1 Samuel 21:1-12
David and the Holy Bread
Then David came to Nob to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David trembling and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?”
And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.”
And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.”
And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.
Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord. His name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s herdsmen.
Then David said to Ahimelech, “Then have you not here a spear or a sword at hand? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.”
And the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it, for there is none but that here.”
And David said, “There is none like that; give it to me.”
David Flees to Gath
And David rose and fled that day from Saul and went to Achish the king of Gath. And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances, ‘Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?”
And David took these words to heart and was much afraid of Achish the king of Gath.
In God I Trust
To the choirmaster: according to The Dove on Far-off Terebinths.
A Miktam of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.
Be gracious to me, O God,
for man tramples on me;
all day long an attacker oppresses me;
my enemies trample on me all day long,
for many attack me proudly.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?
All day long they injure my cause;
all their thoughts are against me for evil.
They stir up strife, they lurk;
they watch my steps,
as they have waited for my life.
For their crime will they escape?
In wrath cast down the peoples, O God!
You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know, tha God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
I must perform my vows to you, O God;
I will render thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
yes, my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.
1 Samuel 21:13-15
So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard.
Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”
Taste and See That the Lord Is Good
Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
1 Samuel 22:1,2
David at the Cave of Adullam
David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became captain over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.
You Are My Refuge
A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.
With my voice I cry out to the Lord;
with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before him;
I tell my trouble before him.
When my spirit faints within me,
you know my way!
In the path where I walk
they have hidden a trap for me.
Look to the right and see:
there is none who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me;
no one cares for my soul.
I cry to you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
Attend to my cry,
for I am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me!
Bring me out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me,
for you will deal bountifully with me.
1 Chronicles 12:8-18
The Mighty Men Join David
From the Gadites there went over to David at the stronghold in the wilderness mighty and experienced warriors, expert with shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions and who were swift as gazelles upon the mountains:
Ezer the chief,
Obadiah second, Eliab third,
Mishmannah fourth, Jeremiah fifth,
Attai sixth, Eliel seventh,
Johanan eighth, Elzabad ninth,
Jeremiah tenth, Machbannai eleventh.
These Gadites were officers of the army; the least was a match for a hundred men and the greatest for a thousand. These are the men who crossed the Jordan in the first month, when it was overflowing all its banks, and put to flight all those in the valleys, to the east and to the west.
And some of the men of Benjamin and Judah came to the stronghold to David. David went out to meet them and said to them, “If you have come to me in friendship to help me, my heart will be joined to you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, although there is no wrong in my hands, then may the God of our fathers see and rebuke you.” Then the Spirit clothed Amasai, chief of the thirty, and he said,
“We are yours, O David,
and with you, O son of Jesse!
Peace, peace to you,
and peace to your helpers!
For your God helps you.”
Then David received them and made them officers of his troops.
1 Samuel 22:3-5
And David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab. And he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother stay with you, till I know what God will do for me.” And he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.
Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not remain in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.
Holy Bible, English Standard Version,
as arranged in chronological order by F. Legard Smith