21[1-6] Then David came to Nob to Ahimelech the preacher; and Ahimelech came to meet David shaking, saying to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” David said to him, “The ruler has given me some business to do, and has said to me, “Let no one know about the business on which I send you, and what I’ve told you; and I’ve sent the soldiers to such and such a place. So what do you have? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever there is here.The preacher answered David, saying, “There’s no common bread here, but there’s holy bread; if only the soldiers have kept themselves from women. David answered the preacher, saying, “It’s true, we’ve not had women for three days since I came out, and the soldiers are holy, though it was only a common journey; how much more then will they be holy today?So the preacher gave him holy bread because there was nothing there except the holy bread that was taken from before Yahweh, to put fresh bread in when it was taken away.
[7-11] Now a certain man of the workers of Saul was there that day, delayed before Yahweh, who was Doeg, the Edomite, the best of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul. David said to Ahimelech, “Isn’t there here with you a weapon? I’ve neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the ruler’s business needed to be done quickly.” The preacher said, “The sword of Goliath, the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, is here wrapped in a cloth behind the golden breastplate; if you’ll take that, take it, because there’s no other except that here.” David said, “There is none like that; give it me.”David ran that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish, the ruler of Gath. The workers of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the ruler of the land? Didn’t they sing to each other about him in their dances, saying, ‘Saul has killed his thousands, David his ten thousands?’”
[12-15] David laid up these words in his heart, and was very afraid of Achish, the ruler of Gath.He changed his behavior before them, and pretended to be crazy in their hands, and scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his spit fall down on his beard. Then Achish said to his workers, “Look, you see he’s crazy; so why have you brought him to me? Do I lack crazy people, that you’ve brought this idiot to act crazy in my presence? Will this fellow come into my house?
22[1-4] SoDavid left there, and escaped to the cave of Adullam; and when his family and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. Everyone who was in trouble, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was unhappy, gathered themselves to him; and he became captain over them; and there were with him about 400 soldiers.David went there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the ruler of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother come here, and be with you, until I know what God will do for me.He brought them before the ruler of Moab; and they lived with him while David was in the stronghold.
[5-8] The preacher Gad said to David, “Don’t stay in the stronghold; leave, and go to the land of Judah. Then David left, and came into the forest of Hereth.WhenSaul heard that David and the men who were with him were discovered, he was sitting in Gibeah, under the tamarisk tree in Ramah with his spear in his hand, and all his workers were standing about him.Saul said to his workers who stood there, “Listen now, you Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give everyone of you fields and vineyards? Will he make you all captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, that you all have schemed against me, and there’s no one who tells me when my son makes an agreement with the son of Jesse, and there’s none of you who’s sorry for me, or tells me that my son has stirred up my worker against me, to set an ambush, as it is today?
[9-15] Then Doeg the Edomite answered, who stood by the workers of Saul, saying, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech of Ahitub. He asked of Yahweh for him, and gave him food, and the sword of Goliath the Philistine.” Then the ruler sent to call Ahimelech, the preacher, of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the preachers who were in Nob; and all of them came to the ruler.Saul said, “Now listen, son of Ahitub.” He answered, “Here I am, sir.” Saul said to him, “Why have you schemed against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you’ve given him bread, and a sword, and have prayed to God for him, so that he can come against me, to set an ambush, as it is today?” Then Ahimelech answered the ruler, saying, “Who among all Your workers is so faithful as David, who is the ruler’s son-in-law, and is taken into your council, and is honorable in your house?Have I just today begun to ask of God for him? be it far from me; don’t let the ruler blame anything on his worker, nor to all the house of my father because your worker knows nothing of all this.
[16-23] The ruler said, “You’ll truly die, Ahimelech, you, and all your father’s house.” The ruler said to the guard who stood near him, “Kill the preachers of Yahweh; because they are also with David, and because they knew that he ran, and didn’t tell me.” But the workers of the ruler wouldn’t lay a hand on them, to kill the preachers of Yahweh. The ruler said to Doeg, “Kill the preachers.” So Doeg, the Edomite, killed the preachers, and he killed on that day 85 persons who wore a linen robe and a golden breastplate.Nob, the city of the preachers, he killed with the blade of a sword, both men and women, children and nursing babies, and cows, donkeys, and sheep, with the blade of a sword. One of the descendants of Ahimelech, of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and ran after David.Abiathar told David that Saul had killed Yahweh’s preachers.David said to Abiathar, I knew on that day when Doeg, the Edomite, was there, that he would tell Saul; I’ve caused the death of all the people of your father’s house.Stay with me, and don’t be scared, because those who want to take my life, also want to take your life, but you’ll be safe with me.
23[1-4] They told David, “The Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and are taking their harvest.”So David asked of Yahweh, saying, “Should I go and fight these Philistines?” Yahweh said to David, “Go, and fight the Philistines, and save Keilah.” David’s men said to him, “We’re afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the troops of the Philistines?” Then David asked of Yahweh again. Yahweh answered him, saying, “Get up, go down to Keilah because I’ll hand over the Philistines to you.”
