1 Samuel 27

1 David said in his heart, “I will now perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me any more in all the borders of Israel. So shall I escape out of his hand.” 2 David arose, and passed over, he and the six hundred men who were with him, to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath. 3 David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s wife. 4 Saul was told that David had fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him. 5 David said to Achish, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in one of the cities in the country, that I may dwell there. For why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?” 6 Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: therefore Ziklag belongs to the kings of Judah to this day. 7 The number of the days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months. 8 David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites; for those were the inhabitants of the land, who were of old, on the way to Shur, even to the land of Egypt. 9 David struck the land, and saved no man or woman alive, and took away the sheep, the cattle, the donkeys, the camels, and the clothing. Then he returned, and came to Achish. 10 Achish said, “Against whom have you made a raid today?” David said, “Against the South of Judah, against the South of the Jerahmeelites, and against the South of the Kenites.” 11 David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring them to Gath, saying, “Lest they should tell about us, saying, ‘David did this, and this has been his way all the time he has lived in the country of the Philistines.’” 12 Achish believed David, saying, “He has made his people Israel utterly to abhor him. Therefore he will be my servant forever.”

(Previous Chapter)    •    (Next Chapter)

Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–7

Unbelief is a sin that easily besets even good men, when without are fightings, and within are fears; and it is a hard matter to get over them. Lord, increase our faith! We may blush to think that the word of a Philistine should go further than the word of an Israelite, and that the city of Gath should be a place of refuge for a good man, when the cities of Israel refuse him a safe abode. David gained a comfortable settlement, not only at a distance from Gath, but bordering upon Israel, where he might keep up a correspondence with his own countrymen.

Verses 8–12

While David was in the land of the Philistines, he attacked some remains of the devoted nations. The people whom he cut off were long before doomed to destruction. It is often wisdom to shun public notice, but we must in no situation be idle. We must always try to do somewhat in the cause of God. This expedition David hid from Achish. But an equivocation which serves the purpose of a lie, is as like to it as a hypocrite is to a profane person, it is only better in appearance, therefore more dangerous. Yet, though believers often manifest imperfections, they can never be prevailed upon to renounce the service of God, and to unite interests with his enemies, or finally to become the servants of sin and Satan. But what a train of evils follow from unbelief! When we forget the Lord’s past mercies, and his gracious assurances, we shall be overwhelmed with desponding fears, and probably be led to adopt some dishonourable method to get rid of our troubles. Nothing can so effectually establish us in holy tempers and practices, and preserve us from perplexities, as firm, unshaken dependence upon the promises of God in Christ Jesus.

Back to Top