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I Samuel 21

Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

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

אוַיָּקָם וַיֵּלַךְ וִיהוֹנָתָן בָּא הָעִיר׃

2David 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?”

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

3David 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.

גוַיֹּאמֶר 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׃

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

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

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

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

6In 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.”

ווַיַּעַן 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׃

7So 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

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

 21:7   Bread of display

The term ‘bread of display,’ or ‘shewbread,’ refers to twelve special loaves that were placed on the Table, one of the vessels in the sanctuary of the Mishkan, and later in the Beit Hamikdash. Each loaf represents one tribe of Israel. Each week, the loaves are replaced and the old ones are then eaten by the Kohanim, priests. As Rashi notes, Jewish tradition teaches that a miracle surrounded the bread of display. When the priests received them a full week after being placed on the Table, the loaves were still as warm and fresh as they were when they were first baked. This was a reminder of Hashem’s constant watch over His sanctuary and His people.

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

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

9David 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.”

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

10The 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.”

יוַיֹּאמֶר 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׃

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

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

12The 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.”

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

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

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

14So 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.

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

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

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

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

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