(21:1)51 Then David52 got up and left, while Jonathan went back to the city. 21:1 (21:2) David went to Ahimelech the priest in Nob. Ahimelech was shaking with fear when he met1 David, and said to him, “Why are you by yourself with no one accompanying you?” 21:2 David replied to Ahimelech the priest, “The king instructed me to do something, but he said to me, ‘Don’t let anyone know the reason I am sending you or the instructions I have given you.’2 I have told my soldiers3 to wait at a certain place.4 21:3 Now what do you have at your disposal?5 Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever can be found.”
21:4 The priest replied to David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread at my disposal. Only holy bread is available, and then only if your soldiers6 have abstained from sexual relations with women.”7 21:5 David said to the priest, “Certainly women have been kept away from us, just as on previous occasions when I have set out. The soldiers’8 equipment is holy, even on an ordinary journey. How much more so will they be holy today, along with their equipment!”
21:6 So the priest gave him holy bread, for there was no bread there other than the bread of the Presence. It had been removed from before the Lord in order to replace it with hot bread on the day it had been taken away. 21:7 (One of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the Lord. His name was Doeg the Edomite, who was in charge of Saul’s shepherds.) 21:8 David said to Ahimelech, “Is there no sword or spear here at your disposal? I don’t have my own sword or equipment in hand due to the urgency of the king’s instructions.”
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