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1David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. 2And every one who was in distress, and every one who was in debt, and every one who was discontented, gathered to him; and he became captain over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.

3And David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Pray let my father and my mother stay with you, till I know what God will do for me.” 4And he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold. 5Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not remain in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed, and went into the forest of Hereth.

6Now Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men who were with him. Saul was sitting at Gibʹe-ah, under the tamarisk tree on the height, with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him. 7And Saul said to his servants who stood about him, “Hear now, you Benjaminites; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, 8that all of you have conspired against me? No one discloses to me when my son makes a league with the son of Jesse, none of you is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day.” 9Then answered Doʹeg the Eʹdomite, who stood by the servants of Saul, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimʹelech the son of Ahiʹtub, 10and he inquired of the Lord for him, and gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.” 11Then the king sent to summon Ahimʹelech the priest, the son of Ahiʹtub, and all his father’s house, the priests who were at Nob; and all of them came to the king. 12And Saul said, “Hear now, son of Ahiʹtub.” And he answered, “Here I am, my lord.” 13And Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword, and have inquired of God for him, so that he has risen against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?” 14Then Ahimʹelech answered the king, “And who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, and captain over your bodyguard, and honored in your house? 15Is today the first time that I have inquired of God for him? No! Let not the king impute anything to his servant or to all the house of my father; for your servant has known nothing of all this, much or little.” 16And the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimʹelech, you and all your father’s house.” 17And the king said to the guard who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord; because their hand also is with David, and they knew that he fled, and did not disclose it to me.” But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the Lord. 18Then the king said to Doʹeg, “You turn and fall upon the priests.” And Doʹeg the Eʹdomite turned and fell upon the priests, and he killed on that day eighty-five persons who wore the linen ephod. 19And Nob, the city of the priests, he put to the sword; both men and women, children and sucklings, oxen, asses and sheep, he put to the sword.

20But one of the sons of Ahimʹelech the son of Ahiʹtub, named Abiʹathar, escaped and fled after David. 21And Abiʹathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22And David said to Abiʹathar, “I knew on that day, when Doʹeg the Eʹdomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have occasioned the death of all the persons of your father’s house. 23Stay with me, fear not; for he that seeks my life seeks your life; with me you shall be in safekeeping.”

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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