1 Samuel 30:1
(1) On the third day--That is, on the third day after King Achish, in consequence of the remonstrances of the Philistine chieftains, had dismissed David and his contingent from the ranks of the Philistine army. This dismissal could hardly have taken place at Shunem, in the Esdraelon (Jezreel) Vale, for Shunem is some ninety miles distant from Ziklag. The division of Achish had marched from Gath with David; and somewhere in Philistia, after the whole force had been gathered into one, the scene which resulted in David's services being dispensed with took place.

The Amalekites had invaded the south.--This was partly in retaliation for the late raids of David in the Amalekite country, partly because Amalek had heard that, owing to the Philistine and Israelite armies having left the southern districts for the central part of Canaan, all the south country was left unguarded. "The south," that is, "the Negeb," or the dry land-all the southern part of Judea; it included also a part of the Arabian Desert.

And smitten Ziklag.--This was an act of vengeance, Ziklag being the city of that famous Israelite chieftain David, who had done so much damage to Amalek, and who had treated the captives with such cruelty. While other parts of the south were simply plundered, Ziklag was marked for utter destruction was sacked and burned.

Verse 1. - On the third day. David evidently could not have gone with the Philistines As far as to Shunem; for, as noticed in the previous chapter, it would have been impossible to march back to Ziklag in so short a time. But as he had gone first to Gath, where no doubt Achish collected his vassals, and then marched northwards with the army for two days, he must altogether have been absent from Ziklag for some little time. The Amalelkites. Doubtless they were glad to retaliate upon David for his cruel treatment of them; but, besides, they lived by rapine, and when the fighting men of Philistia and of Judaea were marching away to war, it was just the opportunity which they wished of spoiling the defenceless country. The south. I.e. the Negeb, for which see 1 Samuel 27:10. It was the name especially given to the southern district of Judah, whence these freebooters turned westward towards Ziklag. They would probably not dare to penetrate far into either territory. The word for invaded is the same as in 1 Samuel 27:8, and implies that they spread themselves over the country to drive off cattle and booty, but with no intention of fighting battles.

30:1-6 When we go abroad in the way of our duty, we may comfortably hope that God will take care of our families in our absence, but not otherwise. If, when we come off a journey, we find our abode in peace, and not laid waste, as David here found his, let the Lord be praised for it. David's men murmured against him. Great faith must expect such severe trials. But, observe, that David was brought thus low, only just before he was raised to the throne. When things are at the worst with the church and people of God, then they begin to mend. David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. His men fretted at their loss, the soul of the people was bitter; their own discontent and impatience added to the affliction and misery. But David bore it better, though he had more reason than any of them to lament it. They gave liberty to their passions, but he set his graces to work; and while they dispirited each other, he, by encouraging himself in God, kept his spirit calm. Those who have taken the Lord for their God, may take encouragement from him in the worst times.And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag, on the third day,.... Either from their departure from thence, when they went out with Achish, or rather from the time of their leaving Achish, and the camp of the Philistines; so long they were upon their march homewards, see 2 Samuel 1:1; and no wonder, if it was the distance of eighty eight miles; see Gill on 1 Samuel 29:11,

that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag; the southern parts of the land of the Philistines, and of Judah, as appears from 1 Samuel 30:14; taking the opportunity of the Philistines being gone into the land of Israel, and particularly of David's absence from Ziklag, to whom they bore a grudge for his invasion, destruction, and spoil of them not long ago, see 1 Samuel 27:8,

and smitten Ziklag, and burnt it with fire; not that they smote the inhabitants of it, there were no men in it, and the women and children they carried captive; but they demolished the buildings in it, pulled down the houses after they had rifled them, and burnt them with fire, that David and his men might dwell there no more.

1 Samuel 29:11
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