1 Samuel 27 Study Notes


27:1 David’s faith expressed in 26:10 seems to have waned. On the other hand, with the size of David’s group (too large to hide), it must have seemed inevitable that Saul would find them in a vulnerable situation and wipe them out.

27:2 On six hundred men, see note at 23:13. This number did not include the men’s families, who traveled with them (27:3). David earlier had feared Achish (21:10-15), but now he determined to join him. On Gath, see note at 21:10.

27:3-4 Achish granted David and his men refuge in accord with the principle, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” On Ahinoam, see note at 25:43. On Abigail, see various notes at 25:14-42.

27:5 David’s request that he receive one of the outlying towns may have helped Achish’s reputation with his own people, since some Philistines may have wondered why their king harbored a noted Israelite warrior in Gath, the royal city. David probably also desired the safety that a little distance from the Philistine capital provided.

27:6 The city of Ziklag was located approximately twenty-five miles southwest of Gath. It originally was allotted to both the tribes of Simeon (Jos 19:5) and Judah (Jos 15:31), but Israel never conquered it. Now Ziklag came under Israelite control without a fight. The phrase it still belongs to the kings of Judah today designates the time of the writing of the books of 1 and 2 Samuel (see note at 1Sm 6:17-18).

27:7 Many scholars have dated the time designated by a year and four months to around 1012 BC.

27:8 The Geshurites (Jos 13:1-2), the Girzites, and the Amalekites (Ex 17:15-16; Dt 25:17-19) were three non-Israelite groups under God’s sentence of judgment. The Girzites occupied territory that overlapped with the promised land.

27:9 David’s action against these groups fulfilled God’s earlier command to Israel during the days of Joshua to wipe out the land’s evil inhabitants (Jos 13:1-7). It also left no witnesses who could relay word to Achish (v. 11).

27:10-11 David’s claim to have raided the south country of Judah was technically correct, and he did fight people in the region of the Jerahmeelites and Kenites, two Judahite clans. Achish thought David meant he had destroyed many Israelites in the process.

27:12 Though Achish trusted David and assumed he would be Achish’s servant forever, David was actually eliminating future rivals in Judah’s territory.