1 Samuel 20
New Heart English Bible
1Then David fled from the dwellings at Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, "What have I done? What is my iniquity? What is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?" 2He said to him, "Far from it; you shall not die. Look, my father does nothing either great or small, but that he discloses it to me; and why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so." 3David swore moreover, and said, "Your father knows well that I have found favor in your eyes; and he says, 'Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved:' but truly as the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death." 4Then Jonathan said to David, "Whatever your soul desires, I will even do it for you." 5David said to Jonathan, "Look, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to dine with the king; but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field to the third day at evening. 6If your father misses me at all, then say, 'David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city; for it is the yearly sacrifice there for all the family.' 7If he says, 'It is well;' your servant shall have peace: but if he be angry, then know that evil is determined by him. 8Therefore deal kindly with your servant; for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the LORD with you: but if there is iniquity in me, kill me yourself; for why should you bring me to your father?" 9Jonathan said, "Far be it from you; for if I should at all know that evil were determined by my father to come on you, then wouldn't I tell you that?" 10Then David said to Jonathan, "Who shall tell me if your father answers you roughly?" 11Jonathan said to David, "Come, and let us go out into the field." They both went out into the field.

12Jonathan said to David, "The LORD, the God of Israel, is witness. When I have studied my father, about this time tomorrow, or the third day, look, if there is good toward David, shall I not then send to you, and disclose it to you? 13God do so to Jonathan, and more also, should it please my father to do you evil, if I do not disclose it to you, and send you away, that you may go in peace. And may the LORD be with you, as he has been with my father. 14While I am still alive, show me the loving kindness of the LORD, that I not die. 15And also you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever. If not, when the LORD has cut off the enemies of David, each one from the surface of the earth, 16that the name of Jonathan is cut off from the house of David, then may the LORD require it at the hand of David's enemies." 17Jonathan caused David to swear again, for the love that he had to him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.

18Then Jonathan said to him, "Tomorrow is the new moon: and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19When you have stayed three days, you shall go down quickly, and come to the place where you hid yourself when this started, and shall remain by the stone Ezel. 20I will shoot three arrows on its side, as though I shot at a mark. 21Look, I will send the boy, saying, 'Go, find the arrows.' If I tell the boy, 'Look, the arrows are on this side of you. Take them;' then come; for there is peace to you and no hurt, as the LORD lives. 22But if I say this to the boy, 'Look, the arrows are beyond you;' then go your way; for the LORD has sent you away. 23Concerning the matter which you and I have spoken of, look, the LORD is a witness between you and me forever."

24So David hid himself in the field. And when the new moon had come, the king sat at the table to eat. 25The king sat on his seat, as at other times, even on the seat by the wall; and Jonathan sat opposite, and Abner sat by Saul's side: but David's place was empty. 26Nevertheless Saul did not say anything that day: for he thought, "Something has happened to him. He is not clean. Surely he is not clean." 27It happened on the next day after the new moon, the second day, that David's place was empty. Saul said to Jonathan his son, "Why hasn't the son of Jesse come to the table, either yesterday or today?" 28Jonathan answered Saul, and said, "David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem. 29He said, 'Please let me go, for our family has a sacrifice in the city. My brother has commanded me to be there. Now, if I have found favor in your eyes, please let me go away and see my brothers.' Therefore he has not come to the king's table."

30Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and 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 on the earth, your kingdom will not be established. Therefore now send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die." 32Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said, "Why should he be put to death? What has he done?" 33And Saul threw his spear at him to strike him. Then Jonathan realized that this evil from his father to kill David was determined. 34So Jonathan sprang up from the table in fierce anger, and ate no food the second day of the month; for he was grieved for David, because his father had dishonored him.

35It happened in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little boy with him. 36He said to the boy, "Run, find now the arrows which I shoot." And as the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him, toward the city. 37When the boy had come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the boy, and said, "Isn't the arrow beyond you?" 38Jonathan cried after the boy, "Go fast. Hurry. Do not delay." Jonathan's boy gathered up the arrows, and came to his master. 39But the boy did not know anything. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy, and said to him, "Go, carry them to the city." 41As soon as the boy was gone, David arose from beside the mound, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times. They kissed one another, and wept one with another, and David wept the most. 42Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, because we have both sworn in the name of the LORD, saying, 'The LORD shall be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants, forever.'" He arose and departed; and Jonathan went into the city.

New Heart English Bible
Edited by Wayne A. Mitchell.
Public Domain 2008-2020

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