David Takes Consecrated Bread
7 Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the Lord; his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds.
8 David said to Ahimelech, “Do you not have a sword or spear here on hand? For I brought neither my sword nor my [other] weapons with me, because the king’s business was urgent.” 9 Then the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you would take it for yourself, do so. For there is no other here except for it.” And David said, “There is none like that; give it to me.”
10 Then David arose and fled from Saul that day, and went to Achish king of [g]Gath. 11 The servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing in praise of this one as they danced, saying,
And David his ten thousands’?”
12 David took these words to heart and was greatly afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13 So [fearing for his life] he changed his behavior in their sight, and acted insanely in their hands, and he scribbled on the doors of the gate, and drooled on his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see that the man is insane. Why have you brought him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that you bring this one to behave like a madman in my presence? Shall this one come into my house?”
- 1 Samuel 21:1 The city of the priests was located on Mt. Scopus about a mile northeast of Jerusalem.
- 1 Samuel 21:1 Ahimelech was also known as Ahijah.
- 1 Samuel 21:4 I.e. the bread of the Presence (showbread) was an offering dedicated to God and was to be eaten only by the priests. The ancient rabbis maintained that any law may be superseded to save life, and that David’s life was in danger from hunger.
- 1 Samuel 21:5 I.e. intimate contact with women.
- 1 Samuel 21:5 Lit vessels, a euphemism for the human body.
- 1 Samuel 21:6 Lit Face.
- 1 Samuel 21:10 This was a dangerous place to go since it was not only one of the Philistine’s five major cities, but also the former home of Goliath.