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1 Samuel 21 World English Bible (WEB)

21 Then David came to Nob to Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech came to meet David trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no man with you?” David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has commanded me to do something, and has said to me, ‘Let no one know anything about the business about which I send you, and what I have commanded you. I have sent the young men to a certain place.’ Now therefore what is under your hand? Please give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever is available.”

The priest answered David, and said, “I have no common bread, but there is holy bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women.”

David answered the priest, and said to him, “Truly, women have been kept from us as usual these three days. When I came out, the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was only a common journey. How much more then today shall their vessels be holy?” So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the show bread that was taken from before Yahweh, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.

Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before Yahweh; and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the best of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul. David said to Ahimelech, “Isn’t there here under your hand spear or sword? For I haven’t brought my sword or my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.”

The priest said, “Behold, the sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you would like to take that, take it; for there is no other except that here.”

David said, “There is none like that. Give it to me.”

10 David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11 The servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David the king of the land? Didn’t they sing to one another about him in dances, saying,

‘Saul has slain his thousands,
    and David his ten thousands?’”

12 David laid up these words in his heart, and was very afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 He changed his behavior before them, and pretended to be insane in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down on his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see the man is insane. 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? Should this fellow come into my house?”

World English Bible (WEB)

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1 Samuel 21 New International Version (NIV)

David at Nob

21 [a]David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?”

David answered Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”

But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”

David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever[b] I set out. The men’s bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!” So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.

Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the Lord; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd.

David asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king’s mission was urgent.”

The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.”

David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

David at Gath

10 That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. 11 But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances:

“‘Saul has slain his thousands,
    and David his tens of thousands’?”

12 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13 So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.

14 Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? 15 Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 21:1 In Hebrew texts 21:1-15 is numbered 21:2-16.
  2. 1 Samuel 21:5 Or from us in the past few days since
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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