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CHAPTER 21 Jul. 9 
David and the Priest of Nob
Then David went to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech came to meet David trembling and said to him, Why are you alone and no-one with you? 2David said to Ahimelech the priest, The king has charged me with a task and has said to me ‘Let no-one know anything about it or what I have commanded you’. I have told the young men to go to a meeting place. 3Now therefore what do you have to hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever there is here. 4The priest answered David, There is no common bread here, but there is holy bread, if the young men have kept themselves from women. 5David answered the priest, Truly, women have been kept from us for about three days. When I go on an expedition the bodies of the young men are holy; they are even for an ordinary journey; how much more so today? 6So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there apart from the Bread of the Presence that had been taken from before Yahweh, to be replaced by fresh hot bread. 7Now one of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before Yahweh; his name was Doeg the Edomite, the best of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul. 8David said to Ahimelech, Don’t you have here a spear or sword? I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me because the king’s business required haste. 9The priest said, 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 will take that, take it; there is no other except that here. David said, There is none like that. Give it to me.

David Flees to Gath
10David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11The servants of Achish said to him, Isn’t this David the king of the land? Didn’t they sing one to another about him in dances saying, ‘Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands?’. 12David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13He changed his behaviour before them and pretended to be mad, scrabbled on the doors of the gate and let his saliva fall down onto his beard. 14Then Achish said to his servants, Look, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? 15Do I lack madmen that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house? 


21:9 David’s eager taking of the sword of Goliath contrasts sadly with his earlier rejection of such weapons in order to slay Goliath (17:39). And David later reflects how he knew that his faithless taking of that sword and the showbread  would lead to the death of Abiathar’s family (1 Sam. 22:22). But still he did it. David was ultimately a righteous man, but if we were to draw a graph of his level of faith, with time along the bottom and his level of faith on the side- it would be a jagged graph. Just like our lives.
21:13,15 Going down South to Achish of Gath and playing the mad man has sad connections with the patriarchs going down to Egypt in times of weak faith. This was a weak period of David’s life; see on :9.