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1 Samuel chapter 21

New International Version

1 David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, 'Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?'
2 David answered Ahimelek the priest, 'The king sent me on a mission and said to me, 'No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.' As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.'
4 But the priest answered David, 'I don't have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here--provided the men have kept themselves from women.'
5 David replied, 'Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men's bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!' 6 So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the LORD and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.
7 Now one of Saul's servants was there that day, detained before the LORD; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul's chief shepherd.
8 David asked Ahimelek, 'Don't you have a spear or a sword here? I haven't brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king's mission was urgent.'
9 The priest replied, 'The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.' David said, 'There is none like it; give it to me.'
10 That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath.
11 But the servants of Achish said to him, 'Isn't this David, the king of the land? Isn't he the one they sing about in their dances: ''Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands'?'
12 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13 So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.
14 Achish said to his servants, 'Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? 15 Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?'
English Standard Version

1 Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” 2 And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” 4 And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5 And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” 6 So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the LORD, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.
7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD. His name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s herdsmen.
8 Then David said to Ahimelech, “Then have you not here a spear or a sword at hand? For I have brought neither 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 you struck down in the Valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it, for there is none but that here.” And David said, “There is none like that; give it to me.”
10 And David rose and fled that day from Saul and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances, ‘Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?”
12 And David took these words to heart and was much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”
King James Version

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. 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.
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?
New American Standard Bible

1 Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest; and Ahimelech came trembling to meet David and said to him, 'Why are you alone, and no one with you?' 2 David said to Ahimelech the priest, 'The king has commissioned me with a matter and has said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the matter on which I am sending you and with which I have commissioned you; and I have directed the young men to a certain place.’ 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever can be found.' 4 The priest answered David and said, 'There is no ordinary bread on hand, but there is consecrated bread, if only the young men have kept themselves from women.' 5 David answered the priest and said to him, 'Be assured, women have been denied to us as previously when I left and the bodies of the young men were consecrated, though it was an ordinary journey; how much more then will their bodies be consecrated today?' 6 So the priest gave him consecrated bread; for there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence which was removed from its place before the LORD, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day it was taken away.
7 Now one of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds.
8 David said to Ahimelech, 'Now is there no spear or sword on hand? For I brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s matter was urgent.' 9 Then the priest said, 'The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, behold, it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you would take it for yourself, take it. For there is no other except it here.' And David said, 'There is none like it; give it to me.'
10 Then David set out and fled that day from Saul, and went to Achish king of Gath.
11 But the servants of Achish said to him, 'Is this not David, the king of the land? Did they not sing of this one as they danced, saying, ‘Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands’?'
12 David took these words to heart and greatly feared Achish king of Gath. 13 So he disguised his sanity while in their sight and acted insanely in their custody, and he scribbled on the doors of the gate, and drooled on his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, 'Look, you see the man is behaving like an insane person. Why do you bring him to me? 15 Do I lack insane people, that you have brought this one to behave like an insane person in my presence? Shall this one come into my house?'
New Living Translation

1 David went to the town of Nob to see Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech trembled when he saw him. 'Why are you alone?' he asked. 'Why is no one with you?'
2 'The king has sent me on a private matter,' David said. 'He told me not to tell anyone why I am here. I have told my men where to meet me later. 3 Now, what is there to eat? Give me five loaves of bread or anything else you have.'
4 'We don't have any regular bread,' the priest replied. 'But there is the holy bread, which you can have if your young men have not slept with any women recently.'
5 'Don't worry,' David replied. 'I never allow my men to be with women when they are on a campaign. And since they stay clean even on ordinary trips, how much more on this one!'
6 Since there was no other food available, the priest gave him the holy bread--the Bread of the Presence that was placed before the LORD in the Tabernacle. It had just been replaced that day with fresh bread.
7 Now Doeg the Edomite, Saul's chief herdsman, was there that day, having been detained before the LORD.
8 David asked Ahimelech, 'Do you have a spear or sword? The king's business was so urgent that I didn't even have time to grab a weapon!'
9 'I only have the sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah,' the priest replied. 'It is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. Take that if you want it, for there is nothing else here.' 'There is nothing like it!' David replied. 'Give it to me!'
10 So David escaped from Saul and went to King Achish of Gath.
11 But the officers of Achish were unhappy about his being there. 'Isn't this David, the king of the land?' they asked. 'Isn't he the one the people honor with dances, singing, Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands'?'
12 David heard these comments and was very afraid of what King Achish of Gath might do to him. 13 So he pretended to be insane, scratching on doors and drooling down his beard.
14 Finally, King Achish said to his men, 'Must you bring me a madman? 15 We already have enough of them around here! Why should I let someone like this be my guest?'
Christian Standard Bible

1 David went to the priest Ahimelech at Nob. Ahimelech was afraid to meet David, so he said to him, "Why are you alone and no one is with you? "
2 David answered the priest Ahimelech, "The king gave me a mission, but he told me, 'Don't let anyone know anything about the mission I'm sending you on or what I have ordered you to do.' I have stationed my young men at a certain place. 3 Now what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread or whatever can be found."
4 The priest told him, "There is no ordinary bread on hand. However, there is consecrated bread, but the young men may eat it only if they have kept themselves from women."
5 David answered him, "I swear that women are being kept from us, as always when I go out to battle. The young men's bodies are consecrated even on an ordinary mission, so of course their bodies are consecrated today." 6 So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, for there was no bread there except the Bread of the Presence that had been removed from the presence of the Lord. When the bread was removed, it had been replaced with warm bread.
7 One of Saul's servants, detained before the Lord, was there that day. His name was Doeg the Edomite, chief of Saul's shepherds.
8 David said to Ahimelech, "Do you have a spear or sword on hand? I didn't even bring my sword or my weapons since the king's mission was urgent."
9 The priest replied, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want to take it for yourself, then take it, for there isn't another one here.""There's none like it! " David said. "Give it to me."
10 David fled that day from Saul's presence and went to King Achish of Gath.
11 But Achish's servants said to him, "Isn't this David, the king of the land? Don't they sing about him during their dances: Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands? "
12 David took this to heart and became very afraid of King Achish of Gath, 13 so he pretended to be insane in their presence. He acted like a madman around them, scribbling on the doors of the city gate and letting saliva run down his beard.
14 "Look! You can see the man is crazy," Achish said to his servants. "Why did you bring him to me? 15 Do I have such a shortage of crazy people that you brought this one to act crazy around me? Is this one going to come into my house? "

What does 1 Samuel chapter 21 mean?

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