THE FIRST BOOK OF
1 Samuel 20 ©
David complains to Jonathan of Saul, v. 1, etc. Jonathan comforts David, and cannot believe that Saul sought to kill him, 2. But David affirms it for a truth, 3. David desires Jonathan to excuse his absence unto Saul, 5. Jonathan promises to give David notice, 9. Yea, he certifies it with an oath, 13. He requires the like kindness of David, 14. They renew the covenant of friendship one with another, 16. Which David ratifies with an oath, 17. They agree together, how Jonathan would discover to him his father’s mind and purpose, 19. Saul asks for David at the feast of the new moon, 27. Jonathan excuses David, 28. Saul incensed at this, reviles Jonathan, and endeavors to kill him, 30. Jonathan warns David, by shooting the arrows, 35. They part with much grief and tears one from another, 41.
AND1 David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and 2came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, 3that he seeketh my life?
And he said unto him, God forbid; thou shalt not die: behold, 4my father will do nothing either great or small, but that he will shew 5it me: and why should my father hide this thing 6from me? it is not so.
And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father 7certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he 8saith, Let not Jonathan know this, 9lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is 10but a step between me and death.
Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul 11desireth, I will even do it for thee.
And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is 12the new moon, 13and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but 14let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even.
If thy father at all miss me, then say, David 15earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Beth-lehem 16his city: for there is a 17yearly sacrifice there for all the family.
If he say thus, It is well; 18thy servant shall have peace: but if he be 19very wroth, then be sure that evil is determined by him.
20Therefore thou shalt deal kindly with thy servant; fora thou hast brought thy servant into a covenant of the LORD with thee: notwithstanding, if there be in me iniquity, slay me thyself; for 21why shouldest thou bring me to thy father?
And Jonathan said, 22Far be it from thee: for if I knew certainly that evil were determined by my father to come upon thee, then would not I tell it thee?
Then said David to Jonathan, 23Who shall tell me? or what if thy father answer thee 24roughly?
¶And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field.
And Jonathan said unto David, 25O LORD God of Israel, when I have sounded my father about to morrow any time, or the 26third day, and, behold, if there be good toward David, and I then send not unto thee, and shew it thee;
27The LORD do so and much more to Jonathan: 28but if it please my father to do thee evil, then I will shew it thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and 29the LORD be with thee, 30as he hath been with my father.
And thou shalt not only while 31yet I live shew me 32the kindness of the LORD, 33that I die not:
But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my 34house for ever: no, not when the LORD hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth.
So Jonathan 35made a covenant with the house of David, saying, 36Let the LORD even require it at the hand of David's enemies.
And 37Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: 38for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
Then Jonathan said to David, To morrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty.
And when thou hast stayed three days, then thou shalt go down quickly, and 39come to the place where thou didst hide thyself when the 40business was in hand, and shalt remain 41by the stone Ezel.
And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot 42at a mark.
And, behold, I will send a lad, saying, Go, 43find out the arrows. If I 44expressly say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee, take 45them; then come thou: for there is peace to thee, 46and no hurt; as the LORD liveth.
But if I say thus unto the young man, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee; 47go thy way: for the LORD hath sent thee away.
Andbas touching the matter which thou and I have spoken of, behold, the LORD be 48between thee and me for ever.
¶So David 49hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat 50meat.
And the king sat upon his seat, 51as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall: 52and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul's side, and David's place was empty.
Nevertheless Saul 53spake not any thing that day: for 54he thought, Something hath befallen 55him, he is 56not clean; surely he is not clean.57
And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David's place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, 58Wherefore cometh not 59the son of Jesse 60to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day?
And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Beth-lehem:
And he said, Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath 61commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favour in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he cometh not unto the king's table.
Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son 62of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and 63unto the confusion of thy mother's nakedness?
For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, 64for he shall surely die.
And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done?
And Saul cast a javelin 65at him to smite 66him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David.
So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month: for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.
¶And it came to pass 67in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed 68with David, and a little lad with him.
And he said unto his lad, Run, 69find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, 70he shot an arrow beyond him.
And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee?
And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not. And Jonathan's lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master.
But the lad knew not any thing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter.
And Jonathan gave his 71artilleryc unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city.
¶And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place 72toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed 73one another, and wept one with another, 74until David exceeded.
And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, The LORD be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And 75he arose and departed: and Jonathan went 76into the city.