1 Samuel 21:1-6
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
1 Then David departed on his way, while Jonathan went back into the city.
The Holy Bread. 2 David went to Ahimelech, the priest of Nob, who came trembling to meet him. He asked, “Why are you alone? Is there no one with you?”[a](A) 3 David answered the priest: “The king gave me a commission and told me, ‘Do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I have sent you or the commission I have given you.’ For that reason I have arranged a particular meeting place with my men. 4 (B)Now what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves, or whatever you can find.” 5 [b]But the priest replied to David, “I have no ordinary bread on hand, only holy bread; if the men have abstained from women, you may eat some of that.” 6 David answered the priest: “We have indeed stayed away from women. In the past whenever I went out on a campaign, all the young men were consecrated—even for an ordinary campaign. All the more so are they consecrated with their weapons today!”Read full chapter
- 21:2 Ahimelech realizes that he risks incurring Saul’s anger if David has come to Nob as a fugitive.
- 21:5–6 According to Lv 24:5–9, the showbread consisted of twelve loaves that were replaced each sabbath. Since the old bread was to be consumed by the priests, Ahimelech questions David regarding the ritual purity of his men (see 2 Sm 11:11). David’s answer supposes the discipline of a military campaign under the conditions of “holy war” (Dt 23:10–15).