I Samuel 30
I Samuel 29 closed with Saul and the Israelite army encamped at Jezreel, while the Philistine army was camped at Aphek. After the other four Philistine lords with their armies come to join with Achish, they see David and his men already there with him, ready to do battle. These other Philistine lords tell Achish to tell David and his men to leave their camp, because, the other four Philistine lords--rightfully so--didn't trust David, and feared that when this battle started, should they start besting the Israelite army; then, David and his men will turn on the Philistines, and, David will once again become the champion of Israelite by slaying tens of thousands of Philistines. So, Achish, against his better judgment--but correctly so--sends David and his men home - back to Ziklag. As soon as they depart camp to head for home, the other Philistine lords move their armies up to join in this battle and they all muster in the same location as the Israelites, in Jezreel. How will things turn-out, well, we know that Father has already said through the familiar spirit in I Samuel 28 that Saul and three of his four sons will be returning Home to Him, so, let's read of it and find out.
Something else to bear in mind as we begin this chapter, is, that, when David and his men left Ziklag to join with Achish, all 600 of the men went with David, leaving none to guard and protect their families and belongings back home, and, that is where this chapter picks up, with David and his men returning home, sadly for them, to a very harrowing surprise.
27:5-II Samuel 1:27 THE PROVOCATION OF SAUL. REJECTION CARRIED OUT. (Alternation and introversion.)
30:1-31 Ziklag. Repossessed by David
30:1-31 ZIKLAG REPOSSESSED. (Introversion and Alternation.)
30:1-6 Ziklag. Taken.
I Samuel 30:1And 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; -> We can see just how far David and his men were from home here in this verse; as, it took them three days to get back home and as David and his men finally reach home--saddened by the fact that Achish allowed the other four Philistine lords to talk him into sending them home--as soon as they arrive there they discover much to their dismay; that, the Amalekites had been on a raiding party all across The South and even into their home in Ziklag, and, that, they had taken all their belongings, including wives and children and then even burned Ziklag.
This is probably pay-back, because, if you’ll remember, David and his men had raided these same Amalekites and their lands and done the same to their homes and children, back in I Samuel 27, and, had given the spoils over to king Achish to win favor from him. David and his men killed a lot of them and roughed them up real good. So when David and his men departed to fight with the enemy, his enemies came and wiped out Ziklag.
The South or The Negeb=Neg'-eb (ha-neghebh, "the negeb" or simply, neghebh, from a root meaning "to be dry," and therefore in the first instance implying the "dry" or "parched regions," hence, in the Septuagint it is usually translated eremos, "desert," also nageb).: (1) Meaning: As the Negeb lay to the South of Judah, the word came to be used in the sense of "the South," and is so used in a few passages (e.g. Genesis 13:14). The English translation is unsuitable in several passages, and likely to lead to confusion. For example, in Genesis 13:1
Abram is represented as going "into the South" when journeying northward from Egypt toward Bethel; in Numbers 13:22the spies coming from the "wilderness of Zin" toward Hebron are described as coming "by the South," although they were going north. The difficulty in these and many other passages is at once obviated if it is recognized that the Negeb was a geographical term for a definite geographical region, just as Shephelah, literally, "lowland," was the name of another district of Palestine. In the Revised Version (British and American) "Negeb" is given in margin, but it would make for clearness if it were restored to the text.; (2) Description: This "parched" land is generally considered as beginning South of edition Dahariyeb-the probable site of Debir (which see)-and as stretching South in a series of rolling hills running in a general direction of East to West until the actual wilderness begins, a distance of perhaps 70 miles. To the East it is bounded by the Dead Sea and the southern Ghor, and to the West there is no defined boundary before the Mediterranean. It is a land of sparse and scanty springs and small rainfall; in the character of its soil it is a transition from the fertility of Canaan to the wilderness of the desert; it is essentially a pastoral land, where grazing is plentiful in the early months and where camels and goats can sustain life, even through the long summer drought. Today, as through most periods of history, it is a land for the nomad rather than the settled inhabitant, although abundant ruins in many spots testify to better physical conditions at some periods. The direction of the valleys East or West, the