2 “I'm on a mission for King Saul,” David answered. “He ordered me not to tell anyone what the mission is all about, so I had my soldiers stay somewhere else.
3 Do you have any food you can give me? Could you spare five loaves of bread?”
“The only bread I have is the sacred bread,” the priest told David. “You can have it if your soldiers didn't sleep with women last night.”
c 21.4 night: Having sex was one of the things that would make someone temporarily unfit to take part in worship or a sacred meal (see Exodus 19.15; Leviticus 15.18).
5 “Of course we didn't sleep with women,” David answered. “I never let my men do that when we're on a mission. They have to be acceptable to worship God even when we're on a regular mission, and today we're on a special mission.”
The only bread the priest had was the sacred bread that he had taken from the place of worship after putting out the fresh loaves. So he gave it to David.
It so happened that one of Saul's officers was there, worshiping the Lord
that day. His name was Doeg the Edomite,
d 21.7 Edomite: A person from the country of Edom, to the south of Israel.
and he was the strongest of
e 21.7 the strongest of: Or “in charge of.”
8 David asked Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or a sword? I had to leave so quickly on this mission for the king that I didn't bring along my sword or any other weapons.”
The priest answered, “The only sword here is the one that belonged to Goliath the Philistine. You were the one who killed him in Elah Valley, and so you can take his sword if you want to. It's wrapped in a cloth behind the statue.”
21.9 1S 17.51.
“It's the best sword there is,” David said. “I'll take it!”
David Tries To Find Safety in Gath
David kept on running from Saul that day until he came to Gath,
f 21.10 Gath: One of the five main Philistine towns.
where he met with King Achish.
The officers of King Achish were also there, and they asked Achish, “Isn't David a king back in his own country? Don't the Israelites dance and sing,
21.11 1S 18.7; 29.5.
‘Saul has killed
a thousand enemies;
David has killed
ten thousand enemies’?”
David thought about what they were saying, and it made him afraid of Achish.
So right there in front of everyone, he pretended to be insane. He acted confused and scratched up the doors of the town gate, while drooling in his beard.
14 “Look at him!” Achish said to his officers. “You can see he's crazy. Why did you bring him to me?
15 I have enough crazy people without your bringing another one here. Keep him away from my palace!”
People Join David
When David escaped from the town of Gath, he went to Adullam Cave. His brothers and the rest of his family found out where he was, and they followed him there.
A lot of other people joined him too. Some were in trouble, others were angry or in debt, and David was soon the leader of four hundred men.
3 David left Adullam Cave and went to the town of Mizpeh in Moab, where he talked with the king of Moab. “Please,” David said, “let my father and mother stay with you until I find out what God will do with me.”
4 So he brought his parents to the king of Moab, and they stayed with him while David was in hiding.
5 One day the prophet Gad told David, “Don't stay here! Go back to Judah.” David then left and went to Hereth Forest.