But before David and his men were come to Zikeleg the third day, the Amalekites had run in a running upon the south and upon Zikeleg, and had smitten Zikeleg and burnt it with fire, and had taken the women that were therein prisoners, both small and great: but slew not a man, save carried them with them and went their ways. When David and his men came to the city: behold, it was burnt with fire, and their wives, their sons and their daughters were taken prisoners. Then David and the people that was with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they could weep no more. And Davids two wives were taken prisoners also: Ahinoam the Jezrahelite and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. And David was in a shrewd strait: for the people intended to stone him because the hearts of the people were vexed for their sons and their daughters.
But David took a good courage to him in the Lord his God and said to Abiathar the priest Ahimelechs son: bring me the Ephod. And Abiathar brought the Ephod to David. And David asked the Lord saying: shall I follow after this company? and shall I overtake them? And he said to him: follow, for thou shalt overtake them and recover the prey.
And he went and the six hundred men that were with him, and they came to the river Besor, where a part of them abode. But David and four hundred men followed: But two hundred abode behind being too weary to go over the river Besor. Then they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David and gave him bread to eat and water to drink, and gave him a few figs and two clusters of raisins. And when he had eaten his spirits came again to him: for he had eaten no bread nor drunk no water in three days and three nights. Then David said unto him: to whom belongest thou and *whence art thou? and the lad answered: I am an Egyptian and servant to an Amalekite: and my master left me behind, because it is three days a gone that I fell sick: we came a roving upon the south of Cerethis, and upon them of Juda and on the south of Caleb. And we burnt Zikeleg with fire. And David said to him: canst thou bring me to this company? And he said: swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee unto them. And when he had brought him: see, they lay scattered abroad upon the earth, eating and drinking and triumphing over all the great prey that they had carried away out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Juda.
And David laid upon them from the twilight until the evening on the morrow: so that there escaped not a man, save four hundred young men which rode away upon camels and fled. And David recovered all the Amalekites had carried away, and his two wives: so that there was no person lacking small or great, son or daughter, or of the spoil of all that they had taken away, David brought all again. And David took all the sheep, and the oxen. And they drave the cattle before, and said: this is Davids prey. And then David came to the two hundred men that were too weary for to follow David which they made to abide at the river Besor. And they came to meet David and the people that were with him. And when David came to the people, he saluted them. Then answered all the wicked and the unthrifts of the men that went with David, and said: because they went not with us, therefore shall none of the prey that we have recovered, be given unto them, save to every man his wife and his children: which let them carry away and be walking.
Then said David: ye shall not do so (my brethren) with that the Lord hath given us, and hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us, into our hands. For who should hearken unto you in this matter? But as his part is that goeth and fighteth, so good shall his part be, that tarrieth by the stuff, they shall part it alike. And so from that day forward was that made a law and a custom in Israel, and endureth to this day. When David came to Zikeleg, he sent of his prey unto the elders of Juda and to his friends saying: see there a blessing for you, of the spoil of the enemies of the Lord. He sent to them of Bethel: to them of south Ramath: to them of Gether: to them of Aroer: to them of Sephamoth: to them of Esthamo: to them of Rachal: to them of the cities of the Jerhameelites: to them of the cities of the Kenites: to them of Haramah: to them of Borasan: to them of Athach: to them of Hebron, and to all places where David and his men were wont to haunt.