This article is an excerpt from our Sefer
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Chapter 29: Dovid joins the Philistines in battle and then returns
1. The positions of the armies of the Philistines and the Jewish people:
- The Philistines gathered in the area of Afeika, while the Jewish people gathered near the springs of Yizrael. The generals of the Philistines were there with hundreds and thousands of soldiers. Dovid and his men were the last to cross together with the King Akish.
2. Dovid is asked to leave the battlefield:
- Philistine aristocrats confront Akish about Dovid’s presence in the battlefield: The Philistine aristocrats confronted their king Akish asking him as to what these Jews [referring to Dovid and his men] were doing there. Akish replied to the Philistines aristocrats that the individual is Dovid the servant of Shaul the king of Israel, and that he has been together with him for a few years and he has found nothing wrong with him from the day he arrived until today. However, the aristocrats would not accept the words of Akish and they became angry with Akish and told him that he should return the man Dovid to the place that he came from, and he should not come down with them to war as he will surely betray them. Surely, Dovid will try to appease his master [Shaul] with bringing him the heads of the Philistines. This Dovid is the same man that the women would sing about saying that Shaul had killed thousands of Philistines will Dovid had killed tens of thousands.
- Akish asks Dovid to return from the battlefield: So, Akish summoned Dovid and said to him, “I swear by the life of G-d that you are straight and trustworthy in my eyes to go out with me towards the war, as I found no evil with you all these days from the time that you arrived until this very day. However, in the eyes of the Philistine aristocrats you are not good. So, now, please return in peace and do not perform any evil in the eyes of the Philistine princes.
- Dovid pushes back against the request for him to leave: Dovid said to Akish, “What have I done and what evil have you found with your servant from the day that I arrived before you until this very day that I should not be worthy of coming with you to fight against the enemies of my master the King.” Akish replied and said to Dovid, “I know that you are good and you are to my eyes like an angel of G-d, however the Philistine aristocrats said you may not join us in the war. Now, get up in the morning, you and your servant who came with you, and in the early morning when you get up you should leave.”
- So, Dovid and his men got up the next morning to return back to the land of the Philistines while the Philistines went up to battle the Jewish people in Yizrael.