David Flees to Nob
1David went to the priest Ahimelech21:1 1Sm 14:3; Mk 2:26 at Nob.21:1 1Sm 22:19 Ahimelech was afraid to meet David, so he said to him, “Why are you alone and no one is with you?”
2David answered the priest Ahimelech, “The king gave me a mission, but he told me, ‘Don’t let anyone know anything about the mission I’m sending you on or what I have ordered you to do.’ I have stationed my young men at a certain place.
3Now what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread or whatever can be found.”
4The priest told him, “There is no ordinary bread on hand. However, there is consecrated bread,21:4 Ex 25:30; Lv 24:5–9; Mt 12:3–4 but the young men may eat it21:4 DSS; MT omits may eat it only if they have kept themselves from women.”21:4 Ex 19:15
5David answered him, “I swear that women are being kept from us, as always when I go out to battle.21:5 2Sm 11:11 The young men’s bodies21:5 Lit vessels are consecrated21:5 1Th 4:4 even on an ordinary mission, so of course their bodies are consecrated today.”
6So the priest gave him the consecrated bread,21:6 Mt 12:3–4; Mk 2:25 for there was no bread there except the Bread of the Presence21:6 Lv 24:5–9 that had been removed from the presence of the Lord. When the bread was removed, it had been replaced with warm bread.
7One of Saul’s servants, detained before the Lord, was there that day. His name was Doeg the Edomite,21:7 1Sm 22:9; Ps 52 chief of Saul’s shepherds.
8David said to Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or sword on hand? I didn’t even bring my sword or my weapons since the king’s mission was urgent.”
9The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine,21:9 1Sm 17:51 whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want to take it for yourself, then take it, for there isn’t another one here.”
“There’s none like it!” David said. “Give it to me.”
David Flees to Gath
10David fled that day from Saul’s presence and went to King Achish of Gath.21:10 Ps 56
11But Achish’s servants said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Don’t they sing about him during their dances:
Saul has killed his thousands,
but David his tens of thousands?” 21:11 1Sm 18:7; 29:5
12David took this to heart and became very afraid of King Achish of Gath,
13so he pretended to be insane in their presence.21:13 Ps 34 He acted like a madman around them,21:13 Lit madman in their hand scribbling21:13 LXX reads drumming on the doors of the city gate and letting saliva run down his beard.
14“Look! You can see the man is crazy,” Achish said to his servants. “Why did you bring him to me?
15Do I have such a shortage of crazy people that you brought this one to act crazy around me? Is this one going to come into my house?” 21:13–15 Ps 34