1 Samuel 21:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
David replied, "Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men's bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!"

New Living Translation
"Don't worry," David replied. "I never allow my men to be with women when they are on a campaign. And since they stay clean even on ordinary trips, how much more on this one!"

English Standard Version
And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?”

New American Standard Bible
David answered the priest and said to him, "Surely women have been kept from us as previously when I set out and the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was an ordinary journey; how much more then today will their vessels be holy?"

King James Bible
And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
David answered him, "I swear that women are being kept from us, as always when I go out to battle. The young men's bodies are consecrated even on an ordinary mission, so of course their bodies are consecrated today."

International Standard Version
David answered the priest, saying to him, "Indeed, women were kept from us as is usual whenever I go out on a mission, and the equipment of the young men is consecrated even when it's an ordinary journey, so how much more is their equipment consecrated today?"

NET Bible
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' equipment is holy, even on an ordinary journey. How much more so will they be holy today, along with their equipment!"

New Heart English Bible
And David answered the priest, and said to him, "Truly women have been kept from us as always when I set out. All the young men are holy, even when it is an ordinary mission. So how much more today will their vessels be holy?"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
David answered the priest, "Of course women have been kept away from us as usual when we go [on a mission]. The young men's bodies are kept holy even on ordinary campaigns. How much more then will their bodies be holy today?"

JPS Tanakh 1917
And David answered the priest, and said unto him: 'Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days; when I came out, the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was but a common journey; how much more then to-day, when there shall be holy bread in their vessels?'

New American Standard 1977
And David answered the priest and said to him, “Surely women have been kept from us as previously when I set out and the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was an ordinary journey; how much more then today will their vessels be holy?

Jubilee Bible 2000
And David answered the priest and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us since yesterday and the day before yesterday since I came out, and the vessels of the young men were holy although the way is profane; how much more that today it shall be sanctified with the vessels.

King James 2000 Bible
And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us for these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.

American King James Version
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 vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yes, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.

American Standard Version
And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days; when I came out, the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was but a common journey; how much more then to-day shall their vessels be holy?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And David answered the priest, and said to him: Truly, as to what concerneth women, we have refrained ourselves from yesterday and the day before, when we came out, and the vessels of the young men were holy. Now this way is defiled, but it shall also be sanctified this day in the vessels.

Darby Bible Translation
And David answered the priest and said to him, Yes indeed, women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the [bread] is in a manner common, and the more so, because to-day [new] is hallowed in the vessels.

English Revised Version
And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days; When I came out, the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was but a common journey; how much more then today shall their vessels be holy?

Webster's Bible Translation
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 vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yes, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.

World English Bible
David answered the priest, and said to him, "Truly, women have been kept from us about these three days. When I came out, the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was but a common journey. How much more then today shall their vessels be holy?"

Young's Literal Translation
And David answereth the priest, and saith to him, 'Surely, if women have been restrained from us as heretofore in my going out, then the vessels of the young men are holy, and it is a common way: and also, surely to-day it is sanctified in the vessel.'
Study Bible
David Takes the Consecrated Bread
4The priest answered David and said, "There is no ordinary bread on hand, but there is consecrated bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women." 5David answered the priest and said to him, "Surely women have been kept from us as previously when I set out and the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was an ordinary journey; how much more then today will their vessels be holy?" 6So the priest gave him consecrated bread; for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence which was removed from before the LORD, in order to put hot bread in its place when it was taken away.…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 7:5
Do not deprive one another, except by mutual consent for a limited time, so you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again, so that Satan will not tempt you through your lack of self-control.

1 Thessalonians 4:4
each of you must know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,

Exodus 19:14
So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people, and they washed their garments.

Exodus 19:15
He said to the people, "Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman."
Treasury of Scripture

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 vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yes, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.

the vessels

Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to him, Go your way: for he is a chosen vessel …

1 Thessalonians 4:3,4 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should …

2 Timothy 2:20,21 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, …

1 Peter 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that you suffer for well …

in a manner

Leviticus 24:9 And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; and they shall eat it in the …

yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel. or, especially when this day there is other sanctified in the vessel.

