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¶ AND when David and his men were come to Zinklag on the third day, the Amalekites had raided the Negeb and Zinklag, and burned them with fire;
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And had taken captive all the people who were in them, both the small and the great;
and they put to death the men of war;
and they took the spoil and went on their way.
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And David and his men came to the city, and.
behold, it was burned with fire;
and their wives and their sons and their daughters were taken captives.
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Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep.
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And David’s two wives were taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
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And David was greatly distressed;
for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters;
but David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.
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¶ And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimeleck’s son, Bring me here the ephod.
And Abiathar brought the ephod to David.
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And David inquired of the LORD, saying.
Shall I pursue these raiders?
Shall I overtake them?
And he answered him, Pursue;
for you shall surely overtake them soon and deliver the captives.
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So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and they came to the brook of Besor, and David left two hundred men there.
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And David continued the pursuit with four hundred men;
then the two hundred men who were left behind rose up and kept guard, that the raiders might not cross the brook of Besor.
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And they found an Egyptian in a field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat;
and they gave him water to drink;
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And they gave him two cakes of figs, and when he had eaten, his spirit revived;
for he had not eaten bread nor drunk water for three days and three nights.
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And David said to him, To whom do you belong?
And where do you come from?
And the young man said, I am an Egyptian, a servant of an Amalekite;
and my master left me because I have been sick for three days,
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After we returned from raiding the Negeb of Judah and the Negeb of Caleb and from Zinklag, and we burned the towns with fire.
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And David said to him, Will you bring me down to this band of robbers?
And he said to him.
Swear to me by the LORD that you will neither kill me nor deliver me into the hand of my master, and I will show you this band of robbers.
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And David swore to him, and when he had brought him down, behold, they were scattered upon the ground, eating and drinking and rejoicing because of all the great spoil that they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah.
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And David smote them from the morning until evening from the rear;
and there escaped not a man of them, except four hundred men who rode upon camels and fled.
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And David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken captive, and he rescued his two wives that day.
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And they lost nothing, for David recovered all.
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And David took all the flocks and the herds, and an abundance of other things in addition;
and they said, This is David’s spoil.
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¶ And David came to the two hundred men who were left behind to guard the baggage, whom he had placed there to guard the road to Besor;
and they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him;
and when David and the people drew near, they exchanged greetings.
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Then answered some of David’s men who were evil and wicked, and said, Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any portion of the spoil which we have recovered, save that every man may take his wife and his children.
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But David said, You shall not do thus, my brethren, with that which the LORD has given us, he who has preserved us and delivered into our hands the raiders that came against us.
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For who will hearken to you in this matter?
For as his portion is who goes down to battle, so shall his portion be who tarries by the baggage: they shall divide alike.
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And it was so from that day forward that David made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel even to this day.
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And when David came to Zinklag, he sent some of the spoil to the elders of Judah and to their neighbors, saying, Here is a blessing for you from the spoil of the enemies of the LORD;
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Moreover, he sent of the spoil to those who were in Beth-el and to those who were in Ramoth of the Negeb and to those who were in Ai
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And to those who were in Adoer and those who were in Siphmoth and to those who were in Eshtemoa
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And to those who were in Rachal and to those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites and to those who were in the cities of the Kenites
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And to those who were in Hirmah and to those who were in Bar-beshan and to those who were in Tanach
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And to those who were in Hebron and to all the places in which David and his men had traveled.