J M 21:1-9. Nob. Priest's help given. N 21:10-15. Philistines. David's flight to Achish. O 22:1-5. Places of refuge. Adullam. M 22:6-23. Nob. Priests slaughtered. N 23:1-13. Philistines. Relief of Keilah. O 23:14,15. Place of refuge. Desert of Ziph.
M d¹ 1. Ahimlech's fear. e¹ 2,3. "Let no man know". d² 4-6. Ahimelech's help. e² 7. Doeg knows. d³ 8,9. Ahimelech's gift.
1 Samuel 21)
1: Then came David to Nob (= high place) to Ahimelech the priest (= brother of the king. So called here and in 22:9,11,14,16,20. See 14:3 and Mark 2:26): and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no man with you?” (the government hadn't sought out the help of the priests for awhile)
2: And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has commanded me a business, and has said to me, ‘Let no man know any thing of the business where about I send you, and what I have commanded you:’ and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place. (covert activity. He has told 3 lies, BUT he is running for his life with no provisions and no weapons)
3: Now therefore what is under your hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present.”
4: And the priest answered David, and said, “There is no common (or unhallowed) bread under my hand, but there is holy (= set apart. See Ex. 3:5) bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women. (and thus ceremonially clean, to eat such bread)
5: And David answered the priest, and said to him, “Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the ovens of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the oven.” (= and the more so, when today there are other loaves to be holy in respect of their ovens. David was taking the old bread. The new bread was being made. So he was not being sacrilegious)
6: So the priest gave him holy bread: for there was no bread there but the show-bread, that was taken from before the Lord, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.
7: Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord (probably from some ceremonial reason. Cp. "shut up" [Jer. 36:5], or a "vow" [Acts 21:23-27], or "uncleanness" [Lev. 13:4,11,21]); and his name was Doeg (= fearful. See Ps.52), an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdsmen that belonged to Saul.
8: And David said to Ahimelech, “And is there not here under your hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste.” (David is sort of stretching the truth)
9: And the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you slew in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if you will take that, take it: for there is no other save that here.” And David said, “There is none like that; give it to me.”
N f 10. Achish. Arrival of David. g 11. David's fear. g 12,13. David's simulation. f 14,15. Achish. Deception by David.
10: And David arose, and fled that day from the face of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. (Why would David run here? this was the home of the giants)
11: And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances (cp. 18:7 and 29:5), saying, ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?’ ” (He was hiding-out like a sore thumb)
12: And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath (He realized he had made a big mistake. That doesn't mean God will leave you. Even great ones make mistakes. See subscription of Ps. 55).
13: And he changed his behavior before them (see title of Ps.34), and feigned himself mad in their hands, and struck against on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.
14: Then said Achish to his servants, “Lo, you all see the man is mad: why then have you all brought the man to me? (he won't fight a mad man, it would make him look bad)
15: Have I need of mad men, that you all have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?”