1 Samuel 21:10
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath.

New Living Translation
So David escaped from Saul and went to King Achish of Gath.

English Standard Version
And David rose and fled that day from Saul and went to Achish the king of Gath.

New American Standard Bible
Then David arose and fled that day from Saul, and went to Achish king of Gath.

King James Bible
And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
David fled that day from Saul's presence and went to King Achish of Gath.

International Standard Version
David got up that day and fled from Saul, and he went to King Achish of Gath.

NET Bible
So on that day David arose and fled from Saul. He went to King Achish of Gath.

New Heart English Bible
David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
That day David left. He was [still] fleeing from Saul when he came to King Achish of Gath.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

New American Standard 1977
Then David arose and fled that day from Saul, and went to Achish king of Gath.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And David arose and fled that day from the presence of Saul and went to Achish, the king of Gath.

King James 2000 Bible
And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

American King James Version
And David arose and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

American Standard Version
And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And David arose and fled that day from the face of Saul: and came to Achis the king of Geth:

Darby Bible Translation
And David arose, and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

English Revised Version
And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

Webster's Bible Translation
And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

World English Bible
David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

Young's Literal Translation
And David riseth and fleeth on that day from the face of Saul, and cometh in unto Achish king of Gath;
Study Bible
David Flees to Gath
9Then the priest said, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, behold, it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you would take it for yourself, take it. For there is no other except it here." And David said, "There is none like it; give it to me." 10Then David arose and fled that day from Saul, and went to Achish king of Gath. 11But the servants of Achish said to him, "Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of this one as they danced, saying, 'Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands '?"…
Cross References
1 Samuel 27:2
So David arose and crossed over, he and the six hundred men who were with him, to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath.

Psalm 34:1
A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed. I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psalm 56:1
For the choir director; according to Jonath elem rehokim. A Mikhtam of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath. Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me; Fighting all day long he oppresses me.
Treasury of Scripture

And David arose and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

fled

1 Samuel 27:1 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul…

1 Kings 19:3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to …

Jeremiah 26:21 And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the …

Achish. or, Abimelech.

1 Samuel 27:2 And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that …

Psalm 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Gath Jerome says there was a large town called Gath, in the way from Eleutheropolis, towards Lydda (and consequently different from that mentioned by Jerome;) and also of another Gath, between Jamnia and Antipatris. It appears to have been the extreme boundary of the Philistine territory in one direction, as Ekron was on the other, (ch.

1 Samuel 7:14 And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored …

1 Samuel 17:52 And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued …

2 Chronicles 11:8 And Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph,

2 Chronicles 1:14 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand …

(10) And David arose and fled--The cause of this sudden flight was, of course, the fear of Doeg, one of Saul's most trusted servants. Not an hour must be lost, thought David; my deadly foe will hear that I am here, and I shall be trapped like a hunted beast of prey. It seems at first sight strange that David should dare to go among the Philistines, who had such good cause to hate and fear him, but the son of Jesse ever thought lightly of himself, and had no idea that his person was so well known, or his story so generally current as it subsequently proved to be. (See 1Samuel 21:11.) Of David's humility, so conspicuously exhibited on this occasion, when he ventured among his foes, not dreaming how great a personage they considered him, the Babylonian Talmud strikingly writes:--"No man in Israel despised himself more than David where the precepts of the Lord were concerned, and this is what he said before God (Psalm 131:1-2), 'Lord, my heart was not haughty when Samuel anointed me king, nor were mine eyes lofty when I slew Goliath . . . as a child . . . have I likened myself before Thee in not being ashamed to depreciate myself before Thee for Thy glory.'"--Treatise Bamidbar, chap 4.

Achish the king of Gath.--The title "king" is somewhat loosely used in this scene among the Philistines. Achish was one of the Philistine lords, perhaps the hereditary lord of Gath. Achish is called Abimelech in the title of Psalms 34, that apparently being the title, the "nomen dignitatis," of the hereditary (or elected) chief among the Philistines, like Agag among the Amalekites. It is quite possible that this Achish, although called king of Gath, was the supreme chief or king of the Philistine nation. Gath was the nearest Philistine city to the sanctuary of Nob where David then was.

