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1 Samuel 20, 26

The Friendship of David and Jonathan

20David fled from Naioth in Ramah. He came before Jonathan and said, ‘What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin against your father that he is trying to take my life?’ 2He said to him, ‘Perish the thought! You shall not die. My father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me; and why should my father hide this from me? Never!’ 3But David also swore, ‘Your father knows well that you like me; and he thinks, “Do not let Jonathan know this, or he will be grieved.” But truly, as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death.’ 4Then Jonathan said to David, ‘Whatever you say, I will do for you.’ 5David said to Jonathan, ‘Tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at the meal; but let me go, so that I may hide in the field until the third evening. 6If your father misses me at all, then say, “David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city; for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.” 7If he says, “Good!” it will be well with your servant; but if he is angry, then know that evil has been determined by him. 8Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a sacred covenant* with you. But if there is guilt in me, kill me yourself; why should you bring me to your father?’ 9Jonathan said, ‘Far be it from you! If I knew that it was decided by my father that evil should come upon you, would I not tell you?’ 10Then David said to Jonathan, ‘Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?’ 11Jonathan replied to David, ‘Come, let us go out into the field.’ So they both went out into the field.

12 Jonathan said to David, ‘By the Lord, the God of Israel! When I have sounded out my father, about this time tomorrow, or on the third day, if he is well disposed towards David, shall I not then send and disclose it to you? 13But if my father intends to do you harm, the Lord do so to Jonathan, and more also, if I do not disclose it to you, and send you away, so that you may go in safety. May the Lord be with you, as he has been with my father. 14If I am still alive, show me the faithful love of the Lord; but if I die,* 15never cut off your faithful love from my house, even if the Lord were to cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.’ 16Thus Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, ‘May the Lord seek out the enemies of David.’ 17Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him; for he loved him as he loved his own life.

18 Jonathan said to him, ‘Tomorrow is the new moon; you will be missed, because your place will be empty. 19On the day after tomorrow, you shall go a long way down; go to the place where you hid yourself earlier, and remain beside the stone there.* 20I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark. 21Then I will send the boy, saying, “Go, find the arrows.” If I say to the boy, “Look, the arrows are on this side of you, collect them”, then you are to come, for, as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. 22But if I say to the young man, “Look, the arrows are beyond you”, then go; for the Lord has sent you away. 23As for the matter about which you and I have spoken, the Lord is witness* between you and me for ever.’

24 So David hid himself in the field. When the new moon came, the king sat at the feast to eat. 25The king sat upon his seat, as at other times, upon the seat by the wall. Jonathan stood, while Abner sat by Saul’s side; but David’s place was empty.

26 Saul did not say anything that day; for he thought, ‘Something has befallen him; he is not clean, surely he is not clean.’ 27But on the second day, the day after the new moon, David’s place was empty. And Saul said to his son Jonathan, ‘Why has the son of Jesse not come to the feast, either yesterday or today?’ 28Jonathan answered Saul, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem; 29he said, “Let me go; for our family is holding a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. So now, if I have found favour in your sight, let me get away, and see my brothers.” For this reason he has not come to the king’s table.’

30 Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan. He said to him, ‘You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? 31For as long as the son of Jesse lives upon the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Now send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.’ 32Then Jonathan answered his father Saul, ‘Why should he be put to death? What has he done?’ 33But Saul threw his spear at him to strike him; so Jonathan knew that it was the decision of his father to put David to death. 34Jonathan rose from the table in fierce anger and ate no food on the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, and because his father had disgraced him.

35 In the morning Jonathan went out into the field to the appointment with David, and with him was a little boy. 36He said to the boy, ‘Run and find the arrows that I shoot.’ As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37When the boy came to the place where Jonathan’s arrow had fallen, Jonathan called after the boy and said, ‘Is the arrow not beyond you?’ 38Jonathan called after the boy, ‘Hurry, be quick, do not linger.’ So Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows and came to his master. 39But the boy knew nothing; only Jonathan and David knew the arrangement. 40Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said to him, ‘Go and carry them to the city.’ 41As soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap* and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. He bowed three times, and they kissed each other, and wept with each other; David wept the more.* 42Then Jonathan said to David, ‘Go in peace, since both of us have sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, “The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants, for ever.” ’ He got up and left; and Jonathan went into the city.*

David Spares Saul’s Life a Second Time

26Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, ‘David is in hiding on the hill of Hachilah, which is opposite Jeshimon.’* 2So Saul rose and went down to the Wilderness of Ziph, with three thousand chosen men of Israel, to seek David in the Wilderness of Ziph. 3Saul encamped on the hill of Hachilah, which is opposite Jeshimon* beside the road. But David remained in the wilderness. When he learned that Saul had come after him into the wilderness, 4David sent out spies, and learned that Saul had indeed arrived. 5Then David set out and came to the place where Saul had encamped; and David saw the place where Saul lay, with Abner son of Ner, the commander of his army. Saul was lying within the encampment, while the army was encamped around him.

6 Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, ‘Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?’ Abishai said, ‘I will go down with you.’ 7So David and Abishai went to the army by night; there Saul lay sleeping within the encampment, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head; and Abner and the army lay around him. 8Abishai said to David, ‘God has given your enemy into your hand today; now therefore let me pin him to the ground with one stroke of the spear; I will not strike him twice.’ 9But David said to Abishai, ‘Do not destroy him; for who can raise his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?’ 10David said, ‘As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him down; or his day will come to die; or he will go down into battle and perish. 11The Lord forbid that I should raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed; but now take the spear that is at his head, and the water-jar, and let us go.’ 12So David took the spear that was at Saul’s head and the water-jar, and they went away. No one saw it, or knew it, nor did anyone awake; for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen upon them.

13 Then David went over to the other side, and stood on top of a hill far away, with a great distance between them. 14David called to the army and to Abner son of Ner, saying, ‘Abner! Will you not answer?’ Then Abner replied, ‘Who are you that calls to the king?’ 15David said to Abner, ‘Are you not a man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not kept watch over your lord the king? For one of the people came in to destroy your lord the king. 16This thing that you have done is not good. As the Lord lives, you deserve to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, the Lord’s anointed. See now, where is the king’s spear, or the water-jar that was at his head?’

17 Saul recognized David’s voice, and said, ‘Is that your voice, my son David?’ David said, ‘It is my voice, my lord, O king.’ 18And he added, ‘Why does my lord pursue his servant? For what have I done? What guilt is on my hands? 19Now therefore let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it is the Lord who has stirred you up against me, may he accept an offering; but if it is mortals, may they be cursed before the Lord, for they have driven me out today from my share in the heritage of the Lord, saying, “Go, serve other gods.” 20Now, therefore, do not let my blood fall to the ground, away from the presence of the Lord; for the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea, like one who hunts a partridge in the mountains.’

21 Then Saul said, ‘I have done wrong; come back, my son David, for I will never harm you again, because my life was precious in your sight today; I have been a fool, and have made a great mistake.’ 22David replied, ‘Here is the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and get it. 23The Lord rewards everyone for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the Lord gave you into my hand today, but I would not raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed. 24As your life was precious today in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord, and may he rescue me from all tribulation.’ 25Then Saul said to David, ‘Blessed be you, my son David! You will do many things and will succeed in them.’ So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

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v 2.2.7
10 February 2011

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.7 10 February 2011.