David’s soldiers, 1 Samuel 21:1-30:31

David Flees to Nob

21:1 David came to Nob to Ahimelech the priest, and Ahimelech was trembling as he came to meet David. Ahimelech told him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?”

2 David told Ahimelech the priest, “The king commanded me about a matter, saying to me, ‘Don’t let anyone know anything about the matter I’m sending you to do and about which I’ve commanded you. I’ve directed the young men to a certain place.’ 3 Now, what do you have available? Give me five loaves of bread or whatever you have.”

4 The priest answered David: “There is no ordinary bread available; only consecrated bread, provided that the young men have kept themselves from women.”

5 David answered the priest, saying to him, “Indeed, women were kept from us as is usual whenever I go out on a mission, and the equipment of the young men is consecrated even when it’s an ordinary journey, so how much more is their equipment consecrated today?” 6 So the priest gave him consecrated bread because no bread was there except the Bread of the Presence that had been removed from the LORD’s presence and replaced with hot bread on the day it was taken away.

7 Now, Doeg the Edomite, one of Saul’s officials, was there that day, detained in the LORD’s presence. He was the chief of Saul’s shepherds.

David Takes Goliath’s Sword
8 David told Ahimelech, “Is there no spear or sword available here? I took neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s mission is urgent.”

9 The priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in the Valley of Elah is wrapped up in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it because there is no other except it here.”

So David said, “There is none like it. Give it to me.”

David Flees to Gath
10 David got up that day and fled from Saul, and he went to King Achish of Gath. 11 The officials of Achish told him, “Isn’t this David, king of the land? Isn’t this the one about whom they sang as they danced,

‘Saul has struck down his thousands,

but David his ten thousands’?”

12 David took these words seriously, and he was very frightened of King Achish of Gath. 13 So David changed his behavior before them and acted like he was crazy in their presence. He scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down his beard. 14 Achish told his officials, “Look, you see a person acting like a madman. Why’d you bring him to me? 15 Am I lacking madmen that you bring me this one to act like a madman around me? Shall this one come into my house?”

David at the Cave of Adullam
22:1 David left from there and escaped to the Cave of Adullam. His brothers and all his father’s family heard about this and went down to him there. 2 Everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was malcontent gathered around him, and he became their leader. There were about 400 men with him.

David Seeks Protection for His Family
3 David went from there to Mizpah of Moab, and he told the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come and stay with you until I know what God is going to do for me.” 4 David left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him all the time David was in the stronghold.

5 The prophet Gad told David, “Don’t remain in the stronghold. Go and enter the territory of Judah.” So David left and went into the forest of Hereth.

Doeg the Edomite Reports to Saul
6 When Saul heard that David and the men who were with him had been found, he was sitting in Gibeah, under the tamarisk tree on the hill, with his spear in his hand. All his officials were standing around him. 7 Saul told his officials who were standing around him, “Listen, men of Benjamin! Will Jesse’s son also give fields and vineyards to all of you? Will he make all of you officers over thousands and officers over hundreds? 8 But all of you have conspired against me, and no one tells me about my son’s covenant with Jesse’s son. None of you feels sorry for me and tells me that my son has stirred up my servant against me to lie in wait, as he’s doing this day.”

9 Then Doeg the Edomite, who was in charge of Saul’s servants answered: “I saw Jesse’s son coming to Nob to Ahitub’s son Ahimelech. 10 Ahimelech inquired of the LORD for him, gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

Saul Orders the Execution of the Priests
11 The king sent for Ahitub’s son Ahimelech the priest and for all his father’s family who were priests at Nob. All of them came to the king. 12 Saul said, “Listen, son of Ahitub!”

And he said, “Here I am, your majesty.”

13 Then Saul asked him, “Why have you conspired against me—you and Jesse’s son—by giving him food and a sword, and by inquiring of God for him, so he can rise up against me to lie in wait, as he’s doing today?”

14 Ahimelech answered the king, “Who among all your officials is as faithful as David? He is the king’s son-in-law, the captain of your bodyguard, and he’s honored in your household. 15 Is today the first time I inquired of God for him? Absolutely not! The king shouldn’t accuse his servant, or any of my father’s family of anything, because your servant didn’t know anything at all about this.”

