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Various conjectures have been made to explain this difficulty.As the passage which suggests a contradiction in the Hebrew text is omitted by Septuagint codices, some authors have accepted the Greek text in preference to the Hebrew.His next abode was the wilderness of Ziph, made memorable by the visit of Jonathan and by the treachery of the Ziphites, who sent word to the king.David was saved from capture by the recall of Saul to repel an attack of the Philistines.



As captain of a thousand men, he encountered new dangers to win the hand of Merob, Saul's eldest daughter, but, in spite of the king's promise, she was given to Hadriel.From Nobe David went to the court of Achis, king of Geth, where he escaped death by feigning madness.On his return he became the head of a band of about four hundred men, some of them his relations, others distressed debtors and malcontents, who gathered at the cave, or stronghold, of Odollam (QR88-- Adullam ).He earned the gratitude of Saul and was made an armour-bearer, but his stay at court was brief.

Not long afterwards, whilst his three elder brothers were in the field, fighting under Saul against the Philistines, David was sent to the camp with some provisions and presents; there he heard the words in which the giant, Goliath of Geth, defied all Israel to single combat, and he volunteered with God's help to slay the Philistine.

He first appears in sacred history as a shepherd lad, tending his father's flocks in the fields near Bethlehem, "ruddy and beautiful to behold and of a comely face".