1 Samuel

David Takes Consecrated Bread

Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest; and Ahimelech came trembling to meet David and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has commissioned me with a matter and has said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the matter on which I am sending you and with which I have commissioned you; and I have directed the young men to a certain place.’ Now then, what [a]do you have on hand? Give [b]me five loaves of bread, or whatever can be found.” The priest answered David and said, “There is no ordinary bread [c]on hand, but there is consecrated bread, if only the young men have kept themselves from women.” David answered the priest and said to him, “Be assured, women have been denied to us as previously when I left and the [d]bodies of the young men were consecrated, though it was an ordinary journey; how much more then will [e]their bodies be consecrated today?” So the priest gave him consecrated bread; for there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence which was removed from its place before the Lord, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day it was taken away.

Now one of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord; and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds.

David said to Ahimelech, “Now is there no spear or sword [f]on hand? For I brought neither my sword nor my weapons [g]with me, because the king’s matter was urgent.” Then the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you [h]killed in the Valley of Elah, behold, it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you would take it for yourself, take it. For there is no other except it here.” And David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

10 Then David set out and fled that day from Saul, and went to Achish king of Gath. 11 But the servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David, the king of the land? Did they not sing of this one as they danced, saying,

‘Saul has slain his thousands,

And David his ten thousands’?”

12 David took these words [i]to heart and greatly feared Achish king of Gath. 13 So he disguised his sanity while in their sight and acted insanely in their [j]custody, and he scribbled on the doors of the gate, and drooled on his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see the man is behaving like an insane person. Why do you bring him to me? 15 Do I lack insane people, that you have brought this one to behave like an insane person in my presence? Shall this one come into my house?”


  1. 1 Samuel 21:3 Lit is there under your hand?
  2. 1 Samuel 21:3 Lit into my hand
  3. 1 Samuel 21:4 Lit under my hand
  4. 1 Samuel 21:5 Lit vessels
  5. 1 Samuel 21:5 Lit it be holy in the vessel
  6. 1 Samuel 21:8 Lit under your hand
  7. 1 Samuel 21:8 Lit in my hand
  8. 1 Samuel 21:9 Lit struck
  9. 1 Samuel 21:12 Lit in his
  10. 1 Samuel 21:13 Lit hand