Leviticus 8:26 And out of the basket of unleavened bread, that was before the LORD, …

(5) The vessels.--Their clothes and light, portable baggage--answering to the modern "knapsack." The Vulg. renders the Hebrew word by "vasa." David means to say, "Since we have just left home, you may readily suppose that no impurity has been contracted; it would be different if we were returning home from a journey, when on the way--especially in war--uncleanness might be contracted by the blood of enemies or otherwise."--Seb. Schmid, quoted in Lange.

The LXX., by a very slight change in the Hebrew letters, instead of "the vessels of the young men," render, "all the young men."

And the bread is in a manner common.--The original is here very difficult, almost utterly obscure. The English Version of the clause is simply meaningless. Of the many translations which have been suggested, two at least offer a fairly good sense. (a) "And if it is an unholy way (viz., the way David and his band were going--his purpose or enterprise), moreover there is also the fact that it becomes holy through the instrument" (viz., through me, as an ambassador of the anointed of the Lord), on the supposition of the important royal mission upon which David pretended to be sent. So Keil and O. von Gerlach. (b) Lange, however, and Thenius, maintain that the words in question must contain a remark by which the priest is to be induced to give the bread, and would translate, "Though it is an unholy (ceremonially illegal) procedure (to take the shewbread), yet it is sanctified (to-day) through the instrument" (David or Ahimelech). The instrument is here David, the appointed messenger of the Lord's anointed, or, even better, Ahimelech, the sacred person of the high priest.

No doubt, the words of Leviticus 24:9, which speak of the destination of the stale shewbread--"And they (Aaron and his sons) shall eat it in the holy place"--suggested the practice of the Church of England embodied in the Rubric following the" Order of the Administration of the Holy Communion"--"And if any" (of the bread and wine) "remain of that which was consecrated, it shall not be carried out of the church, but the priest, and such other of the communicants as he shall then call unto him, shall immediately after the blessing reverently eat and drink the same." Among the legendary Jewish lore that has gathered round the history of this transaction is one strange tradition that the holy bread thus given became useless in the hands of the king's fugitive. (See Stanley, Lectures on the Jewish Church, Lect. 22, quoting from Jerome.)

Verses 5, 6. - About these three days since I came out. This exactly agrees with the time during which David had lain concealed (1 Samuel 20:24, 27, 35), and explains the hunger under which he was suffering, as he had no doubt taken with him only feed sufficient for his immediate wants, he wishes, however, the high priest to believe that he had been engaged with his men during this time on public business, whereas they had been at home and some of them possibly were unclean. The whole chapter sets David before us in a very humiliating light. Just as some books of Homer are styled "the prowess" of some hero, so this chapter might be called David's degradation. The determined hatred of Saul seems to have thrown him off his balance, and it was not till he got among the hills of Judah, wherein was the cave of Adullam, that he recovered his serenity. The vessels of the young men. Their scrips, in which they would carry the bread, and their baggage generally. The bread is in a manner common, etc. The word bread is supplied by the translators, to give some sense to this most difficult passage. Literally translated, the two last clauses are, "And the way is profane, although it be sanctified today in the vessel." Among the numerous interpretations of these words the following seems the best: "And though our journey be not connected with a religious object, yet it (the bread) will be kept holy in the vessel (in which it will be carried)." There is no difficulty in supplying bread in the last clause, as the shewbread was the subject of the conversation, and a nominative is constantly supplied by the mind from the principal matter that is occupying the thoughts of the speakers. David's argument, therefore, is that both his attendants and their wallets were free from legal defilement, and that though their expedition was on some secular business, yet that at all events the bread would be secure from pollution. The shewbread that was taken from before Jehovah. The Talmud ('Menach.,' 92, 2) points out that this bread was not newly taken out of the sanctuary, but, as the last clause shows, had been removed on some previous day. As after a week's exposure it was stale and dry, the priests, we are told, ate but little of it, and the rest was left (see Talmud, 'Tract. Yom.,' 39, 1). It also points out that, had such violations of the Levitical law been common, so much importance would not have been attached to this incident. And David answered the priest, and said unto him,.... In reply to the case of the young men his servants, and of himself too, who also was intended by the priest, though out of reverence to him not mentioned:

