GOD'S WORD® Translation
1David said to himself, "One of these days Saul will sweep me away. The best thing for me to do is to make sure that I escape to Philistine territory. Then Saul will give up looking all over Israel for me, and I'll escape from him." 2So David went with his 600 men to King Achish of Gath, Moach's son. 3David and his men stayed with Achish in Gath. Each one had his family, and David had his two wives, Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail (who had been Nabal's wife) from Carmel. 4When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he didn't search for him anymore.
5David said to Achish, "If you will permit me, let me have a place in one of the outlying towns so that I can live there. Why should I live in the royal city with you?" 6So Achish immediately gave him Ziklag. (This is why Ziklag still belongs to the kings of Judah today.) 7David stayed in Philistine territory for one year and four months.
8Then David and his men went to raid the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. (They lived in the territory which extends from Telaim to Shur and Egypt.) 9Whenever David attacked the territory, he left no man or woman alive. He also took sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothing and returned to Achish. 10Achish would ask, "Whom did you raid today?" And David would answer, "the Negev in Judah," or "the portion of the Negev where the descendants of Jerahmeel live," or "the portion of the Negev where the Kenites live." 11He did not bring a single man or woman back to Gath alive. He thought, "They could tell Achish what I [really] did." This was his practice as long as he lived in Philistine territory. 12And Achish believed David. Achish thought, "He has definitely made his own people in Israel despise him. He'll be my servant from now on."