1 Kingdoms 21:2-23:27
2 Now David came to Nob, to Abimelech the priest. And Abimelech was astonished when he met him and said to him, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?” 3 So David said to the priest, “Today the king gave a command to me, saying, ‘Do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I send you or what I command you.’ And I gave orders to the young men to go to a place called the Faithfulness of God, Phellani Alemoni. 4 Now if there are five loaves under your hand being ready, give them into my hand.” 5 And the priest answered David and said, “There are no common loaves of bread on hand. There is holy bread, but only if the young men have been keeping themselves from women will they eat.” 6 Then David answered the priest and said to him, “Truly, we have kept ourselves from women for three days, with all the young men having been purified when I came on this journey. Even so, this expedition itself is unclean; thus because of my weapons, it shall be sanctified this day.”
7 So Abimelech the priest gave him the showbread; for there were no loaves there except the bread of the Presence which had been removed from before the Lord, in order to put hot bread in its place when it was taken away. 8 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord. His name was Doeg the Syrian, the herder of Saul’s mules. 9 And David said to Abimelech, “See if there is a spear or a sword in your possession, for I brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, for the message of the king required haste.” 10 So the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is there wrapped in a garment. If you take it, take it for yourself. For there is nothing else here except that.” And David said, “There is none like it. Give it to me.”
David Flees from Saul
11 And he gave it to him. Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul. And David went to Achish the king of Gath. 12 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David, the king of the land? Is this not the one to whom the dancing women say:
‘Saul slew his thousands,
And David his ten thousands’?”
13 Now David took these words in his heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 14 So he changed his appearance before him and pretended to be mad on that day. He pounded on the doors of the city and acted like a madman with his hands, falling down upon the door of the gate and letting his saliva drip down on his beard. 15 Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see the man is insane. Why did you bring him to me? 16 Do I need madmen? Did you bring this fellow to be mad in my presence? This man will not come into the house!”
1 David therefore departed from there and escaped by going into the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. 2 And everyone in distress, and everyone in debt, and everyone grieved gathered to him. And he became captain over them. There were about four hundred men with him. 3 Then David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come here to be with you, till I know what God is going to do for me.” 4 So he brought them before the king of Moab, and they dwelt with him as long as David was in the stronghold. 5 Now the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold; depart and go to the land of Judah.” So David departed, and went and dwelt in the city of Sarich.
Saul Slaughters the Priests
6 Saul heard that David and the men who were with him were found. Now Saul was staying on the hill in the field in Ramah, with a spear in his hand and with all his servants standing about him. 7 Then Saul spoke to his servants who stood by him and said to them, “Hear now, you sons of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse indeed give every one of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you captains of thousands and captains of hundreds? 8 All of you conspired against me; there is not one who revealed to me that my son made a covenant with the son of Jesse; and there is not one of you who is sorry for me or reveals to me that my son stirred up my servant against me to be an enemy, as it is today.” 9 Then Doeg the Syrian, the one set over the mules of Saul, replied and said, “I saw the son of Jesse going to Nob, to Abimelech the son of Ahitub, the priest. 10 And the priest inquired of God for him and gave him provisions. He also gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”
11 So the king sent a message to invite Abimelech son of Ahitub and all the sons of his father, the priests who were in Nob. And they all came to the king. 12 And Saul said, “Hear now, son of Ahitub!” And he answered, “Here I am. Speak, lord.” 13 Then Saul said to him, “Why did you conspire against me, you and the son of Jesse, by giving him bread and a sword and inquiring of God for him so he should rise against me to be an enemy, as he is today?” 14 So he answered the king and said, “And who among all your servants is as faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, who goes at your bidding and is honorable in your house? 15 Truly, did I this very day begin to entreat of God on account of him? Certainly not! Let not the king bring a charge against his servant, or against any in my father’s house. For your servant knew nothing of any of this, small or great.”
16 And King Saul said, “Abimelech, you shall surely die, you and all your father’s house!” 17 Then the king said to the guards who stood about him, “Bring and kill the priests of the Lord, because their hand is with David, and because they knew that he fled and did not reveal it to me.” But the servants of the king did not want to lift their hands against the priests of the Lord. 18 And the king said to Doeg, “Turn and deal with the priests!” So Doeg the Syrian turned and killed the priests of the Lord on that day, three hundred and five men who wore an ephod. 19 And he struck Nob, the city of the priests, with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and nursing infants, calf and donkey and sheep.
20 Now one of the sons of Abimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21 And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed all the Lord’s priests. 22 So David said to Abiathar, “I knew in that day, because Doeg the Syrian was being called upon, that he would tell Saul. I am responsible for the life of the house of your father. 23 Stay with me. Do not fear. For wherever I seek a place for my life, I will also seek a place for your life, for you have protection with me.”