general dryness, and the character of the inhabitants have always made it a more or less isolated region without thoroughfare. The great routes pass along the coast to the West or up the Arabah to the East. It formed an additional barrier to the wilderness beyond it; against all who would lead an army from the South, this southern frontier of Judah was always secure. Israel could not reach the promised land by this route, through the land of the Amalekites Numbers 13:29 and Numbers 14:43-45.; and (3) Other Old Testament References: The Negeb was the scene of much of Abram's wanderings (Genesis 12:9; 13:1-3 and 20:1); it was in this district that Hagar met with the angel in Genesis 16:7,14. Isaac in Genesis 24:62 and Jacob in Genesis 37:1; 46:5 both dwelt there. Moses sent the spies through this district to the hill country Numbers 13:17,22; we read of the Amalekites then dwelling there in Numbers 13:29, and, apparently, too, in some parts of it, the Avvim in Joshua 13:3-4. It is given as the inheritance of the children of Simeon, in Joshua 19:1-9, but then in Joshua 15:21-32these cities are credited to Judah. Achish allotted to David, in response to his request, the city of Ziklag in the Negeb in I Samuel 27:5; the exploits of David were against various parts of this district described as the Negeb of Judah, the Negeb of the Jerahmeelites, and the Negeb of the Kenites, while in I Samuel 30:14we have mention of the Negeb of the Cherethites and the Negeb of Caleb. To this we may add the Negeb of Arad Judges 1:16. It is impossible to define the districts of these various clans (see separate articles under these names). The, Negeb, together with the "hill-country" and the "Shephelah," was according to Jeremiah to have renewed prosperity after the captivity of Judah was ended Jeremiah 17:26; 32:44 and 33:13..
I 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. -> The women captives, that were therein=The Septuagint reads: "the women, and all who were therein." Anyway, when the Amalekites arrived and found David and all his men gone, they knew Ziklag was "ripe for the pickins" and decided to repaid them for their earlier plundering of "the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur.” David and his men had killed so many of the Amalekites women and children, that, the men no longer had families, so, they therefore figured that they'd now take the Israelite women and children for their own instead of killing them all.
I 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. -> Burned with fire=The Septuagint reads "burning," so, in other words, Ziklag was still on fire when David and his men arrived home. Many times when we are eager to rush into something, we completely overlook, and then miss, the obvious. Here, for David, when he was quick to rush to the battle front, he overlooked the protection of his own family and that of his men. What was the outcome? It cost them their families and their town. David paid a heavy price for not asking Father’s guidance before heading out to Achish.
This too can happen to us, if, we don't seek Father; especially, when picking up and Studying His Word. How many people just start reading His Word just to read it and not to get His understanding; but, instead, just to apply their own interpretation of the scripture?
Notice though, all the "and(s)" in this verse, it's a polysyndeton, or, meaning there is much more taking place in the verse that what is being described.
I 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. -> It's a hard thing to be away and either hear while you're gone, or, upon returning, that things at home have taken a sad turn for the worse; and, that how it appeared to David and his men - that they had lost everything. What hadn't they lost at this point? Father; however, they are not yet seeking Him for relief. We will however, see David's men turn on him as if this whole thing is his fault alone, each and every one of these men had a mind of his own, and any one of them could have at any time said, "hey, what about our families? Shouldn't we leave some men here to protect them and our belongings?" But, not a one of them thought about that as they rushed with David to the battle front; but, they are sure quick to point their finger at him for this set-back.
I Samuel 30:5 And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. -> For me, the loss here is of the men's families, not for their material possessions. Possessions can always be replaced, yes, we may have lost a precious heirloom or artifact; but, that's still only a material item, as long as our family members are OK, then all is truly well. Even if, should Father have called a loved one Home to Him, we know where they are at and that we'll see them again when we too return Home.
Abigail the wife of Nabal=Though Nabal is dead and she is now David's wife, notice she is still "called" Nabal's wife, don't let this throw you, as, it is just a figure of speech, a method of identifying her, much as Ahinoam is still called the Jezreelitess.
