over the brook of Besor.

11 And they found an Egyptian in the field and brought him to David. And they gave him bread, and 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. And when he had eaten, his spirit came back to him, for he had eaten no bread, nor drank any water, three days and three nights. 13 And David said to 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. 14 We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the land which belongs to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire." 15 And David said to him, "Can you conduct me down to this company?" 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 lead you down to this company."

16 And when he had conducted him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating, drinking, and dancing, because of all the great plunder that they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17 And David smote them from the twilight even to the evening of the next day. And there did not escape a man of them, except four hundred young men, who rode upon camels and fled. 18 And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away. And David rescued his two wives. 19 And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither plunder, nor anything that they had taken to them. David recovered all. 20 And David took all the flocks and the herds which they drove before those other cattle and said, "This is David's plunder."

21 And David came to the two hundred men who were so faint that they could not follow David, whom they had made also to abide at the brook of Besor. And they went forth to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near to the people, he saluted them. 22 Then all the wicked men and men of Belial among those who went with David answered and said, "Because they did not go with us, we will not give them anything of the plunder that we have recovered, except 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 so, my brothers, with that which the LORD has given us, who has preserved us and delivered the company that came against us into our hand. 24 For who will listen to you in this matter? But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who remains by the goods. They shall share alike." 25 And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.

26 And when David came to Ziklag, he sent some of the plunder to the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, "Behold a present for you from the plunder of the enemies of the LORD: 27 To those who were in Beth-el, to those who were in south Ramoth, to those who were in Jattir, 28 To those who were in Aroer, to those who were in Siphmoth, to those who were in Eshtemoa, 29 To those who were in Rachal, to those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, to those who were in the cities of the Kenites, 30 To those who were in Hormah, to those who were in Chor-ashan, to those who were in Athach, 31 To those who were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were accustomed to resort."


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Samuel, Chapter 30[➚]


[v.18] - Reference, verses 1-5.

[v.21] - "David came to the two hundred men" - Reference, verses 9-10.