[5-12] So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and took their livestock, and killed them with a great slaughter. David saved the people of Keilah.When Abiathar of Ahimelech ran to David to Keilah, he came down with a golden breastplate in his hand.It was told Saul that David had come to Keilah. Saul said, “God has given him to me because he’s trapped, by going into a town that has gates and bars.” Then Saul called all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to surround David and his men.When David knew that Saul was secretly planning against him, he said to Abiathar the preacher, “Bring here the golden breastplate.” Then David said, “O Yahweh, God of Israel, Your worker has heard that Saul wants to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake.Will the people of Keilah hand me over to him? Will Saul come down, as Your worker has heard? Yahweh, the God of Israel, I beg you, tell Your worker.” Yahweh said, “He’ll come down.”Then David said, “Will the people of Keilah hand me and my men over to Saul?” Yahweh said, “They’ll hand you over.”
[13-18]Then David and his men, who were about 600, got up and left Keilah, and went wherever they could go. It was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah; and he didn’t go there.David went to the countryside in the mountains, and stayed in the hill country near Ziph. Saul searched for him everyday, but God didn’t let him fall into his hand.David saw that Saul had come out to take his life; and David was in the countryside of Ziph in the woods.Jonathan, Saul’s son, went to David in the woods, and encouraged him in the Name of God.He said to him, “Don’t be scared because Saul, my father, won’t find you; and you’ll be ruler over Israel, and I’ll be next to you; and Saul, my father, knows this.”They made an agreement together before Yahweh; and David stayed in the woods, and Jonathan went home.
[19-23] Then the Ziphites came to Saul to Gibeah, saying, “Doesn’t David hide with us in the strongholds in the woods, in the hill of Hachilah which is on the south of the desert? So now, O ruler, come down and do whatever you want; and we will hand him over to you.”Saul said, “You are blessed of Yahweh because you’ve had compassion on me. Please go make sure you know, and see where his hiding place is, and who has seen him there because it’s been told me that he’s very sneaky.So find all the lurking places where he hides, and come to me again and let me know for sure, and I’ll go with you; and if he’s in the land, I’ll search for him out all the thousands of Judah.”
[24-29] They got up, and went to Ziph before Saul; but David and his men were in the countryside of Maon, in the Arabah on the south of the desert.Saul and his men went to look for him. When David was told that, he went down to the rock, and stayed in the countryside of Maon. When Saul heard that, he chased after David in the countryside of Maon. Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain; and David hurried to get away for fear of Saul because Saul and his men surrounded David and his men to take them.But a messenger came to Saul, saying, Come quickly, because the Philistines have made a raid on the land.So Saul stopped chasing after David, and went against the Philistines; so they called that place the Rock of Escape.David went up from there, and lived in the mountains of En Gedi.
24[1-4] When Saul stopped chasing the Philistines, it was told him, “David is in the countryside of En Gedi.” Then Saul took 3,000 of the best soldiers out of all Israel, and went to look for David and his men on the rocks of the wild goats. He came to the sheep pens by the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were staying in the innermost parts of the cave.The people of David said to him, “This is the day of which Yahweh said to you, ‘See, I’ll give your enemy to you, and you’ll do to him as it seems good to you.’” Then David got up, and cut the bottom of Saul’s robe secretly.
[5-15] Afterward, David’s heart bothered him, because he had cut Saul’s robe.He said to his men, “Yahweh forbid that I should do this thing to the ruler, Yahweh’s anointed, to turn my hand against him, seeing he’s Yahweh’s anointed.” So David checked his men with these words, and didn’t let them go up against Saul. Saul got up out of the cave, and went on.David also got up afterward, and went out of the cave, and shouted to Saul, saying, “Ruler.” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth, and showed him respect. Then David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to men’s words, who say, ‘See, David wants to hurt you?’ You see today with your own eyes, how Yahweh had given you to me in the cave today; and some told me kill you; but I spared you; and I said, I won’t turn my hand against the ruler because he is Yahweh’s anointed. Besides this, my father, see, yes, see the bottom of your robe in my hand because I cut the bottom of your robe, and didn’t kill you, know and see that there’s neither evil nor disobedience in my hand, and I haven’t sinned against you, though you hunt after my life to take it. Yahweh judge between me and you, and Yahweh will avenge me of you; but my hand won’t touch you.As the saying of the ancients says, ‘Out of the sinful comes evil; but my hand won’t touch you. Who are you chasing after, Ruler of israel? Who are you chasing? After a dead dog, after a flea.Yahweh will be judge, and give sentence between me and you, and plead my case, and take me out of your hand.”
[16-22] When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said,” Is this truly your voice, my son David?” Saul lifted up his voice, and cried.He said to David, “You’re better than I because you’ve done good to me when I’ve done evil to you.You’ve told me today how that you’ve been good to me, because when Yahweh had given me to you, you didn’t kill me.For if anyone finds his enemy, will he let him go away unharmed? So may Yahweh reward you good for what you’ve done to me today.Now I know that you’ll truly be ruler, and that the rule of Israel will be put in your hand.So promise me now by Yahweh, that you won’t kill my children after me, and that you won’t destroy my name out of my father’s house. So David promised Saul and Saul went home; but David and his men went back up to their stronghold.
