1 Samuel 29:4
New International Version
But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said, "Send the man back, that he may return to the place you assigned him. He must not go with us into battle, or he will turn against us during the fighting. How better could he regain his master's favor than by taking the heads of our own men?

New Living Translation
But the Philistine commanders were angry. “Send him back to the town you’ve given him!” they demanded. “He can’t go into the battle with us. What if he turns against us in battle and becomes our adversary? Is there any better way for him to reconcile himself with his master than by handing our heads over to him?

English Standard Version
But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him. And the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Send the man back, that he may return to the place to which you have assigned him. He shall not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of the men here?

Berean Study Bible
But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with Achish and told him, “Send that man back and let him return to the place you assigned him. He must not go down with us into battle only to become our adversary during the war. What better way for him to regain the favor of his master than with the heads of our men?

King James Bible
And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men?

New King James Version
But the princes of the Philistines were angry with him; so the princes of the Philistines said to him, “Make this fellow return, that he may go back to the place which you have appointed for him, and do not let him go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become our adversary. For with what could he reconcile himself to his master, if not with the heads of these men?

New American Standard Bible
But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him, and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Make the man go back, so that he will return to his place where you have assigned him, and do not let him go down to battle with us, or in the battle he may become an adversary to us. For how could this man find favor with his lord? Would it not be with the heads of these men?

NASB 1995
But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him, and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, "Make the man go back, that he may return to his place where you have assigned him, and do not let him go down to battle with us, or in the battle he may become an adversary to us. For with what could this man make himself acceptable to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of these men?

NASB 1977
But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him, and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Make the man go back, that he may return to his place where you have assigned him, and do not let him go down to battle with us, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For with what could this man make himself acceptable to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of these men?

Amplified Bible
But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and they said to him, “Make this man return, so that he may go back to his place where you have assigned him, and do not let him go down to battle with us, or in the battle he may [turn and] become our adversary. For how could David reconcile himself to his lord [Saul]? Would it not be with the heads of these [Philistine] men?

Christian Standard Bible
The Philistine commanders, however, were enraged with Achish and told him, “Send that man back and let him return to the place you assigned him. He must not go down with us into battle only to become our adversary during the battle. What better way could he ingratiate himself with his master than with the heads of our men?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The Philistine commanders, however, were enraged with Achish and told him, "Send that man back and let him return to the place you assigned him. He must not go down with us into battle only to become our adversary during the battle. What better way could he regain his master's favor than with the heads of our men?

American Standard Version
But he princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make the man return, that he may go back to his place where thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us: for wherewith should this fellow reconcile himself unto his lord? should it not be with the heads of these men?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And the Princes of the Philistines were angry with him and they said to him: “Take the man out and he will go to his place that you have authorized for him there, and he will not go with us to battle, and he shall not be to us a thorn in war, for by what is this man reconciled with his Master except with our heads?

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And the captains of the Philistines were displeased at him, and they say to him, Send the man away, and let him return to his place, where thou didst set him; and let him not come with us to the war, and let him not be a traitor in the camp: and wherewith will he be reconciled to his master? Will it not be with the heads of those men?

Contemporary English Version
The Philistine army commanders were angry and shouted: Send David back to the town you gave him. We won't have him going into the battle with us. He could turn and fight against us! Saul would take David back as an officer if David brought him the heads of our soldiers.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But the princes of the Philistines were angry with him, and they said to him: Let this man return, and abide in his place, which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest he be an adversary to us, when we shall begin to fight: for how can he otherwise appease his master, but with our heads?

English Revised Version
But the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make the man return, that he may go back to his place where thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us: for wherewith should this fellow reconcile himself unto his lord? should it not be with the heads of these men?