Carmel=A town in the mountainous country of Judah Joshua 15:55, familiar to us as the residence of Nabal of I Samuel 25:2,5,7,40, and the native place of Abigail, who became David’s wife in I Samuel 27:3. It was here that king Uzziah had his vineyards II Chronicles 26:10. The ruins of this town still remain under the name of Kurmul, about 10 miles south-south-east of Hebron, close to those of Maon. Carmelis also, a mountain which forms one of the most striking and characteristic features of the country of Palestine. It is a noble ridge, the only headland of lower and central Palestine, and forms its southern boundary, running out with a bold bluff promontory, nearly 600 feet high, almost into the very waves of the Mediterranean, then extending southeast for a little more than twelve miles, when it terminates suddenly in a bluff somewhat corresponding to its western end. In form Carmelis a tolerably continuous ridge, its highest point, about four miles from the eastern end, being 1740 feet above the sea. That which has made the name of Carmel most familiar to the modern world is its intimate connection with the history of the two great prophets of Israel, Elijah and Elisha I Kings 18:20-42 and II Kings 2:25; 4:25..
30:6-8 YHVH’S promise. Made.
I 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. -> But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God=How is your faith? David prevailed where his men failed - they didn't do as their leader and future king did and seek and strengthen themselves in Father. Many times I have heard the phrase or saying that "you only 'look up' when you're at the bottom of the pit." That's always a good time to "look up;" however, it would have been better had we "looked up" to Father far earlier than falling into that pit.
You can hear the mob of all six hundred of David's men talking at one time demanding that David be stoned. Every one of these men are blaming David as if it's all his fault, which is totally baseless because, remember brethren, these men with David are not on their first cruise; they are all seasoned warriors and any one of them could have or should have at any time thought about leaving a contingent behind to protect their families and belongings; so, they all equally shoulder the blame here. They are putting it on David here only as an excuse for their own short-sightedness. These men had been loyal to David through thick and thin, and David had taken care of every last one of them and their families; but, now they want to stone David to death, all because what the Amalekites did.
David is growing and maturing in Father through all these tribulations, and, we can read of his growing in the Psalms. He writes many times of Father being his strength, his high tower, buckler and\or shield, the One Who he turns to for refuge. This is why we have Father's Word, to give us guidance to learn from, we too should learn from David and put our trust in Father when times of trouble come our way.
I 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 when he fled Nob brought the ephod with him, Zadok the other priest at this time who is with Saul, doesn't have the ephod. With the ephod came the Urim and Thummim whereby David as the leader, could go to the Priest so as to enquire of Father what He would have them do. Again, in this too we should take our direction from David, because, when we face a major decision in our life, we too should turn to Father and include Him in our plans and decision making.
I Samuel 30:8 And David enquired 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.” -> What is the result of David's seeking Father here? Father tells David, "yes, you shall pursue these Amalekites; you'll completely overtake them and have the victory over them, recovering all that you lost when they raided your families while you were away.
Brethren, it's the same with us today; it makes all the difference in the world when you include Father in your decisions, when you rely and trust on Him, then will His blessings start flowing your way.
Let's talk about these Amalekites for a minute. Who are they, where did they come from, etc.? The Amalekites are descended from Amalek, Amalek is a descendant of Esau, Jacob's brother, born of Isaac and Rebekah, and this then makes them Adamic. If you are still under the impression that we all descended from Adam and Eve; then brethren, you have a lot of reading of Father’s Word to do in order to catch up.
