GOD'S WORD® Translation
1So David escaped from that place and fled to the cave at Adullam. When his brothers and all [the rest] of his family heard about it, they went to him. 2Then everyone who was in trouble, in debt, or bitter about life joined him, and he became their commander. There were about four hundred men with him.
3From there David went to Mizpah in Moab. He asked the king of Moab, "Please let my father and mother stay with you until I know what God is going to do for me." 4He brought them to the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David was living in his fortified camp. 5"Don't live in your fortified camp," the prophet Gad told David. "Go to the land of Judah." So David went to the forest of Hereth.
6Saul heard that David and his men had been found. Saul was staying in Gibeah under the tamarisk tree at the worship site with his spear in his hand and all his officials standing around him. 7He said to his officials, "Listen here, men of Benjamin! Will Jesse's son give every one of you fields and vineyards? Will he make you all officers over a regiment or a battalion of soldiers? 8All of you are plotting against me, and no one informed me when my son entered into a loyalty pledge with Jesse's son. No one felt sorry for me and informed me that my son has encouraged my servant David to ambush me, as he's doing now." 9Then Doeg from Edom, standing with Saul's officials, answered him, "I saw Jesse's son when he came to Ahimelech, Ahitub's son, in Nob. 10Ahimelech prayed to the LORD for David and gave him food and the sword of Goliath the Philistine."
11Then the king sent for the priest Ahimelech, who was Ahitub's son, and his entire family who were the priests in Nob. All of them came to the king. 12Saul said, "Listen here, son of Ahitub!" "Yes, sir?" he responded. 13Saul asked him, "Why did you and Jesse's son plot against me? You gave him bread and a sword and prayed to God for him so that he can rise up against me and ambush me, as he's doing now."
14Ahimelech asked the king, "But whom among all your officials can you trust like David? Your Majesty, he's your son-in-law, the commander of your bodyguard. He's honored in your own household. 15Is this the first time I have prayed to God for him? Not at all! You shouldn't blame me or anyone in my family for this. I knew nothing at all about this." 16Saul said, "Ahimelech, you and your entire family are going to die." 17"Turn and kill the LORD's priests because they support David," the king said to the runners standing around him. "When they knew David was fleeing, they didn't inform me." But the king's men refused to attack the LORD's priests. 18So the king said to Doeg, "You turn and attack the priests." Doeg from Edom turned and attacked the priests, and that day he killed 85 men wearing the linen priestly ephod. 19He also killed the people of Nob, the city of the priests. Using [his] sword, he killed men and women, children and infants, cows, donkeys, and sheep.
20But Ahimelech, Ahitub's son, had one son who escaped. His name was Abiathar. He fled to David. 21Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the LORD's priests. 22David told Abiathar, "I knew that day when Doeg from Edom was there that he would be certain to tell Saul. I am the one responsible for all the lives of your family. 23Stay with me. Don't be afraid. The one who is seeking my life is [also] seeking your life. However, you will be under my protection."