David Parham 940-322-4343
Website: Internet Bible Studies
I Samuel Menu
Memory verses for this week: Rom
12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable
unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Introduction: We continue our study on Samuel this week. In
last week’s lesson, we studied about God providentially intervening
so that David and his men would not go to war against Israel. King
Achish wanted him to go, but the princes of the Philistines did not
want him anywhere near the battle. So he was sent back to Philistia
as the Philistines prepared to go to battle with Israel.
I. Ziklag spoiled by the Amalekites
1 Sam 30:1 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;
1 Sam 30:2 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.
1 Sam 30:3 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.
Upon returning to their base camp after being rejected by the
Philistine warlords, David and his men made a terrible discovery.
While gone, a band of marauding Amalekites had sacked the city of
Ziklag and burned it. The Amalekites were longstanding enemies of
Israel who lived south thereof toward the Sinai region. Furthermore,
they undoubtedly held a grudge against David for his raid against
them as recorded in I Samuel 27:8-11.
1 Sam 27:8 And David and his men went up, and invaded the
Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those
nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou
goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt.
1 Sam 27:9 And David smote the land, and left neither man
nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and
the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned,
and came to Achish.
1 Sam 27:10 And Achish said, Whither have ye made a road
to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and
against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the
south of the Kenites.
1 Sam 27:11 And David saved neither man nor woman alive,
to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on
us, saying, So did David, and so will be his manner all the
while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines.
Moreover, in raiding Ziklag, they had taken the women captive.
Though not killing the women and children of David and his men, the
marauding Amalekites had taken them nevertheless. David and his men
thought they were not going to a battle, but returning home to their
families. What a horrible home coming!
II. David and His Men Mourn their Loss
1 Sam 30:4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up
their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
1 Sam 30:5 And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the
Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
1 Sam 30:6 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.
Needless to say, David and his men were utterly distraught. They
literally cried aloud until they could cry no more. David’s two
wives were taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the
wife of Nabal the Carmelite. No one was untouched by this disaster
including David. The emotions of David’s men quickly turned from
grief to anger. They immediately looked for a scapegoat and blamed
David for what had happened. Here is remarkable insight into the
spiritual character of David. Not only was David greatly troubled by
his personal loss, his own men now turned on him.
In that dark hour David turned to his only recourse. He
“encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” When things looked the
bleakest in our lives, we all need to remember there is one that
sticks closer than a brother who is our Lord Jesus Christ. Of
interest is that the word translated as encouraged (qzx chazaq) most
basically means to ‘strengthen.’ Even though his entire world seem
to be crashing down around his head, David sought and found strength
in the Lord. Once Moses was in very much the same circumstance when
Israel murmured against him for their lack of water (see Exodus
Exo 17:4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What
shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone
Exo 17:5 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the
people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy
rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand,
Exo 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the
rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there
shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And
Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
A lesson remains herein for God’s people to this day. As David
would later write in his numerous Psalms, he frequently appealed to
the Lord as his strength. See Psalm 18:2, 25:1-2, 34:1,8, 40:1,2.
Psa 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my
deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my
buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
Psa 25:1 A Psalm of David. Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift
up my soul.
Psa 25:2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be
ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
Psa 40:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. I
waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and
heard my cry.
Psa 40:2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit,
out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and
established my goings.
III. David Overtakes the Amalekites
1 Sam 30:7 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.
1 Sam 30:8 And David inquired 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
David speaks with Abiathar the priest and respectfully requests
that he bring the ephod and Abiathar brought the ephod to David.
Abiathar, the priest, had fled to David when Doeg murdered his
father and brethren, the priests. In fleeing, he had taken the ephod
of the high priest with him. In the high priest’s ephod were the
Urim and Thummim by which God’s leading in a given matter might be
ascertained. In an hour of great darkness, David sought God’s
guidance. He went to prayer and asked God if he ought to pursue the
Amalekites. David had the benefit of the Urim and Thummim which were
the holy stones on the ephod. In ways not explained, God would
indicate His will through them. They may have been cast and the way
the stones landed indicated either yes or no for a given question.
We today do not have the prerogative of the Urim and Thummim.
However, we can come to Gods throne of grace thru Christ Jesus
seeking his guidance. . In seeking God’s face in the matter, God
clearly indicated to David to pursue after the Amalekites. Moreover,
in such pursuit, David and his men would recover all that was taken.
1 Sam 30:9 So David went, he and the six hundred men that were
with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left
1 Sam 30:10 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.
1 Sam 30:11 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
1 Sam 30:12 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
With that encouragement, “David went, he and the six hundred men
that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those
that were left behind stayed”. The brook of Besor was about ten
miles south of Ziklag. It empties into the sea just south of Gaza.
All six-hundred of David’s men went this far, but some stopped at
the brook. Evidently, they were exhausted from the forced march. Two
hundred stayed behind, four hundred continued on with David.
