1 Samuel 21

David goes to the town called Nob

1 David went and he visited Ahimelech the priest. He lived in the town called Nob. Ahimelech shook when he went to meet David. Ahimelech asked David, ‘Why are you alone? Why is nobody with you?’

21:1David went 3 kilometres (2 miles) to the town of Nob. The priests now lived in Nob (see 1 Samuel 22:19) because the Philistines had destroyed Shiloh.
21:1Ahimelech was the main priest at that time. He was the grandson of Eli the priest (1 Samuel 1:9).

2 David answered, ‘The king has asked me to do something special. He said to me, “Do not say to anyone where I have sent you. Do not say what you have to do.” And I have sent my men to meet me at a certain place. 3 Do you have anything to eat here? Give to me 5 loaves of bread or anything else that you have.’

4 The priest answered David, ‘I do not have any bread that anyone can eat. I only have some special holy bread. You can have it only if your men have not had sex with women.’

5 David replied, ‘We have not been near women since we started our journey. The young men always keep themselves clean when we have any kind of journey. So they will certainly be clean today.’ 6 So the priest gave the special holy bread to David because he did not have any other bread. Every day the priest went to the holy place where God appeared. The priest took away the old bread and he put hot, fresh bread in its place.

7 One of Saul's servants was there that day. He had to remain for a longer time than usual near the place where the Lord appeared. His name was Doeg. He came from the country called Edom. He was Saul's most important shepherd.

8 David asked Ahimelech, ‘Do you have a sword or a spear that I could have? The king's business was so important that I left without a sword or anything to fight with.’

9 Ahimelech answered, ‘The sword of Goliath the Philistine is here. You killed him in the valley of Elah. We covered the sword in a cloth and we put it behind the ephod. If you want it, you can take it. We do not have any other sword except that one.’

David said, ‘Give it to me. There is no sword as good as that one.’

David goes to the town called Gath

10 Saul did not catch David that day. David went to Achish who was the king of the town called Gath. 11 But the servants of King Achish said to him, ‘This man is David, the king of the Israelites. The people sing about him when they dance. They sing, “Saul has killed thousands of people, but David has killed tens of thousands of people”.’

12 David became very serious. He thought about what the servants said. Then he became very afraid of Achish, king of Gath. 13 When David was near the king or his servants, David did strange things. He was like a man with a sick mind. He made marks on the doors of the gate. He did not keep water in his mouth but he let it go all down his beard.

14 Achish said to his servants, ‘Look at that man. He is like a crazy man. Why did you bring him to me? 15 I have enough crazy men already. I do not need to see another one. And I do not want this man to come into my house.’