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)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.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.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.
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: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.
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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