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1 Samuel 21

1 David went to the priest Ahimelech at Nob. Ahimelech was afraid when he met David. »Why are you alone?« He asked David. »Why is no one with you?«

2 The king ordered me to do something, David answered the priest Ahimelech, and he told me: »No one must know anything about this mission I am sending you to do. I have stationed my young men at a certain place.«

3 David added: »What do you have to eat? Give me five loaves of bread or whatever you can find.«

4 The high priest answered David: »I do not have any ordinary bread here. But there is holy bread for the young men if they have not had sexual intercourse today.«

5 David answered the priest: »Women have been kept away from us as usual when we go on a mission. The young men’s bodies are kept holy even on ordinary campaigns. How much more then are their bodies holy today?«

6 The priest gave him holy bread. For he only had the bread of the presence that had been taken from Jehovah’s presence and replaced with warm bread that day.

7 That same day one of Saul’s servants who was obligated to stay in Jehovah’s presence was there. His name was Doeg. He was chief herdsman for Saul’s shepherds from Edom.

8 David asked Ahimelech: »Do you have a spear or a sword here? I did not take either my spear or any other weapon because the king’s business was urgent.«

9 The high priest answered: »The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Elah Valley, is here. It is wrapped in a cloth behind the priestly ephod. Take it if you want. There is no other weapon here.« David said: »There is none like it. Let me have the sword.«

10 David kept running from Saul that day until he came to Gath. There he met with King Achish.

11 The officers of King Achish were also there. They asked Achish: »Is David a king back in his own country? Do the Israelites not dance and sing: ‘Saul has killed a thousand enemies; David has killed ten thousand enemies?’«

12 David thought about what they said. It made him afraid of Achish.

13 Right there in front of everyone, he pretended to be insane. He acted confused and scratched up the doors of the town gate. He drooled in his beard.

14 Look at him! Achish said to his officers. You can see he is crazy. Why did you bring him to me?

15 I have enough crazy people without your bringing another one here. Keep him away from my palace!

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