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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.

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