David Destroys the Amalekites

First Samuel 30: 1-31

Though David had seen God’s providential purpose in sparing him from fighting against Sha’ul, he met yet another challenge when he and his men returned to Ziklag. Their camp had been destroyed and their wives and children taken captive. But even when all seems lost, David continues to prosper. Through YHVH’s help, he tracks the Amalekites down and recovers all of the people and the plunder they had taken. He then ingratiates himself to his troops and his neighbors by sharing his good fortune with them. Chapter 30 is a case study of the qualities that make for strong and compassionate leadership: persistence, empathy, and faith in ADONAI, commitment to a cause, integrity, decisiveness and generosity. Sha’ul, disobeying God’s prophet, defeated the Amalekites but lost his kingdom First Samuel 15:1-35); David, seeking God’s will, destroyed the Amalekites and began his reign. The chapter displays a chiastic arrangement:

A David reaches destroyed Ziklag and finds it plundered (30:1-3)

B David and his men are promised the LORD’s help (30:4-8)

        C David destroys the Amalekites (30:9-20)

B David shares the LORD’s plunder with his men (30:21-25)

A David returns to Ziklag and distributes the remaining plunder (30:26-31)200


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