1David was in Naioth at Ramah. He ran away from there to where Jonathan was. He asked him, “What have I done? What crime have I committed? I haven't done anything to harm your father. So why is he trying to kill me?”2“That will never happen!” Jonathan replied. “You aren't going to die! My father doesn't do anything at all without telling me. So why would he hide that from me? He isn't going to kill you!”3But David took an oath. Then he said, “Your father knows very well that you are pleased with me. He has said to himself, ‘I don't want Jonathan to know I'm planning to kill David. If he finds out, he'll be very sad.’ But I'm very close to being killed. And that's just as sure as the Lord and you are alive.”4Jonathan said to David, “I'll do anything you want me to do for you.”5So David said, “Tomorrow is the time for the New Moon Feast. I'm supposed to eat with the king. But let me go and hide in the field. I'll stay there until the evening of the day after tomorrow.6Your father might miss me. If he does, then tell him, ‘David begged me to let him hurry home to Bethlehem. A yearly sacrifice is being offered there for his whole family group.’7Your father might say, ‘That's all right.’ If he does, it will mean I'm safe. But he might become very angry. If he does, you can be sure he's made up his mind to harm me.8“Please be kind to me. You have made a covenant with me in the sight of the Lord. If I'm guilty, kill me yourself! Don't hand me over to your father!”9“I would never do that!” Jonathan said. “Suppose I had even the smallest clue that my father had made up his mind to harm you. Then I would tell you.”10David asked, “Who will tell me if your father answers you in a mean way?”11“Come on,” Jonathan said. “Let's go out to the field.” So they went there together.12Then Jonathan spoke to David. He said, “I promise you that I'll find out what my father is planning to do. I'll find out by this time the day after tomorrow. The Lord, the God of Israel, is my witness. Suppose my father feels kind toward you. Then I'll send you a message and let you know.13But suppose he wants to harm you. And I don't let you know about it. I don't help you get away safely. Then may the Lord punish me greatly. May he be with you, just as he has been with my father.14“But always be kind to me, just as the Lord is. Be kind to me as long as I live. Then I won't be killed.15And never stop being kind to my family. Don't stop even when the Lord has cut off every one of your enemies from the face of the earth.”16So Jonathan made a covenant with David and his family. He said, “May the Lord make David's enemies accountable for what they've done.”17Jonathan had David take an oath again because he loved him. In fact, Jonathan loved David just as he loved himself.18Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the time for the New Moon Feast. You will be missed, because your seat at the table will be empty.19Go to the place where you hid when all of this trouble began. Go there the day after tomorrow, when evening is approaching. There's a stone out there called Ezel.20Wait by it. “I'll shoot three arrows to one side of the stone. I'll pretend I'm practicing my shooting.21Then I'll send a boy out there. I'll tell him, ‘Go and find the arrows.’ Suppose I say to him, ‘The arrows are on this side of you. Bring them here.’ Then come. That will mean you are safe. You won't be in any danger. And that's just as sure as the Lord is alive.22But suppose I tell the boy, ‘The arrows are far beyond you.’ Then go. That will mean the Lord is sending you away.23“And remember what we talked about. Remember that the Lord is a witness between you and me forever.”24So David hid in the field. When the time for the New Moon Feast came, the king sat down to eat.25He sat in his usual place by the wall. Jonathan sat across from him. Abner sat next to Saul. But David's place was empty.26Saul didn't say anything that day. He said to himself, “Something must have happened to David to make him ‘unclean.’ That must be why he isn't here.”27But the next day, David's place was empty again. It was the second day of the month. Finally, Saul spoke to his son Jonathan. He said, “Why hasn't the son of Jesse come to the meal? He hasn't been here yesterday or today.”28Jonathan replied, “David begged me to let him go to Bethlehem.29He said, ‘Let me go. Our family is offering a sacrifice in the town. My brother has ordered me to be there. Are you pleased with me? If you are, let me go and see my brothers.’ That's why he hasn't come to eat at your table.”30Saul burned with anger against Jonathan. He said to him, “You are an evil son. You have refused to obey me. I know that you are on the side of Jesse's son. You should be ashamed of that. And your mother should be ashamed of having a son like you.31You will never be king as long as Jesse's son lives on this earth. And you will never have a kingdom either. So send for the son of Jesse. Bring him to me. He must die!”32“Why do you want to put him to death?” Jonathan asked his father. “What has he done?”33But Saul threw his spear at Jonathan to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father wanted to kill David.34So Jonathan got up from the table. He was burning with anger. On that second day of the month, he refused to eat. He was very sad that his father was treating David so badly.35The next morning Jonathan went out to the field to meet David. He took a young boy with him.36He said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows I shoot.” As the boy ran, Jonathan shot an arrow far beyond him.37The boy came to the place where Jonathan's arrow had fallen. Then Jonathan shouted to him, “The arrow went far beyond you, didn't it?”38He continued, “Hurry up! Run fast! Don't stop!” The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master.39The boy didn't know what was going on. Only Jonathan and David knew.40Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy. He told him, “Go back to town. Take the weapons with you.”41After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone. He bowed down in front of Jonathan with his face to the ground. He did it three times. Then they kissed each other and cried. But David cried more than Jonathan did.42Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace. In the name of the Lord we have taken an oath. We've promised to be friends. We've said, ‘The Lord is a witness between you and me. He's a witness between your children and my children forever.’ ” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.
