And David saved neither man nor woman alive to bring [tidings]
How David had fallen upon these people, and destroyed great numbers of them, and carried off their substance; which would have given great offence to Achish, and caused him to have driven him out of his country once more; though Abarbinel is of opinion that these Geshurites were haters and enemies of Achish, and therefore were smitten and spoiled by David; or otherwise it would have been such a piece of perfidy, rebellion, and ingratitude, as mast have made the name of David to stink, since it could not but be known sooner or later; but being the enemies of Achish, no notice was taken of it afterwards, nor inquiry made about it, nor complaint made of it, by any of their neighbours: nor does he suppose they were all cut off, and much less that this was done that it might not be told in Gath what destruction he had made; but that the sense is, that he did not carry the captives to Gath, to be disposed of there; for they would have told from whence they came, and so have contradicted what David said, and what he would have Achish understand, as if he had been out against and smote some of the cities of Judah, that he might place the greater confidence in him; which end would not have been answered, if he had brought any of them to Gath; and so the words may be read without the supplement we make, "spared neither man nor woman alive to bring to Gath": and so could tell no tales. Though Josephus expressly says F11 that David spared the men, and abstained from the slaughter of them, fearing lest they should declare to the king what he had done in plundering them:
saying, lest they should tell on us, saying, so did David:
in such and such places, such numbers of people he destroyed, and such quantities of cattle and goods he carried off:
and so [will be] his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of
this is what may be expected will be done by him in one place or another, as long as he stays here; nothing will be heard of but desolation and destruction, in some part of the country of the Philistines or another; or among those that were tributaries to them; so that it was not safe that he should be allowed to abide in it.
F11 Antiqu. l. 6. c. 13. sect. 10.