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Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: 1 Samuel 21

Chapter 21

Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?


Nob appears to have been a sacerdotal city of Benjamin or Ephraim. Jerome says, that in his time the ruins of it might be seen not far from Diospolis or Lydda. But the Rabbins assert that Jerusalem might be seen from this town. The tabernacle resided some time at Nob; and after it was destroyed, it was removed to Gibeon; "and the day of Nob and Gibeon were fifty-seven years." Maimonides in Bethhabbechirah, c. 1.

22:19 Nehemiah 11:32 Isaiah 10:32

to Ahimelech


called Ahiah


called also Abiathar

Mark 2:26



And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.

The king

The whole of this is a gross falsehood; and which was attended with the most fatal consequences. It is well known that from all antiquity it was held no crime to tell a lie in order to save life. Thus Diphilon [Hypo lambano to pseudas epi sotevea legomenon, ouden peripoieisthai duscheres.] "I hold it right to tell a lie for safety: nothing should be avoided to save life." A heathen may say or sing thus: but no Christian can act thus and save his soul, though he may save his life.

19:17 22:22 Genesis 27:20,24 1 Kings 13:18 Psalms 119:29 Galatians 2:12 Colossians 3:9

Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present.

under thine

4 Judges 9:29 Isaiah 3:6


Heb. found.

And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women.

hallowed bread

6 Exodus 25:30 Leviticus 24:5-9 Matthew 12:3,4

if the young

Exodus 19:15 Zechariah 7:3 1 Corinthians 7:5

And David answered the priest, and said unto 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, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.

the vessels

Acts 9:15 1 Thessalonians 4:3,4 2 Timothy 2:20,21 1 Peter 3:17

in a manner

Leviticus 24:9

yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel

or, especially when this day there is other sanctified in the vessel.

Leviticus 8:26

So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.

gave him

Matthew 12:3,4 Mark 2:25-27 Luke 6:3,4

hot bread

Leviticus 24:5-9

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 chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.


Jeremiah 7:9-11 Ezekiel 33:31 Amos 8:5 Matthew 15:8 Acts 21:26,27


22:9 Psalms 52:1 *title


11:5 Genesis 13:7,8 26:20 1 Chronicles 27:29 2 Chronicles 26:10

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 me.

The sword


the valley





Exodus 28:6-14

And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.


27:1 1 Kings 19:3 Jeremiah 26:21


or, Abimelech.

27:2 Psalms 34:1 *title


Jerome says there was a large town called Gath, in the way from Eleutheropolis to Gaza; and Eusebius speaks of another Gath, five miles from Eleutheropolis, towards Lydda, (and consequently different from that mentioned by Jerome;) and also of another Gath, between Jamnia and Antipatris. It appears to have been the extreme boundary of the Philistine territory in one direction, as Ekron was on the other, (ch. 7:14; 17:52,) and lay near Mareshah, (2 Ch 11:8. Mic 1:14,) which agrees pretty well with the position assigned it by Jerome. But Reland and Dr. Wells agree with Eusebius; and the authors of the Universal History (b. i. c. 7) place it about six miles form Jamnia, fourteen south of Joppa, and thirty-two west of Jerusalem.

And the servants of Achish said unto 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?

the servants

Psalms 56:1 *title

the king

16:1 18:7,8 29:5

And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath.

laid up

Psalms 119:11 Luke 2:19,51


10 Genesis 12:11-13 26:7 Psalms 34:4 56:3

And he changed his behaviour 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.


Psalms 34:1 *title; Proverbs 29:25 Ecclesiastes 7:7


or, made marks.

Then said Achish unto his servants, Lo, ye see the man is mad: wherefore then have ye brought him to me?

is mad

or, playeth the madman.

Ecclesiastes 7:7

Have I need of mad men, that ye have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?