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1 Samuel 21 New Life Version (NLV)

David Runs from Saul

21 David came to Ahimelech the religious leader at Nob. Ahimelech came shaking in fear to meet David, and said to him, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?” David said to Ahimelech the religious leader, “The king has given me something to do. And he has said to me, ‘Let no one know anything about what I have sent you to do.’ I have told the young men to meet at a certain place. Now, what do you have ready? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you may have.” The religious leader answered David, “I only have bread which has been set apart as holy, if only the young men have kept themselves from women.” And David told the religious leader, “For sure women have been kept from us while we have traveled. The bodies of the young men are holy even on everyday trips. How much more they are today!” So the religious leader gave him holy bread. For there was no bread there but the bread before the Lord. It was taken from before the Lord, so hot bread could be put in its place. Now one of Saul’s servants happened to be there that day. His name was Doeg the Edomite, the head of Saul’s shepherds.

David said to Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or a sword? I did not bring my sword or any spears with me, because I had to hurry to do the king’s work.” The religious leader said, “The sword is here that belonged to Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah. See, it is behind the linen vest, with a cloth around it. Take it, if you will. For it is the only one here.” And David said, “There is none like it. Give it to me.”

10 Then David got up and ran that day from Saul. He went to Achish king of Gath. 11 The servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing to each other about him as they danced, saying, ‘Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?” 12 David took these words to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13 So he changed the way he acted in front of them. He pretended to be crazy while he was with them. He made marks on the doors of the gate. He let his spit run down into the hair of his face. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “See, you see the man is crazy. Why have you brought him to me? 15 Do I need any crazy men, that you bring this one to act crazy in front of me? Will this one come into my house?”

New Life Version (NLV)

Copyright © 1969, 2003 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.

1 Samuel 21 New International Version (NIV)

David at Nob

21 [a]David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?”

David answered Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”

But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”

David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever[b] I set out. The men’s bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!” So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.

Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the Lord; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd.

David asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king’s mission was urgent.”

The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.”

David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

David at Gath

10 That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. 11 But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances:

“‘Saul has slain his thousands,
    and David his tens of thousands’?”

12 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13 So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.

14 Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? 15 Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 21:1 In Hebrew texts 21:1-15 is numbered 21:2-16.
  2. 1 Samuel 21:5 Or from us in the past few days since
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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