As we read in Genesis 25:19-26, while Rebekah was pregnant, there was a struggle within her womb; so, she went to Father to inquire as to the nature of this struggle. Father told her that there were Two Nations in her womb; two manner of people, and, that the elder shall come to serve the younger. Esau (the elder) came out first, while Jacob (the younger), as Esau was passing through the birth canal, grabbed his brother’s heel. Why would these two children start struggling amongst themselves while yet in their mother’s womb? Why would Father tell their mother that the elder would serve the younger? Why would Father declare that He hated Esau? All excellent questions which need investigating and, I’ll answer some of them here and now. We read in Genesis 25:34 that Esau, who in the previous verse v25:34, had sold his birthright inheritance to his younger brother Jacob, and that he now despised his birthright. Esau not only despised his birthright in this Age of Flesh; but, he despised it in the First Earth Age, before being born in the flesh. How can I say this? Because that is what Father declares in His Word, that while they were yet in the womb of their mother, Father hated Esau, how could Father hate a child that had not yet been born unless Father knew that child or better put, that soul, before He put it into that child, and that soul had done something which angered our Creator to the point of His hating the soul? This doesn’t mean that He still wouldn’t\didn’t give this soul a chance to be born in the flesh and have salvation, born—like everybody else—ignorant of what it did while in the spirit prior to being born in the flesh. Father does this with all of us, and we then have the “Free Will” to decide whether we will follow and love our Father or whether we’ll rebel against Him. Esau chose the latter. Later, after selling his birthright to his younger brother, as their father became old and his eyes became dim, called his first born—he didn’t know that Esau sold his birthright—Esau to him in order to bestow the Firstfruits Blessing upon him, Esau does not correct his father; but, instead is about to allow him to bestow the Firstfruits Blessing upon him, which is wrong. Their mother knowing Father’s Plan of the conflict between the two children; the selling of the birthright; and of the cheat which is about to take place by her elder son, calls the younger to her and devises a plan whereas her younger son Jacob may rightfully collect the firstfruits Blessing from their father Isaac and commanding him to never marry a daughter of the Canaanites. After Jacob received such, the elder son Esau then comes to collect and discovers that Jacob has already received it, this angers Esau to the point of desiring to kill his younger brother Jacob, who then leaves at the urging of their mother. Esau, who “came out red, all over like an hairy garment;” knows that Isaac commanded Jacob that they were not to take the daughters of the Canaanites to wife, does this in order to spite and anger his parents. Esau as can be read in Genesis 36 is the father of the nation of the Edomites as Esau is Edom. He moved to and lived in Mount Seir which is also known as Idumaea or “red.” Edom was wholly a mountainous country. It embraced the narrow mountainous tract (about 100 miles long by 20 broad) extending along the eastern side of the Arabah from the northern end of the Gulf of Elath to near the southern end of the Dead Sea. The ancient capital of Edom was Bozrah (Buseireh). Sela (Petra) appears to have been the principal stronghold in the days of Amaziah (B.C. 838) (II Kings 14:7). Elath and Ezion-geber were the seaports (II Samuel 8:14; I Kings 9:26). History: Esau's bitter hatred to his brother Jacob for his supposed—in Esau’s mind anyway—fraudulently obtaining his – Esau’s blessing appears to have been inherited by his latest posterity. The Edomites peremptorily refused to permit the Israelites to pass through their land in Numbers 20:18-21 as they were coming up out of their bondage to the Egyptians. Then for a period of 400 years we hear no more of the Edomites. They were then attacked and defeated by Saul in I Samuel 14:47, and some forty years later by David in II Samuel 8:13-14. In the reign of Jehoshaphat (B.C. 914) the Edomites attempted to invade Israel, but failed II Chronicles 20:22. They joined Nebuchadnezzar when that king besieged Jerusalem. For their cruelty at this time they were fearfully denounced by the later prophets Isaiah in Isaiah 34:5-8; and 63:1-4, Jeremiah in Jeremiah 49:17 and Ezekiel in Ezekiel 25:13-14 and 35. After this they settled in southern Palestine, and for more than four centuries continued to prosper. But during the warlike rule of the Maccabees they were again completely subdued, and even forced to conform to Jewish laws and rites, and submit to the government of Jewish prefects. The Edomites were now incorporated with the Jewish nation. II Chronicles 25:14-15,20 tells us that they were idolaters and that their habits were singular. The Horites, their predecessors in Mount Seir, were, as their name implies, troglodytes, or dwellers in caves; and the Edomites seem to have adopted their dwellings as well as their country. Everywhere we meet with caves and grottos hewn in the soft sandstone strata.
Esau had from his wife Adah: Eliphaz (God is his strength or God of gold); from his wife Bashemath: Reuel (friend of God); and from his wife Aholibamah: Jeush (assembler or hasty), Jaalam (whom God hides or occult) and Korah (baldness or ice). Eliphaz from his concubine Timna bare: Amalek from whom the Amalekites that we are discussing here are descended.
