David During the Reign of Saul
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DAVID DURING REIGN OF SAUL
Click sequential icons for summaries and scripture links.
Having rejected Saul as God's chosen king, Samuel goes secretly to Bethlehem and anoints Jesse’s youngest son David as king. Samuel then returns to Ramah.
David goes to the royal court at Gibeah to play the lyre for Saul, who is feeling increasingly depressed. David is soon promoted to become one of Saul’s trusted armor bearers.
Later that year (in c.1012BC), David kills the Philistine champion, Goliath of Gath, with a sling shot at Ephes Dammim, near Beth Shemesh in the Elah Valley (between Jerusalem and Ashkelon). The Israelites pursue the fleeing Philistines to Gath and the gates of Ekron.
David is promoted to a high-ranking position in Saul’s army, and becomes a close friend of Saul’s son Jonathan. He is given the hand of the king’s daughter Michal as a reward for killing two hundred Philistines.
However, Saul soon becomes jealous of David and plots to kill him.
Saul sends his men to kill David, but David escapes from Gibeah and flees to Samuel at Ramah. Saul pursues David, but is prevented by God from harming him.
David flees to the sanctuary at Nob, where he seeks out the priest for some food. As there is no ordinary bread available, Ahimelech gives David and his men the consecrated ‘shewbread’ to eat. (The ‘shewbread’ was a permanent display of twelve loaves, showing God’s bountiful provision of the staple food of the Israelites.) David seeks refuge with the Philistine king of Gath.
David defeats the Philistines at Keilah then escapes and hides from Saul at Horesh, near Ziph in the Judaean wilderness
En Gedi (David)
David hides in the caves at En Gedi (meaning the ‘spring of the goats’) near the Wild Goat Crags – in the desert overlooking the Dead Sea.
Desert of Paran (David)
David goes south to the Desert of Maon (Paran), south of Hebron (see 11 on Map 55). He sends some of his men to request food from Nabal, a wealthy man who lives at Carmel in Judah and owns large flocks of sheep and goats that David’s army have been protecting. Nabal refuses, but his wife, Abigail, averts further conflict by bringing food for David’s men.
When Nabal dies shortly afterwards, David marries Abigail.
David spares Saul's life once again when he creeps at night into Saul’s camp at the Hill of Hakilah near Jeshimon in the Judaean wilderness (the Desert of Ziph)
David and his men escape and become mercenary soldiers employed by the Philistine king of Gath. David and his Hebrew mercenaries are given a base at Ziklag.
David is sent back to Ziklag which has been attacked by the Amalekites. David pursues the Amalekite raiding party across the Negev Desert beyond the Besor Ravine and defeats them. David recovers everything the Amalekites have taken – including his two wives.