The First Book of Samuel

Chapter 22

Companies resort to David at Adullam, 1, 2. At Mizpeh he commends his parents to the king of Moab, 3, 4. Admonished by Gad, he comes to Hareth, 5. Saul, going to pursue him, complains of his servants' unfaithfulness, 6-8. Doeg accuses Ahimelech, 9, 10. Saul commands to kill the priests, 11-16. The footmen refusing, Doeg executes it, 17-19. Abiathar escapes and brings David the news, 20-23.

1 David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him. 2 And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented resorted to him, and he became a captain over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.

3 And David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab. And he said to the king of Moab, "Let my father and my mother, I pray you, come forth and be with you until I know what God will do for me." 4 And he brought them before the king of Moab. And they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold. 5 And the prophet Gad said to David, "Do not abide in the hold. Depart, and come into the land of Judah." Then David departed and came into the forest of Hareth.

6 When Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men who were with him (now Saul stayed in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing around him), 7 Saul said to his servants who stood around him, "Hear now, you Benjaminites. Will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards and make you all captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, 8 That all of you have conspired against me? And there is no one who shows me that my son has made a league with the son of Jesse, and there is not one of you who is sorry for me, or shows to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me to lie in wait, as at this day." 9 Then Doeg the Edomite, who was set over the servants of Saul, answered and said, "I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10 And he inquired of the LORD for him, gave him food, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine."

11 Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father's house, the priests who were in Nob. And all of them came to the king. 12 And Saul said, "Hear now, son of Ahitub." And he answered, "Here I am, my lord." 13 And Saul said to him, "Why have you conspired against me—you and the son of Jesse—in that you have given him bread and a sword and have inquired of God for him so that he should rise against me to lie in wait, as at this day?"

14 Then Ahimelech answered the king and said, "And who is so faithful among all your servants as David, who is the king's son-in-law, and goes at your bidding and is honorable in your house? 15 Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? Be it far from me. Do not let the king impute anything to his servant, nor to all the house of my father, for your servant knew nothing of all this, less or more." 16 And the king said, "You shall surely die, Ahimelech—you and all your father's house." 17 And the king said to the footmen who stood around him, "Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD because their hand is also with David and because they knew when he fled and did not disclose it to me." But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD. 18 And the king said to Doeg, "Turn, and fall upon the priests." And Doeg the Edomite turned and he fell upon the priests and slew on that day eighty-five persons who wore a linen ephod. 19 And Nob, the city of the priests, he smote with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and infants, oxen, donkeys, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.

20 And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21 And Abiathar reported to David that Saul had slain the LORD'S priests. 22 And David said to Abiathar, "I knew that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have occasioned the death of all the persons of your father's house. 23 Abide with me. Do not fear, for he who seeks my life seeks your life. But with me you shall be in safeguard."


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Samuel, Chapter 22[➚]


[v.8] - "made a league with the son of Jesse" - Reference, 1st Samuel 18:3.

[v.9-10] - Reference, 1st Samuel 21:1-6.

[v.15] - "less or more" - What Ahimelech is trying to say is that he is completely ignorant of David's plans. In other words, this could say, "not even in the least bit."

[v.22] - "when Doeg the Edomite was there" - Reference, 1st Samuel 21:7.