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David at the Cave of Adullam

22 So David departed from there and (A)escaped to (B)the cave of Adullam; and his brothers and all his father’s household heard of it and went down there to him. Then everyone who was in distress, and everyone who [a]was in debt, and everyone who was bitter of soul, gathered to him; and he became a commander over them. Now there were (C)about four hundred men with him.

And David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother come and stay with you until I know what God will do for me.” Then he left them with the king of Moab; and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the fortress. (D)And the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the fortress; go, and enter into the land of Judah.” So David went and entered into the forest of Hereth.

Saul Puts the Priests at Nob to Death

Then Saul heard that David and the men who were with him had been discovered. Now (E)Saul was sitting in Gibeah, under the tamarisk tree on the height with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing around him. And Saul said to his servants who were standing around him, “Hear now, O Benjamites! Will the son of Jesse also give to all of you fields and vineyards? (F)Will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? For all of you have conspired against me so that there is no one who reveals in my ear (G)when my son cuts a covenant with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you (H)who is sorry for me or reveals in my ear that my son has caused my servant to rise up against me to lie in ambush, as it is this day.” Then (I)Doeg the Edomite, who was [b]standing by the servants of Saul, said, “(J)I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to (K)Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10 (L)And he asked of Yahweh for him, (M)gave him provisions, and (N)gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

11 Then the king sent someone to summon Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s household, the priests who were in Nob; and all of them came to the king. 12 And Saul said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.” And he [c]answered, “Here I am, my lord.” 13 Saul then said to him, “Why have you and the son of Jesse conspired against me, in that you have given him bread and a sword and have asked of God on his behalf, so that he would rise up against me (O)by lying in ambush as it is this day?”

14 (P)Then Ahimelech answered the king and said, “And who among all your servants is as faithful as David, even the king’s son-in-law, who [d]is captain over your guard, and is honored in your house? 15 Did I just begin (Q)to ask of God on his behalf today? Far be it from me! (R)Do not let the king impute anything to his servant or to any of the household of my father, for your servant knows nothing small or great of this whole affair.” 16 But the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s household!” 17 And (S)the king said to the [e]guards who were standing by him, “Turn around and put the priests of Yahweh to death because their hand also is with David and because they knew that he was fleeing and did not reveal it in my ears.” But the (T)servants of the king were not willing to send forth their hands to fall upon the priests of Yahweh. 18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn around and [f]attack the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned around and [g]attacked the priests, and (U)he put to death that day eighty-five men (V)who wore the linen ephod. 19 So (W)he struck Nob the city of the priests with the edge of the sword, both men and women, infants and nursing babies; also oxen, donkeys, and sheep he struck with the edge of the sword.

20 But (X)one son of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, (Y)escaped and fled after David. 21 And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of Yahweh. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when (Z)Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. It is I who have turned against every person in your father’s household. 23 Stay with me; do not be afraid, for (AA)he who seeks my life seeks your life, for you are [h]safe with me.”


  1. 1 Samuel 22:2 Lit had a creditor
  2. 1 Samuel 22:9 Or set over
  3. 1 Samuel 22:12 Lit said
  4. 1 Samuel 22:14 As in Gr; Heb turns aside to
  5. 1 Samuel 22:17 Lit runners
  6. 1 Samuel 22:18 Lit smite
  7. 1 Samuel 22:18 Lit smote
  8. 1 Samuel 22:23 Lit a charge