1 Samuel 22Revised 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.”