I Samuel 21
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1  David then went his way, and Yehonatan returned to the town.

א  וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלַךְ וִיהוֹנָתָן בָּא הָעִיר׃

2  David went to the Kohen Achimelech at Nov. Achimelech came out in alarm to meet David, and he said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?”

ב  וַיָּבֹא דָוִד נֹבֶה אֶל־אֲחִימֶלֶךְ הַכֹּהֵן וַיֶּחֱרַד אֲחִימֶלֶךְ לִקְרַאת דָּוִד וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ מַדּוּעַ אַתָּה לְבַדֶּךָ וְאִישׁ אֵין אִתָּךְ׃

3  David answered the Kohen Achimelech, “The king has ordered me on a mission, and he said to me, ‘No one must know anything about the mission on which I am sending you and for which I have given you orders.’ So I have directed [my] young men to such and such a place.

ג  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד לַאֲחִימֶלֶךְ הַכֹּהֵן הַמֶּלֶךְ צִוַּנִי דָבָר וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי אִישׁ אַל־יֵדַע מְאוּמָה אֶת־הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר־אָנֹכִי שֹׁלֵחֲךָ וַאֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִךָ וְאֶת־הַנְּעָרִים יוֹדַעְתִּי אֶל־מְקוֹם פְּלֹנִי אַלְמוֹנִי׃

4  Now then, what have you got on hand? Any loaves of bread? Let me have them—or whatever is available.”

ד  וְעַתָּה מַה־יֵּשׁ תַּחַת־יָדְךָ חֲמִשָּׁה־לֶחֶם תְּנָה בְיָדִי אוֹ הַנִּמְצָא׃

5  The Kohen answered David, “I have no ordinary bread on hand; there is only consecrated bread—provided the young men have kept away from women.”

ה  וַיַּעַן הַכֹּהֵן אֶת־דָּוִד וַיֹּאמֶר אֵין־לֶחֶם חֹל אֶל־תַּחַת יָדִי כִּי־אִם־לֶחֶם קֹדֶשׁ יֵשׁ אִם־נִשְׁמְרוּ הַנְּעָרִים אַךְ מֵאִשָּׁה׃

6  In reply to the Kohen, David said, “I assure you that women have been kept from us, as always. Whenever I went on a mission, even if the journey was a common one, the vessels of the young men were consecrated; all the more then may consecrated food be put into their vessels today.”

ו  וַיַּעַן דָּוִד אֶת־הַכֹּהֵן וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ כִּי אִם־אִשָּׁה עֲצֻרָה־לָנוּ כִּתְמוֹל שִׁלְשֹׁם בְּצֵאתִי וַיִּהְיוּ כְלֵי־הַנְּעָרִים קֹדֶשׁ וְהוּא דֶּרֶךְ חֹל וְאַף כִּי הַיּוֹם יִקְדַּשׁ בַּכֶּלִי׃

7  So the Kohen gave him consecrated bread, because there was none there except the bread of display, which had been removed from the presence of Hashem, to be replaced by warm bread as soon as it was taken away.—

va-yi-ten LO ha-ko-HAYN KO-desh KEE lo ha-YAH SHAM LE-khem kee im LE-khem ha-pa-NEEM ha-mu-sa-REEM mi-lif-NAY a-do-NAI la-SUM LE-khem KHOM b’-YOM hi-la-k’-KHO

ז  וַיִּתֶּן־לוֹ הַכֹּהֵן קֹדֶשׁ כִּי לֹא־הָיָה שָׁם לֶחֶם כִּי־אִם־לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים הַמּוּסָרִים מִלִּפְנֵי יְהֹוָה לָשׂוּם לֶחֶם חֹם בְּיוֹם הִלָּקְחוֹ׃

8  Now one of Shaul‘s officials was there that day, detained before Hashem; his name was Doeg Ha’adomi, Shaul‘s chief herdsman.

