1 Samuel 30:2
And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) They slew not any.—There was no one in the hapless city to resist the attack of the fierce sons of the desert. David—never dreaming of the sudden invasion—had marched with Achish, accompanied by his whole force. The Amalekites slew none of their captives; they were, we read, women and children. These possessed a marketable value, and were carried off to be sold into slavery, probably in Egypt, with which country the Amalekites, as neighbours, had constant dealings. We read a few verses on specially of an Egyptian slave in the army.

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.On the third day - This indicates that Aphek was three days' march from Ziklag, say about 50 miles, which agrees very well with the probable situation of Aphek (1 Samuel 4:1 note). From Ziklag to Shunem would not be less than 80 or 90 miles.

The Amalekites, in retaliation of David's raids 1 Samuel 27:8-9, invaded "the south" of Judah Joshua 15:21; but owing to the absence of all the men with David there was no resistance, and consequently the women and children were carried off as prey, and uninjured.

2. they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away—Their conduct seems to stand in favorable contrast to that of David (1Sa 27:11). But their apparent clemency did not arise from humane considerations. It is traceable to the ancient war usages of the East, where the men of war, on the capture of a city, were unsparingly put to death, but there were no warriors in Ziklag at the time. The women and boys were reserved for slaves, and the old people were spared out of respect to age. They slew not any; which was strange, considering how David dealt with them, 1 Samuel 27:9. But this must be ascribed partly to their selfish or fleshly interest; for they might reserve them, either to make sale of them for their profit, or to abuse them for their lust; or, it may be, to revenge themselves upon David and his men, by reserving them to extraordinary, and lingering, and repeated punishments; but principally to God’s overruling and wonderful providence, who set these bounds to their rage; and though he designed to chastise David’s sin and folly, yet would not deliver him nor his up to death. And had taken the women captives, that were therein,.... There being no other to take, the men were gone with David:

they slew not any, either great or small; that is, of the women, whether married or unmarried, old, or maidens, or children; which was very much, since David destroyed all that came within his reach, men and women, when he invaded them, 1 Samuel 27:9; but perhaps this was not owing to their humanity, but to their covetousness, designing to make an advantage of them by selling them for slaves; no doubt they were restrained by the providence of God:

but carried them away, and went on their way; homewards with their captives.

And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verses 2-5. - They slew not any. No resistance was made, as the men of war were all away. It was probably for thus leaving their wives and families absolutely defenceless that David's people were so angry with him. As we are told in 1 Samuel 27:3 that the refugees with David had brought each his household with him into the Philistine territory, the number of women must have been large. The Amalekites spared their lives, not because they were more merciful than David, but because women and children were valuable as slaves. All the best would be picked out, and sent probably to Egypt for sale. After this declaration on the part of the princes, Achish was obliged to send David back.

1 Samuel 29:6-7

With a solemn assertion, - swearing by Jehovah to convince David all the more thoroughly of the sincerity of his declaration, - Achish said to him, "Thou art honourable, and good in my eyes (i.e., quite right in my estimation) are thy going out and coming in (i.e., all thy conduct) with me in the camp, for I have not found anything bad in thee; but in the eyes of the princes thou art not good (i.e., the princes do not think thee honourable, do not trust thee). Turn now, and go in peace, that thou mayest do nothing displeasing to the princes of the Philistines."

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