1 Samuel 20
English Standard Version
Jonathan Warns David
1Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came and said before Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?” (1Sa 1:19)2And he said to him, “Far from it! You shall not die. Behold, my father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me. And why should my father hide this from me? It is not so.”3But David vowed again, saying, “Your father knows well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he thinks, ‘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.” (Ge 33:15; Ru 3:13; 1Sa 1:26; 1Sa 25:26; 2Ki 2:2; 2Ki 2:4; 2Ki 2:6; 2Ki 4:30)4Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.”5David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit at table with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field till the third day at evening. (Nu 10:10; Nu 28:11; 1Sa 19:2; 1Sa 20:18)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 clan.’ (1Sa 9:12; 1Sa 16:4; 1Sa 20:18)7If he says, ‘Good!’ it will be well with your servant, but if he is angry, then know that harm is determined by him. (1Sa 20:33; 1Sa 25:17; Es 7:7)8Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the Lord with you. But if there is guilt in me, kill me yourself, for why should you bring me to your father?” (1Sa 18:3; 1Sa 20:16; 1Sa 20:42; 1Sa 23:18; 2Sa 14:32; 2Sa 21:7)9And Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! If I knew that it was determined by my father that harm should come to you, would I not tell you?” (1Sa 20:7)10Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you roughly?”11And Jonathan said to David, “Come, let us go out into the field.” So they both went out into the field.12And Jonathan said to David, “The Lord, the God of Israel, be witness! When I have sounded out my father, about this time tomorrow, or the third day, behold, if he is well disposed toward David, shall I not then send and disclose it to you?13But should it please my father 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, that you may go in safety. May the Lord be with you, as he has been with my father. (Jos 1:5; Jos 1:17; Ru 1:17; 1Sa 17:37; 1Ki 1:37; 1Ch 22:11; 1Ch 22:16)14If I am still alive, show me the steadfast love of the Lord, that I may not die;15and do not cut off your steadfast love from my house forever, when the Lord cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” (2Sa 9:1; 2Sa 9:3; 2Sa 9:7; 2Sa 21:7)16And Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord take vengeance on David’s enemies.” (Jos 22:23; 1Sa 25:22)17And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul. (1Sa 18:1; 1Sa 18:3)18Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty. (1Sa 20:5; 1Sa 20:6; 1Sa 20:25; 1Sa 20:27)19On the third day go down quickly to the place where you hid yourself when the matter was in hand, and remain beside the stone heap.20And I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark.21And behold, 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, take them,’ then you are to come, for, as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. (Ru 3:13; 1Sa 20:3)22But if I say to the youth, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go, for the Lord has sent you away. (1Sa 20:37)23And as for the matter of which you and I have spoken, behold, the Lord is between you and me forever.” (1Sa 20:14; 1Sa 20:42)24So David hid himself in the field. And when the new moon came, the king sat down to eat food.25The king sat on his seat, as at other times, on the seat by the wall. Jonathan sat opposite, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty. (1Sa 20:18)26Yet Saul did not say anything that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to him. He is not clean; surely he is not clean.” (Le 7:21; Le 11:24; Le 15:1)27But on the second day, the day after the new moon, David’s place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has not the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?” (1Sa 20:25; 1Sa 20:34)28Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem. (1Sa 20:6)29He said, ‘Let me go, for our clan holds a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. So now, if I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away and see my brothers.’ For this reason 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, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.”32Then Jonathan answered Saul his father, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” (1Sa 19:5)33But Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him. So Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death. (1Sa 18:11; 1Sa 19:10; 1Sa 20:7)34And Jonathan rose 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 disgraced him.35In the morning Jonathan went out into the field to the appointment with David, and with him a little boy.36And he said to his boy, “Run and find the arrows that I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.37And when the boy came to the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the boy and said, “Is not the arrow beyond you?” (1Sa 20:22)38And Jonathan called after the boy, “Hurry! Be quick! Do not stay!” So Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows and came to his master.39But the boy knew nothing. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter.40And Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, “Go and carry them to the city.”41And as soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap and fell on his face to the ground and bowed three times. And they kissed one another and wept with one another, David weeping the most.42Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.’” And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city. (1Sa 1:17; 1Sa 20:13; 1Sa 20:15; 1Sa 20:23)