Jonathans Love For David
Then David went and found Jonathan and said, "What have I done? What is
my guilt, and what is my sin in the mind of your father, that he is
seeking my life?" Jonathan replied, "No, no! You shall not die. You know
that my father does nothing great or small that he does not tell me, and
why should my father hide this from me? He surely will not." David
answered, "Your father well knows that you are fond of me, and he is
saying to himself, 'Do not let Jonathan know this that he may not be
grieved.' But as surely as Jehovah lives and as you live, there is only
a step between me and death."
Then Jonathan said to David, "What do you wish me to do for you?" David
answered, "To-morrow is the festival of the New Moon and I ought to sit
at the table with Saul, but let me go and I will hide myself in the
field until evening. If your father misses me, then say, 'David asked
permission of me to run to Bethlehem, his native town, for the yearly
sacrifice is there for all his family.' If he says, 'Good,' then it is
well with your servant; but if he gets angry, then you will know that he
is planning to harm me. Now show kindness to your servant, for in the
presence of Jehovah you have made a solemn agreement with your servant.
But if I am at all guilty, kill me yourself, for why should you bring me
to your father?" Jonathan said, "That shall never be! If I learn that my
father is planning to do you harm, I will tell you."
Then David said to Jonathan, "Who will tell me if your father answers
you harshly?" Jonathan answered, "Jehovah the God of Israel be witness
that about this time to-morrow I will find out how my father feels. If
he feels kindly toward you, then I will send and tell you. Should my
father wish to do you harm, God do to Jonathan whatever he will and more
too if I do not tell you and send you away that you may go in peace. May
Jehovah be with you, as he has been with my father. And if I am yet
alive, O may you show me kindness like that of Jehovah himself! But if I
should die, you must never cease to be kind to my family. And if, when
Jehovah destroys all the enemies of David from the face of the earth,
the family of Jonathan should be destroyed by the family of David, may
Jehovah punish the crime by the hand of David's enemies." So Jonathan
renewed his solemn promise to David, because he loved him; for he loved
him as much as he loved his own life.
Then Jonathan said to him, "To-morrow is the festival of the New Moon
and you will be missed, for your seat will be empty. On the third day,
when you will be greatly missed, go to the place where you hid yourself
when my father attacked you, and sit down beside the heap of stones. I
will shoot three arrows on one side of it, as though I shot at a mark.
Then I will send the boy, saying, 'Go, find the arrows.' If I call to
the boy, 'See, the arrows are on this side of you; pick them up!'--then
come; for all goes well with you, and as surely as Jehovah lives, there
is nothing to fear. But if I call to the boy, 'See, the arrows are
beyond you,' then go, for Jehovah sends you away. And as for the
promises which you and I have made, Jehovah is witness between you and
So David hid himself in the field; and when the festival of the New Moon
came, Saul sat down at the table to eat. He sat on his seat, as usual,
by the wall, and Jonathan sat opposite, and Abner sat beside Saul; but
David's seat was empty. Saul, however, did not say anything that day,
for he thought, "It is an accident."
But on the next day when David's place was again empty, Saul said to
Jonathan, "Why has not the son of Jesse come to the table, either
yesterday or to-day?" Jonathan answered, "David asked permission to go
to Bethlehem, for he said, 'Let me go, for we have a family sacrifice in
the town, and my brother has commanded me to be there. Now if you
approve, let me go away that I may see my family.' Therefore, he has not
come to your table."
Then Saul's anger was aroused against Jonathan, and he said to him, "Son
of a rebellious slave girl! Do I not know that you are making the son of
Jesse your friend to your own shame and to your mother's shame? For as
long as the son of Jesse lives, neither you nor your rule will be safe.
Therefore, send now and bring him to me, for he is doomed to die."
Then Jonathan answered Saul his father and said, "Why should he be put
to death? What has he done?" But Saul flung his spear at him to strike
him. So Jonathan knew that his father had made up his mind to put David
to death. And Jonathan rose from the table in hot anger and ate no food
on the second day of the month, for he felt hurt because his father had
The next morning Jonathan went out into the field to the place agreed
upon with David, and a small boy was with him. He said to his boy, "Run,
find now the arrows which I shoot." As the boy ran, he shot an arrow
beyond him. When the boy came to the place where the arrow which
Jonathan had shot lay, Jonathan called to him, "Is not the arrow beyond
you? Hurry, be quick, do not stop!" So Jonathan's lad gathered up the
arrows, and brought them to his master. But the boy knew nothing about
the signal. Only Jonathan and David understood.
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