David Seeks Refuge From Saul in Phillistia

When I was a kid, we rode our bikes down the sidewalks and in the streets. We played baseball and football in the street. Summers were especially great because we could play ball until you couldn’t see. We rode in cars with no seat belts or car seats. Riding in the back of … More


In this chapter, David is compelled to leave his homeland because of the slander of Cush and the betrayal of the people of Ziph. At Engedi there seemed to be a complete and harmonious reconciliation between David and Saul. Yet, in just a brief time, Saul was again hunting David. The reason this time was that Cush had stirred up Saul’s anger toward David (Psalm 35:15).

For the second time David seeks refuge from Saul in Philistine territory. The man who killed Goliath and conquered the Philistines now asks for permission to live under the protection of King Achish.  When Saul finds out about this, he stops pursuing David.

How David explained to Achish his recovery from his (supposed) former insanity is a mystery.  Historians tell us that David’s following at this time may have numbered 2500 people. You can imagine what kind of housing shortage and food problem this must have caused King Achish. When David gained the confidence of the king, he made a suggestion. He expressed his desire not to be a burden to his host and suggested that Achish assign him and his followers a city where they can live.  The king grants his request by assigning the city of Ziklag to them (vv.5-6).

This is interesting because, in I Chronicles 4:30, we learn that Ziklag had originally been given to the people of Judah. Now David and his followers are once again within the borders of the Promised Land. From this city David launched and won military operations against the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites, who were the enemies of the people of God.


When I think of Cush and the people of Ziph, I need to remember that the Lord hates the sowing of discord among the brethren. May the Lord set a watch before my mouth and help me not to sin with my tongue (Psalm 141:3).

I Samuel 27:1-12 (English Standard Version)

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