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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: 1 Samuel

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FRAMEWORKS: 1 Samuel 22: David escapes & Saul kills the priests


v.1,2 David sets up at the Cave of Adullam

v.3-5 David leaves his family in Moab for Safety

v.6-8 Saul berates his officials

v.9-10 Doeg betrays Ahimelek

v.11-17 Saul orders the deaths of the priests

v.18,19 Doeg carries out the executions

v.20-23 David is told & protects Abiathar



v.1,2 David sets up at the Cave of Adullam


v.1  David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father's household heard about it, they went down to him there.

v.2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.


[Notes: David quickly leaves the Philistines and sets up a base in the hill country at the cave of Adullam. Word gets out through the grapevine and his family and those who are fed up with Saul make their way to him. He turns them into a guerilla army.]



v.3-5 David leaves his family in Moab for Safety


v.3 From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, “Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God will do for me?”

v.4 So he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David was in the stronghold.

v.5 But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.


[Notes: David is not sure that Saul won't find them and so takes his parents to Moab for protection. The prophet Gad warns David to move to a more secure area in the forests to the south east.]



v.6-8 Saul berates his officials


v.6 Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And Saul was seated, spear in hand, under the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, with all his officials standing at his side.

v.7 He said to them, “Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds?

v.8 Is that why you have all conspired against me? No one tells me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is concerned about me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he does today.”


[Notes: Meanwhile, back at Gibeah, Saul is holding court and berates his official, his paranoia making him feel they are all against him.]



v.9-10 Doeg betrays Ahimelek


v.9 But Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with Saul's officials, said, “I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelek son of Ahitub at Nob.

v.10 Ahimelek inquired of the Lord for him; he also gave him provisions and the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”


[Notes: In their company was an Edomite, Doeg, who had been at Nob when David had passed through there, and he tells Saul what had happened.]



v.11-17 Saul orders the deaths of the priests


v.11 Then the king sent for the priest Ahimelek son of Ahitub and all the men of his family, who were the priests at Nob, and they all came to the king.

v.12 Saul said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.”

“Yes, my lord,” he answered.

v.13 Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, giving him bread and a sword and inquiring of God for him, so that he has rebelled against me and lies in wait for me, as he does today?”

v.14 Ahimelek answered the king, “Who of all your servants is as loyal as David, the king's son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly respected in your household?

v.15 Was that day the first time I inquired of God for him? Of course not! Let not the king accuse your servant or any of his father's family, for your servant knows nothing at all about this whole affair.”

v.16 But the king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelek, you and your whole family.”

v.17 Then the king ordered the guards at his side: “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord , because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me.”

But the king's officials were unwilling to raise a hand to strike the priests of the Lord .


[Notes: Saul sends for the priest who naively speaks openly about what had happened and the king in his anger and paranoia, sentences him to death, but none of his officials was willing to kill off the priesthood.]



v.18,19 Doeg carries out the executions


v.18 The king then ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests.” So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod.

v.19 He also put to the sword Nob, the town of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep.


[Notes: The Edomite has no such scruples and he kills off the priest and all the other priests at Nob.]



v.20-23 David is told & protects Abiathar


v.20 But one son of Ahimelek son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled to join David.

v.21 He told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord .

v.22 Then David said to Abiathar, “That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your whole family.

v.23 Stay with me; don't be afraid. The man who wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.”


[Notes: When the priest's son, Abiathar, manages to escape to David, he tells him what occurred and David grieved that he had caused that to happen, as wrong as Saul had been. He offers him protection. He now has a prophet and a priest with him.]