But David thought to himself, "Saul will catch me someday. The best thing I can do is escape to the land of the Philistines. Then he will give up looking for me in Israel, and I can get away from him."
So David and his six hundred men left Israel and went to Achish son of Maoch, king of Gath.
David, his men, and their families made their home in Gath with Achish. David had his two wives with him -- Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal.
When Saul heard that David had run away to Gath, he stopped looking for him.
Then David said to Achish, "If you are pleased with me, give me a place in one of the country towns where I can live. I don't need to live in the royal city with you."
That day Achish gave David the town of Ziklag, and Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since.
David lived in the Philistine land a year and four months.
David and his men raided the people of Geshur, Girzi, and Amalek. (These people had lived for a long time in the land that reached to Shur and Egypt.)
When David fought them, he killed all the men and women and took their sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothes. Then he returned to Achish.
Achish would ask David, "Where did you go raiding today?" And David would tell him that he had gone to the southern part of Judah, or Jerahmeel, or to the land of the Kenites.
David never brought a man or woman alive to Gath. He thought, "If we bring people alive, they may tell Achish, 'This is what David really did.'" David did this all the time he lived in the Philistine land.
So Achish trusted David and said to himself, "David's own people, the Israelites, now hate him very much. He will serve me forever."