Verse 10. - David arose and fled that day. The presence of Doeg at Nob was a most untoward circumstance; and though David could never have anticipated that Saul would visit upon the priests the unwitting assistance they had given him with such barbarous ferocity, yet he must have felt sure that an active pursuit would be at once instituted against himself. He therefore took a most unwise and precipitate step, but one which clearly shows the greatness of the danger to which he was exposed. For he flees to Achish, king of Gath, the first town upon the Philistine border, at the mouth of the valley of Elah (see on 1 Samuel 17:3). Achish is called Abimelech in the title of Psalm 34, written by David in grateful commemoration of his escape, that being the official title of the kings of Gath handed down through many successive centuries (see Genesis 26:1). It has been objected that nothing could be more improbable than that David, the conqueror of Goliath, should seek refuge with a Philistine lord, and that this is nothing more than a popular tale, which has grown out of the real fact recorded in ch. 27. But when men are in desperate straits they take wild resolutions, and this meeting with Doeg, just after he had broken down with grief (1 Samuel 20:41), evidently put David to his wits' end. As, moreover, Saul was degenerating into a cruel tyrant, desertions may have become not uncommon, and though only three or four years can have elapsed since the battle of Elah, as David was only about twenty-four years of age at Saul's death, yet the change from a boyish stripling to a bearded man was enough to make it possible that David might not be recognised. As for Goliath's sword, we have seen that it was not remarkable for its size, and was probably of the ordinary pattern imported from Greece. Even if recognised, Achish might welcome him as a deserter from Saul, the great enemy of the Philistines; for as a deserter never received pardon or mercy, he must now use his prowess to the very utmost against Saul. Finally, the historical truth of the narrative is vouched for by Psalm 34, and the details are all different from those in ch. 27. David there is a powerful chieftain with a large following of trained soldiers, and feels so secure that he takes his wives with him; he asks for some place in which to reside, and occupies himself in continual forays. Here he is in the utmost distress, has no trained band of soldiers, and goes well nigh mad with mental anguish. And this is in exact keeping with that extreme excitement to which David was a prey in his last interview with Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:41); and only in his first grief at Saul's cruel bitterness would his mind have been so affected, and his conduct so rash. And David arose and fled that day for fear of Saul,.... He had fled before for fear of him both from his own house, and from Naioth, 1 Samuel 19:18; but now he fled out of the land of Israel, for fear of him; or it may be the reason of his fear and flight on this day was because of Doeg the Edomite, lest he should go directly to Saul, and tell him where he was; and therefore through fear of him would not stay any longer, but the same day he came, he fled:

and went to Achish the king of Gath; Gath, according to Bunting (p), was twenty four miles from Nob. Achish, the king of it, is called Abimelech in the title of the thirty fourth psalm, see Psalm 34:1, that name being common to the kings of the Philistines, as Pharaoh was to the kings of Egypt. It may seem strange that David should go into an enemy's country, and especially to the country of the Philistines, by whom he was mortally hated for the victories he had obtained over them, and the numbers of them he had slain; and particularly that he should go to Gath, the place of Goliath, their champion, whom he had slain, and whose sword he now had with him: but this is to be said for him, that such was the fury of Saul against him, and his resolution to slay him, that he was as safe in an enemy's country as in the land of Israel; and that if he must die, he might as well die in one place as another; and that he went particularly here, the reason might be, because all other lands were at peace with Saul, and so would have delivered him up to him, had he went elsewhere; but this people were at war with him, and he might hope not to be known by them; and if he was, that they might think it their interest, to detain such a person that was so serviceable to Saul, and so harmful to them; and being Saul's enemy, they might hope to engage him on their side against him; and besides, he might know that Achish was well disposed towards him, as he seems to be, and might like him never the worse for cutting off Goliath's head, who might not be heartily in the interest of Achish. After all, as impolitic as this step of David's may seems to be, it is what great men have taken in their distress, to go over to their enemies, as Themistocles to the Molossians, and Alcibiades to the Lacedemonians.

(p) Travels, &c. p. 136. 1Sa 21:10-15. At Gath He Feigns Himself Mad.

10. David … fled … to Achish the king of Gath—which was one of the five principalities of the Philistines. In this place his person must have been known, and to venture into that country, he their greatest enemy, and with the sword of Goliath in his hand, would seem to have been a perilous experiment; but, doubtless, the protection he received implies that he had been directed by the divine oracle. Achish was generous (1Sa 27:6). He might wish to weaken the resources of Saul, and it was common in ancient times for great men to be harbored by neighboring princes.21:10-15 God's persecuted people have often found better usage from Philistines than from Israelites. David had reason to put confidence in Achish, yet he began to be afraid. His conduct was degrading, and discovered wavering in his faith and courage. The more simply we depend on God, and obey him, the more comfortably and surely we shall walk through this troublesome world.
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