This article re-examines two diculties raised by 1 Sam. xxiii 5: why are Philistine miqneh present at a battle, and why is David said to drive them obefore he defeats the Philistines. H.W. Hertzberg's view that the unusual order in which events are recorded re ects a successful attack made by David early in the encounter on the Philistines who were guarding the beasts of burden is defended as more satisfactory than other hypotheses which have been advanced, although the miqneh should not be equated with beasts of burden. Theories which attempt to explain the presence of miqneh with the Philistine raiders are discussed, and it is argued that the miqneh are best understood as animals seized by the Philistines during the raid, together, probably, with some beasts of burden.