December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and the rest of his family heard about it, they came down to him there.
- He was joined by all those who were in difficulties or in debt, or who were embittered, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.
- From there David went to Mizpeh of Moab and said to the king of Moab, "Let my father and mother stay with you, until I learn what God will do for me."
- 1 He left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David remained in the refuge.
- But the prophet Gad said to David: "Do not remain in the refuge. Leave, and go to the land of Judah." And so David left and went to the forest of Hereth.
- Now Saul heard that David and his men had been located. At the time he was sitting in Gibeah under a tamarisk tree on the high place, holding his spear, while all his servants were standing by.
- So he said to them: "Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make each of you an officer over a thousand or a hundred men,
- that you have all conspired against me and no one tells me that my son has made an agreement with the son of Jesse? None of you shows sympathy for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant to be an enemy against me, as is the case today."
- Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with the officers of Saul, spoke up: "I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelech, son of Ahitub, in Nob.
- He consulted the LORD for him and gave him supplies, and the sword of Goliath the Philistine as well."
- At this the king sent a summons to Ahimelech the priest, son of Ahitub, and to all his family who were priests in Nob; and they all came to the king.
- Then Saul said, "Listen, son of Ahitub!" He replied, "Yes, my lord."
- Saul asked him, "Why did you conspire against me with the son of Jesse by giving him food and a sword and by consulting God for him, that he might rebel against me and become my enemy, as is the case today?"
- Ahimelech answered the king: "And who among all your servants is as loyal as David, the king's son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard, and honored in your own house?
- Is this the first time I have consulted God for him? No indeed! Let not the king accuse his servant or anyone in my family of such a thing. Your servant knows nothing at all, great or small, about the whole matter."
- But the king said, "You shall die, Ahimelech, with all your family."
- The king then commanded his henchmen standing by: "Make the rounds and kill the priests of the LORD, for they assisted David. They knew he was a fugitive and yet failed to inform me." But the king's servants refused to lift a hand to strike the priests of the LORD.
- The king therefore commanded Doeg, "You make the rounds and kill the priests!" So Doeg the Edomite went from one to the next and killed the priests himself, slaying on that day eighty-five who wore the linen ephod.
- Saul also put the priestly city of Nob to the sword, including men and women, children and infants, and oxen, asses and sheep.
- One son of Ahimelech, son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled to David.
- When Abiathar told David that Saul had slain the priests of the LORD,
- David said to him: "I knew that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of all your family.
- Stay with me. Fear nothing; he that seeks your life must seek my life also. You are under my protection."
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1 [4-5] Refuge: seemingly connected with the cave complex spoken of in 1 Sam 22:1.
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