of a truth women have been kept from us these three days since I came out; reckoning either from the time he fled from Saul at Naioth, or from the time he left Jonathan, during which time both he and his men could have no converse with women, and receive no pollution by them; and this was the time which according to the law was required for the sanctifying of persons in this way, Exodus 19:15,

and the vessels of the young men are holy; their garments, as Kimchi, not being defiled with any ceremonial uncleanness, as by the touch of any unclean person: or what instruments soever they were provided with for their journey; or rather their bodies; see 2 Corinthians 4:7; and with respect to the priest's saying that the bread he had was hallowed or sacred, and so not for common use, David replies:

and the bread is in a manner common; inasmuch as it was taken off of the shewbread table, and was now common to the priest and his family, though not to others, yet in case of necessity through hunger might be allowed to strangers:

yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel; even though it had been set but that day on the shewbread table, and so became holy to the Lord; and yet even in such a case and circumstances as David and his men were in, it might be taken from thence and eaten of; for, as Abendana observes, nothing stands in the way of preservation of life, but idolatry, adultery, and murder; everything else may be done for the sake of that but them: or as in the margin of our Bibles, "especially when there is this day other sanctified bread"; that is, since other bread is this day put upon the shewbread table, in the room of that which has been taken away, whereby it is become holy to the, Lord; then that which is removed may be eaten, and be allowed to us in our circumstances. It seems by this that this was the sabbath day; for on that day the removal of the shewbread loaves was made, Leviticus 24:8; and R. Isaiah says, that it was at the going out of the sabbath that David came there; and which still makes it a more appropriate case, as produced by our Lord to justify his disciples in plucking ears of corn on the sabbath day, Matthew 12:1. 5. these three days—as required by law (Ex 19:15). David and his attendants seem to have been lurking in some of the adjoining caves, to elude pursuit, and to have been, consequently, reduced to great extremities of hunger.

the bread is in a manner common—that is, now that it is no longer standing on the Lord's table. It is eaten by the priests, and may also, in our circumstances, be eaten by us.

yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel—that is, though the hallowed bread had been but newly placed on the vessel, the ritual ordinance would have to yield to the great law of necessity and mercy (see on [248]Mt 12:3; also see Mr 2:25; Lu 6:3).21:1-9 David, in distress, fled to the tabernacle of God. It is great comfort in a day of trouble, that we have a God to go to, to whom we may open our cases, and from whom we may ask and expect direction. David told Ahimelech a gross untruth. What shall we say to this? The Scripture does not conceal it, and we dare not justify it; it was ill done, and proved of bad consequence; for it occasioned the death of the priests of the Lord. David thought upon it afterward with regret. David had great faith and courage, yet both failed him; he fell thus foully through fear and cowardice, and owing to the weakness of his faith. Had he trusted God aright, he would not have used such a sorry, sinful shift for his own preservation. It is written, not for us to do the like, no, not in the greatest straits, but for our warning. David asked of Ahimelech bread and a sword. Ahimelech supposed they might eat the shew-bread. The Son of David taught from it, that mercy is to be preferred to sacrifice; that ritual observances must give way to moral duties. Doeg set his foot as far within the tabernacle as David did. We little know with what hearts people come to the house of God, nor what use they will make of pretended devotion. If many come in simplicity of heart to serve their God, others come to observe their teachers and to prove accusers. Only God and the event can distinguish between a David and a Doeg, when both are in the tabernacle.
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Alphabetical: an and answered are as be been David even from have him holy How I Indeed it journey kept men men's missions more much not of on ordinary out previously priest replied said set so Surely that The their then things though to today us usual vessels was were when whenever will women young

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