1 Samuel Chapter 21

David went into hiding, in order to escape the hand of king Saul. Saul desired to kill David, because others gave him honor, which Saul felt were greater than his own honors. Saul had become a jealous and hateful man. He had even cursed and threatened his own son, because of his friendship with David. The story of David continues:

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.

David fled to Nob, where the priest, Ahimelech, was. Ahimelech was not entirely pleased with meeting David there. He asked him why he had come alone. I can imagine that having the leader of the Israelite armies, and son-in-law to the king, would not have gone out alone very often. David told the priest, that he had been sent on secret business by the king, and that he sent his servants away. David asked for bread or some other food from the priest. All the priest had to offer was the shewbread, which had been blessed and sanctified for the priest. Only the worthy could partake of it. David told him that they were worthy, and he took the shewbread from the priest. A servant of Saul was there. His name was Doeg.

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 asked the priest for a weapon and said that he had been required to leave quickly, so he did not have his own weapon with him. The sword that had belonged to Goliath, was all that he had there in Nod, and so the priest offered it to David. David knew that the sword was unlike any other sword.

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?

David fled to the city of Gath, where Achish ruled. The servants of the ruler, recognized David as the one who had been praised for killing thousands more than Saul. David became worried of the ruler, Achish. He decided to pretend to be mad, and the king did not want David to come into his house.

In verse 11, David heard the servants talking about the things that the women had said about him. David did not know why Saul was so angry with him and desired to kill him, and Jonathan had tried to learn the reason for him, but was unsuccessful. This time in Gath, may have been the first time that he had heard the words which were said of him in the songs of the women. The verse here, says that he laid up the words in his heart, which sounds like he took them to heart. David could now see the reason for Saul’s anger with him, even though it was an unjust reason. Knowing the reasons behind the things that an enemy does, can help in the defense against them. Up to this point, it may have been frustrating to not have an understanding of the offense that Saul felt was against him. Now, David knew the cause and could understand that Saul was acting out of jealousy towards him. I’m sure that this would have been helpful for David.


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