Anyway, these peoples - the Amalekites have been a thorn in the side of Israel for over a millennia; dating all the way back to Abram in Genesis 14 where they joined forces with the other nations of the giants who made up the lands of the surrounding areas —again, if you know nothing about the giants being here or “the ‘Why’” they were here, you have a lot of Reading of Father’s Word to do (Genesis 6, Companion Bible Appendix 23 or 25 ) to catch up. These descendants of Esau fought with and struggled against the Israelites all throughout the first 3,000 or so years. That struggle continues on to this day, how and why? Because of the initial struggle within the womb of mother Rebekah, today Edom – red, Russia—the Government, not the individual peoples—still struggle with and against Israel, the Nation and the tribes — the United States of America. This struggle will continue right up until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
30:9-10 Division of forces.
I Samuel 30:9 So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor (cheerful or cool), where those that were left behind stayed. -> Remember from verse v30:1 above that they came to Ziklag after leaving Achish who was in Aphek "on the third day," so, they have now been on the run to get home for three days, upon arriving in Ziklag, they find is still smoking because these Amalekites burned it to the ground. So, they weep, seek Father's counsel, and then immediately set-off after the Amalekites, that makes this the fourth day that they are on the move, without the much needed rest their bodies require. This Besor is approximately 20 miles from Ziklag.
Those that were left behind stayed=As we'll see in the next verse, David and the 600 men who were with him, when they set-out after the Amalekites from Besor, will now--unlike when they left Ziklag previously - unguarded--leave 200 men behind to watch-over and protect some of their belongings which they'll leave here in Besor.
Besor=A brook in the extreme south-west of Judah, where 200 of David’s men stayed behind because they were faint, while the other 400 pursued the Amalekites here in I Samuel 30:9-10 and 21. Probably the Wadyes Sheriah, south of Gaza..
I 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. -> As I said a minute ago, these men have been on the move for three plus days without rest, some of them--most likely the older men--now need that rest their bodies require; and, they'll take it here at the brook Besor. Since they are staying, that'll give some of the other men the opportunity to leave some of their belongings behind, allowing them to travel lighter, and thus, more quickly.
30:11-16 Colloquy with Egyptian.
I 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; -> After crossing the brook, they come to a field, and, there, find an Egyptian. This Egyptian must have also been on the run, why was he on the run? Because, he, along with the Amalekites, were fleeing from Ziklag with David and his men's belongings, they knew that David and his men were in hot pursuit behind them, only, as we're about to find out, this Egyptian doesn't know who David is. But, the man is hungry and thirsty, so instead of killing him right-off, they first feed him and give him something to drink, showing him kindness in order to get information out of him.
I 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. -> They fed this young man very well, and, in the course of doing so, they probably saved his life. This shows us just how fast the Amalekites were moving in order to get as much distance between them and Ziklag as possible. If this young man who was probably in pretty good shape considering he is a warfighter is this wore-out, imagine how tired the Israelite women and children must be.
Remember, they are in "the south" - the Negeb, the desert, a body can go 3 days without much to eat; however, 3 days in the desert without water, very quickly wears the body down, almost to the point of death.
I 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. -> Three days agone=That puts David and his men still 3 days behind the Amalekites, they need to quickly rest and then double-time their movements in order to catch up.
An Egyptian, servant to an Amalekite=This young man was probably taken captive as a boy, and was made a servant or maybe a houseboy to the Amalekite who took him. But, now that Amalekite has left him because he couldn't keep pace with these Amalekites, so the young man's master just left him as fodder for whoever was chasing after them. Not real intelligent as, as we're about to see, he'll offer up the Amalekites because of his being left behind, he no longer owes them any loyalty.
I Samuel 30:14 We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites (executioners), and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire. -> Feeding this Egyptian and giving him the water his body needed, along with the rest it required has paid off for David, as he has now provided David with the information he needed to continue the pursuit of those who raided and burned his and his men's homes.
So, these Amalekites not only attacked David and his men's city of Ziklag; but, they also raided the desert where the Cherethites lived; the coast where Judah was; and then also the desert of Judah where Caleb lived. This must have been a well-trained and larger raiding party in order to raid all these areas and have the success that they obviously had. Remember also, the Cherethites are Philistines and executioners, and, most likely probably "masters of death."