16 The king said, “Ahimelech, you will surely die, you and all your father’s family!” 17 The king told the guards, who were standing beside him, “Turn and kill the priests of the LORD because they supported David, and because they knew he was fleeing, but didn’t inform me.” But the officials of the king did not want to lift their hands to attack the priests of the LORD.

18 Then the king told Doeg, “You turn and attack the priests.” Doeg the Edomite turned and attacked the priests. That day he killed eighty-five men who carry the linen ephod. 19 He attacked the priestly town of Nob with the sword. Men and women, children and infants, oxen, donkeys and sheep were put to the sword.

Abiathar Takes the Ephod to David
20 One man, Ahimelech’s son Abiathar, a grandson of Ahitub, escaped and fled to David. 21 Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the LORD. 22 David told Abiathar, “I knew on that day when Doeg the Edomite was there that he would certainly tell Saul! I’m responsible for the deaths of your father’s whole family. 23 Stay with me, and don’t be afraid because the one who seeks my life, seeks your life. Indeed, you will be safe with me.”

David Delivers Keilah
23:1 Someone told David, “Look, the Philistines are fighting at Keilah and are plundering the threshing floors.”

2 David inquired of the LORD: “Shall I go and strike down these Philistines?”

The LORD told David, “Go strike down the Philistines and deliver Keilah.”

3 David’s men told him, “Look, we’re afraid here in Judah. How much then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine army?”

4 David inquired of the LORD again, and the LORD answered him: “Get up, go down to Keilah. I’ll give the Philistines into your control.” 5 David and his men went to Keilah and fought the Philistines. He carried off their livestock and defeated them decisively, and so David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah. 6 Now when Ahimelech’s son Abiathar had fled to David in Keilah, the ephod had come down with him.

7 It was reported to Saul that David had come to Keilah, and Saul said, “The LORD has delivered him into my hand because he has shut himself in by going into a town with double gates and bars.” 8 Saul summoned for battle all his forces to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.

9 David knew that Saul was devising evil plans against him, and so he told Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod.”

10 David said, “LORD God of Israel. Your servant has definitely heard that Saul intends to come to Keilah to destroy the town because of me. 11 Will the people of Keilah hand me over to him? Will Saul come down just as your servant has heard? LORD God of Israel, please inform your servant.”

The LORD said, “He will come down.”

12 Then David said, “Will the people of Keilah hand me over to Saul?”

The LORD said, “They’ll hand you over.” 13 David and his men, about 600 strong, got up and left Keilah. They moved around wherever they could go. Saul was advised that David had escaped from Keilah, so he stopped the campaign.

Jonathan Visits David
14 David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and he lived in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God did not let David slip into Saul’s control. 15 David was afraid because Saul had come out to seek his life while David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 16 Saul’s son Jonathan got up and went to David at Horesh, and he encouraged him to trust in God. 17 Jonathan told him, “Don’t be afraid. My father Saul won’t find you, and you will be king over Israel. I’ll be your second-in-command. My father Saul also knows this.” 18 The two of them made a covenant in the LORD’s presence. David remained at Horesh while Jonathan went home.

The People of Ziph Betray David
19 People from Ziph came up to Saul at Gibeah and informed him, “David is hiding with us in the strongholds in Horesh and on the hill of Hachilah south of Jeshimon, isn’t he? 20 Now, your majesty, whenever you want to come down, come down, and our part will be to hand him over to the king.”

21 Saul said, “May you be blessed by the LORD, because you have been gracious to me. 22 Go and again make sure, find out and investigate where he is and who has seen him there, for people tell me that he’s very clever. 23 Investigate and find out all the hiding places there where he hides, and return to me with reliable information. Then I’ll go down with you, and if he’s in the land, I’ll search him out among all the thousands of Judah.” 24 The people from Ziph got up and left Saul, while David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon in the Arabah south of Jeshimon.

25 When Saul and his men went to search for David, some people told David, and he went down to the Rock of Escape and remained in the wilderness of Maon. Saul heard this and he pursued David into the wilderness of Maon. 26 Saul went on one side of the mountain while David and his men went on the other side of the mountain. David was hurrying to get away from Saul while Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them.

27 Then a messenger came to Saul with this news: “Come quickly, because the Philistines have made a raid on the land!” 28 So Saul turned around from pursuing David and went to meet the Philistines. Therefore, they call that place the Rock of Escape. 29 David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of En-gedi.

Still needs 1 Samuel 24:1 to 29:11

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