1 Two days later David and his men came to Ziklag. The Amalekites raided the south country Negev including Ziklag. They attacked Ziklag and burned it.
2 They captured the women young and old. However they killed no one. Instead, they took the women as prisoners.
3 When David and his men came to Zikleg they found it completely destroyed by fire. Their wives, sons, and daughters had been taken captive.
4 David and his men cried loudly until they did not have the strength to cry anymore.
5 The Amalekites also captured Davids two wives, Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, Nabals widow, from Carmel.
6 The people in their bitterness said David should be stoned. This caused him great distress. They were thinking of their sons and daughters. But David found strength in Jehovah his God.
7 David told Abiathar the priest: »Please bring me the priestly ephod.« So Abiathar brought David the ephod.
8 David asked Jehovah: »Should I pursue these troops? Will I catch up with them?« »Pursue them!« Jehovah told him: »You will certainly catch up with them and rescue the captives.«
9 So David and his six hundred men went to the Besor Valley, where some were left behind.
10 David and four hundred men went in pursuit. Two hundred men who were too exhausted to cross the Besor Valley stayed behind.
11 Davids men found an Egyptian in the open country and took him to David. They gave him food to eat and water to drink.
12 He also ate some dried figs, and two bunches of raisins. After he ate his strength returned. He had not eaten nor did he drank for three days.
13 »Who is your master? Where are you from?« David asked. »I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite,« he answered. »My master left me behind three days ago when I got sick.
14 »We raided the territory of the Cherethites in the southern part of Judah. We also raided the territory of the clan of Caleb, and we burned down Ziklag.«
15 »Will you lead me to those raiders?« David asked him. He answered, »I will if you promise me in Gods name that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master.«
16 He led David to the Amalekites. They were eating, drinking and celebrating because of what they had taken from Philistia and Judah.
17 David attacked just before sunrise the next day. They fought until sunset. Four hundred Amalekites rode away on camels. They were the only ones to escape.
18 David rescued his two wives. They rescued everyone else the Amalekites captured at Ziklag.
19 Young and old, sons and daughters alike, no one was missing. David brought back everything that had been stolen.
20 They even brought back their livestock. David also took the sheep and cattle that the Amalekites had with them. He kept these separate from the others. Everyone agreed that these would be Davids reward.
21 On the way back, David met the two hundred men he left at Besor Gorge. They were too tired to keep up with him. They approached David and the people who were with him. He greeted the two hundred men and asked how they were doing.
22 Then every wicked and worthless man who had gone with David said: »Since they did not go with us, they should not be given any of the loot we recovered. Each of them should take only his wife and children and leave.«
23 David said: »My brothers, do not do that with the things Jehovah has given us. He kept us safe and helped us defeat the enemy.
24 »Besides, who is going to pay attention to what you have to say in this matter? The share of those who go into battle must be like the share of those who stay with the supplies. They will all share alike.«
25 From that time on he made this a rule and a custom in Israel as it is to this day.
26 When David arrived in Ziklag, he sent some of the goods to the elders of Judah, and to his friends. He said: »Here is an offering for you from the spoil of those who fought against Jehovah.«
27 He sent the offering to the people in Bethel, to the people in Ramah in the southern part of Judah, and to the people in the towns of Jattir,
28 Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa,
29 and Racal; to the clan of Jerahmeel, to the Kenites,
30 and to the people in the towns of Hormah, Borashan, Athach,
31 and Hebron. He sent it to all the places where he and his men had been.