Good News Translation
But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said to him, "Send that fellow back to the town you gave him. Don't let him go into battle with us; he might turn against us during the fighting. What better way is there for him to win back his master's favor than by the death of our men?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But the Philistine officers were angry with Achish. "Send the man back," the Philistine officers told him. "Return him to the place you assigned him. He shouldn't go with us into battle. He shouldn't [be allowed to] become our enemy during the battle. Is this man going to try to regain his master's favor? He'll do it with the lives of our men!

International Standard Version
But the Philistine leaders were angry with him, so they pleaded with him, "Send the man back! Let him return to the place you assigned him. He mustn't go into battle with us. Otherwise, he may become our adversary in the battle! How could there be a better way for this fellow to reconcile himself with his lord? Wouldn't it be with the heads of these men?

JPS Tanakh 1917
But the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him: 'Make the man return, that he may go back to his place where thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us; for wherewith should this fellow reconcile himself unto his lord? should it not be with the heads of these men?

Literal Standard Version
And the heads of the Philistines are angry against him, and the heads of the Philistines say to him, “Send back the man, and he turns back to his place to where you have appointed him, and does not go down with us into battle, and is not for an adversary to us in battle; and with what does this one reconcile himself to his lord—is it not with the heads of those men?

NET Bible
But the leaders of the Philistines became angry with him and said to him, "Send the man back! Let him return to the place that you assigned him! Don't let him go down with us into the battle, for he might become our adversary in the battle. What better way to please his lord than with the heads of these men?

New Heart English Bible
But the leaders of the Philistines were angry with him; and the leaders of the Philistines said to him, "Make the man return, that he may go back to his place where you have appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For with what should this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Should it not be with the heads of these men?

World English Bible
But the princes of the Philistines were angry with him; and the princes of the Philistines said to him, "Make the man return, that he may go back to his place where you have appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For with what should this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Should it not be with the heads of these men?

Young's Literal Translation
And the heads of the Philistines are wroth against him, and the heads of the Philistines say to him, 'Send back the man, and he doth turn back unto his place whither thou hast appointed him, and doth not go down with us into battle, and is not to us for an adversary in battle; and wherewith doth this one reconcile himself unto his lord -- is it not with the heads of those men?'

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Philistines Reject David
3Then the commanders of the Philistines asked, “What about these Hebrews?” Achish replied, “Is this not David, the servant of King Saul of Israel? He has been with me all these days, even years, and from the day he defected until today I have found no fault in him.” 4But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with Achish and told him, “Send that man back and let him return to the place you assigned him. He must not go down with us into battle only to become our adversary during the war. What better way for him to regain the favor of his master than with the heads of our men? 5Is this not the David about whom they sing in their dances: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?”…

Cross References
1 Samuel 14:21
And the Hebrews who had previously gone up into the surrounding camps of the Philistines now went over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.

1 Samuel 27:6
That day Achish gave him Ziklag, and to this day it still belongs to the kings of Judah.

1 Samuel 29:9
Achish replied, "I know that you are as pleasing in my sight as an angel of God. But the commanders of the Philistines have said, 'He must not go into battle with us.'

1 Samuel 30:1
On the third day David and his men arrived in Ziklag, and the Amalekites had raided the Negev, attacked Ziklag, and burned it down.


Treasury of Scripture

And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said to him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which you have appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for with which should he reconcile himself to his master? should it not be with the heads of these men?

Make this fellow.

1 Samuel 14:21
Moreover the Hebrews that were with the Philistines before that time, which went up with them into the camp from the country round about, even they also turned to be with the Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan.

1 Chronicles 12:19
And there fell some of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads.

Luke 16:8
And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.









(4) Go down.--This is a technical military expression, used constantly, on account of the necessity of the troops descending from the hill country in which they were encamped to the plain in order to fight.

