Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said to him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?
And David said to Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said to me, Let no man know any thing of the business about which I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.
Now therefore what is under thy hand? give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or what there is present.
And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under my hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women.
And David answered the priest, and said to him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yes, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.
So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the show-bread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.
Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chief of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.
And David said to Ahimelech, And is there not here under thy hand a spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste.
And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it to me.
And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.
And the servants of Achish said to him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?
And David laid up these words in his heart, and was greatly afraid of Achish the king of Gath.
And he changed his behavior before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.
Then said Achish to his servants, Lo, ye see the man is mad: why then have ye brought him to me?
Have I need of mad-men, that ye have brought this man to play the mad-man in my presence? shall this man come into my house?