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David Takes Consecrated Bread

21 Then David came to (A)Nob to Ahimelech the priest; and Ahimelech (B)came trembling to meet David and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one is with you?” And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has commanded me with a matter and has said to me, ‘(C)Let no one know anything about the matter on which I am sending you and with which I have commanded you; and I have directed the young men to a certain place.’ So now, what [a]do you have on hand? Give five loaves of bread into my hand, or whatever can be found.” And the priest answered David and said, “There is no ordinary bread [b]on hand, but there is (D)consecrated bread; if only the young men have (E)kept themselves from women.” And David answered the priest and said to him, “(F)Surely women have been kept from us as previously when I set out and the (G)vessels of the young men were holy, though it was an ordinary journey; how much more then today will [c]their vessels be holy?” So (H)the priest gave him consecrated bread; for there was no bread there but the (I)bread of the Presence which was removed from before Yahweh, in order to put hot bread in its place when it was taken away.

Now one of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before Yahweh; and his name was (J)Doeg the Edomite, the (K)chief of Saul’s shepherds.

And David said to Ahimelech, “Now is there not a spear or a sword [d]on hand? For I brought neither my sword nor my weapons in my hand because the king’s matter was urgent.” Then the priest said, “(L)The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down (M)in the valley of Elah, behold, it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you would take it for yourself, 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 Gath

10 Then David arose and fled that day from Saul and went to (N)Achish king of Gath. 11 But the (O)servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? (P)Did they not sing of this one as they danced, saying,

‘Saul has struck his thousands,
And David his ten thousands’?”

12 And David (Q)took these words [e]to heart and greatly feared Achish king of Gath. 13 So he (R)disguised his sanity in their sight and acted insanely in their hands and scribbled on the doors of the gate and let his saliva run down into his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man behaving as a madman. Why do you bring him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this one to act the madman before me? Shall this one come into my house?”


  1. 1 Samuel 21:3 Lit is under your hand?
  2. 1 Samuel 21:4 Lit under my hand
  3. 1 Samuel 21:5 Lit it be holy in the vessel
  4. 1 Samuel 21:8 Lit under your hand
  5. 1 Samuel 21:12 Lit in his