1but he thought to himself, “One of these days, Saul is going to kill me. The only way to escape from him is to go to Philistia. Then I'll be outside of Israel, and Saul will give up trying to catch me.”
2-3David and his 600 men went across the border to stay in Gath with King Achish the son of Maoch. His men brought their families with them. David brought his wife Ahinoam whose hometown was Jezreel, and he also brought his wife Abigail who had been married to Nabal from Carmel. 4When Saul found out that David had run off to Gath, he stopped trying to catch him.
5One day, David was talking with Achish and said, “If you are happy with me, then let me live in one of the towns in the countryside. I'm not important enough to live here with you in the royal city.”
6Achish gave David the town of Ziklag that same day, and Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since.
7David was in Philistia for a year and four months. 8The Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites lived in the area from Telam to Shur and on as far as Egypt, and David often attacked their towns. 9Whenever David and his men attacked a town, they took the sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and the clothing, and killed everyone who lived there.
After he returned from a raid, David always went to see Achish, 10who would ask, “Where did you attack today?”
David would answer, “Oh, we attacked some desert town that belonged to the Judah tribe.” Sometimes David would say, “Oh, we attacked a town in the desert where the Jerahmeel clan lives” or “We attacked a town in the desert where the Kenites live.” 11That's why David killed everyone in the towns he attacked. He thought, “If I let any of them live, they might come to Gath and tell what I've really been doing.”
David made these raids all the time he was in Philistia. 12But Achish trusted David and thought, “David's people must be furious with him. From now on he will have to take orders from me.”