The Philistines assembled all their forces at Aphek, and the Israelites camped by the spring in Jezreel.
As the Philistine rulers went out marching in units of hundreds and thousands, David and his soldiers were in the rear with Achish.
"Who are these Hebrews?" the Philistine commanders asked. "That's David," Achish told them, "the servant of Israel's King Saul. He's been with me a year or so now. I haven't found anything wrong with him from the day he defected until now."
But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish. "Send the man home!" they told Achish. "He can go back to the place you gave him, but he won't go with us into battle. Couldn't he turn against us in the middle of the fight? How better to please his former master than by taking the heads of our soldiers?
After all, this is the same David people sing about in their dances, ‘Saul has killed his thousands, but David has killed his tens of thousands!'"
So Achish summoned David and told him, "As surely as the LORD lives, you are an upstanding individual. I would very much like you to serve with me in the army because I haven't found anything wrong with you from the day you came to me until now. But the rulers don't approve of you.
So go back home now, and go in peace. Don't do anything to upset the Philistine rulers."
"But what have I done?" David asked Achish. "What wrong have you found in me, your servant, from the day I came to you until now? Why shouldn't I go and fight the enemies of my master the king?"
"I agree," Achish answered David. "I think you're as good as one of God's own messengers. Despite that, the Philistine commanders have ordered, ‘He can't go into battle with us.'
So get up early in the morning, both you and your master's servants who came with you, and return to the place I gave you. Don't worry about this negative report, because you've done well before me.a Now get up early in the morning and leave as soon as it is light."
So David and his soldiers got up early in the morning to go back to Philistine territory, but the Philistines went up to Jezreel.