But he said unto them, have ye not read
If they had not read the Scriptures, they were very unfit persons either to be teachers, or censurers of others, and must have been very slothful and negligent; and if they had, they could not but have observed the case of David, which Christ produces in vindication of his disciples:
what David did when he was an hungred;
which was the case of the disciples, and is therefore mentioned; it being also the circumstance which could, and did excuse what was done by David and his men: and the Jews themselves own, that in case of hunger the showbread might be eaten, by those that were not priests; not only that which was removed from the table, but that which was upon it; yea, even when there was none to put in its room F12; and that David was in the utmost distress, and therefore desired it, and it was granted him on that account. They represent him as thus saying to the priest F13,
``when he found there was none but showbread, give it me, that we may not die with hunger; (tbv hxwd twvpn qpov) , "for danger of life drives away the sabbath";''which perfectly agrees with our Lord's argument, and justifies the apostles conduct: and this was not a single fact of David's, but of others also;
and they that were with him;
for though in ( 1 Samuel 21:1 ) he is said to be "alone, and no man with him"; yet this must be understood either comparatively, having but very few with him, and which were as none, considering his dignity; or thus, though none came with him to Ahimelech, pretending to the priest he had a secret affair of the king's to transact; and therefore had left his servants in a certain place, and desires bread for himself and them; concerning whom the priest and he discourses, as may be seen in the place referred to: so that though no man was with him at the priest's house, yet there were some with him, and who partook with him in eating of the showbread.
F12 R. David Kimchi in 1 Sam. xxi. 5.
F13 Laniado Cli Jaker, fol. 227. 2.