CONTEXT: In ch. 21:11-16 David assumed an antic disposition and fled alone to the P’lishtim. Achish following custom with regard to the “touched,” put up with him. Now David commands an army that could be useful to Achish, at arm’s length (40 miles).
The G’shuri, the Girzi, and the Amaleki in v8 are enemies of Yisrael. The Y’rachm’eli and the Qeni are allies of Yisrael.

1“One of these days now,” David thought to himself, “I’m going to be swept away by Sha’ul’s hand. I have no better option than to escape to the land of the P’lishtim.  Then Sha’ul will despair of  seeking me any longer within the borders of Yisrael and I shall have escaped his hand.” 2So David rose, he and the six hundred men with him, and crossed over to Achish benMa’och, king of Gat. 3David lived with Achish in Gat with his men, each with his family. With David were his women: Achinoam the Yizra’elit and Avigayil the Karmelit, [formerly] Naval’s woman. 4Sha’ul was informed that David had fled to Gat so he gave up seeking him.
5David said to Achish: “If I have found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in one of the cities of the countryside and I’ll live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you? 6So that day Achish gave him Tsiklag (which is why Tsiklag has belonged to the kings of Y’hudah to this day). 7The time David spent in the P’lishti countryside was a year and four months.
8David and his men would go up and make forays against the G’shuri, the Girzi, and the Amaleki. For they were the inhabitants of the land from Telem [ on the southern border of Y’hudah,] to the approach of Shur, in the Sinai peninsula, and to the land of Mitsrayim (Egypt). 9David struck the land leaving none alive, man nor woman. He would take a flock of sheep and goats, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothing, and return to Achish. 10Achish would say: “Whom did you raid today?”  David would answer; “The negev/southern part of Y’hudah, the negev of the Y’rachm’eli, and the negev of the Qeni.” 11Not a man nor a woman was left alive by David to bring to Gat, for he said: “Lest they tell about us – ‘This is what David did and this is what he is like.’”  
Thus all the days he lived in the field of the P’lishtim. 12Achish trusted David, saying: “He’s raised a stink among his own people, Yisrael. He’ll be my servant forever.”
© Rabbi David L. Kline  

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