David seeks refuge at Gath (1 Sam 27:1-27:4)

“David said in his heart. ‘I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of seeking me any longer within the borders of Israel. I shall escape out of his hand.’ So David set out and went over, he and the six hundred men who were with him, to Achish son of Maoch, king of Gath. David stayed with Achish at Gath, he and his troops, every man with his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal’s widow. When was told Saul that David had fled to Gath, he no longer sought for him.”

David thought that he would die at the hand of Saul. This seems odd since he has just reconciled with Saul. However, David was suspicious of Saul. He went to the Philistines. This also sounds strange since David had defeated and killed so many Philistines from the time of Goliath on. Goliath was in fact from this town as indicated in chapter 17 of this book. 600 men and their households went with David to the Philistine town of Gath that was in the Manasseh territory per Joshua, chapter 21. However, quite often it is referred to as in Judah. Why would the king of the town that Goliath was from accept his killer David? This is the only mention of Maoch, but Achish is more important. This is the 2nd time that David was here. The last time, he pretended to be crazy and got away in chapter 21. This time he is probably accepted because he has 600 fighting men. Most people knew that he was in a fight with the King of Israel, Saul. Achish may have thought that it would be better to have David on his side in the fight against Saul. Notice that Saul gave up seeking David when he heard that David had fled to Gath. The story of David is full of contradictions. He has reconciled twice with Saul, yet he go over to the Philistines, his bitter enemy that he has been fighting.

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