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1 Samuel 22 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Slaughter of the Priests

22 David fled from the city of Gath and went to a cave near the town of Adullam. When his brothers and the rest of the family heard that he was there, they joined him. People who were oppressed or in debt or dissatisfied went to him, about four hundred men in all, and he became their leader.

David went on from there to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come and stay with you until I find out what God is going to do for me.” So David left his parents with the king of Moab, and they stayed there as long as David was hiding out in the cave.

Then the prophet Gad came to David and said, “Don't stay here; go at once to the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.

One day Saul was in Gibeah, sitting under a tamarisk tree on a hill, with his spear in his hand, and all his officers were standing around him. He was told that David and his men had been located, and he said to his officers, “Listen, men of Benjamin! Do you think that David will give fields and vineyards to all of you, and make you officers in his army? Is that why you are plotting against me? Not one of you told me that my own son had made an alliance with David. No one is concerned about me or tells me that David, one of my own men, is right now looking for a chance to kill me, and that my son has encouraged him!”

Doeg was standing there with Saul's officers, and he said, “I saw David when he went to Ahimelech son of Ahitub in Nob. 10 Ahimelech asked the Lord what David should do, and then he gave David some food and the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

11 So King Saul sent for the priest Ahimelech and all his relatives, who were also priests in Nob, and they came to him. 12 Saul said to Ahimelech, “Listen, Ahimelech!”

“At your service, sir,” he answered.

13 Saul asked him, “Why are you and David plotting against me? Why did you give him some food and a sword, and consult God for him? Now he has turned against me and is waiting for a chance to kill me!”

14 Ahimelech answered, “David is the most faithful officer you have! He is your own son-in-law, captain of[a] your bodyguard, and highly respected by everyone in the royal court. 15 Yes, I consulted God for him, and it wasn't the first time.[b] As for plotting against you, Your Majesty must not accuse me or anyone else in my family. I don't know anything about this matter!”

16 The king said, “Ahimelech, you and all your relatives must die.” 17 Then he said to the guards standing near him, “Kill the Lord's priests! They conspired with David and did not tell me that he had run away, even though they knew it all along.” But the guards refused to lift a hand to kill the Lord's priests. 18 So Saul said to Doeg, “You kill them!”—and Doeg killed them all. On that day he killed eighty-five priests who were qualified to carry the ephod. 19 Saul also had all the other inhabitants of Nob, the city of priests, put to death: men and women, children and babies, cattle, donkeys, and sheep—they were all killed.

20 But Abiathar, one of Ahimelech's sons, escaped, and went and joined David. 21 He told him how Saul had slaughtered the priests of the Lord. 22 David said to him, “When I saw Doeg there that day, I knew that he would be sure to tell Saul. So I am responsible[c] for the death of all your relatives. 23 Stay with me and don't be afraid. Saul wants to kill both you and me, but you will be safe with me.”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 22:14 Some ancient translations captain of; Hebrew he turned to.
  2. 1 Samuel 22:15 Yes, I consulted … time; or Now, have I done something wrong today by consulting God for him? Not at all!
  3. 1 Samuel 22:22 Some ancient translations I am responsible; Hebrew I have turned.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

1 Samuel 22 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

David and His Followers at Adullam

22 David left there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; when his brothers and all his father’s house heard of it, they went down there to him. Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Those who were with him numbered about four hundred.

David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab. He said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come[a] to you, until I know what God will do for me.” He left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold. Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not remain in the stronghold; leave, and go into the land of Judah.” So David left, and went into the forest of Hereth.

Saul Slaughters the Priests at Nob

Saul heard that David and those who were with him had been located. Saul was sitting at Gibeah, under the tamarisk tree on the height, with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing around him. Saul said to his servants who stood around 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? Is that why 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 he is doing today.” Doeg the Edomite, who was in charge of Saul’s servants, answered, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech son of Ahitub; 10 he inquired of the Lord for him, gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

11 The king sent for the priest Ahimelech son of Ahitub and for all his father’s house, the priests who were at Nob; and all of them came to the king. 12 Saul said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.” He answered, “Here I am, my lord.” 13 Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, by giving him bread and a sword, and by inquiring of God for him, so that he has risen against me, to lie in wait, as he is doing today?”

