Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow David, and who had been left at the brook Besor. And they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near to the people he greeted them. Then all the wicked and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except that each man may lead away his wife and children, and depart.” But David said, “You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the LORD has given us. He has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us. Who would listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike.” And he made it a statute and a rule for Israel from that day forward to this day.
Comment: The people who had not been strong enough to go forward to the fight to regain their families and goods came out to meet David and the victorious returning soldiers and their booty! David gladly greets them, but no doubt with an eye to personal gain, some of the returning warriors (here described as wicked and worthless) said that those who fought should be the only ones to divide the booty! They might be described as shamelessly selfish. They certainly didn’t see them as their ‘brothers’. David said something like ‘only a fool thinks like that’, and made a decree, a statute, which was put into the records for Israeli behaviour – ‘For as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike.‘ No doubt it needs tweaking from time for such things as cowardice or desertion, but otherwise it is a very sound principle.
Prayer: Help me to live out Your two great commandments in relation to both You and my fellow humanity, Lord.
2 thoughts on “1 Samuel 30: 21-25….The spoils divided.”
Thank you Barry for your comments on this passage, Barry. I do agree with David on the statute he made they should all share alike, those who fought, and those who watched the baggage. There are many differing positions when an army is fighting, and those behind the scenes are as important as those in the thick of it. God bless you.
A good reply