The Cost Of A Lie
Then David went to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest who came trembling to
meet David and said to him, "Why are you alone, and no one with you?"
David answered Ahimelech the priest, "Saul has given me orders about
some business and has said to me, 'Let no one know anything about the
business on which I am sending you and about which I have given you
orders.' I have also directed the young men to meet me at a certain
place. Therefore, if you have at hand five loaves of bread, give them to
me or whatever can be found." The priest answered David, "There is no
plain bread at hand, but only holy bread." So the priest gave him holy
bread, for there was no other bread there except that which had been
removed from the temple to be replaced at once by hot bread.
Now Doeg, the Edomite, the chief of Saul's herdsmen, was there that day.
And David said to Ahimelech, "Have you not here at hand a spear or
sword? For I did not bring my sword or my weapons with me, since the
king's business required haste." The priest said, "The sword of Goliath
the Philistine whom you slew in the valley of Elah is there, wrapped in
a cloth. If you wish to take that, do so, for there is no other except
that here." David answered, "There is none like that; give it to me."
Then David went from there and escaped to the stronghold of Adullam.
When his brothers and all his father's clan heard of it, they went down
there to him. Every one who was in trouble and every one who was in
debt, and every one who was discontented gathered about him, and he
became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.
When Saul heard that David and the men with him had been found, he was
sitting in Gibeah, under the tamarisk-tree at the high place, with his
spear in his hand. And all his servants were standing about him. Saul
said to his servants who stood about him, "Hear, O Benjamites! Will the
son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of
you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? Is it not true
that all of you have plotted against me so that no one tells me that my
son has made an agreement with the son of Jesse, and that none of you
has pity upon me or tells me that my son has made my servant David my
enemy as he now is?" Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing by the
servants of Saul, spoke up and said, "I saw the son of Jesse go to Nob,
to Ahimelech, the son of Ahitub. And the priest inquired of God for him
and gave him food and the sword of Goliath the Philistine."
Then Saul sent for Ahimelech the priest, and all his family and the
priests who were in Nob; and all of them came to him. Then Saul said,
"Listen, son of Ahitub!" He answered, "Here I am, my lord!" Saul said to
him, "Is it not true that you and the son of Jesse have plotted against
me and that you have given him bread and a sword and have inquired of
God for him, that he might rebel against me?" Ahimelech answered Saul,
"Who among all your servants is trusted like David, your son-in-law,
chief over your subjects, and honored in your household? Is this the
first time I have inquired of God for him? Far be it from me to be
disloyal! Do not think that I or any of my clan have any evil intention,
for your servant does not know the slightest thing about all this." But
Saul said, "Ahimelech, you shall surely die, you and all your family."
Then Saul said to the guards who were standing about him, "Turn and kill
the priests of Jehovah, for they have plotted with David; and although
they knew that he was fleeing, they did not tell me." But Saul's
servants would not raise their hands to kill the priests of Jehovah.
Then Saul said to Doeg, "Turn and kill the priests." So Doeg, the
Edomite, turned and killed them. On that day he killed eighty-five men
who wore the priestly robes.
But Abiathar, one of the sons of Ahimelech, escaped and fled to David.
When Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of Jehovah,
David said to him, "I knew that day, because Doeg the Edomite was there,
that he would surely tell Saul. I myself am responsible for the death of
all your family. Stay with me, have no fear, for whoever seeks your life
must first take mine, for you are placed in my charge."
Next: A Soldier Who Spared His Enemy
Previous: Jonathans Love For David