1 THEN DAVID went to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest; and Ahimelech was afraid at meeting David, and said to him, Why are you alone and no man with you?
2 David said to Ahimelech the priest, The king has charged me with a matter and has told me, Let no man know anything of the mission on which I send you and with what I have charged you. I have appointed the young men to a certain place.
3 Now what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you may have.
4 And the priest answered David, There is no common bread on hand, but there is hallowed bread–if the young men have kept themselves at least from women.
5 And David told the priest, Truly women have been kept from us in these three days since I came out, and the food bags and utensils of the young men are clean, and although the bread will be used in a secular way, it will be set apart in the clean bags.
6 So the priest gave him holy bread, for there was no bread there but the showbread which was taken from before the Lord to put hot bread in its place the day when it was taken away.
7 Now a certain man of Saul's servants was there that day, detained before the Lord; his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul's herdsmen.
8 David said to Ahimelech, Do you have at hand a sword or spear? The king's business required haste, and I brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me.
9 The priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you slew in the Valley of Elah, see, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you will take that, do so, for there is no other here. And David said, There is none like that; give it to me.
10 David arose and fled that day from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath.
11 The servants of Achish said to him, Is not this David, the king of the land? Did they not sing one to another of him in their dances: Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?
12 David took these words to heart and was much afraid of Achish king of Gath.
13 And he changed his behavior before them, and pretended to be insane in their [Philistine] hands, and scribbled on the gate doors, and drooled on his beard.
14 Then said Achish to his servants, You see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me?
15 Have I need of madmen, that you bring this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?