April 11th 1 Samuel 21
David supported by Ahimelech
1: Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee? 2: And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place. 3: Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present. 4: And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women. 5: And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel. 6: So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in 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 Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul. 8: And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under thine hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste. 9: And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.
David fakes insanity
10: And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11: And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands? 12: And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13: And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard. 14: Then said Achish unto his servants, Lo, ye see the man is mad: wherefore then have ye brought him to me? 15: Have I need of mad men, that ye have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?
1 Samuel 22 David raises an army
1: David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him. 2: And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men. 3: And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me. 4: And he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold. 5: And the prophet Gad said unto David, Abide not in the hold; depart, and get thee into the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hareth.
Saul kills the priests
6: When Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that were with him, (now Saul abode in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him;) 7: Then Saul said unto his servants that stood about him, Hear now, ye Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds; 8: That all of you have conspired against me, and there is none that sheweth me that my son hath made a league with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you that is sorry for me, or sheweth unto me that my son hath stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day? 9: Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10: And he inquired of the LORD for him, and gave him victuals, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine. 11: Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father's house, the priests that were in Nob: and they came all of them to the king. 12: And Saul said, Hear now, thou son of Ahitub. And he answered, Here I am, my lord. 13: And Saul said unto him, Why have ye conspired against me, thou and the son of Jesse, in that thou hast given him bread, and a sword, and hast inquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as at this day? 14: Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all thy servants as David, which is the king's son in law, and goeth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thine house? 15: Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? be it far from me: let not the king impute any thing unto his servant, nor to all the house of my father: for thy servant knew nothing of all this, less or more. 16: And the king said, Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all thy father's house. 17: And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD. 18: And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod. 19: And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword. 20: And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David. 21: And Abiathar shewed David that Saul had slain the LORD's priests. 22: And David said unto Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of thy father's house. 23: Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard.
1 Samuel 23 David rescues Keilah
1: Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshingfloors. 2: Therefore David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the LORD said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah. 3: And David's men said unto him, Behold, we be afraid here in Judah: how much more then if we come to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines? 4: Then David inquired of the LORD yet again. And the LORD answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hand. 5: So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
Saul chases David
6: And it came to pass, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand. 7: And it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah. And Saul said, God hath delivered him into mine hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars. 8: And Saul called all the people together to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men. 9: And David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod. 10: Then said David, O LORD God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake. 11: Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O LORD God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the LORD said, He will come down. 12: Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the LORD said, They will deliver thee up. 13: Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth. 14: And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand. 15: And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life: and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood. 16: And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God. 17: And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth. 18: And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house. 19: Then came up the Ziphites to Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself with us in strong holds in the wood, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon? 20: Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of thy soul to come down; and our part shall be to deliver him into the king's hand. 21: And Saul said, Blessed be ye of the LORD; for ye have compassion on me. 22: Go, I pray you, prepare yet, and know and see his place where his haunt is, and who hath seen him there: for it is told me that he dealeth very subtilly. 23: See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hideth himself, and come ye again to me with the certainty, and I will go with you: and it shall come to pass, if he be in the land, that I will search him out throughout all the thousands of Judah. 24: And they arose, and went to Ziph before Saul: but David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of Jeshimon. 25: Saul also and his men went to seek him. And they told David: wherefore he came down into a rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon. 26: And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them. 27: But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Haste thee, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land. 28: Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines: therefore they called that place Sela-hammahlekoth. 29: And David went up from thence, and dwelt in strong holds at En-gedi.
In the next three chapters we have recorded the beginning of David’s time of obscurity. David is found by the Philistines but he pretends to be insane to escape execution. Next we see that David raises an army. And while Saul is becoming worse and worse David is seeking ever more to do what is right before the Lord, but Saul is constantly after him. So here we see David coming to the priest to ask for five loaves with which to feed his men. David was given the holy bread reserved only for the priests. David’s greater son obtained five loaves and with them fed a huge multitude. He told the priest that he was on secret business for Saul. David was unarmed and so he asked whether there might not be weapons the priest said there is only the sword of Goliath, but it’s yours David. So David took it as his only weapon. David in his journey found himself in the camp of the Philistines and they recognised him so he pretended to be insane and they left him alone. David finally found a place of safety at the cave of Adullam. When the men of Israel knew that he was there they went to him. All those who were penniless, debtors and discontented. They all went to David. They understood him and he understood them and they recognised in him a man of God. They knew God was with him. David became their leader over a band of 400 men. David went and put his father and family in a safe place and then he went and lived in the forest. Saul was becoming increasingly paranoid. When he heard that the Priest had given David food and the sword of Goliath he went and executed the priest of God. Saul’s men were afraid to kill the priests but the Edomites with Saul carried out his evil wishes. They killed 84 priests that day. When David heard of this he confessed that he thought it might happen. Then David heard that the Philistines had invaded so he enquired of the LORD and the LORD told him to go and fight against them and he had total victory. When Saul knew that David was in the city he besieged the city but David enquired of the Lord. David’s men now numbered 600. David escaped and lived in caves and in the wild mountains. Saul searched for him but God was with David. Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him and made a covenant of peace with him. On one occasion Saul seemed to have trapped David but right then he heard that the Philistines had invaded the north so he broke off following him. How sad it was that one Israelite chased another Israelite to murder him. And how sad it is today when men of God pursue each other for harm.
- David requested five loaves to feed his men. Do you know of someone else that took five loaves to feed his men?
- How does David defend himself from the Philistines?
- Who comes to David? And why do they come to him?