14 Then Ahimelech answered the king, “Who among all your servants is so faithful as David? He is the king’s son-in-law, and is quick[b] to do your bidding, and is honored in your house. 15 Is today the first time that I have inquired of God for him? By no means! Do not let the king impute anything to his servant or to any member of my father’s house; for your servant has known nothing of all this, much or little.” 16 The king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house.” 17 The king said to the guard who stood around him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because their hand also is with David; they knew that he fled, and did not disclose it to me.” But the servants of the king would not raise their hand to attack the priests of the Lord. 18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You, Doeg, turn and attack the priests.” Doeg the Edomite turned and attacked the priests; on that day he killed eighty-five who wore the linen ephod. 19 Nob, the city of the priests, he put to the sword; men and women, children and infants, oxen, donkeys, and sheep, he put to the sword.

20 But one of the sons of Ahimelech son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21 Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I am responsible[c] for the lives of all your father’s house. 23 Stay with me, and do not be afraid; for the one who seeks my life seeks your life; you will be safe with me.”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 22:3 Syr Vg: Heb come out
  2. 1 Samuel 22:14 Heb and turns aside
  3. 1 Samuel 22:22 Gk Vg: Meaning of Heb uncertain
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Samuel 22 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

22 David therefore went from thence and fled to the cave of Odollam. And when his brethren, and all his father's house had heard of it, they went down to him thither;

And all that were in distress and oppressed with debt, and under affliction of mind gathered themselves unto him: and he became their prince, and there were with him about four hundred men.

And David departed from thence into Maspha of Moab: and he said to the king of Moab: Let my father and my mother tarry with you, I beseech thee, till I know what God will do for me.

And he left them under the eyes of the king of Moab, and they abode with him all the days that David was in the hold.

And Gad the prophet said to David: Abide not in the hold, depart, and go into the land of Juda. And David departed, and came into the forest of Haret.

And Saul heard that David was seen, and the men that were with him. Now whilst Saul abode in Gabaa, and was in the wood, which is by Rama, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him,

He said to his servants that stood about him: Hear me now, ye sons of Jemini: will the son of Isai give everyone of you fields, and vineyards, and make you all tribunes, and centurions:

That all of you have conspired against me, and there is no one to inform me, especially when even my son hath entered into league with the soil of Isai? There is not one of you that pitieth my case, nor that giveth me any information: because my son hath raised up my servant against me, plotting against me to this day.

And Doeg the Edomite who stood by, and was the chief among the servants of Saul, answering, said: I saw the son of Isai, in Nobe with Achimelech the son of Achitob the priest.

10 And he consulted the Lord for him, and gave him victuals, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.

11 Then the king sent to call for Achimelech the priest the son of Achitob, and all his father's house, the priests that were in Nobe, and they came all of them to the king.

12 And Saul said to Achimelech: Hear, thou son of Achitob. He answered: Here I am, my lord.

13 And Saul said to him: Why have you conspired against me, thou, and the son of Isai, and thou hast given him bread and a sword, and hast consulted the Lord for him, that he should rise up against me, continuing a traitor to this day.

14 And Achimelech answering the king, said: And who amongst all thy servants is so faithful as David, who is the king's son in law, and goeth forth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thy house?

15 Did I begin to day to consult the Lord for him? far be this from me: let not the king suspect such a thing against his servant, or any one in all my father's house: for thy servant knew nothing of this matter, either little or great.

16 And the king said: Dying thou shalt die, Achimelech, thou and all thy father's house.

17 And the king said to the messengers that stood about him: Turn, and kill the priests of the Lord, for their hand is with David, because they knew that he was fled, and they told it not to me. And the king's servants would not put forth their hands against the priests of the Lord.

