Daily Tanach Shmuel 1 Chapter 30 : Dovid joins the Philistines in battle and then returns

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 30: Dovid fights Amaleik who captured his wives

1.      Dovid discovers that the entire city of Tziklak has been destroyed and that his wife and all the other inhabitants have been captured:

  • When Dovid and his men arrived to the city of Tziklak on the third day [of the traveling back from the battlefront[1]] they discovered that the Amaleikim had conquered the south, including the city of Tziklak, and that they had destroyed Tziklak and burned down the city with fire. They had captured all of the women from the city, both young and old, but they did not kill anyone [neither man nor woman]. They took all of the women and children and went on their way. [However, there were no men in the city being that they had all went to fight with Dovid and left their wives and children in the city.[2]]
  • Dovid and his men arrived at the city and discovered that it was burned with fire and that their wives and sons and daughters were captured. Dovid and the people that were with him raised their voices and cried to the point that they had no more strength to cry anymore.
  • The two wives of Dovid, Achinoam the Yizraelit, and Avigayil the former wife of Naval the Carmalite, were captured. Dovid was in a great state of pain and danger as the nation wanted to stone him [for stubbornly wanting to join the battle with Akish and leave no man in the city to guard it[3]] as they were very bitter over the loss of their sons and daughters. However, Dovid strengthened his trust in Hashem his G-d.

1.      Dovid consults with G-d regarding giving chase to the Amaleikites:

  • Dovid said to Avyasar the Kohen, the son of Achimelech, to bring to him the Eiphod. So, Avyasar brought Dovid the Eiphod. Dovid then asked G-d as follows, “Should I chase after this brigade and if so will I be successful?” Hashem replied to him that he should chase after them and that he will be successful, and he will be able to save those who were captured.

2.      Only 400 men continue to the battle:

  • So, Dovid went together with 600 men that were with him and arrived at the Besor river. Some of the men were exhausted by this point and remained by the river. Dovid and 400 of his men chased after the brigade while 200 men who were exhausted remained across the river.

3.      An Egyptian slave is captured and reveals the position of the enemy:

  • An Egyptian man was found in [a semi fainted position in] the field and he was brought to Dovid and they gave him bread to eat and gave him water to drink. They also gave him a piece of fig wheel and two clusters of raisins and the man ate and came back to himself, as he had not eaten bread nor had he drunk water for three days and three nights.
  • Dovid and the Egyptian slave cut a deal: Dovid said to the man, “Who do you belong to and where are you coming from?” The Egyptian lad replied to him, “I am an Egyptian slave to an Amalakite man, and my master has left me, as I was sick for three days. We had attacked the southern area of Kreisi [i.e. Philistine land[4]], and the area that belongs to Judea and the south of Kaleiv, and we burned the city of Tziklag to the ground.” Dovid then asked the slave, “Will you show us where the enemy who attacked the above cities are positioned?” The Egyptian slave replied to Dovid, “If you swear by G-d you will not kill me and you will not return me to my master then I will take you down to the location of the brigade.”
  • The Egyptian slave reveals the location of the Amaleikites: So, the Egyptian man took them there and they were found spread throughout the surface of the land eating and drinking and celebrating all of the great loot that they had plundered from all the cities in the land of the Philistines as well as the land of Judea.

[1] Radak 30:1

[2] Radak 30:2

[3] Metzudos Dovid 30:6

[4] Rashi 30:14

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