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Our Young Folk's Josephus by  William Shepard
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DAVID FLEES FROM SAUL

[140] DAVID fled first to the city of Nob, where the high-priest Ahimelech sheltered him, and afterwards to the land of the Philistines. When he came to the city of Gath, he was recognized by the servants of the king, whose name was Achish, and they said, "This is David who hath killed many tens of thousands of the Philistines." And they took him and brought him before Achish. But David, fearing the anger of the king, pretended to be mad, and foamed at the mouth, and acted so strangely that Achish said, "You see the man is mad; why do you bring him to me? Have I need of such a fellow as this?" So they let him go.

David then fled to a cave which was near the city of Adullam, and he lived there. When his brethren found out where he was they came to him, and others also came to him who were discontented with the way in which Saul governed, until at last David found he had four hundred men around him. He took courage, now such a force was come to him, and went to the land of the Moabites, and asked their king to let, his followers live in Moab until their affairs were in better condition. The king granted him this request. But a prophet came to David and told him to go and live in the land of Judah. So he went to the city of Hareth, and remained there. When Saul heard that David had been seen with a great many men around him he was much troubled. He called his officers around him and spoke to them about David, and asked them if they knew what his plans were, but none of them [141] could tell him. Then a man named Doeg said to Saul that he had seen David in the city of Nob, where he was harbored by the high-priest Ahimelech. Saul, therefore, sent for the priest and for all his kindred. And he asked him,—

"Have I ever done thee any evil, that thou hast received the son of Jesse, and hast bestowed upon him both food and weapons, when he is plotting to get the kingdom away from me?"

The high-priest said he did not know that David was an enemy of the king's, for was he not his son-in-law, and a captain in his army, and a faithful servant?

Saul would not believe him. He commanded the armed men that stood about him to kill the high-priest and all his relations. But they durst not do this. Then Saul turned to Doeg and told him to slay them. Doeg went and collected other men as wicked as himself, and they slew Ahimelech and his relations. And Saul sent these men to Nob, where they slew all the inhabitants, sparing neither women nor children. The only person that escaped was Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech, who went to David and told him what Saul had done. David grieved greatly, blaming himself for having brought this misfortune upon the high-priest and his family.


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