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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: 1 Samuel

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Part 6: Ch.21-31: David on the Run

Ch.21: David goes on the run to Nob & Gath

Ch.22: David escapes & Saul kills the priests

Ch.23: David moves on and is pursued by Saul

Ch.24: David Spares Saul's Life

Ch.25: David, Nabal and Abigail

Ch.26: David Again Spares Saul's Life

Ch.27: David Among the Philistines

Ch.28: Saul & the Witch of Endor

Ch.29: David excused from fighting his own people

Ch.30: David Destroys the Amalekites

Ch.31: Israel's defeat & Saul's death

FRAMEWORKS: 1 Samuel 21: David goes on the run to Nob & Gath


v.1-9 David at Nob

v.10-15 David at Gath



v.1-9 David at Nob


v.1 David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?”

v.2 David answered Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.' As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place.

v.3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”

v.4 But the priest answered David, “I don't have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”

v.5 David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men's bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!”

v.6 So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.

v.7 Now one of Saul's servants was there that day, detained before the Lord ; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul's chief shepherd.

v.8 David asked Ahimelek, “Don't you have a spear or a sword here? I haven't brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king's mission was urgent.”

v.9 The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.”

David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”


[Notes: Nob had, over time, replaced Shiloh as the city of the priests [see 22:19]. It was only a few miles away south of Gibeah in the direction of Jerusalem. David is looking for food and weapons and a friendly reception which he finds with the priest Ahimelek. He spins a tale and asks for food and takes the consecrated bread and Goliath's sword which is there. Jesus refers to this in his teaching in Lk 6:3,4]



v.10-15 David at Gath


v.10 That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath.

v.11 But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn't this David, the king of the land? Isn't he the one they sing about in their dances:

“‘Saul has slain his thousands,
     and David his tens of thousands'?”

v.12 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath.

v.13 So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.

v.14 Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me?

v.15 Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?”


[Notes: David flees south into the land of the Philistines but some of them complain to the king about him. To survive David feigns madness.]