1 Samuel 29-31
Chapter 29: Israel & The Philistines Prepare for War
David prepares for war, but some of the other Philistine rulers are not happy, they think that David will end up turning on them when they start the battle! Achish calls David and tells him to go to the back and not fight, because Achish trusts David, but doesn’t want to frustrate or upset the other rulers. David is devastated by this and asks Achish what he has done wrong! David really is making it look like he wants to fight for the Philistines! Is this the case?
Chapter 30: David Smites the Amalekites
Because David was not trusted by the other Philistine leaders, him and his men return to Ziklag only to find that the entire town has been raided by the Amalekites. They took everyone in the city captive as slaves. David and his men are upset and weep until they have no more strength to weep. Some of the men even try to place blame in David and some talk about stoning David to death. But at the same time, David finds strength in the Lord and has Abiathar bring the ephod, so that he can ask the Lord if they should pursue the Amalekites or not. David is told to pursue them, so he and his men do! Unfortunately 200 of his men are too sick/tired to make it on the journey and have to stay behind.
David comes across an Egyptian who was starving, and after they gave him food they find out that the man was a slave to the Amalekites, but was left behind because he was sick. The man agrees to lead David to the Amalekites, if he agrees to not turn him over to his previous master. David agrees and they go to catch up with the Amalekites. When they come across the Amalekites they fight for two days straight and manage to kill all the Amalekites, except 200 young men who flee on camels. They rescue/free the people and take back their plunder.
When David returns, the men who fought in the battle decide that none of the plunder goes to them men who stayed behind, because they didn’t have to fight! David however, tells the men that they must share equally, because those who stayed behind had to watch the supplies. This becomes an ordinance in Israel forever.
When David returns to Ziklag, he even sends some of the plunder to the Elders of Judah, who are friends of his, as a gift.
Chapter 31: The Philistines Defeat Israel
The Israelites fight the Philistines and the outcome is exactly as Samuel had predicted to Saul. The Israelites lose against the Philistines, the Philistines kill many Israelites and drive the rest away. They kill Saul’s sons and critically wound Saul. Saul is afraid that the Philistines will come back to finish off the job of killing him, and he is worried that they will also torture him. Saul asks his amour bearer to kill him, and he refuses, so Saul takes his own life to avoid possible torture from the Philistines.
When other Israelites find out about what happened, they flee from their homes and the Philistines immediately occupy all of the Israelite towns. Later the Philistines find the dead body of Saul and declare it a trophy, by cutting off his head and send people throughout the land to declare the good news. They then hang the bodies of Saul and his sons on the walls of the city. When the people at Jabesh Gilead hear about what had happened, they send courageous men to rescue the bodies and take them to Jabesh to give them proper burials and fast for seven days.