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21
Ahimelech Helps David
1David went to the priest Ahimelech at Nob. Ahimelech trembled with fear when he met him. He asked David, "Why are you alone? Why isn't anyone with you?"
2David answered the priest Ahimelech, "The king gave me a special job to do. He said to me, 'I don't want anyone to know what I'm sending you to do. So don't say anything about it.' I've told my men to meet me at a certain place. 3Do you have anything for us to eat? Give me five loaves of bread, or anything else you can find."
4But the priest answered David, "I don't have any bread that isn't holy. I only have some holy bread here. But it's for men who haven't made love to women recently."
5David replied, "Well, we haven't made love to women recently. That's the way it is every time I lead my men out to battle. We keep ourselves holy even when we do jobs that aren't holy. And that's even more true today."
6So the priest gave him the holy bread. It was the only bread he had. It had been removed from the table that was in front of the Lord. On the same day, hot bread had been put in its place.
7One of Saul's servants was there that day. He had been made to stay at the holy tent for a while. He was Doeg from Edom. He was Saul's chief shepherd.
8David asked Ahimelech, "Don't you have a spear or sword here? I haven't brought my sword or any other weapon. That's because the king's business had to be done right away."
9The priest replied, "The sword of Goliath, the Philistine, is here. You killed him in the Valley of Elah. His sword is wrapped in a cloth. It's behind the sacred linen apron. If you want it, take it. It's the only sword here."
David said, "There isn't any sword like it. Give it to me."
David Meets a Philistine King
10That day David ran away from Saul. He went to Achish, the king of Gath. 11But the servants of Achish spoke to him. They said, "Isn't this David, the king of the land? Isn't he the one the Israelites sing about when they dance? They sing,
" 'Saul has killed thousands of men.
David has killed tens of thousands.' "
12David paid close attention to what the servants were saying. He became very much afraid of what Achish, the king of Gath, might do. 13So he pretended to be out of his mind when he was with them. As long as he was in Gath, he acted like someone who was crazy. He made marks on the doors of the city gate. He let spit run down his beard.
14Achish said to his servants, "Just look at the man! He's out of his mind! Why are you bringing him to me? 15Don't I have enough crazy people around me already? So why do you have to bring this fellow here? Just look at how he's carrying on in front of me! Why do you have to bring this man into my house?"
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CHAPTER 21.
1And David came to Nobe to Achimelech the priest: and Achimelech was astonished at David's coming. And he said to him: Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?
2And David said to Achimelech the priest: The king hath commanded me a business, and said: Let no man know the thing for which thou art sent by me, and what manner of commands I have given thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.
3Now therefore if thou have any thing at hand, though it were but five loaves, give me, or whatsoever thou canst find.
4And the priest answered David, saying: I have no common bread at hand, but only holy bread, if the young men be clean, especially from women?
5And David answered the priest, and said to him: Truly, as to what concerneth women, we have refrained ourselves from yesterday and the day before, when we came out, and the vessels of the young men were holy. Now this way is defiled, but it shall also be sanctified this day in the vessels.
6The priest therefore gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there, but only the loaves of proposition, which had been taken away from before the face of the Lord, that hot loaves might be set up.
7Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, within the tabernacle of the Lord: and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of Saul's herdsmen.
8And David said to Achimelech: Hast thou here at hand a spear, or a sword? for I brought not my own sword, nor my own weapons with me, for the king's business required haste.
9And the priest said: Lo, here is the sword of Goliath the Philistine whom thou slewest in the valley of Terebinth, wrapped up in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take this, take it, for here is no other but this. And David said: There is none like that, give it me.
10And David arose and fled that day from the face of Saul: and came to Achis the king of Geth:
11And the servants of Achis, when they saw David, said to him: Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to him in their dances, saying: Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?
12But David laid up these words in his heart, and was exceedingly afraid at the face of Achis the king of Geth.
13And he changed his countenance before them, and slipt down between their hands: and he stumbled against the doors of the gate, and his spittle ran down upon his beard.
14And Achis said to his servants: You saw the man was mad: why have you brought him to me?
15Have we need of madmen, that you have brought in this fellow, to play the madman in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?