The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Samuel 21:1–16

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Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest; and Ahimelech came to meet David trembling, and said unto him: 'Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?'

And David comes to Nomba to Abimelech the priest: and Abimelech was amazed at meeting him, and said to him, Why art thou alone, and nobody with thee?

Then David went into Nob, to the priest Ahimelech. And Ahimelech was astonished that David had arrived. And he said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one is with you?”

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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 the young men have I appointed to such and such a place.

And David said to the priest, The king gave me a command to-day, and said to me, Let no one know the matter on which I send thee, and concerning which I have charged thee: and I have charged my servants to be in the place that is called, The faithfulness of God, phellani maemoni.

And David said to the priest Ahimelech: “The king has instructed to me a word, and he said: ‘Let no one know the matter about which you have been sent by me, and what type of instructions I have given to you. For I have also summoned servants to one and another place.’

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Now therefore what is under thy hand? five loaves of bread? give them in my hand, or whatsoever there is present.'

And now if there are under thy hand five loaves, give into my hand what is ready.

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And the priest answered David, and said: 'There is no common bread under my hand, but there is holy bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women.'

And the priest, responding to David, said to him: “I have no common bread at hand, but only holy bread. Are the young men clean, especially from women?”

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And David answered the priest, and said unto him: 'Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days; when I came out, the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was but a common journey; how much more then to-day, when there shall be holy bread in their vessels?'

And David responded to the priest, and said to him: “Indeed, as concerns being with women, we have abstained since yesterday and the day before, when we departed, and so the vessels of the young men have been holy. And although, this journey has been defiled, it will also be sanctified today as concerns the vessels.”

And David answered the priest and said to him, The hallowed bread has been lawful for us since yesterday and the day before, when we left, and behold, the clothes of the young men are holy, and the bread is now practically common, even though it were sanctified this day in the vessels.

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So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread, that was taken from before YHWH, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.--

So Abimelech the priest gave him the shewbread; for there were no loaves there, but only the presence loaves which had been removed from the presence of the Lord, in order that hot bread should be set on, on the day on which he took them.

Therefore, the priest gave to him sanctified bread. For there was no bread there, but only the bread of the Presence, which had been taken away from before the face of the Lord, so that fresh loaves might be set up.

Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before YHWH; and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.--

And there was there on that day one of Saul’s servants detained before the Lord, and his name was Doec the Syrian, tending the mules of Saul.

Now a certain man among the servants of Saul was there on that day, inside the tabernacle of the Lord. And his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the most powerful among the shepherds of Saul.

And David said unto Ahimelech: 'And is there peradventure here under thy hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste.'

And David said to Abimelech, See if there is here under thy hand spear or sword, for I have not brought in my hand my sword or my weapons, for the word of the king was urgent.

Then David said to Ahimelech: “Do you have, here at hand, a spear or a sword? For I did not take my own sword, or my own weapons with me. For the word of the king was urgent.”

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And the priest said: 'The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the vale 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.'

And the priest said: “Behold, here is the sword of Goliath, the Philistine, whom you struck down in the Valley of Terebinth. It is wrapped up in a cloak behind the ephod. If you wish to take this, take it. For there is nothing else here except this.” And David said, “There is nothing else like this, so give it to me.”

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10  And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

10  And he gave it him; and David arose, and fled in that day from the presence of Saul: and David came to Anchus king of Geth.

10  And so, David rose up, and he fled on that day from the face of Saul. And he went to Achish, the king of Gath.

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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?'

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12  And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath.

12  Then David took these words to his heart, and he became exceedingly afraid before the face of Achish, the king of Gath.

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13  And he changed his demeanour 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.

13  And he changed his appearance before him, and feigned himself a false character in that day; and drummed upon the doors of the city, and used extravagant gestures with his hands, and fell against the doors of the gate, and his spittle ran down upon his beard.

13  So he changed his behavior in his presence, and disguised himself in their sight, and he sat at the doorpost and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.

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14  Then said Achish unto his servants: 'Lo, when ye see a man that is mad, wherefore do ye bring him to me?

14  And Anchus said to his servants, Lo! ye see the man is mad: why have ye brought him in to me?

14  Then Achish said to his servants. Lo, you see the man is mad; why then have you brought him to me?

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15  Do I lack madmen, that ye have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?'

15  Am I in want of madmen, that ye have brought him in to me to play the madman? He shall not come into the house.

15  Or do we have need of those who are mad, so that you would bring in this one, to behave madly in my presence? How did this man get into my house?”