David Saves Keilah
1 And it was told to David, saying, “Look, the Philistines are at war against Keilah. They are robbing and trampling upon the threshing floors.” 2 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack these Philistines and save Keilah.” 3 But David’s men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more so if we go to Keilah, to go after the plunder of the Philistines?” 4 Then David inquired of the Lord once again. And the Lord answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah. For I will deliver the Philistines into your hands.” 5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, and the Philistines fled from his presence, and David carried off their livestock and struck them with a mighty blow. David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
6 Now when Abiathar the son of Abimelech fled to David and was with David at Keilah, he went down with an ephod in his hand. 7 And Saul was told that David went to Keilah. So Saul said, “God sold him into my hand, for he shut himself in by entering a city with gates and bars.” 8 Then Saul charged all the people to go down to war against Keilah and to hold David and his men as prisoners. 9 When David knew Saul had not kept silent about the evil against him, David said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod of the Lord.” 10 Then David said, “O Lord God of Israel, Your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city because of me. 11 Will he close in upon me? Will Saul come down now, as Your servant has heard? Lord God of Israel, tell Your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will close in upon you.” 12 So David and his men, about four hundred, arose and departed from Keilah and went wherever they could go. Then it was announced to Saul that David had escaped from Keilah; so he halted the expedition.
David Hides in the Desert
13 And David stayed in the strongholds of the wilderness and remained in the mountain of Ziph, which was dry country. Saul sought him every day, but the Lord did not deliver him into his hands. 14 So David saw that Saul had come out to seek him. And David was on the arid mountain in New Ziph. 15 Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in New Ziph and strengthened his hands in the Lord. 16 And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that.” 17 So the two of them made a covenant before the Lord. And David stayed in New Ziph, and Jonathan went to his own house.
18 Then the Ziphites came up from the dry places to Saul, who was upon the hill, saying, “Behold, is David not hiding with us in Messara, in the strongholds in New Ziph, in the hill of Hachilah on the south of Jeshimon? 19 Now come down to us, according to all the desire of the king.” They cornered him in for the hands of the king. 20 And Saul said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, for you have toiled on my account. 21 Please go and make more preparations. See the place where his hideout is and tell me quickly, lest by any means he escape through cunning. 22 See therefore and know, and we will go with you. And if he is in the land, I will search for him among the thousands of Judah.” 23 So the Ziphites arose and went before Saul.
But David and his men were in the Desert of Maon, in the wilderness of Maon, westward and to the right of Jessaemon. 24 So Saul and his men went to seek him. It was reported to David, and he went down to the rock in the Desert of Maon. And Saul heard and pursued David in the Desert of Maon. 25 Then Saul and his men went on one side of this mountain, and David and his men on the other side of this mountain. And David was hiding himself to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were encircling David and his men to take them. 26 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hasten and come here quickly, for the Philistines have invaded the land!” 27 Therefore Saul turned back from pursuing David and went to meet the Philistines in battle. So they called that place the Rock of Dividing.
1 A prayer by David.
Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear me,
For I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my soul, for I am holy;
O my God, save Your servant, who hopes in You.
3 Have mercy on me, O Lord,
For all the day long I will cry to You.
4 Gladden the soul of Your servant, O Lord,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
5 For You, O Lord, are kind and good,
And very merciful to all who call upon You.
6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer
And heed the voice of my supplication.
7 In the day of my affliction I cried to You,
For You heard me.
8 There is none like You among the gods, O Lord,
And there are no works like Your works.
9 All the Gentiles You made shall come
And worship before You, O Lord,
And they shall glorify Your name;
10 For You are great, doing wonders;
You alone are the great God.
11 Lead me in Your way, O Lord,
And I will walk in Your truth;
Gladden my heart so as to fear Your name.
12 I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
And I shall glorify Your name forever;
13 For great is Your mercy to me,
And You rescued my soul from the lowest Hades.
14 O God, lawless men rose up against me,
And a gathering of strong men sought my soul;
And they did not set You before them.
15 But You, O Lord, are compassionate and merciful,
Longsuffering and very merciful and truthful.
16 Look upon me and have mercy;
Give Your strength to Your servant,
And save the son of Your handmaid.
17 Work a sign in my midst for good,
And let those who hate me see it and be disgraced;
For You, O Lord, helped me and comforted me.
1 A man seeks a pretext when he wishes to separate from his friends,
But he shall be reproached at every opportunity.
2 A man lacking understanding has no need of wisdom,
For he is rather led by lack of discernment.
3 When an ungodly man comes into the depth of evil things, he acts contemptuously,
But dishonor and reproach come upon him.
4 A word in the heart of a man is deep water,
And a river and a fountain of life spring up from it.
5 It is not good to admire the person of the ungodly,
Nor is it holy to pervert righteousness in judgment.
1 Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.”
A Friend Comes at Midnight
5 And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 ‘for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;
7 “and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’?
8 “I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.
Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
10 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
11 “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
12 “Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
A House Divided Cannot Stand
(Matt. 12:22–30; Mark 3:22–27)
14 And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. So it was, when the demon had gone out, that the mute spoke; and the multitudes marveled.
15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
16 Others, testing Him, sought from Him a sign from heaven.
17 But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls.
18 “If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? Because you say I cast out demons by Beelzebub.
19 “And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
20 “But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace.
22 “But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.
23 “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
An Unclean Spirit Returns
24 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’
25 “And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order.
26 “Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”
Keeping the Word
27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!”
28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”