Only 400 of Davidís men fought in the successful battle against the robbers from Amalek. His other 200 men were too tired to fight so, instead, they established a camp. They guarded the possessions of the men who fought. They probably also helped to supply food and water to them.
After the battle, David wanted all his men to share the joy of their success. So, he made a law for them. He declared that all his loyal soldiers must share alike in the rewards of their battles. A man who guarded the camp would not receive less; a man who fought in the battle would not receive more. They all would share alike in the things that they had taken from their enemies.
That became Davidís first law as Israelís king. For a long period afterwards, Israelís army continued to obey it.
That law expressed well the nature of the new kind of government that David was establishing. Usually, rulers only cared about people who were strong, rich or important. David, on the other hand, cared about everyone who was loyal to him. He wanted them all to share in the benefits of his rule, whether they were rich or poor, strong or weak.
David was grateful for the help of everyone who supported him. He knew from personal experience how much effort it took to take supplies to Israelís army (17:17-20). He had seen how dangerous it was to leave a place without anyone to guard it (30:1-2). Often weaker and less skilled men carried out these tasks. The other soldiers may not respect them, but their work was essential. So David insisted that they must all receive a proper reward.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.