18 And the king said to Doeg: Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and fell upon the priests and slew in that day eighty-five men that wore the linen ephod.

19 And Nobe the city of the priests he smote with the edge of his sword, both men and women, children, and sucklings, and ox and ass, and sheep with the edge of the sword.

20 But one of the sons of Achimelech the son of Achitob, whose name was Abiathar, escaped, and fled to David,

21 And told him that Saul had slain the priests of the Lord.

22 And David said to Abiathar: I knew that day when Doeg the Edomite was there, that without doubt he would tell Saul: I have been the occasion of the death of all the souls of thy father's house.

23 Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life, seeketh thy life also, and with me thou shalt be saved.

1 Samuel 22 The Message (MSG)

Saul Murders the Priests of God

22 1-2 So David got away and escaped to the Cave of Adullam. When his brothers and others associated with his family heard where he was, they came down and joined him. Not only that, but all who were down on their luck came around—losers and vagrants and misfits of all sorts. David became their leader. There were about four hundred in all.

3-4 Then David went to Mizpah in Moab. He petitioned the king of Moab, “Grant asylum to my father and mother until I find out what God has planned for me.” David left his parents in the care of the king of Moab. They stayed there all through the time David was hiding out.

The prophet Gad told David, “Don’t go back to the cave. Go to Judah.” David did what he told him. He went to the forest of Hereth.

6-8 Saul got word of the whereabouts of David and his men. He was sitting under the big oak on the hill at Gibeah at the time, spear in hand, holding court surrounded by his officials. He said, “Listen here, you Benjaminites! Don’t think for a minute that you have any future with the son of Jesse! Do you think he’s going to hand over choice land, give you all influential jobs? Think again. Here you are, conspiring against me, whispering behind my back—not one of you is man enough to tell me that my own son is making deals with the son of Jesse, not one of you who cares enough to tell me that my son has taken the side of this, this . . . outlaw!”

9-10 Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with Saul’s officials, spoke up: “I saw the son of Jesse meet with Ahimelech son of Ahitub, in Nob. I saw Ahimelech pray with him for God’s guidance, give him food, and arm him with the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

11 Saul sent for the priest Ahimelech son of Ahitub, along with the whole family of priests at Nob. They all came to the king.

12 Saul said, “You listen to me, son of Ahitub!”

“Certainly, master,” he said.

13 “Why have you ganged up against me with the son of Jesse, giving him bread and a sword, even praying with him for God’s guidance, setting him up as an outlaw, out to get me?”

14-15 Ahimelech answered the king, “There’s not an official in your administration as true to you as David, your own son-in-law and captain of your bodyguard. None more honorable either. Do you think that was the first time I prayed with him for God’s guidance? Hardly! But don’t accuse me of any wrongdoing, me or my family. I have no idea what you’re trying to get at with this ‘outlaw’ talk.”

16 The king said, “Death, Ahimelech! You’re going to die—you and everyone in your family!”

17 The king ordered his henchmen, “Surround and kill the priests of God! They’re hand in glove with David. They knew he was running away from me and didn’t tell me.” But the king’s men wouldn’t do it. They refused to lay a hand on the priests of God.

18-19 Then the king told Doeg, “You do it—massacre the priests!” Doeg the Edomite led the attack and slaughtered the priests, the eighty-five men who wore the sacred robes. He then carried the massacre into Nob, the city of priests, killing man and woman, child and baby, ox, donkey, and sheep—the works.

20-21 Only one son of Ahimelech son of Ahitub escaped: Abiathar. He got away and joined up with David. Abiathar reported to David that Saul had murdered the priests of God.

22-23 David said to Abiathar, “I knew it—that day I saw Doeg the Edomite there, I knew he’d tell Saul. I’m to blame for the death of everyone in your father’s family. Stay here with me. Don’t be afraid. The one out to kill you is out to kill me, too. Stick with me. I’ll protect you.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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