New Heart English Bible
1Then David came to Nob to Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech came to meet David trembling, and said to him, "Why are you alone, and no man with you?" 2David said to the priest, "The king has commanded me a business, and has said to me, 'Let no man know anything of the business about which I send you, and what I have commanded you; and I have arranged to meet the young men at a certain place.' 3Now, if there are five loaves of bread under your control, give them into my hand, or whatever there is." 4And the priest answered David, and said, "There is no common bread in my control, but there is holy bread. If the young men have kept themselves from women, they may eat of it." 5And 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?" 6So the priest gave him what had been consecrated, for there was no bread there but the show bread, that had been removed before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.
7Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the best of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul.
8David said to Ahimelech, "Isn't there here under your control spear or sword? For I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste." 9The priest said, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, look, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind an ephod. If you will take that, take it; for there is no other except that here." David said, "There is none like that. Give it to me."
10David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.
11The servants of Achish said to him, "Isn't this David the king of the land? Did they not sing one to another about him in dances, saying, 'Saul has slain his thousands, David his ten thousands?'"
12David laid up these words in his heart, and was very afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13He changed his behavior before them, and pretended to be mad in their hands, and drummed on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle run down his beard. 14Then Achish said to his servants, "Look, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? 15Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?"