1On the third day, David and his men arrived at Ziklag. They saw that the Amalekites had attacked Ziklag. The Amalekites invaded the Negev area. They attacked Ziklag and burned the city. 2They took the women in Ziklag as prisoners. They took all the people, both young and old. They did not kill any of the people. They only took them away. 3When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found the city burning. Their wives, sons, and daughters were all gone. The Amalekites had taken them. 4David and the other men in his army cried loudly until they were too weak to cry any more. 5The Amalekites had taken David’s two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel. 6All the men in the army were sad and angry because their sons and daughters were taken as prisoners. The men were talking about killing David with stones. This made David very upset. But David found strength in the Lord his God. 7David said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod.” 8Then David prayed to the Lord. “Should I chase the people who took our families? Will I catch them?” The Lord answered, “Chase them. You will catch them. You will save your families.” 9- 10David took the 600 men with him and went to Besor Ravine. About 200 of his men stayed at this place. They stayed there because they were too weak and tired to continue. So David and 400 men continued to chase the Amalekites. 11David’s men found an Egyptian in a field. They took the Egyptian to David. They gave the Egyptian some water to drink and some food to eat. 12They gave the Egyptian a piece of fig cake and two clusters of raisins. He felt better after eating. He had not had any food or water for three days and nights. 13David asked the Egyptian, “Who is your master? Where do you come from?” The Egyptian answered, “I am an Egyptian. I am the slave of an Amalekite. Three days ago I became sick and my master left me. 14We had attacked the Negev area where the Kerethites live. We attacked the land of Judah, and in the Negev area where Caleb’s people live. We also burned Ziklag.” 15David asked the Egyptian, “Will you lead me to the people who took our families?” The Egyptian answered, “If you make a special promise before God, then I will help you find them. But you must promise that you won’t kill me or give me back to my master.” 16The Egyptian led David to the Amalekites. They were lying around on the ground, eating and drinking. They were celebrating with the many things they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah. 17David attacked them and killed them. They fought from sunrise until the evening of the next day. None of the Amalekites escaped, except 400 young men who jumped onto their camels and rode away. 18David got back everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. 19Nothing was missing. They found all the children and old people. They found all their sons and daughters. And they found all their valuable things. They got back everything the Amalekites had taken. David brought everything back. 20David took all the sheep and cattle. David’s men made these animals go in front. David’s men said, “They are David’s prize.” 21David came to the 200 men who had stayed at Besor Ravine. These were the men who were too weak and tired to follow David. These men came out to meet David and the soldiers that went with him. The men at the Besor Ravine greeted David and his army as they came near. 22There were some bad men who were trouble-makers in the group that went with David. Those trouble-makers said, “These 200 men didn’t go with us. So we won’t give them any of the things we took. These men get only their own wives and children.” 23David answered, “No, my brothers. Don’t do that! Think about what the Lord gave us! The Lord let us defeat the enemy that attacked us. 24No one will listen to what you say! The share will be the same for the man who stayed with the supplies and for the man who went into battle. Everyone will share alike.” 25David made this an order and rule for Israel. This rule continues even today. 26David arrived in Ziklag. Then he sent some of the things he took ˻from the Amalekites˼ to his friends, the leaders of Judah. David said, “Here is a present for you. ˻We took these things from˼ the Lord’s enemies.” 27David sent some of those things from the Amalekites to the leaders in Bethel, Ramoth in the Negev, Jattir, 28Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, 29Racal, the cities of the Jerahmeelites and the cities of the Kenites, 30Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athach, 31and Hebron. David sent some of those things to the leaders in all the other places where David and his men had been.
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