Meanwhile in pursuing, they found an Egyptian in the field, and
brought him to David, and gave him food and water after learning he
had no food or water for 3 days. The poor man was nearing
dehydration and starvation after having been abandoned for three
full days in near desert-like country.
1 Sam 30:13 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 ago I fell
1 Sam 30:14 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.
1 Sam 30:15 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.
1 Sam 30:16 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.
The man was thus interrogated. Out marauding, his Amalekite
master had no second thoughts about abandoning his ill servant to
fend for himself. The servant told David about the invasion upon the
south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belonged to
Judah, and upon the south of Caleb and also about burning Ziklag
with fire. The region called the “south of the Cherethites” was a
part of greater Philistia. The Amalekites therefore were out
marauding both southern Philistia and the south of Caleb in Judah.
They also happened upon Ziklag and burned it. The Amalekites likely
were aware this was the base camp of David and in retaliation
against him burned and looted the place. Moreover, the Amalekites
may have been aware that David had joined forces with the
Philistines who were all off preparing for war against Saul at
Jezreel. They therefore may have been emboldened to pounce upon
Ziklag. David therefore further interrogated this Egyptian. And
David said to him, Canst thou bring me down to this company? Before
further cooperating with David, the Egyptian asked David to swear
before God that he would be spared. Though not noted, quite
evidently, David agreed. The man clearly knew where his former
master had retreated. The implication of the text is that the
Amalekite encampment was farther still to the south and apparently
in a broad valley. They there were celebrating their success in
raiding southern Philistia and Judah. David, aided by the Egyptian,
viewed his enemies partying below. His reconnaissance mission went
IV. David Recovers What Was Lost
1 Sam 30:17 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.
1 Sam 30:18 And David recovered all that the Amalekites had
carried away: and David rescued his two wives.
1 Sam 30:19 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.
1 Sam 30:20 And David took all the flocks and the herds, which
they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David's
David therefore ordered his force and attacked unannounced down
into the valley. David’s surprise attack caught the Amalekites
completely off guard. David therefore struck at sundown of that day
and continued his attack throughout that night until sundown the
next day. All that escaped of the Amalekites were four hundred of
the youngest of them who mounted swift camels and fled. David only
had four hundred men. Implied by the fact that four hundred young
Amalekites escaped is that their main force was much larger.
Not-withstanding, God gave David a great victory. As God had
foretold him, everything and everyone taken by the Amalekites were
recovered. Furthermore, the livestock evidently were that which had
been taken as the Amalekites had raided Philistia. David thus took
these along with their own recovered livestock. It became his spoil
V. David’s Distribution of the Spoil
1 Sam 30:21 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.
1 Sam 30:22 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.
1 Sam 30:23 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.
1 Sam 30:24 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.
1 Sam 30:25 And it was so from that day forward, that he made it
a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day.
After their great victory, David and his men who fought the
Amalekites returned to the remainder of his men left exhausted at
the brook Besor and they greeted each other. Immature hotheads in
David’s band demanded that their exhausted comrades not share in the
spoils of their victory save only that their families be returned to
them. As far as they were concerned, those slackers could just pack
up and go elsewhere. David would have nothing to do with such a
petty, vindictive spirit. David had the maturity and good judgment
to realize that God had given them the victory and he would not
allow undue division in his ranks over such a petty matter. As far
as David was concerned, those who had served as a rearguard and
stayed by the stuff would share in the spoils of the victory. They
would divide the spoils with them as well. (v25) David’s wise
judgment in this matter became a clear example for future
1 Sam 30:26 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;
1 Sam 30:27 To them which were in Bethel, and to them which were
in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir,
1 Sam 30:28 And to them which were in Aroer, and to them which
were in Siphmoth, and to them which were in Eshtemoa,
1 Sam 30:29 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,
1 Sam 30:30 And to them which were in Hormah, and to them which
were in Chorashan, and to them which were in Athach,
1 Sam 30:31 And to them which were in Hebron, and to all the
places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt.
The Amalekites had also raided portions of southern Judah during
their marauding. Therefore, 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.” It may be that in returning to Ziklag that
David intended to rebuild and reside there. He had no other place to
go. However, he graciously returned to his brethren in southern
Judah what evidently had been taken by the Amalekites. Furthermore,
David sent some of the spoil to them which were in
Bethel, south Ramoth, Jattir, Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, Rachal, the
cities of the Jerahmeelites, the cities of the Kenites, Hormah,
Chorashan, Athach, Hebron, and to all the places where David himself
and his men desired to dwell in or pass thru. Each of the above
places were communities in Judah (Bethel likely referred to
Kirjathjearim which also was known as Bethel). Every place where
David had previously frequented was made to share in his great
victory over the Amalekites. Evident is not only the generosity of
David, but also his wisdom. Though Saul remained his mortal enemy,
David was quietly building bridges to his brethren in Judah.
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Parham at 940-322-4343.
Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
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