Cherethites=Also known as the Cherethim. These were the inhabitants of Southern Philistia, which makes them Philistines as Father declares in Zephaniah 2:5. The Cherethites and the Pelethites were David’s life-guards as can be read in I Samuel 30:14; II Samuel 8:18; 20:7,23; 23:23, which is quite ironic considering that at this present time, David and his men are bodyguards for the Philistine king Achish. This name—Cherethite--is by some, interpreted as meaning “Cretans,” and by others “executioners,” who were ready to execute the king’s sentence of death, either way, it is plain that they were employed as the Royal Guards, and as Couriers as well. But it has also been conjectured that they may have been foreign mercenaries, and therefore probably Philistines, of which name Pelethites may be only another form..
I 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.” -> David continues probing the young man for information. And, the young man continues giving-up valuable information to David and his men as to the whereabouts of the Amalekites. He not only tells them he'll provide the information but; he'll even lead them right to the Amalekites; however, here the young Egyptian throws in one caveat, you must promise that after I do this for you, you will neither kill me, nor, turn me back over to my master who will also want to kill me, for doing this for you.
I 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. -> As this Egyptian brings David and his men down to where these Amalekites are, there are so many of them, that they appear to David to cover the ground from horizon to horizon. With the swiftness with which they moved; they figured nobody would even be close to catching them; and, if they did, then, their great numbers would persuade the pursuers to not even think about trying to challenge them. So, now it's party time, time to divide the spoils and celebrate their victories.
These Amalekites not only raided Ziklag; but, also, the other territories of the Israelites, paying them all back for their earlier raids back in I Samuel 15 and I Samuel 27:8; however, bear in mind that it was the Amalekites who started all this over a millennia ago. They may think or believe they have the final victory with shellacking of the Israelites; however, it is Father who has the final say concerning these Amalekites, and they don't want to hear, accept, or, believe what He has said about them - that "I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven."
30:17-20 YHVH’S promise. Kept.
I 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. -> Twilight=The morning, nesheph in the Hebrew. It is a homonym and can mean either the morning or the evening; but, as used in this verse, it is morning.
So, it's payback time for David and his men, and, the Israelites are now putting a serious hurting on the Amalekites. David enquired of Father as to whether they should go against them and Father promised him that not only would they have the victory; but, that they'd recovered all that they had lost to these Amalekites.
The only Amalekites who escaped were the ones who had camels nearby which they were able to climb onto and quickly ride away.
I Samuel 30:18 And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. -> Father always keeps His promises; and, this time is no different. He promised David and his men would have the victory and that they would recovered all they had lost; and, true to form, they recovered everything.
For his part, David is learning to completely trust--if you'll forgive my partial quoting of Deuteronomy 3: "every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD."
I 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. -> There was nothing lacking=If there can be anything good to say concerning the Amalekites taking of the women and children, it's this: not one of the women, nor any of the children were missing; and, none of the women were molested; neither were they or the children abused, beaten, or, harmed in any manner.
I Samuel 30:20 And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, “This is David's spoil.” -> Remember, these Amalekites not only raided Ziklag and took the spoils from David and his men; but, also the lands of the Philistines--the Cherethites,--and, both the coast and the desert of Judah as well; so, they had taken very much spoils from all these places. So, what this is saying is that David put the spoils from all these other places that the Amalekites had raided before their own cattle and then drave them all as one large herd. David told all the men that they were entitled to what was previously theirs and then; David, as leader, receives all the other spoils from what the Amalekites had stolen from the other places. He knows though, that the men are expecting their fair share of these spoils as well; so, he takes his "cut;" and then tells the men that they can divvy-up the rest amongst themselves.
David will do right here in a minute concerning those who were left behind at Besor. Not all the men are going to agree with his decision; however, the decision he makes is the correct one.
30:21-25 Junction of forces.
