The Philistines Reject David
1Now the Philistines gathered all their forces at Aphek; and the Israelites were encamped by the fountain which is in Jezre'el. 2As the lords of the Philistines were passing on by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were passing on in the rear with A'chish, 3the commanders of the Philistines said, "What are these Hebrews doing here?" And A'chish said to the commanders of the Philistines, "Is not this David, the servant of Saul, king of Israel, who has been with me now for days and years, and since he deserted to me I have found no fault in him to this day." 4But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him; and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, "Send the man back, that he may return to the place to which you have assigned him; he shall not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of the men here? 5Is not this David, of whom they sing to one another in dances,
'Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his ten thousands'?"
6Then A'chish called David and said to him, "As the Lord lives, you have been honest, and to me it seems right that you should march out and in with me in the campaign; for I have found nothing wrong in you from the day of your coming to me to this day. Nevertheless the lords do not approve of you. 7So go back now; and go peaceably, that you may not displease the lords of the Philistines." 8And David said to A'chish, "But what have I done? What have you found in your servant from the day I entered your service until now, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?" 9And A'chish made answer to David, "I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God; nevertheless the commanders of the Philistines have said, 'He shall not go up with us to the battle.' 10Now then rise early in the morning with the servants of your lord who came with you; and start early in the morning, and depart as soon as you have light." 11So David set out with his men early in the morning, to return to the land of the Philistines. But the Philistines went up to Jezre'el.