And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
on the third
This was the third day after he had left the Philistine army at Aphek, from which place, Calmet supposes, Ziklag was distant more than thirty leagues.
And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.
So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.
Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
Job 13:15 Psalms 18:6 26:1,2 27:1-3 34:1-8 40:1,2 42:5,11 Psalms 56:3,4,11 62:1,5,8 118:8-13 Proverbs 18:10 Isaiah 25:4 37:14-20 Jeremiah 16:19 Habakkuk 3:17,18 Romans 4:18 8:31 2 Corinthians 1:6,9,10 Hebrews 13:6
And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David.
And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.
he answered him
But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor.
for two hundred
the brook Besor
This brook or torrent, it is evident from the circumstances of the history, must be in the south-west part of Judea, and must empty itself into the Mediterranean Sea. In the more particular situation of it writers are not agreed. Some suppose it to be between Gaza and Rhinocorura; but Jerome places it between Rhinocorura and Egypt. It is supposed by some to be the same as the river of the wilderness, (Am 6:14,) and the river of Egypt, Jos 15:4.
And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water;
And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights.
And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick.
Though they had booty enough, and this poor sick slave might have been carried on an ass or a camel, yet they inhumanely left him to perish; but, in the righteous providence of God, this cruelty was the occasion of their destruction; whilst David's kindness to a perishing stranger and slave was the means of his success, and proved the truest policy.
We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.
Calmet and others suppose that these people, who inhabited the same district as the Philistines, were the aborigines of the island of Crete, from which they derived their name.
A district in the south of Judea, in which were the cities of Kirjath-Arba or Hebron, and Kirjath-sepher, belonging to the family of Caleb.
And David said to him, Canst thou bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company.
And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah.
because of all
And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled.
the next day
Heb. their morrow. and there.
And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all.
And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David's spoil.
This is David's spoil
And David came to the two hundred men, which were so faint that they could not follow David, whom they had made also to abide at the brook Besor: and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people that were with him: and when David came near to the people, he saluted them.
two hundred men
Heb. asked them how they did.
Then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David, and said, Because they went not with us, we will not give them ought of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart.
Heb. the men. Because.
Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand.
which the Lord
For who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike.
but as his part
This equitable edict was somewhat different from that which had so long obtained in Israel, and by which the spoil of the Midianites was divided: that related to the whole people: this only to the soldiers, some of whom went to battle, while others guarded the baggage.
And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day.
Heb. and forward.
And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the LORD;
to his friends
To them which were in Bethel, and to them which were in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir,
Probably not the celebrated city of this name, but Bethul a city of Simeon, (Jos 19:4,) supposed to be the same as Bethelia, mentioned by Sozomen as belonging to Gaza, well peopled, and having several temples remarkable for their structure and antiquity; and which Jerome says, in his life of Hilarion, was five short days' journey from Pelusium.
A city of Simeon; so called to distinguish it from Ramoth Gilead beyond Jordan.
And to them which were in Aroer, and to them which were in Siphmoth, and to them which were in Eshtemoa,
Supposed to be the same with Shepham (Nu 34:10,) on the eastern borders of Canaan.
And to them which were in Rachal, and to them which were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to them which were in the cities of the Kenites,
Supposed by Calmet to be the same as Hachilah.
The descendants of Jerahmeel son of Hezron, (1 Ch 2:9, 25-27,) who inhabited a district in the south of Judah.
These people inhabited a small tract west of the Dead Sea.
And to them which were in Hormah, and to them which were in Chorashan, and to them which were in Athach,
Probably the same as Ashan in Simeon, Jos 15:42; 19:7, which Eusebius says was sixteen miles west from Jerusalem.
And to them which were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt.