So David goes down and hides in a cave with his small band of followers. He starts gathering malcontents, debtors, and rebels and soon has four hundred men with him. I wonder if they resorted to raiding. Feeding a war band takes resources.
His family also comes down, presumably they are now targets for Saul, so David takes them to Moab and asks the king there to take care of them.
And Saul is hanging out yelling at his men for not telling him about David and Jonathan and asking them if David will give them special benefits like he’s been doing. So Doeg, the shepherd that was mentioned earlier, says that he saw David talking with Ahimelect the priest. Saul summons the priest.
Saul: Why did you help my enemy David by feeding him and giving him a sword?
Ahimelech: Wait… David is your son-in-law and has been a good and honored servant of your majesty. I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Saul: Kill him.
Guards: Uh… no… doesn’t seem like Yahweh would be happy with that and if He’s not happy He gets a little murder-y…
Saul: You, Doeg, kill the priests.
Doeg: Sure thing.
So Doeg kills 85 priests and Saul genocides Ahimelech’s hometown, killing the women, children, infants, and animals. Guess Saul learned his lesson about genociding properly.
Ah, but one priest escapes to David who says, “Yeah, kid, my bad. Why don’t you stay with us and be our priest because you’re a wanted man now too.”
David hears of a band of Philistines attacking a nearby city and asks the priest if they should go rescue them.
Priest: (shakes magic 8 ball) Outlook good.
David: Come on, guys.
Guys: Uh, can we get a better answer than that?
Priest: Without a doubt.
So they kill the Philistines, take their crap, and save the town.
Saul: Hey, David is down there in that city. He’ll be trapped, let’s go get him!
David: Magic 8 ball, will the people of this town hand me over to Saul?
Priest: It is certain.
David: Okay, let’s go wander around a bit instead.
David heads down to the wilderness of Ziph and Jon comes down to meet him. They “make a covenant” together and Jon heads home. Saul and David keep maneuvering their armies everywhere and Saul tries to encircle David, but is called away because the Philistines are taking advantage of Saul and his army’s absence to go raiding in Judah.
So Saul defeats the Philistines and returns to the search for David. He unknowingly comes to the very cave where David is hiding and goes inside to poop. Everyone with David is like, “Hey, kill the bastard and be done with it” but David only cuts off a piece of Saul’s robe, maybe exposing his backside, and David feels bad about it because Saul was “God’s anointed”, and many… many… bad controlling evil pastors have used that phrase to attack anyone who criticizes them ever since.
So Saul gets up and leaves and doesn’t notice the back draft, and David goes out of the cave and calls to him.
David: You know, I could have killed you if I meant you harm. Why are you listening to rumors about my fidelity? Why are you trying to kill me? I’m not a rebel.
Saul feels bad and cries. “You’re right. You’re better than I am. Truly God will make you king after me, but promise not to kill all of my family.”
So David promises and Saul takes his army and goes home. David does not go with him, however, but heads back to a stronghold. Can’t say I blame him for not trusting Saul. Of course, you’d think he would have gotten that message the first time Saul threw a spear at him.