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(A)Now what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves, or whatever you can find.” [a]But the priest replied to David, “I have no ordinary bread on hand, only holy bread; if the men have abstained from women, you may eat some of that.” David answered the priest: “We have indeed stayed away from women. In the past whenever I went out on a campaign, all the young men were consecrated—even for an ordinary campaign. All the more so are they consecrated with their weapons today!”

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Footnotes

  1. 21:5–6 According to Lv 24:5–9, the showbread consisted of twelve loaves that were replaced each sabbath. Since the old bread was to be consumed by the priests, Ahimelech questions David regarding the ritual purity of his men (see 2 Sm 11:11). David’s answer supposes the discipline of a military campaign under the conditions of “holy war” (Dt 23:10–15).

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