1 Samuel 21:5

5 David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenevera I set out. The men’s bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!”

Read 1 Samuel 21:5 Using Other Translations

And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.
And David answered the priest, "Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?"
“Don’t worry,” David replied. “I never allow my men to be with women when we are on a campaign. And since they stay clean even on ordinary trips, how much more on this one!”

What does 1 Samuel 21:5 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Samuel 21:5

And David answered the priest, and said unto him
In reply to the case of the young men his servants, and of himself too, who also was intended by the priest, though out of reverence to him not mentioned:

of a truth women [have been] kept from us these three days since I
came out;
reckoning either from the time he fled from Saul at Naioth, or from the time he left Jonathan, during which time both he and his men could have no converse with women, and receive no pollution by them; and this was the time which according to the law was required for the sanctifying of persons in this way, ( Exodus 19:15 ) ;

and the vessels of the young men are holy;
their garments, as Kimchi, not being defiled with any ceremonial uncleanness, as by the touch of any unclean person: or what instruments soever they were provided with for their journey; or rather their bodies; see ( 2 Corinthians 4:7 ) ( 1 Thessalonians 4:4 ) ; and with respect to the priest's saying that the bread he had was hallowed or sacred, and so not for common use, David replies,

and [the bread] is in a manner common;
inasmuch as it was taken off of the shewbread table, and was now common to the priest and his family, though not to others, yet in case of necessity through hunger might be allowed to strangers:

yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel;
even though it had been set but that day on the shewbread table, and so became holy to the Lord; and yet even in such a case and circumstances as David and his men were in, it might be taken from thence and eaten of; for, as Abendana observes, nothing stands in the way of preservation of life, but idolatry, adultery, and murder; everything else may be done for the sake of that but them: or as in the margin of our Bibles, "especially when there is this day other sanctified bread"; that is, since other bread is this day put upon the shewbread table, in the room of that which has been taken away, whereby it is become holy to the, Lord; then that which is removed may be eaten, and be allowed to us in our circumstances. It seems by this that this was the sabbath day; for on that day the removal of the shewbread loaves was made, ( Leviticus 24:8 ) ; and R. Isaiah says, that it was at the going out of the sabbath that David came there; and which still makes it a more appropriate case, as produced by our Lord to justify his disciples in plucking ears of corn on the sabbath day, ( Matthew 12:1-4 ) .

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