1 Samuel 22 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
David and His Followers at Adullam
22 David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. 2 And every one who was in distress, and every one who was in debt, and every one who was discontented, gathered to him; and he became captain over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.
3 And David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Pray let my father and my mother stay[a] with you, till I know what God will do for me.” 4 And he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold. 5 Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not remain in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed, and went into the forest of Hereth.
Saul Slaughters the Priests at Nob
6 Now Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men who were with him. Saul was sitting at Gib′e-ah, under the tamarisk tree on the height, with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him. 7 And Saul said to his servants who stood about him, “Hear now, you Benjaminites; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, 8 that all of you have conspired against me? No one discloses to me when my son makes a league with the son of Jesse, none of you is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day.” 9 Then answered Do′eg the E′domite, who stood by the servants of Saul, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahim′elech the son of Ahi′tub, 10 and he inquired of the Lord for him, and gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”
11 Then the king sent to summon Ahim′elech the priest, the son of Ahi′tub, and all his father’s house, the priests who were at Nob; and all of them came to the king. 12 And Saul said, “Hear now, son of Ahi′tub.” And he answered, “Here I am, my lord.” 13 And Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword, and have inquired of God for him, so that he has risen against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?” 14 Then Ahim′elech answered the king, “And who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, and captain over[b] your bodyguard, and honored in your house? 15 Is today the first time that I have inquired of God for him? No! Let not the king impute anything to his servant or to all the house of my father; for your servant has known nothing of all this, much or little.” 16 And the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahim′elech, you and all your father’s house.” 17 And the king said to the guard who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord; because their hand also is with David, and they knew that he fled, and did not disclose it to me.” But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the Lord. 18 Then the king said to Do′eg, “You turn and fall upon the priests.” And Do′eg the E′domite turned and fell upon the priests, and he killed on that day eighty-five persons who wore the linen ephod. 19 And Nob, the city of the priests, he put to the sword; both men and women, children and sucklings, oxen, asses and sheep, he put to the sword.
20 But one of the sons of Ahim′elech the son of Ahi′tub, named Abi′athar, escaped and fled after David. 21 And Abi′athar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 And David said to Abi′athar, “I knew on that day, when Do′eg the E′domite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have occasioned the death of all the persons of your father’s house. 23 Stay with me, fear not; for he that seeks my life seeks your life; with me you shall be in safekeeping.”
1 Samuel 22 New International Version (NIV)
David at Adullam and Mizpah
22 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. 2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.
3 From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, “Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God will do for me?” 4 So he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David was in the stronghold.
5 But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.
Saul Kills the Priests of Nob
6 Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And Saul was seated, spear in hand, under the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, with all his officials standing at his side. 7 He said to them, “Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? 8 Is that why you have all conspired against me? No one tells me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is concerned about me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he does today.”
9 But Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with Saul’s officials, said, “I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelek son of Ahitub at Nob. 10 Ahimelek inquired of the Lord for him; he also gave him provisions and the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”
11 Then the king sent for the priest Ahimelek son of Ahitub and all the men of his family, who were the priests at Nob, and they all came to the king. 12 Saul said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.”
“Yes, my lord,” he answered.
13 Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, giving him bread and a sword and inquiring of God for him, so that he has rebelled against me and lies in wait for me, as he does today?”
14 Ahimelek answered the king, “Who of all your servants is as loyal as David, the king’s son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly respected in your household? 15 Was that day the first time I inquired of God for him? Of course not! Let not the king accuse your servant or any of his father’s family, for your servant knows nothing at all about this whole affair.”
16 But the king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelek, you and your whole family.”
17 Then the king ordered the guards at his side: “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me.”
But the king’s officials were unwilling to raise a hand to strike the priests of the Lord.
18 The king then ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests.” So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19 He also put to the sword Nob, the town of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep.
20 But one son of Ahimelek son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled to join David. 21 He told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your whole family. 23 Stay with me; don’t be afraid. The man who wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.”