David serves the Philistine King Achish (1 Sam 27:8-27:12)

“Now David and his men went up, and made raids on the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. These were the landed settlements from Telam on the way to Shur and on the way to the land of Egypt. David struck the land. He left neither man nor woman alive, but took away the sheep, the oxen, the donkeys, the camels, and the clothing. He came back to Achish. When Achish asked him, ‘against who have you made a raid today?’ David would say, ‘against the Negeb of Judah,’ or ‘against the Negeb of the Jerahmeelites,’ or, ‘against the Negeb of the Kenites.’ David left neither man nor woman alive to be brought back to Gath, thinking, ‘they might tell about us, and say, ‘David has done so and so.’ Such was his practice all the time he lived in the country of the Philistines.’ Achish trusted David, thinking, ‘he has made himself utterly abhorrent to his people Israel. Therefore he shall always be my servant.’”

From there, David and his men made raids around that area. The Geshurites were a group that lived on the southeast side of Israel. This is the only time that the Girzites and Telam appear in biblical literature so that it is difficult to pinpoint who they might be. The Amalekites were the nomadic people who lived between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. They were the first to attack the Israelites after they left Egypt. Most of these people were southerners on the way to Egypt like Shur, where Hagar went when she ran away from Sarah in Genesis, chapter 16. David destroyed all the humans but brought the livestock back to Achish in Gath. When Achish asked where David had plundered, he responded in the Negeb, or low lands, of Judah, the Jerahmeelites, who lived in southern Judah, or the Kenites. He lied to the king saying that he had been attacking the southern part of Judah. What kind of treaty or understanding did David and Achish have? Was he loyal to Achish or to Israel? David never let anyone live so that they could not say who attacked them or who they were. David had a distrust of Achish, but Achish thought that David was so obnoxious to the Israelites that he would never leave him.

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