- Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, "What
have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying
to take my life ?"
- "Never!" Jonathan replied. "You are not
going to die! Look, my father doesn't do anything, great or small, without
confiding in me. Why would he hide this from me? It's not so!"
- But David took an oath and said, "Your
father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said
to himself, 'Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.' Yet as surely
as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death."
- Jonathan said to David, "Whatever you want
me to do, I'll do for you."
- So David said, "Look, tomorrow is the New
Moon festival, and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide
in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow.
- If your father misses me at all, tell him,
'David earnestly asked my permission to hurry to Bethlehem, his hometown,
because an annual sacrifice is being made there for his whole clan.'
- If he says, 'Very well,' then your servant
is safe. But if he loses his temper, you can be sure that he is determined to
- As for you, show kindness to your servant,
for you have brought him into a covenant with you before the LORD. If I am
guilty, then kill me yourself! Why hand me over to your father ?"
- "Never!" Jonathan said. "If I had the least
inkling that my father was determined to harm you, wouldn't I tell you ?"
- David asked, "Who will tell me if your
father answers you harshly ?"
- "Come," Jonathan said, "let's go out into
the field." So they went there together.
- Then Jonathan said to David: "By the LORD,
the God of Israel, I will surely sound out my father by this time the day
after tomorrow! If he is favorably disposed toward you, will I not send you
word and let you know ?
- But if my father is inclined to harm you,
may the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if I do not let you know
and send you away safely. May the LORD be with you as he has been with my
- But show me unfailing kindness like that of
the LORD as long as I live, so that I may not be killed,
- and do not ever cut off your kindness from
my family--not even when the LORD has cut off every one of David's enemies
from the face of the earth."
- So Jonathan made a covenant with the house
of David, saying, "May the LORD call David's enemies to account."
- And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath
out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.
- Then Jonathan said to David: "Tomorrow is
the New Moon festival. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty.
- The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go
to the place where you hid when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel.
- I will shoot three arrows to the side of
it, as though I were shooting at a target.
- Then I will send a boy and say, 'Go, find
the arrows.' If I say to him, 'Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring
them here,' then come, because, as surely as the LORD lives, you are safe;
there is no danger.
- But if I say to the boy, 'Look, the arrows
are beyond you,' then you must go, because the LORD has sent you away.
- And about the matter you and I discussed --
remember, the LORD is witness between you and me forever."
- So David hid in the field, and when the New
Moon festival came, the king sat down to eat.
- He sat in his customary place by the wall,
opposite Jonathan, and Abner sat
next to Saul, but David's place was empty.
- Saul said nothing that day, for he thought,
"Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean --
surely he is unclean."
- But the next day, the second day of the
month, David's place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, "Why
hasn't the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today ?"
- Jonathan answered, "David earnestly asked
me for permission to go to Bethlehem.
- He said, 'Let me go, because our family is
observing a sacrifice in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there.
If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.' That
is why he has not come to the king's table."
- Saul's anger flared up at Jonathan and he
said to him, "You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don't I know that
you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the
mother who bore you ?
- As long as the son of Jesse lives on this
earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send and bring
him to me, for he must die !"
- "Why should he be put to death? What has he
done?" Jonathan asked his father.
- But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill
him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.
- Jonathan got up from the table in fierce
anger; on that second day of the month he did not eat, because he was grieved
at his father's shameful treatment of David.
- In the morning Jonathan went out to the
field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him,
- and he said to the boy, "Run and find the
arrows I shoot." As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
- When the boy came to the place where
Jonathan's arrow had fallen, Jonathan called out after him, "Isn't the arrow
beyond you ?"
- Then he shouted, "Hurry! Go quickly! Don't
stop!" The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master.
- (The boy knew nothing of all this; only
Jonathan and David knew.)
- Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy
and said, "Go, carry them back to town."
- After the boy had gone, David got up from
the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with
his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together--but
David wept the most.
- Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, for
we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, 'The
LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my
descendants forever.'" Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.