In the law of Moses, people are commanded to love their neighbors as themselves; and Jonathan does just that, loving David as he does himself. David’s love for Jonathan is also clear. When they are parted here, David is filled with sadness. Although both of them weep, David weeps more; and when Saul and Jonathan are later killed in battle, David celebrates and remembers their friendship in one of the most beautiful songs in the Bible. These two demonstrate exactly what it means to follow the command of the law and love unselfishly.
21 David went to a place called Nob, where he visited the priest Ahimelech, who came forward fearfully to meet him.
Ahimelech: Why are you here alone, without anyone else?
David:2 The king has given me a mission that is not to be revealed to anyone else, and my servants are waiting for me at a place where I have sent them. 3 Now what do you have here to eat? Let me have five loaves of bread or whatever you have.
Ahimelech:4 I have no ordinary bread—only the holy bread. You may take it, if your men have not recently had sexual intercourse.
David:5 Of course. They have stayed away from women since we have been on the road, three days now. If their bodies must be kept pure even when we go on a typical journey, how much more must they be kept pure when we are on a mission like this one?
6 The priest gave him consecrated bread since the bread of the Presence was replaced when other fresh, hot bread was brought before the Eternal One and no other bread was available.
7 Now one of Saul’s servants, Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds, was waiting before the Eternal that day.
David(to Ahimelech):8 Isn’t there a sword or spear here? I left so swiftly on my errand for the king that I did not bring my sword or weapons with me.
Ahimelech:9 We have no weapons here except the sword of Goliath, the Philistine you killed in the valley of Elah. Look, you’ll find it wrapped in a cloth behind the sacred vest. You may take that, if you like, for that is the only weapon here.
David: It is one of a kind. Let me take it.
10 So David left and fled that same day from Saul and went to Saul’s enemy, King Achish of Gath. 11 The king’s servants reminded the king,
Servants: Isn’t this David who some claim to be the very ruler of the land? Didn’t they sing about him while they celebrated and danced?
Saul has slain his thousands and David, his tens of thousands.
12 When David heard that these were the kinds of things people were saying about him, he was afraid of what Achish, the king of Gath, might do, 13 so he acted differently when they were around and even pretended to be insane. He scarred the doors at the city’s gates with his fingernails and drooled into his beard.
Achish(to his servants):14 Look at him. Can’t you see this man is crazy? Why have you brought him to me here in my house? 15 Don’t I have enough crazy people around here already, or did you think I might need yet another?
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