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David spent the next period of his life in exile, at the head of a band of warriors, levying tribute on the landowners of Judah. After a period in the town of Adullam, near Jerusalem, and in the deserts of Judea, he entered the service of Achish, king of the Philistine city of Gath. As a reward for his help to Achish, he was made ruler of the town of Ziklag.

David returned to his native country after Saul, Jonathan, and two others of Saul's four sons died in battle with the Philistines. Becoming king of Judah at Hebron, he reigned for seven years, until about 993 bc, when he was anointed king of Israel. David subsequently defeated in rapid succession the Philistines, Moabites, Aramaeans, Edomites, and Ammonites, firmly establishing Israel as an independent national state and greatly extending its dominions.


 
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