Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 29

Philistia’s rulers tell Achish to send David home

1 Samuel 29:4-5

The rulers of Philistia told Achish why they would not allow David to join their army.

They agreed with many of the things that Achish had said about David. They believed that David had served Achish loyally and well. It seemed clear to them that David and Saul were now enemies.

However, Philistia’s rulers still considered it too dangerous to have David in their army. Even in Philistia, David’s name was well-known. They knew him from the popular song that the women in Israel sang in 1 Samuel 18:7. That song had spread across the whole region. It praised David as a great army commander. In 1 Samuel 21:11, that song had confused Achish’s servants so much that they believed David to be Israel’s king.

If David had been such a great military leader in Israel, perhaps he wanted to serve Saul again. Clearly, there had been a terrible argument between David and Saul. If David joined Philistia’s army, he might use his position inside its camp for his own advantage. During the battle, he might attack Philistia’s soldiers and not their enemies. Such actions would make Saul pleased with David again. That would end their argument and Saul would re-appoint David to lead Israel’s army again. Such thoughts worried Philistia’s rulers greatly.

We may ask whether Philistia’s rulers were right. It is clear that David would not attack Saul (26:9-11). David had also been fighting to support Israel’s people, and Philistia’s rulers did not know that (27:8-12). However, David was living peacefully with his family in Philistia (27:3), and he served Achish well. When Philistia’s rulers sent David away, David left their camp peacefully. He obeyed Achish, and he did not try to fight against Philistia’s men (29:10-11).

David behaved like this because he respected God. He did not want to gain power by means of clever schemes. David wanted God to bring about God’s plan for David’s life. So David tried to deal with everyone in a proper, loyal and honourable manner.

Next part: Achish’s opinion of David (1 Samuel 29:6-9)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.