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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Chapter 21

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42Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace! For we two have sworn to each other in the name of the LORD: ‘May the LORD be [witness] between you and me, and between your offspring and mine, forever!’” 1David then went his way, and Jonathan returned to the town.

2David went to the priest Ahimelech at Nob. Ahimelech came out in alarm to meet David, and he said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” 3David answered the priest Ahimelech, “The king has ordered me on a mission, and he said to me, ‘No one must know anything about the mission on which I am sending you and for which I have given you orders.’ So I have a‐ Meaning of Heb. uncertain. 4QSam b (cf. Septuagint) reads “made an appointment with [my] young men atߪ” directed [my] young men to ‐a Meaning of Heb. uncertain. 4QSam b (cf. Septuagint) reads “made an appointment with [my] young men atߪ” such and such a place. 4Now then, what have you got on hand? Any b Lit. “five.” loaves of bread? Let me have them—or whatever is available.” 5The priest answered David, “I have no ordinary bread on hand; there is only consecrated bread—provided the young men have kept away from women.” 6In reply to the priest, David said, “I assure you that women have been kept from us, as always. Whenever I went on a mission, even if the journey was a common one, the vessels of the young men were consecrated; all the more then c‐ Meaning of Heb. uncertain in part. may consecrated food be put into their vessels today.” ‐c Meaning of Heb. uncertain in part. 7So the priest gave him consecrated bread, because there was none there except the bread of display, which had been removed from the presence of the LORD, to be replaced by warm bread as soon as it was taken away.—8Now one of Saul's officials was there that day, d‐ I.e., excluded from the shrine, perhaps because of ritual impurity. detained before the LORD; ‐d I.e., excluded from the shrine, perhaps because of ritual impurity. his name was Doeg the Edomite, Saul's e‐ Meaning of Heb. uncertain. chief herdsman. ‐e Meaning of Heb. uncertain.

9David said to Ahimelech, “Haven't you got a spear or sword on hand? I didn't take my sword or any of my weapons with me, because the king's mission was urgent.” 10The priest said, “There is the sword of Goliath the Philistine whom you slew in the valley of Elah; it is over there, wrapped in a cloth, behind the ephod. If you want to take that one, take it, for there is none here but that one.” David replied, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

11That day David continued on his flight from Saul andhe came to King Achish of Gath. 12The courtiers of Achish said to him, “Why, that's David, king of the land! That's the one of whom they sing as they dance:

Saul has slain his thousands; David, his tens of thousands.”

13These words worried David and he became very much afraid of King Achish of Gath. 14So he concealed his good sense from them; he feigned madness a‐ Lit. “in their hand”; meaning of Heb. uncertain. for their benefit. ‐a Lit. “in their hand”; meaning of Heb. uncertain. He scratched marks on the doors of the gate and let his saliva run down his beard. 15And Achish said to his courtiers, “You see the man is raving; why bring him to me? 16Do I lack madmen that you have brought this fellow to rave for me? Should this fellow enter my house?”

Notes:

a‐a Meaning of Heb. uncertain. 4QSam b (cf. Septuagint) reads “made an appointment with [my] young men atߪ”

b Lit. “five.”

c‐c Meaning of Heb. uncertain in part.

d‐d I.e., excluded from the shrine, perhaps because of ritual impurity.

e‐e Meaning of Heb. uncertain.

a‐a Lit. “in their hand”; meaning of Heb. uncertain.

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