1Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?”2“Never!” Jonathan replied. “You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn’t so!”3But David took an oath and said, “Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, ‘Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.’ Yet as surely as the Lord lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.”4Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.”5So David said, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon feast, and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow.6If your father misses me at all, tell him, ‘David earnestly asked my permission to hurry to Bethlehem, his hometown, because an annual sacrifice is being made there for his whole clan.’7If he says, ‘Very well,’ then your servant is safe. But if he loses his temper, you can be sure that he is determined to harm me.8As for you, show kindness to your servant, for you have brought him into a covenant with you before the Lord. If I am guilty, then kill me yourself! Why hand me over to your father?”9“Never!” Jonathan said. “If I had the least inkling that my father was determined to harm you, wouldn’t I tell you?”10David asked, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?”11“Come,” Jonathan said, “let’s go out into the field.” So they went there together.12Then Jonathan said to David, “I swear by the Lord, the God of Israel, that I will surely sound out my father by this time the day after tomorrow! If he is favorably disposed toward you, will I not send you word and let you know?13But if my father intends to harm you, may the Lord deal with Jonathan, be it ever so severely, if I do not let you know and send you away in peace. May the Lord be with you as he has been with my father.14But show me unfailing kindness like the Lord’s kindness as long as I live, so that I may not be killed,15and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family—not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.”16So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account.”17And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.18Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon feast. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty.19The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel.20I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target.21Then I will send a boy and say, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to him, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,’ then come, because, as surely as the Lord lives, you are safe; there is no danger.22But if I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then you must go, because the Lord has sent you away.23And about the matter you and I discussed—remember, the Lord is witness between you and me forever.”24So David hid in the field, and when the New Moon feast came, the king sat down to eat.25He sat in his customary place by the wall, opposite Jonathan, and Abner sat next to Saul, but David’s place was empty.26Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, “Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean—surely he is unclean.”27But the next day, the second day of the month, David’s place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, “Why hasn’t the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?”28Jonathan answered, “David earnestly asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem.29He said, ‘Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrifice in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there. If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.’ That is why he has not come to the king’s table.”30Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you?31As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!”32“Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” Jonathan asked his father.33But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.34Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; on that second day of the feast he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father’s shameful treatment of David.35In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him,36and he said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows 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 out after him, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?”38Then he shouted, “Hurry! Go quickly! Don’t stop!” The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master.39(The boy knew nothing about all this; only Jonathan and David knew.)40Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, “Go, carry them back to town.”41After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most.42Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants 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)