1 Samuel 21 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
David and the Holy Bread
21 [a] Then came David to Nob to Ahim′elech the priest; and Ahim′elech came to meet David trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” 2 And David said to Ahim′elech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter, and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. 3 Now then, what have you at hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” 4 And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread at hand, but there is holy bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5 And David answered the priest, “Of a truth women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition; the vessels of the young men are holy, even when it is a common journey; how much more today will their vessels be holy?” 6 So the priest gave him the holy bread; for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.
7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord; his name was Do′eg the E′domite, the chief of Saul’s herdsmen.
8 And David said to Ahim′elech, “And have you not here a spear or a sword at hand? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.” 9 And the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you will take that, take it, for there is none but that here.” And David said, “There is none like that; give it to me.”
David Flees to Gath
10 And David rose and fled that day from Saul, and went to A′chish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of A′chish said to him, “Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances,
‘Saul has slain his thousands,
12 And David took these words to heart, and was much afraid of A′chish the king of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and made marks on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle run down his beard. 14 Then said A′chish to his servants, “Lo, you see the man is mad; why then have you brought him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”