Dave Burnette's Commentary

1 Samuel Chapter 27

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Samuel, Nathan, & Gad 
Date Penned: (931-975 BC)
Overview: Samuel, Israel's Last Judge (c 1-31)
Theme: Saul and David (c 16-31)
Message: David Lives Among the Philistines (v 1-12)

1 Samuel 27 Commentary

(27:2-3) David Seeks Refuge - For the second time, David sought refuge from Saul in Philistine territory (21:10-15). Once the great conqueror of the Philistines, he now had permission to live under the protection of King Achish of Gath. Previously, David had pretended to be insane in front of Achish. Evidently, the Philistine king had forgotten that incident or chosen to overlook it in light of David's current situation. Achish certainly would have known about the split between Saul and David and would have been glad to shelter this Israelite traitor. In return, Achish would expect military support from David and his 600 warriors. David further strengthened his position with Achish by conducting fake raids on Israel and by pretending to be loyal to the Philistine ruler.

(27:4) Saul Stops Pursuing David - Saul finally stopped pursuing David. His army was not strong enough to invade Philistine territory just to seek one man. Besides, the immediate threat to Saul's throne was gone while David was out of the country.

(27:5-7) David Moves to Gath - Gath was one of five principal cities in Philistia, and Achish was one of five Philistine rulers. David may have wanted to move out of this important city to avoid potential skirmishes with the Philistines there or attacks upon his family and his men. He may also have wanted to escape the close scrutiny of the Philistine officials. Achish let David move to Ziklag, where he lived until Saul's death (2 Samuel 2:1).

(27:8-9) David Attacks 3 Tribes - David probably conducted these guerrilla-style raids because these three tribes were known for their surprise attacks and cruel treatment of innocent people. These desert tribes were a danger, not just to the Philistines, but especially to the Israelites, the people David would one day lead

(27:10-12) David Stays Loyal to the Lord - Was David wrong in falsely reporting his activities to Achish? No doubt David was lying, but he may have felt his strategy was justified in a time of war against a pagan enemy. David knew that eventually he would be Israel's king. The Philistines were still his enemies, but this was an excellent place to hide from Saul. When Achish asked David to go into battle against Israel, David agreed, once again pretending to be loyal to the Philistines (28:1-2). Whether he would have actually fought Saul's army we cannot know, but we can be sure that his ultimate loyalty was to God and not to Achish or Saul.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

A Foreign Land


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue in the book of 1st Samuel with Chapter 27. In our text, we see David being led to a foreign land to find refuge from Saul. In applying, we know how the Lord leads us to times of waiting in a foreign land as he orchestrates the details of His plan for our life. When the Lord has all the pieces in place, he brings us to our service area. It reminds me of a time in my life when the Lord called me into Ministry, and I taught the Bible on the Radio in a small radio station. I felt like no one was listening, but I didn't realize that the Lord was having me serve in a "Foreign Land" while He was preparing me for the next step in my life. How about you? Are you serving in a "Foreign Land" while the Lord orchestrates His plan for your life? Be encouraged, and let us learn from our text today that sometimes the Lord has us serve in a "Foreign Land" while He brings about His Plan for our life


1 Samuel 27

1 Samuel 27

 1And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.

 2And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.

 3And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife.

 4And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him.

 5And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee?

 6Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day.

 7And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.

 8And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt.

 9And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish.

 10And Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites.

 11And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so will be his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines.

 12And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever.