Ahimelech helps David
1David went to see Ahimelech, a priest who lived in the town of Nob. Ahimelech was trembling with fear as he came out to meet David. “Why are you alone?” Ahimelech asked. “Why isn't anyone else with you?”21.1-6: Mt 12.3,4; Mk 2.25,26; Lk 6.3.
2“I'm on a mission for King Saul,” David answered. “He ordered me not to tell anyone what the mission is all about, so I told my soldiers to stay somewhere else. 3Do you have any food you can give me? Could you spare five loaves of bread?”
4“The only bread I have is the sacred bread,” the priest told David. “You can have it if your soldiers didn't sleep with women last night.”21.4 night: Having sex was one of the things that would make someone temporarily unfit to take part in worship or a sacred meal (see Exodus 19.15; Leviticus 15.18).
5“Of course we didn't sleep with women,” David answered. “I never let my men do that when we're on a mission. They have to be acceptable to worship God even when we're on an ordinary mission, and today we're on a special mission.”
6The only bread the priest had was the sacred bread that he had taken from the place of worship after putting out the fresh loaves. So he gave it to David.21.6: Lv 24.5-9.
7It so happened that one of Saul's officers was there, worshipping the LORD that day. His name was Doeg the Edomite,21.7 Edomite: A person from the country of Edom, to the south of Israel. and he was the strongest of21.7 the strongest of: Or “in charge of”. Saul's shepherds.
8David asked Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or a sword? I had to leave so quickly on this mission for the king that I didn't bring along my sword or any other weapons.”
9The priest answered, “The only sword here is the one that belonged to Goliath the Philistine. You were the one who killed him in Elah Valley, and so you can take his sword if you want to. It's wrapped in a cloth behind the statue.”21.9: 1 S 17.51.
“It's the best sword there is,” David said. “I'll take it!”
David runs from Saul
David tries to find safety in Gath
10David kept on running from Saul that day until he came to Gath,21.10 Gath: One of the five main Philistine towns. where he met with King Achish. 11The officers of King Achish were also there, and they asked Achish, “Isn't David a king back in his own country? Don't the Israelites dance and sing,21.11: 1 S 18.7; 29.5.
‘Saul has killed
a thousand enemies;
David has killed
ten thousand enemies’?”
12David thought about what they were saying, and it made him afraid of Achish.21.12: Ps 56 Title. 13So in front of everyone, he pretended to be insane. He acted confused and scratched on the doors of the town gate, while drooling in his beard.21.13: Ps 34 Title.
14“Look at him!” Achish said to his officers. “You can see he's mad. Why did you bring him to me? 15I have enough mad people without your bringing another one here. Keep him away from my palace!”
Contemporary English Version (CEV) is copyright © American Bible Society. Psalms and Proverbs © 1991, 1992; New Testament © 1991, 1992, 1995; Old Testament © 1995; translation notes, subject headings for text © 1995; Anglicisations © The British and Foreign Bible Society 1997, 2012.