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Answering The Atheist
May 15, 2005 / Volume 5, Issue 20

THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
Was David alone when asking for the holy bread at Nob? 1 Samuel 21:1 says he was alone, but Matthew 12:3-4, Mark 2:25-26 and Luke 6:3-4 all say he was with others. Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
1 Samuel 21:1 clearly indicates that when David came to the house of God, he was alone. However, if the questioner had bothered to keep reading, David informs the priest that his men are waiting for him at a specified place, and he seeks bread enough to share with them (v 2-4).

Though Jesus does not specifically say that the men were waiting elsewhere, neither does He indicate that they were with David when he went to the house of God. Each New Testament account of the event reveals
1) David and his men were hungry;
2) David went into the house of God (no mention of his men doing so);
3) David took of the showbread to eat, and gave some to his men also (who presumably were waiting where he had directed them to be).

There is no contradiction.

This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible