There are two reasons why this little slice of David’s life is notable.
- From this point on in the narrative DavidSecond king of Israel, David united the northern and southern kingdoms. More is a fugitive from Saul’s court. During this time, Saul’s active pursuit of David forces him to be constantly on the run. But this seeming hardship is in fact a blessingBlessing is the asking for or the giving of God's favor. Isaac was tricked into blessing Jacob instead of his firstborn Esau. At the Last Supper Jesus offered a blessing over bread and wine. To be blessed is to be favored by God. More that in these trying times prepares David to be King of JudahJudah was the name of Jacob's fourth son and one of the 12 tribes. More and Israel. In our text David must rely on his wits (that is, falsely represent himself to the priestA priest is a person who has the authority to perform religious rites. In New Testament times priests were responsible for daily offerings and sacrifices in the temple. More at Nob) in order to obtain needed food and weapons. While David’s lie is troubling, the text invites us to see God’s support of his anointed in these mundane activities. David eats the holyHoly is a term that originally meant set apart for the worship or service of God. While the term may refer to people, objects, time, or places, holiness in Judaism and Christianity primarily denotes the realm of the divine More bread of the Presence and wields the deeply symbolic holy sword of GoliathThe Philistine giant from Gath, slain by a stone from David's sling. More, rendered sacred as the spoil of the holy war in chapter 17.
- In all three Synoptic GospelsThe Synoptic Gospels are Matthew, Mark, and Luke. They are called Synoptics because they view the gospel story from a similar point of view; they also share large blocks of narrative material in common. More JesusJesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More uses this specific story as evidence in a controversy with the Pharisees concerning the relationship between human need and ritual requirements (Mark 2:23-28; MatthewA tax collector who became one of Jesus' 12 disciples More 12:1-8; LukeThe "beloved physician" and companion of Paul More 6:1-5). The religious leaders are concerned that the disciples were plucking grain and eating it on the SabbathSabbath is a weekly day of rest, the seventh day, observed on Saturday in Judaism and on Sunday in Christianity. In the book of Genesis, God rested on the seventh day; in the Gospel accounts Jesus and his disciples are criticized by some for not... More, which was forbidden (Exodus 34:21). Jesus responded that just as David needed food in 1 Sam 21:1-9, so the disciples were hungry and that in both instances human need took precedence over cultic regulations.