David Flees to Gath

10 Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11 And (A)the servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying:

(B)‘Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands’?”

12 Now David (C)took these words [a]to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 So (D)he changed his behavior before them, pretended [b]madness in their hands, [c]scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see the man is insane. Why have you brought him to me? 15 Have I need of madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”

David’s Four Hundred Men(E)

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

Then David went from there to Mizpah of (J)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 (K)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.


  1. 1 Samuel 21:12 Lit. in his heart
  2. 1 Samuel 21:13 insanity
  3. 1 Samuel 21:13 scribbled
  4. 1 Samuel 22:2 Lit. bitter of soul

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