I 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. -> Remember, these men who are here at the Brook Besor; are, most likely, the older men of David's little rag-tag army, which was why they were having a hard time of keeping pace with the younger men. These men being left behind doesn't make them any less than those who were able to continue on, nor does it mean they don't deserve their fair-share of the spoils. Really, the One Who should be getting the credit, the One Who deserves the Credit, is Father, for it was He Who gave them the victory over these Amalekites, it was He Who allowed them to recover what they had lost.
As soon as David and his men come into their camp, David greets them, and, they in turn also greet David and the rest of their brothers-in-arms. They also I'm sure, immediately inquire as to the success of their mission, and more importantly to the welfare of their families.
I 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.” -> Men of Belial=We read in I Samuel 22 that certain men came to David and joined with him when they--like David--fled Saul, let's read it again: I Samuel 22:1 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him. [22:2] And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men. -> Some of these men were obviously good men; however, there were--as we are reading now here in I Samuel 30:22--some who were not quite to the high standard that David was, these were the wicked men and men of belial that we are reading of here.
Anyway, these wicked men and men of belial, are wanting to leave Father completely out of their having the victory over the Amalekites; and, want to claim it all for themselves. Not only that; but, they want all the spoils for themselves and want to cut the older men who couldn't forge ahead with them, right out of their share of the bounty.
How will David respond?
I 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. -> With that which the LORD hath given us=David rightfully so gives full credit for the victory right back to Father, casting any of it off of themselves. Father was in control, Father preserved them. This is a wonderful example for us brethren, as we too, when Father gives us the victory in anything; especially, His Word, need to give Him full credit and Thank Him for what He has done for us.
I 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. -> David is reminding these men of belial and also all the other men which are with him that had they left a contingent behind when they left Ziklag, they might not have returned home to the sorry state of affairs that they had, with their wives, children and belongings in the hands of the Amalekites. Though, yes, only four hundred forged ahead when the older men became too tired at the Brook Besor; the four hundred were able to leave their heavier gear behind in the safe protection of these two hundred. Therefore, everybody is entitled to their fair and equal share of what they recovered from the Amalekites.
Think spiritually on this brethren. Our Father became flesh so that "whosoever believes on Him" can have salvation. We are all His children, we are one body in Christ.
I 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. -> So it became law, that, each and everybody--whether they went off to war or were part of the rear-guard protecting the families and belongings at home--shared in the victory and all the spoils equally.
David isn't done yet sharing of the spoils that they took from the Amalekites, he'll also share it with some others as we're about to read.
30:26-31 Ziklag retaken.
I 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;” -> Present=In other words "a Blessing." Judah and all the places about to be named in the next few verses are south of Hebron and were therefore protected by David, and these "presents" were a return for their support. Also, remember that the Amalekites when they were on their raiding party, raided both the coast and the desert of Judah; so, David is actually giving back to the inhabitants of Judah, what was most likely rightfully theirs to begin with.
Remember also, as we know, Saul will be killed very shortly by the Philistines and David will rise to be the king of Israel; so, he therefore is probably building "goodwill" with these towns of Judah. These gifts that David is presenting are going to make it easier for him to establish his kingdom. David was proving to these people that he is fit to rule; and that he will be fair in his judgments, also these people wanted him to be their king. The point to make here is that he wasn't robbing the four hundred that fought, for they all received their fair share, but the things that were sent on to the people were things that were rightfully theirs.
I Samuel 30:27 To them which were in Bethel, and to them which were in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir (pre-eminent or redundant), -> Bethel=This is the Bethel in Simeon, not the more well-known Bethel in Benjamin.
Jattir=A town of Judah in the mountain districts (Joshua 15:48), one of the group containing Socho, Eshtemoa, etc See also (Joshua 21:14 and I Chronicles 6:57). It is also identified with 'Attir, six miles north of Molada and ten miles south of Hebron..
I Samuel 30:28 And to them which were in Aroer (nudity of situation, or ruins), and to them which were in Siphmoth (fruitful), and to them which were in Eshtemoa (obedience, or in the sense of being obedient), -> Remember, David and his men were on the run from Saul, and, as a result, had no means of raising crops, or, at the time, raising livestock; and therefore, all these places provided support by the way of hiding David and his men, or giving them food to survive.