25[1-8] Samuel died; and all Israel gathered together, and cried for him, and buried him at his home at Ramah. David went down to the countryside of Paran. There was a man in Maon who had many possessions in Carmel, and had 3,000 sheep, and 1,000 goats; and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.Now the man’s name was Nabal; and his wife’s name was Abigail; and the woman was very smart and beautiful; but the man was rude and evil; and he was of the house of Caleb.David heard in the countryside that Nabal was shearing his sheep.David sent ten soldiers, and said to the soldiers, “Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and meet him in My Name; and tell him who lives well, ‘Be at peace, and may peace come to your house, and peace be on what you have. Now I’ve heard that you have shearers; your shepherds have now been with us, and we didn’t hurt them, neither did we take anything from them, all the while they were in Carmel.Ask your workers, and they’ll tell you; so do us a favor because we come on a good day. Please give whatever you have on hand to us and to your son David.”
[9-13] When David’s soldiers came, they said to Nabal all those words in the name of David, and waited.Nabal answered David’s workers, saying, “Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? There are many workers who quit working for their bosses these days.Should l then take my bread and water, and my meat that I’ve killed for my shearers, and give it to men who I don’t know where they come from?So David’s soldiers turned and went back, and came and told him all these words. David said to his men, “Everyone put on your sword.” They tied on their swords; and David also tied on his sword; and there went up after David about 400 soldiers; and 200 stayed by the baggage.
[14-22] But one of the workers told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “See, David sent messengers out of the countryside to meet our boss; and he mocked at them.But the men were very good to us, and we weren’t hurt, nor missed anything, as long as we went with them. When we were in the fields; they were a wall to us both night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. So now know and think about what to do because evil is decided against our boss, and against all his house because he is such a worthless fellow that no one can even speak to him.Then Abigail hurried, and took 200 loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep already dressed, and five measures of parched grain, and 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys.She said to her workers, “Go on before me; I will come after you. But she didn’t tell her husband, Nabal.As she rode on her donkey, and came down by the hidden side of the mountain, David and his men came down toward her; and she met them.Now David had said, “Truly it was useless that I kept what this fellow has in the countryside safe, so that nothing was missed of what belonged to him; and he has went back on me evil for good.God do so to the enemies of David, and more also, if I leave so much as one boy of what belongs to him by the morning light.”
[23-31] When Abigail saw David, she hurried, and got off of her donkey, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground.She fell at his feet, saying, “On me, sir, on me, be this sin; and please let me speak to you. Listen to me.Please don’t think of this worthless fellow, Nabal because as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and disgrace is with him; but I, your servant didn’t see your soldiers, whom you sent.So now, sir, as Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, seeing Yahweh has kept you from blood guiltiness, and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now let your enemies, and those who look for evil to you, be as Nabal.Now this present which I have brought you, let it be given to the soldiers who follow you.Please forgive the sin of your servant because Yahweh will certainly make you a sure house, because you fight the battles of Yahweh; and evil won’t be found in you all your days.Though men chase you, and want to take your life, still your life will be safe with Yahweh your God; and the souls of your enemies, God will sling out, as from the hollow of a sling.When Yahweh has done to you all the good that was promised about you, and has made you head over Israel, this will be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to you, either that you’ve killed people without cause, or that you have avenged yourself. When Yahweh has done well with you, then remember your servant.”
[32-35] David said to Abigail, “Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, who sent you today to meet me; and you are blessed for your good judgment, that has kept me today from blood guiltiness, and from avenging myself with my own hand.For in truth, as Yahweh, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from hurting you, except you had hurried and come to meet me, truly there wouldn’t have been left to Nabal by the morning light so much as one boy.So David got from her hand what she had brought him; and he said to her, “Go up in peace to your house; I’ve listened to you, and I give you respect.”
[36-38] Abigail went back to Nabal; and he held a celebration in his house, like the celebration of a ruler; and Nabal’s heart was merry because he was very drunken; so she told him nothing, until morning. In the morning, when Nabal had come back to his senses, his wife told him these things, and he had a heart attack, and became as stiff as a stone. About ten days later, Yahweh punished Nabal, and he died.
[39-44] When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be Yahweh, who has pleaded the cause of my shame from the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his follower from evil; and the wrongdoing of Nabal Yahweh has turned back on his own head. David sent word to Abigail that he wanted to marry her.When the workers of David had come to Abigail to Carmel, they said to her, David has sent us to you, to tell you that he wants to marry you.She got up, and bowed herself with her face to the earth, saying, “See, your servant is a worker to wash the feet of the workers of David.Abigail hurried, and rode on a donkey along with five ladies of hers who followed her; and she followed the messengers of David, and became his wife. David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they both became his wives.Now Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti of Laish, who was of Gallim.