Updated: Aug 7, 2020
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INTRODUCTION. As the Philistines prepared for war against Israel, the Philistine
king Achish planned to take David and his men with him into battle. However, the
other Philistines did not trust David to fight with them and forced Achish to send
David back to Ziklag (I Sam. 29).
When David returned to Ziklag, he discovered the city had been attacked and
burned by some Amalekites and all the people of the city taken captive including
David's two wives. David and his men pursued the Amalekites, and when they dis-
covered the enemy camp, the Amalekites were feasting and celebrating their victory.
David and his men attacked the Amalekite raiders, recovered the captives and all
the spoil (plunder) the Amalekites had carried away from Ziklag. When David re-
turned to Ziklag, he sent some of the spoil as a gift to the elders in various cities of
Judah (I Sam. 30).
Meanwhile the battle between the Philistines and Israel occurred at Mount Gilboa in
the north. Saul was mortally wounded in the battle, his three sons including Jona-
than were killed, and the Israelite army fled leaving the bodies of their king and his
sons behind. When the Philistines discovered the bodies, they cut off the heads and
hung the bodies on the wall of the city of Beth Shan as trophies of their victory.
Remember the men of Jabesh Gilead? These were the people of the city whom
Saul rescued from the Ammonites when he first became king (I Sam. 11). These
men of Jabesh Gilead, in an act demonstrating their gratitude for Saul's earlier brav-
ery to them, stole by night to Beth Shan, removed the bodies of Saul and his sons,
and took them back to Jabesh for burial.