David Encounters the Priests of Nob
1Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came trembling to meet David, and he said to him, “Why are you alone and there are no men with you?” 2So David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘No one must know anything about this matter on which I am sending you, with which I have charged you and the servants.’ ” So I have arranged to meet with my servants at a certain place.#Literally “I have made an appointment with my servants/young men to a place, a certain one” 3Now then, what do you have at hand?#Literally “what is there under your hand” Give me five loaves of bread or whatever is here.”#Literally “that which is found” 4The priest answered David and said, “There is no ordinary bread here at hand;#Literally “under my hand” there is only holy bread, but only if the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5David answered the priest and said to him, “Indeed, women were held back from us as it has been when I’ve gone out before.#Literally “as yesterday three days ago my going out” And the things#Or possibly “equipment” or “weapons” of the young men are holy when#Or “and” it is an ordinary journey. How much more#Literally “And even that” today#Literally “the day” will the things#Or possibly “equipment” or “weapons” be holy?” 6So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence, which was removed from before Yahweh, in order to set hot bread there on the day when it was taken away.
7Now there was a man from the servants of Saul on that day, detained before Yahweh, whose name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds. 8David asked Ahimelech, “Is there not at your disposal#Literally “under your hand” a spear or a sword? For I took neither my sword nor my weapons with me because the king’s matter was urgent.” 9So the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine 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 is no other except it here.” And David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”
David Flees to Achish in Gath
10So David got up and fled on that day from the presence of Saul, and he came to Achish the king of Gath. 11The servants of Achish said to him, “Is not this David the king of the land? Is it not for this one that they sang in the dances, saying, ‘Saul killed his thousands, but David his ten thousands?’ ” 12David took these words seriously#Literally “David put these words in his heart” and felt severely threatened by#Literally “he was very afraid from the face of” Achish the king of Gath. 13So he changed his behavior before them#Literally “in their eyes” and pretended to be mad in their presence.#Literally “in their hands” He made scratches on the doors of the gate and let his saliva run down into his beard. 14Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see a madman! Why did you bring him to me? 15Do I lack madmen that you have brought this one to act like a madman before me? Should this one enter my household?”