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1 Samuel 22 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

22 David left there and took refuge in the Cave of ‘Adulam. When his brothers and the rest of his father’s family heard of it, they went down to see him there. Then all the people in distress, in debt or embittered began gathering around him, and he became their leader; there were about four hundred with him.

David went from there to Mitzpeh of Mo’av and said to the king of Mo’av, “Please let my father and mother come and stay with you until I know what God will do for me.” He presented them to the king of Mo’av, and they lived with him as long as David remained in his stronghold. But the prophet Gad said to David, “Don’t stay in the stronghold. Leave, and go to the land of Y’hudah.” So David left and went to the Forest of Heret.

Sha’ul heard that David and the men with him had been located. Sha’ul was sitting in Giv‘ah, under the tamarisk tree on the hill, with his spear in his hand and all his servants standing around him. Sha’ul said to his servants standing around him, “Listen, you men of Binyamin! Is Yishai’s son going to give any of you fields and vineyards? Is he going to make you all commanders of thousands and hundreds? Is this why you have all conspired against me, why none of you told me when my son went in league with Yishai’s son? None of you is concerned about me! Otherwise you would have told me that my son had incited my servant to become my enemy, as he is now.”

Then Do’eg the Edomi, who had been put in charge of Sha’ul’s servants, answered, “I saw Yishai’s son come to Nov, to Achimelekh the son of Achituv. 10 He consulted Adonai for him, gave him food and gave him the sword of Golyat the P’lishti.” 11 The king sent to summon Achimelekh the cohen the son of Achituv, along with all his father’s family, the cohanim in Nov; and all of them went to the king. 12 Sha’ul said, “Listen here, you son of Achituv!” He answered, “Here I am, my lord.” 13 Sha’ul said to him, “Why did you conspire against me, you and Yishai’s son? By giving him bread and a sword and consulting God for him, you helped him rebel against me and become my enemy, which he now is!” 14 Achimelekh answered the king, “Is there anyone among all your servants more trustworthy than David? He’s the king’s son-in-law, he carries out your every request, your household honors him. 15 I didn’t start consulting God for him just today. Heaven forbid! The king shouldn’t accuse me or my father’s family of anything! Your servant knows nothing at all about any of this!” 16 But the king said, “You must die, you and your father’s whole family.” 17 Then the king told the guards standing around him, “Go around, and kill the cohanim of Adonai, because they are siding with David, and because they knew he was escaping, yet they didn’t tell me.” But the king’s servants refused to lift their hands against the cohanim of Adonai. 18 So the king said to Do’eg, “You go around and kill the cohanim!” Do’eg the Edomi went around and fell on the cohanim; that day he killed eighty-five persons wearing linen ritual vests. 19 He also attacked Nov, the city of the cohanim, with the sword; he put to the sword both men and women, children and babies, cattle, donkeys and sheep.

20 One of the sons of Achimelekh the son of Achituv, named Avyatar, escaped and fled to join David. 21 Avyatar told David that Sha’ul had killed the cohanim of Adonai. 22 David said to Avyatar, “I knew it! That day, when Do’eg the Edomi was there, I knew he would tell Sha’ul. I caused the death of every person in your father’s family. 23 Stay with me; don’t be afraid; because the one who is seeking my life seeks yours too. You’ll be safe with me.”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

1 Samuel 22 New King James Version (NKJV)

David’s Four Hundred Men

22 David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was [a]discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.

Then David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come here with you, till I know what God will do for me.” So he brought them before the king of Moab, and they dwelt with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.

Now the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold; depart, and go to the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.

Saul Murders the Priests

When Saul heard that David and the men who were with him had been discovered—now Saul was staying in Gibeah under a tamarisk tree in Ramah, with his spear in his hand, and all his servants standing about him— then Saul said to his servants who stood about him, “Hear now, you Benjamites! Will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands and captains of hundreds? All of you have conspired against me, and there is no one who reveals to me that my son has made a covenant with the son of Jesse; and there is not one of you who is sorry for me or reveals to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as it is this day.”

Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who was set over the servants of Saul, and said, “I saw the son of Jesse going to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10 And he inquired of the Lord for him, gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

11 So the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests who were in Nob. And they all came to the king. 12 And Saul said, “Hear now, son of Ahitub!”

He answered, “Here I am, my lord.”

13 Then 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, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as it is this day?”

14 So Ahimelech answered the king and said, “And who among all your servants is as faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, who goes at your bidding, and is honorable in your house? 15 Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? Far be it from me! Let not the king impute anything to his servant, or to any in the house of my father. For your servant knew nothing of all this, little or much.”

16 And the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house!” 17 Then the king said to the guards who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled and did not tell it to me.” But the servants of the king would not lift their hands to strike the priests of the Lord. 18 And the king said to Doeg, “You turn and kill the priests!” So Doeg the Edomite turned and [b]struck the priests, and killed on that day eighty-five men who wore a linen ephod. 19 Also Nob, the city of the priests, he struck with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and nursing infants, oxen and donkeys and sheep—with the edge of the sword.

20 Now one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21 And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the Lord’s priests. 22 So David said to Abiathar, “I knew that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have caused the death of all the persons of your father’s [c]house. 23 Stay with me; do not fear. For he who seeks my life seeks your life, but with me you shall be safe.”


  1. 1 Samuel 22:2 Lit. bitter of soul
  2. 1 Samuel 22:18 attacked
  3. 1 Samuel 22:22 family
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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