1 David escaped from the town of Gath and he went to Adullam Cave. Once they found out where he was his brothers and the rest of his family followed him there.
2 A lot of other people joined him too. Some were in trouble. Others were angry or in debt. David was soon the leader of four hundred men.
3 David went from there to Mizpah in Moab. He said to the king of Moab: »Please let my father and my mother come and stay with you until I know what God will do for me.«
4 He left them with the king of Moab. So they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.
5 »Do not live in your stronghold,« the prophet Gad told David. »Go to the land of Judah. So David went to the forest of Hereth.«
6 Saul heard that David and his men were found. Saul stayed in Gibeah under the tamarisk tree at the worship site. He held his spear in his hand. All his officials stood around him.
7 He said to his officials: »Listen to me men of Benjamin! Will Jesses son give every one of you fields and vineyards? Will he make you all officers over a regiment or a battalion of soldiers?
8 »All of you are plotting against me. No one informed me when my son entered into a loyalty pledge with Jesses son. No one felt sorry for me. And no one informed me that my son has encouraged my servant David to ambush me, as he is doing now.«
9 Doeg from Edom, standing with Sauls officials, answered him: »I saw Jesses son when he came to Ahimelech, Ahitubs son, in Nob.
10 »Ahimelech prayed to Jehovah for David. He gave him food and the sword of Goliath the Philistine.«
11 Then the king sent for the priest Ahimelech son of Ahitubs and his entire family who were the priests in Nob. All of them came to the king.
12 Saul said: »Listen here, son of Ahitub!« He responded: »Here I am lord.«
13 Saul asked him: »Why did you and Jesses son plot against me? You gave him bread and a sword. You even prayed to God that he could rise up against me and ambush me, as he is doing now.«
14 Ahimelech asked the king: »But whom among all your officials can you trust like David? Your Majesty, he is your son-in-law, the commander of your bodyguard. He is honored in your own household.
15 »Is this the first time I have prayed to God for him? Not at all! You should not blame my family or me for this. I knew nothing at all about this.«
16 The king said: »Ahimelech, you and your entire family are going to die.«
17 The king said to the guards who were attending him: »Turn around and kill the priests of Jehovah! They are also with David. They knew that he was fleeing and did not reveal it to me. But the servants of the king were not willing to lift a hand to attack the priests of Jehovah.«
18 The king said to Doeg: »You turn around and attack the priests.« Doeg the Edomite turned around and attacked the priests. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod.
19 He also killed the people of Nob, the city of the priests. Using his sword, he killed men and women, children and infants, cows, donkeys, and sheep.
20 Ahimelech, Ahitubs son had one son who escaped. His name was Abiathar. He fled to David.
21 Abiathar told David that Saul killed Jehovahs priests.
22 David told Abiathar: »I knew that day when Doeg from Edom was there that he would be certain to tell Saul. I am the one responsible for all the lives of your family.
23 »Stay with me. Do not be afraid. The one who is seeking my life is also seeking your life. You will be under my protection.«