1 Samuel 21

David and the Holy Bread

1 Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And a Ahimelech was b afraid when he met David, and said to him, "Why are you alone, and no one is with you?" 2 So David said to Ahimelech the priest, "The king has ordered me on some business, and said to me, 'Do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I send you, or what I have commanded you.' And I have directed my young men to such and such a place. 3 "Now therefore, what have you on hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever can be found." 4 And the priest answered David and said, "There is no 1 common bread on hand; but there is c holy 2 bread, d if the young men have at least kept themselves from women." 5 Then David answered the priest, and said to him, "Truly, women have been kept from us about three days since I came out. And 3 the e vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in effect common, even though it was consecrated f in the vessel this day." 6 So the priest g gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread h which had been taken from before the LORD, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day when it was taken away.

7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD. And his name was i Doeg, an Edomite, the chief of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul.

8 And David said to Ahimelech, "Is there not here on hand a spear or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste." 9 So the priest said, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in j the Valley of Elah, k there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there is no other except that one here." And David said, "There is none like it; give it to me."

David Flees to Gath

10 Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

11 And l the servants of Achish said to him, "Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying:
m 'Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands'?" 4

12 Now David n took these words 5 to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 So o he changed his behavior before them, pretended 6 madness in their hands, 7 scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, "Look, you see the man is insane. Why have you brought him to me? 15 "Have I need of madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?"

  1. Cross References
    1 Samuel 1:17
    Then Eli answered and said, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.
  2. Cross References
    1 Samuel 14:3
    Ahijah the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the LORD's priest in Shiloh, was wearing an ephod. But the people did not know that Jonathan had gone.
    Mark 2:26
    "how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?"
  3. Cross References
    1 Samuel 16:4
    So Samuel did what the LORD said, and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, "Do you come peaceably?
  4. Cross References
    Exodus 25:30
    And you shall set the showbread on the table before Me always.
    Leviticus 24:5 - 9
    And you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with it. Two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake.
    Matthew 12:4
    How he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?
  5. Cross References
    Exodus 19:15
    And he said to the people, "Be ready for the third day; do not come near your wives.
  6. Cross References
    Exodus 19:14
    So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes.
    Exodus 19:15
    And he said to the people, "Be ready for the third day; do not come near your wives.
    1 Thessalonians 4:4
    That each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor.
  7. Cross References
    Leviticus 8:26
    And from the basket of unleavened bread that was before the LORD he took one unleavened cake, a cake of bread anointed with oil, and one wafer, and put them on the fat and on the right thigh.
  8. Cross References
    Matthew 12:3
    But He said to them, "Have you not read what Da...
    Matthew 12:4
    How he entered the house of God and ate the sho...
    Mark 2:25
    But He said to them, "Have you never read what ...
    Mark 2:26
    "how he went into the house of God in the days ...
    Luke 6:3
    But Jesus answering them said, "Have you not ev...
    Luke 6:4
    "how he went into the house of God, took and at...
  9. Cross References
    Leviticus 24:8
    Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.
    Leviticus 24:9
    "And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the offerings of the LORD made by fire, by a perpetual statute."
  10. Cross References
    1 Samuel 14:47
    So Saul established his sovereignty over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, against the people of Ammon, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he harassed them.
    1 Samuel 22:9
    Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who was set over the servants of Saul, and said, "I saw the son of Jesse going to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.
    Psalms 52:1
    Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The goodness of God endures continually.
  11. Cross References
    1 Samuel 17:2
    And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines.
    1 Samuel 17:50
    So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David.
  12. Cross References
    1 Samuel 31:10
    Then they put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.
  13. Cross References
    Psalms 56:1
    Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up; Fighting all day he oppresses me.
  14. Cross References
    1 Samuel 18:6 - 8
    Now it had happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments.
    1 Samuel 29:5
    " Is this not David, of whom they sang to one another in dances, saying: 'Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands'?"
  15. Cross References
    Luke 2:19
    But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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