1 Samuel, Chapter 22

- ל ו ו -

Saul Destroys Nob Because Its Priests Helped David

David flees to the south, where he is joined by some of his relatives and other marginalized individuals. The newly formed group of fugitives travels to a stronghold in Mizpah. Upon arriving there, David asks the king of Moab to take his relatives under his wing. Soon enough, however, the prophet Gad orders David to go back to Judea. Unlike Saul, David is close to his family and friends. He treats them as his most precious asset and not as his enemy. Wherever David goes, he seeks to connect with people, whereas Saul focuses only on his personal needs. 

Saul discovers that Ahimelek had given David bread and a sword when he fled. The priests futilely try to explain that they only did this because they were told the king had sent him. As punishment, the residents of Nob are killed. The only survivor is a priest by the name of Abiathar. Saul is overcome by the forces of death and destruction. He loses control and chases David, who is driven by good impulses.

“And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me” (1 Samuel 22:2-3)

“And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword. And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David” (1 Samuel 22:19-20)

Sociability is finding purpose and joy by connecting to others, in the context of family and community.