1 Samuel 21-22
Chapter 21: David Gets Help from Ahimelech
David, while in hiding goes to a place called Nob where he meets up with Ahimelech the priest. The priest gets a little nervous for some reason that David is alone, thinking that there might be something up, like maybe he is in hiding/running away? Maybe. But David tells him that he is on basically a secret mission for the king and that he really isn’t alone, because he will be meeting back up with the men soon.
David asks the priest for some food and he explains that he has no “normal” food, but some blessed/consecrated bread. Ahimelech gives David the food, thinking it is for his men and David actually asks the priest for a weapon and armor because he “left so quickly” that he had essentially forgotten about the whole thing. Ahimelech gives David the sword that had belonged to Goliath.
Unbeknownst to David, a servant of the king named Doeg is there in Nob when David was talking to the priest… but continuing on… David goes to a place called Gath. Unfortunately for David the king of Gath named Achish gets nervous and thinks that David is the king of Israel because he had slain tens of thousands of people while Saul had only killed a few thousand. So they go to kill David and David decides to pretend like he is completely wacked out nuts. The king buys the acting of David and then doesn’t feel threatened by this madman.
Chapter 22: David Moves: Running from Saul
David leaves Gath and heads for a cave in a placed called Adullam, oddly enough people hear that David is coming and they actually meet him there! So much for being secretive. Every man who was in distress or in debt gathered around David and made him their leader, 400 in all.
David approaches the king of Moab and asks him to provide a kind of protective custody for his parents in his land while he figures out the stuff between him and Saul. The king of Moab agrees and David goes back to his cave in Adullam. David is there in the cave for a while until a prophet in Gad tells him to not stay there, so David listens and goes to the forest of Hereth.
This whole time up until now we have read about David and his constant fleeing and hiding, but what about Saul? Oh, he has been busy looking for David! Saul gathers his men and starts talking to them about how they have deceived him and are not telling him key details. In this group, we have Doeg, remember from last chapter? Doeg tells Saul that he saw David in Nob and that he had been speaking to Ahimelech the priest. Saul commands that Ahimelech and his entire family be brought in for questioning. Ahimelech tells Saul that he hasn’t been helping David and that he doesn’t think that David would conspire against him. Saul of course is not happy with this answer and thinks that Ahimelech is up to no good, so he orders his execution.
Saul’s men however are not about to kill a servant, let alone a priest of the Lord! So they refuse, but Doeg is more than happy. He kills Ahimelech, his family and all of town of Nob. The only one to survive and flee is Abiathar who was Ahimelech’s son. Abiathar catches up to David and tells him everything that had happened. David feels bad and blames himself, even saying that he thought he had seen Doeg, and thought that he would do something like this. David tells Abiathar to stay with him and he would be safe.