On February 8th, we read of greed in excess.
David’s men were chasing the Amalekites to rescue their families. At the Besor ravine, two hundred men were too exhausted to cross it. David piled up the provisions and left them to guard it.
He also left 200 men to guard the supplies when he went to attack Nabal.
1 Samuel 25:13, “Then David said to his soldiers, ‘All of you, strap on your swords!’ So each of them strapped on their swords, and David did the same. Nearly four hundred men went up with David. Two hundred men remained back with the supplies.” Common English Bible
All 600 men were ready to fight. David chose 200 to remain.
Abigail met them with 200 loaves of bread, 2 skins of wine, 5 sheep ready for cooking, 7 1/2 quarts of roasted grain, 100 raisin cakes, and 200 fig cakes (See 1 Samuel 25:18).
David accepted the food and shared it with his 600 men. Those who went to fight had no problem sharing with those left to guard the supplies.
This time they came home with the plunder. The Amalekites raided the Cherethites plain, Judah territory, the southern plain of Caleb, and the city of Ziklag, (30:14). They took whatever they wanted plus sheep, cattle, and other livestock, (30:20).
There were more animals than the land could support. As a shepherd, David knew how much they needed.
David sent plunder to:
- The elders of Judah, 30:26.
- His friends, 30:26.
- Bethel, Ramoth, Jattir, 30:27.
- Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, 30:28.
- Racal, the towns of the Jerahmeelites, the towns of the Kenites, 30:29.
- Hormah, Bor-Ashan, Athach, 30:30.
- Hebron, and all the places where David spent his time, 30:31.
Where had David been?
- Nob, 21:1.
- Adullam’s fortress, 22:1.
- Mizpah in Moab, 22:3.
- Hereth forest, 22:5.
- Keilah, 23:1.
- He kept moving from place to place, 23:11.
- Horesh in the Ziph wilderness, 23:14.
- Maon wilderness, south of Jeshimon, 23:24.
- En-Gedi fortress, 23:29.
- Hachilah’s hill, 26:1.
There was so much plunder David sent some to all these places and some unnamed places. Yet when the 400 soldiers reached the 200 soldiers guarding the supplies, they didn’t want to share with them!
1 Samuel 30:24, “…The share of those who went into battle and the share of those who stayed with the supplies will be divided equally.” Common English Bible
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“These verses once again show David’s compassionate leadership. When David’s men return to the 200 men left with the baggage, many in his force angrily refuse to share any of the gain from the raid or to include these men any longer in their number. They want them to take only their wives and children and go (30:22). David will have no part of this. He insists that all receive an equal share. Those who guard the supplies are as important as those on the forefront of battle. David even formalized this into policy during his kingship (30:24-25).” Common English Bible Notes
In the first instance, David chose which men would remain to guard the baggage. In the second instance, some men volunteered. That was the only difference.
February 8, 2020: 1 Samuel 29, 20; Psalms 35, 109.
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