- ¶ DAVID therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave of Arlam;
and when his brothers and all his father’s household heard it, they went down there to him.
- And there gathered to him every man who was in distress and every man who was in debt and every man who was discontented, and he became chief over them;
and there were with him about four hundred men.
- And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab;
and he said to the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother dwell with you, till I know what God will do with me.
- And he left them with the king of Moab;
and they dwelt with him all the time that David was in Mizpeh.
- And the prophet Gad said to David, Do not abide in Mizpeh;
depart and go into the land of Judah.
Then David departed and came into the forest of Hiziuth.
- ¶ And when Saul heard that David was located, and the men who were with him (now Saul was staying in Gibeah under the almond tree in Ramtha, with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him);
- Then Saul said to his servants who stood about him, Hear now, you Benjamites, will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all commanders of thousands and captains of hundreds;
- And have all of you conspired against me, so that there is none to tell me about the covenant of my son with the son of Jesse;
and is there none that discloses to me that my son has made a league with the son of Jesse, and is there none of you who is sorry for me, or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servants against me to lie in wait as at this day?
- Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw David when he came to Noh, to Ahimeleck, the son of Ahitub the priest.
- And he inquired of God for him and gave him weapons and provisions and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.
- Then the king summoned Ahimeleck the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests that were in Noh;
and all of them came to the king.
- And Saul said, Hear now, I beseech you, son of Ahitub.
And he answered, Here I am, my lord.
- Then Saul said to him, Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword, and have inquired of God for him, that he should rise against me to lie in wait as at this day?
- And Ahimeleck the priest answered the king and said, And who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, and heeds your commands and is honored in your house?
- Did I begin today to inquire of God for him?
Far be it from me;
let not the king impute anything to his servant, nor to all the house of my father;
for your servant knew nothing of all this matter, less or more.
- And the king said, You shall surely die, Ahimeleck, you and all your father’s house.
- Then the king said to the guards who stood about him.
Turn, and slay the priests of God;
because their hand also is with David and because they knew that he fled, and did not reveal it to me.
But the servants of the king would not put forth their hands and harm the priests of God.
- And the king said to Doeg, Turn and fall upon the priests.
And Doeg fell upon the priests and slew on that day eighty-five persons who wore the linen ephod.
- And Noh, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, young men and children and oxen and asses and sheep, with the edge of the sword.
- ¶ But one of the sons of Ahimeleck, the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David.
- And Abiathar told David that Saul had slain the priests of God.
- And David said to Abiathar, I knew it that day when Doeg the Edomite was there that he would surely tell Saul;
I myself am guilty for the death of all the persons of your father’s house.
- Abide with me;
for he that seeks my life seeks your life also, but with me you shall be protected.