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Why would Achish, King of Gath, dismiss David as insane in 1 Sam 21:10-15 and accept him as a fellow warrior in 1 Samuel 27:1-12?

David Flees to Gath

10 And David rose and fled that day from Saul and went to (K)Achish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is not this David the king of the land? (L)Did they not sing to one another of him in dances,

‘Saul has struck down his thousands,
    and David his ten thousands’?”

12 And David took these words to heart and was much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”

https://www.esv.org/1+Samuel+27/

Clarify Share Report Asked August 15 2018 Mini Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that it was because, during the passage of time between the events in 1 Samuel 21 and 1 Samuel 27, Achish, the king of Gath in the land of the Philistines, had seen enough evidence of the enmity of Saul toward David to be convinced of David's sincerity in wanting to join the Philistines in their own fight against Saul. (As the saying goes, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend.") 

However, the continued opposition of the Philistine commanders to accepting David as an ally, as had also earlier been the case in 1 Samuel 21:11 -- which (as I would say Achish now realized) was what had led David at that time to act as if he were insane, in order to prevent the Philistine commanders from killing him -- ultimately forced Achish to reluctantly refuse David's request to fight on the Philistine side against Saul (1 Samuel 27:12; 1 Samuel 28:1-2; 1 Samuel 29:1-10).

August 15 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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