ח  וְשָׁם אִישׁ מֵעַבְדֵי שָׁאוּל בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא נֶעְצָר לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וּשְׁמוֹ דֹּאֵג הָאֲדֹמִי אַבִּיר הָרֹעִים אֲשֶׁר לְשָׁאוּל׃

9  David said to Achimelech, “Haven’t you got a spear or sword on hand? I didn’t take my sword or any of my weapons with me, because the king’s mission was urgent.”

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד לַאֲחִימֶלֶךְ וְאִין יֶשׁ־פֹּה תַחַת־יָדְךָ חֲנִית אוֹ־חָרֶב כִּי גַם־חַרְבִּי וְגַם־כֵּלַי לֹא־לָקַחְתִּי בְיָדִי כִּי־הָיָה דְבַר־הַמֶּלֶךְ נָחוּץ׃

10  The Kohen said, “There is the sword of Goliath the Philistine whom you slew in the valley of Elah; it is over there, wrapped in a cloth, behind the ephod. If you want to take that one, take it, for there is none here but that one.” David replied, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

י  וַיֹּאמֶר הַכֹּהֵן חֶרֶב גָּלְיָת הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי אֲשֶׁר־הִכִּיתָ בְּעֵמֶק הָאֵלָה הִנֵּה־הִיא לוּטָה בַשִּׂמְלָה אַחֲרֵי הָאֵפוֹד אִם־אֹתָהּ תִּקַּח־לְךָ קָח כִּי אֵין אַחֶרֶת זוּלָתָהּ בָּזֶה וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֵין כָּמוֹהָ תְּנֶנָּה לִּי׃

11  That day David continued on his flight from Shaul and he came to King Achish of Gath.

יא  וַיָּקָם דָּוִד וַיִּבְרַח בַּיּוֹם־הַהוּא מִפְּנֵי שָׁאוּל וַיָּבֹא אֶל־אָכִישׁ מֶלֶךְ גַּת׃

12  The courtiers of Achish said to him, “Why, that’s David, king of the land! That’s the one of whom they sing as they dance: Shaul has slain his thousands; David, his tens of thousands.”

יב  וַיֹּאמְרוּ עַבְדֵי אָכִישׁ אֵלָיו הֲלוֹא־זֶה דָוִד מֶלֶךְ הָאָרֶץ הֲלוֹא לָזֶה יַעֲנוּ בַמְּחֹלוֹת לֵאמֹר הִכָּה שָׁאוּל באלפו [בַּאֲלָפָיו] וְדָוִד ברבבתו [בְּרִבְבֹתָיו׃]

13  These words worried David and he became very much afraid of King Achish of Gath.

יג  וַיָּשֶׂם דָּוִד אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה בִּלְבָבוֹ וַיִּרָא מְאֹד מִפְּנֵי אָכִישׁ מֶלֶךְ־גַּת׃

14  So he concealed his good sense from them; he feigned madness for their benefit. He scratched marks on the doors of the gate and let his saliva run down his beard.

יד  וַיְשַׁנּוֹ אֶת־טַעְמוֹ בְּעֵינֵיהֶם וַיִּתְהֹלֵל בְּיָדָם ויתו [וַיְתָיו] עַל־דַּלְתוֹת הַשַּׁעַר וַיּוֹרֶד רִירוֹ אֶל־זְקָנוֹ׃

15  And Achish said to his courtiers, “You see the man is raving; why bring him to me?

טו  וַיֹּאמֶר אָכִישׁ אֶל־עֲבָדָיו הִנֵּה תִרְאוּ אִישׁ מִשְׁתַּגֵּעַ לָמָּה תָּבִיאוּ אֹתוֹ אֵלָי׃

16  Do I lack madmen that you have brought this fellow to rave for me? Should this fellow enter my house?”

טז  חֲסַר מְשֻׁגָּעִים אָנִי כִּי־הֲבֵאתֶם אֶת־זֶה לְהִשְׁתַּגֵּעַ עָלָי הֲזֶה יָבוֹא אֶל־בֵּיתִי׃

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I Samuel 20
I Samuel 22

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  • David Gordon

    Why did Meket David go to see the King Achish if he feared to present himself in his natural form rather than as a crazy man?

I Samuel 21

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