Verses 4-6. - Angrily rejecting the testimony of Achish in David's favour, they say, Make this fellow (Hebrew, "the man") return, that he may go again to his place, i.e. to Ziklag. He shall not go down with us to battle. Though the Philistines marched up into the Israelite territory, yet they speak naturally of going down into battle, because while armies usually encamped on opposite ranges of hills, they descended into the plain between for the encounter. An adversary. Hebrew, "a satan," without the article, and so in 1 Chronicles 21:1. As a proper name it has the article, as in the books of Job and Zechariah. Should he reconcile himself. The verb means, "to make himself pleasing," "to commend himself." The heads of these men, pointing to the Philistine ranks. David of whom they sang, etc. The song of the Jewish maidens seems to have been as well known in Philistia as in the land of Israel On the former occasion it had made the Philistines drive him away from the court of Achish (1 Samuel 21:11-15); here, too, it made them drive him from their army, but he was thereby saved from the painful necessity of making war on his own country, and returned just in time to rescue his wives and property. ACHISH SENDS DAVID AWAY (vers. 6-11).

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
But the commanders
שָׂרֵ֣י (śā·rê)
Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's 8269: Chieftain, chief, ruler, official, captain, prince

of the Philistines
פְלִשְׁתִּ֗ים (p̄ə·liš·tîm)
Noun - proper - masculine plural
Strong's 6430: Philistines -- inhabitants of Philistia

were angry
וַיִּקְצְפ֨וּ (way·yiq·ṣə·p̄ū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 7107: To crack off, burst out in rage

with Achish
עָלָ֜יו (‘ā·lāw)
Preposition | third person masculine singular
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against

and told him,
וַיֹּ֣אמְרוּ (way·yō·mə·rū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 559: To utter, say

“Send that man
הָאִ֗ישׁ (hā·’îš)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 376: A man as an individual, a male person

back
הָשֵׁ֣ב (hā·šêḇ)
Verb - Hifil - Imperative - masculine singular
Strong's 7725: To turn back, in, to retreat, again

and let him return
וְיָשֹׁב֙ (wə·yā·šōḇ)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive imperfect Jussive - third person masculine singular
Strong's 7725: To turn back, in, to retreat, again

to
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

the place
מְקוֹמוֹ֙ (mə·qō·w·mōw)
Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 4725: A standing, a spot, a condition

you assigned him.
הִפְקַדְתּ֣וֹ (hip̄·qaḏ·tōw)
Verb - Hifil - Perfect - second person masculine singular | third person masculine singular
Strong's 6485: To visit, to oversee, muster, charge, care for, miss, deposit

He must not
וְלֹֽא־ (wə·lō-)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

go down
יֵרֵ֤ד (yê·rêḏ)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 3381: To come or go down, descend

with
עִמָּ֙נוּ֙ (‘im·mā·nū)
Preposition | first person common plural
Strong's 5973: With, equally with

us into battle
בַּמִּלְחָמָ֔ה (bam·mil·ḥā·māh)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 4421: A battle, war

only
וְלֹא־ (wə·lō-)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

to become
יִֽהְיֶה־ (yih·yeh-)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

our adversary
לְשָׂטָ֖ן (lə·śā·ṭān)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 7854: An opponent -- Satan, the arch-enemy of good

during the war.
בַּמִּלְחָמָ֑ה (bam·mil·ḥā·māh)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 4421: A battle, war

What better way
וּבַמֶּ֗ה (ū·ḇam·meh)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-b | Interrogative
Strong's 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

for him to regain the favor
יִתְרַצֶּ֥ה (yiṯ·raṣ·ṣeh)
Verb - Hitpael - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 7521: To be pleased with, to satisfy a, debt

of his master
אֲדֹנָ֔יו (’ă·ḏō·nāw)
Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 113: Sovereign, controller

than
הֲל֕וֹא (hă·lō·w)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

with the heads
בְּרָאשֵׁ֖י (bə·rā·šê)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's 7218: The head

of our men?
הָאֲנָשִׁ֥ים (hā·’ă·nā·šîm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 582: Man, mankind


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OT History: 1 Samuel 29:4 But the princes of the Philistines were (1Sa iSam 1 Sam i sa)
1 Samuel 29:3
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