Aroer=A town in Judah, named only here in I Samuel 30:28, perhaps Wady Ar'arah, on the road from Petra to Gaza..
Siphmoth=An unknown place in the south, where David found friends when he fled from Saul..
Eshtemoa=A town of Judah in the mountains (Joshua 15:50), allotted to the priest (Joshua 21:14 and I Chronicles 6:57). It was one of the places frequented by David and his followers during the long period of their wanderings as can be read here in I Samuel 30:28, and we can compare this with I Samuel 30:31. Its site is at Semu'a, a village seven miles south of Hebron..
I Samuel 30:29 And to them which were in Rachal (merchant or trade), and to them which were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to them which were in the cities of the Kenites, -> Rachal=A town in the southern part of the tribe of Judah, one of the towns to which David sent presents out of the spoil of the Amalekites..
Jerahmeelites=Jerahmeel was first-born son of Hezron, the son of Pharez, the son of Judah (I Chronicles 2:9,25-27,33,42), and founder of the family of Jerahmeelites of here in I Samuel 27:10. (B.C. before 1491)..
I Samuel 30:30 And to them which were in Hormah (a place laid waste or devoted), and to them which were in Chorashan (furnace of smoke), and to them which were in Athach (lodging place or to sojourn), -> Hormah=Or Zephath [A Canaanitish city afterwards called Hormah, one of the "uttermost cities of Judah southwards," afterwards assigned to Simeon in Joshua 12:14; 15:30 and 19:4. The name is supposed to be traceable in Sufah, a long and rough pass leading from the south up into the mountains of Judah. It was at Zephath that the Israelites were repulsed in attempting to ascend from Kadesh which can be read in Numbers 14:40-45; 21:3; Deuteronomy 1:44 and Judges 1:17.], was the chief town of a king of a Canaanitish tribe on the south of Palestine, which was reduced by Joshua, and became a city of the territory of Judah in Joshua 15:30 and here in I Samuel 30:30, but apparently belonged to Simeon I Chronicles 4:30..
Chorashan=It may perhaps, be identified with Ashan of Simeon. [Ashan - a city in the low country of Judah Joshua 15:42. In Joshua 19:7 and I Chronicles 4:32 it is mentioned again as belonging to Simeon.].
Athach=As the name does not occur elsewhere, it has been suggested that it is an error of the transcriber for Ether, a town in the low country of Judah Joshua 15:42. [Ether - one of the cities of Judah in the low country, the Shefelah Joshua 15:42, allotted to Simeon as can be read in Joshua 19:7.].
I Samuel 30:31 And to them which were in Hebron (alliance, or, seat of association), and to all the places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt. -> Wherever David and his men went while they were on the run, David ensured he paid them back good for their good. In all this David learned to trust in Father, and the people learned that they could trust in David.
Hebron=A city of Judah Joshua 15:54, situated among the mountains Joshua 20:7, 20 Roman miles south of Jerusalem, and the same distance north of Beersheba. Hebron is one of the most ancient cities in the world still existing; and in this respect it is the rival of Damascus. It was a well-known town when Abraham entered Canaan, 3800 years ago Genesis 13:18. Its original name was Kirjath-arba as can be read in Judges 1:10, "the city of Arba;" so called from Arba the father of Anak Joshua 15:13-14 and 21:13. Sarah died at Hebron; and Abraham then bought from Ephron the Hittite the field and cave of Machpelah, to serve as a family tomb in Genesis 23:2-20. The cave is still there, and the massive walls of the Haram or mosque, within which it lies, form the most remarkable object in the whole city. Abraham is called by Mohammedans el-Khulil, "the Friend," i.e. of God, and this is the modern name of Hebron. Hebron now contains about 5000 inhabitants, of whom some fifty families are Jews. It is picturesquely situated in a narrow valley, surrounded by rocky hills. The valley runs from north to south; and the main quarter of the town, surmounted by the lofty walls of the venerable Haram, lies partly on the eastern slope Genesis 37:14, and we can compare this with Genesis 23:19. It’s about a mile from the town, up the valley, is one of the largest oak trees in Palestine. This, say some, is the very tree beneath which Abraham pitched his tent, and it still bears the name of the patriarch..