New English Translation
David Goes to Nob
1 David went to Ahimelech the priest in Nob. Ahimelech was shaking with fear when he met David, and said to him, "Why are you by yourself with no one accompanying you?" 2 David replied to Ahimelech the priest, "The king instructed me to do something, but he said to me, 'Don't let anyone know the reason I am sending you or the instructions I have given you.' I have told my soldiers to wait at a certain place. 3 Now what do you have at your disposal? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever can be found."
4 The priest replied to David, "I don't have any ordinary bread at my disposal. Only holy bread is available, and then only if your soldiers have abstained from sexual relations with women." 5 David said to the priest, "Certainly women have been kept away from us, just as on previous occasions when I have set out. The soldiers' equipment is holy, even on an ordinary journey. How much more so will they be holy today, along with their equipment!"
6 So the priest gave him holy bread, for there was no bread there other than the bread of the Presence. It had been removed from before the LORD in order to replace it with hot bread on the day it had been taken away. 7 (One of Saul's servants was there that day, detained before the LORD. His name was Doeg the Edomite, who was in charge of Saul's shepherds.) 8 David said to Ahimelech, "Is there no sword or spear here at your disposal? I don't have my own sword or equipment in hand due to the urgency of the king's instructions."
David Goes to Gath
9 The priest replied, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in the valley of Elah, is wrapped in a garment behind the ephod. If you wish, take it for yourself. Other than that, there's nothing here." David said, "There's nothing like it! Give it to me!" 10 So on that day David arose and fled from Saul. He went to King Achish of Gath. 11 The servants of Achish said to him, "Isn't this David, the king of the land? Isn't he the one that they sing about when they dance, saying, 'Saul struck down his thousands, But David his tens of thousands'?"
12 David thought about what they said and was very afraid of King Achish of Gath. 13 He altered his behavior in their presence. Since he was in their power, he pretended to be insane, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting his saliva run down his beard.
14 Achish said to his servants, "Look at this madman! Why did you bring him to me? 15 Do I have a shortage of fools, that you have brought me this man to display his insanity in front of me? Should this man enter 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?