1 Samuel 20

1David ran away from the camps near Ramah. David went to Jonathan and asked him, “What have I done wrong? What is my crime? Why is your father trying to kill me?” 2Jonathan answered, “That can’t be true! My father isn’t trying to kill you! My father doesn’t do anything without first telling me. It doesn’t matter if it is very important or just a small thing, my father always tells me. Why would my father refuse to tell me that he wants to kill you? No, it is not true!” 3But David answered, “Your father knows very well that I am your friend. Your father said to himself, 'Jonathan must not know about it. If he knows, he will tell David.’ But as sure as you and the Lord are alive, I am very close to death!” 4Jonathan said to David, “I will do anything you want me to do.” 5Then David said, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon Feast. I am supposed to eat with the king. But let me hide in the field until the evening. 6If your father notices I am gone, tell him, 'David wanted to go home to Bethlehem. His family is having its own feast for this monthly sacrifice. David asked me to let him run down to Bethlehem and join his family.’ 7If your father says, 'Fine,’ then I am safe. But if your father becomes angry, then you will know that he wants to hurt me. 8Jonathan, be kind to me. I am your servant. You have made an agreement with me before the Lord. If I am guilty, then you may kill me yourself! But don’t take me to your father.” 9Jonathan answered, “No, never! If I learn that my father plans to hurt you, then I will warn you.” 10David said, “Who will warn me if your father says bad things to you?” 11Then Jonathan said, “Come, let’s go out into the field.” So Jonathan and David went together into the field. 12Jonathan said to David, “I make this promise before the Lord, the God of Israel. I promise that I will learn how my father feels about you. I will learn if he feels good about you or not. Then, in three days, I will send a message to you in the field. 13If my father wants to hurt you, I will let you know. I will let you leave in safety. May the Lord punish me if I don’t do this. May the Lord be with you as he has been with my father. 14Be kind to me as long as I live. And after I die, 15don’t ever stop showing your kindness to my family. The Lord will destroy all your enemies from the earth. 16If at that time Jonathan’s family must be separated from David, then let it happen. May the Lord punish David’s enemies.” 17Then Jonathan asked David to repeat his promise of love for him. Jonathan did this because he loved David as much as he loved himself. 18Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon Feast. Your seat will be empty, so my father will see that you are gone. 19On the third day, go to the same place you hid when this trouble began. Wait by that hill. 20On the third day, I will go to that hill and act like I am shooting at a target. I will shoot some arrows. 21Then I will tell the boy to go find the arrows. If everything is fine, then I will tell the boy, 'You went too far! The arrows are closer to me. Come back and get them.’ If I say that, then you can come out of hiding. I promise, as surely as the Lord lives, you are safe. There is no danger. 22But if there is trouble, then I will say to the boy, 'The arrows are farther away. Go get them.’ If I say that, then you must leave. The Lord is sending you away. 23Remember this agreement between you and me. The Lord is our witness forever!” 24Then David hid in the field. The time for the New Moon Feast came, and the king sat down to eat. 25The king sat next to the wall where he usually sat. Jonathan sat across from Saul. Abner sat next to Saul. But David’s place was empty. 26That day Saul said nothing. He thought, “Maybe something happened to David so that he is not clean.” 27On the next day, the second day of the month, David’s place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, “Why didn’t Jesse’s son come to the New Moon Feast yesterday or today?” 28Jonathan answered, “David asked me to let him go to Bethlehem. 29He said, 'Let me go. Our family is having a sacrifice in Bethlehem. My brother ordered me to be there. Now if I am your friend, please let me go and see my brothers.’ That is why David has not come to the king’s table.” 30Saul was very angry with Jonathan. He said to Jonathan, “You are the son of a slave woman who refuses to obey. ˻And you are just like her.˼ I know you are on David’s side! You bring shame to yourself and to your mother. 31As long as Jesse’s son lives, you’ll never be king and have a kingdom. Now, bring David to me! He is a dead man!” 32Jonathan asked his father, “Why should David be killed? What did he do wrong?” 33But Saul threw his spear at Jonathan and tried to kill him. So Jonathan knew that his father wanted very much to kill David. 34Jonathan became angry and left the table. Jonathan was so upset and angry at his father that Jonathan refused to eat any food on the second day of the feast. Jonathan was angry because Saul humiliated him and because Saul wanted to kill David. 35The next morning Jonathan went out to the field. He went to meet David just like they agreed to do. Jonathan brought a little boy with him. 36Jonathan said to the boy, “Run. Go find the arrows I shoot.” The boy began to run, and Jonathan shot the arrows over his head. 37The boy ran to the place where the arrows fell. But Jonathan called, “The arrows are farther away!” 38Then Jonathan shouted, “Hurry! Go get them! Don’t just stand there!” The boy picked up the arrows and brought them back to his master. 39The boy knew nothing about what went on. Only Jonathan and David knew. 40Jonathan gave his bow and arrows to the boy. Then Jonathan told the boy, “Go back to town.” 41The boy left, and David came out from the place he was hiding on the other side of the hill. David bowed with his face to the ground in front of Jonathan. David bowed three times. Then David and Jonathan kissed each other. They both cried together, but David cried more than Jonathan. 42Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace. We used the Lord’s name and promised to be friends. We said that the Lord will be the witness between us and our descendants forever.”

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