Friday, October 10, 2008

I Samuel 21:1–9

I Samuel 21:1–9: David at Nob


David is now in hiding, and he goes to a place called Nob, where he meets with the priest, Ahimelech. But when Ahimelech sees that David is alone, he gets scared; why is nobody with David? David makes up a story to explain this situation, saying that he’s on a secret mission for the king, and that he will be meeting up with his men somewhere else.

That being taken care of, David asks the priest if he has anything to eat. Ahimelech answers that he doesn’t have any “ordinary” bread handy (verse 4), but that there is some consecrated bread. He tells David that if the men have kept themselves from women—meaning that they are ceremonially clean—they can have that bread. David replies that of course women have been kept from his men, because that’s how it always is on David’s missions. So the priest gives David the consecrated bread.

David also tells Ahimelech that his business for the king was so urgent that he left without bringing a sword or a spear, and he asks if there are any weapons he can have. Ahimelech tells him that he has the sword of Goliath, so David takes it.

Unfortunately, one of Saul’s servants, named Doeg, also happens to be at Nob when David is talking with Ahimelech. This will turn out to be important, later on.


Again, when David talks to Ahimelech about a “secret mission” that the king has sent him on, it sounds like the type of thing that an adventurous boy would say, rather than a grown man. To me.

I think this is the incident that Jesus is referring to in Matthew 12:1–14. However, Jesus talks about “David and his companions” eating the bread, and there are no companions with David at this point, so it might have been a different incident that he was referring to. (It’s also mentioned in Mark 2:23–28, but Jesus talks about David doing this during the time of Abiathar the high priest; I’m not sure if Abiathar is the high priest right now. (I’m sure Ahimelech isn’t the high priest, he’s just a priest.)

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