FIRST SAMUEL CHAPTER TWENTY

FIRST SAMUEL CHAPTER TWENTY

1 Then David fled from Naioth in the heights

               Of Ramah, home of Samuel, and went

               To Jonathan and asked, ‟What have I done?

What is my crime? Why is your father so

               Resolved to kill me?” 2 ‟That’s not true!” replied

               The son of Saul. ‟I’m sure he has no plans

For such a thing, for he confides in me

               About things great and small, and wouldn’t hide

               A plan like that from me. It isn’t so!”

3 ‟Of course he hasn’t told you,” David fumed.

               ‟Your father knows quite well that we are friends,

               So he has told himself, ‛I won’t advise

My son. Why should I hurt the boy?’  Yet as

               Sure as the Lord and you both live, I’m but

               A step away from death!” 4 ‟Tell me what I

Can do,” said Jonathan, 5 and David said,  

               ‟Tomorrow is the New Moon festival.

               Before, I’ve been beside your father for

This New Moon celebration, and I ought

               To dine with him, but let me go and hide

               Within the field, remaining there until

The evening of the third day. 6 If the king

               Asks where I am, tell him that I asked for

               Permission to go home to Bethlehem

Where I will meet my family and join

               Them for the yearly sacrifice, 7 and if

               He answers, ‛Fine!’ then I will know that all

Is well, but if he’s angry, then I’ll know

               That he is set to do me wrong. 8 My lord,

               Keep faith with me, for you and I have made

A solemn covenant before the Lord.

               If I am guilty, murder me yourself!

               But don’t betray me to your father.” 9 ‟God

Forbid!” cried Jonathan. ‟Look, wouldn’t I

               Inform you if I knew my father planned

               To murder you?” 10 Then David asked, ‟How will

You let me know if he is angry when

               He answers?” 11 ‟Come,” said Jonathan, ‟let’s go

               Out to the field, so they went out to it

Together, 12 then he said to David, ‟By

               The Lord, the God of Israel, I will

               Talk to my father by this time the day

After tomorrow, or the next day at

               The latest, and I’ll let you know at once

               How he reacts. 13 If he is angry with

You and he wants you killed, then may the Lord

               Kill me if I don’t tell you, so you can

               Escape and live, and may the Lord be with

You as he once was with my father, 14 but

               Show me unfailing kindness like the Lord‘s

               As long as I shall live, so I may not

Be killed. 15 Don’t ever cut your kindness off

               To your friend’s family, not even when

               The Lord’s cut off your enemies throughout 

The earth,” 16 so Jonathan made covenant

               With David’s house and stated, ‟May the Lord

               Crush David’s enemies,” 17 and Jonathan

Had David reaffirm his oath out of

               His love for him, because he loved him

               As he loved his own soul, 18 then Jonathan 

Told David, ‟Yes, tomorrow they will miss

               You when your seat is empty. 19 By the day

               After tomorrow, everyone will ask

About you, so be at the hiding place

               Where you were when this trouble started, and

               Wait by the stone pile, 20 then I will come out

And shoot three arrows at its side, as though

               I’m shooting at a target, 21 then I’ll send

               A boy and say, ‛Go, find the arrows.’ If

You hear me tell him, ‛They’re on this side,’ then

               Come out because you’ll know that you are safe.

               There is no danger, 22 but if I tell him,

‛Go farther still. The arrows are ahead

               Of you,’ then it will mean that you must leave

               At once: the Lord has guided you away.

23 As to that matter you and I discussed,

               The Lord is witness to our promises,”

               24 So David hid within the field, and when

The New Moon festival arrived, 25 the king

               Sat down to dinner in his usual

               Place by the wall, across from Jonathan 

With Abner next to Saul, but David’s place

               Was empty. 26 Saul said nothing on that day,

               For he thought, ‟Something happened to the boy

To make him ceremonially impure.

               Surely that’s why he is not here.” 27 But when

               His place was empty the next day, King Saul

Asked Jonathan, ‟Why hasn’t David come

               To dinner either yesterday or now,

               Today?” 28 and Jonathan replied, ‟He asked

Me earnestly for my permission to

               Travel to Bethlehem. 29 ‛Please let me go,’

               He said, ‛Because our family is there

To make a sacrifice. My brother said

               I had to come. If I’ve found favor in

               Your eyes, please let me get away to see

My brothers.’ That is why he has not come

               To dine with us.” 30 Saul boiled with fury. ‟You

               Imbecile!” bellowed Saul. ‟Don’t I know that

You’ve sided with the son of Jesse to

               Your shame and to your mother‘s shame. 31 Why, as

               Long as the son of Jesse lives on earth,

You’ll never be the king. Now go and get   

               Him so that I can kill him!” 32 ‟But what has

               He done?” demanded Jonathan. ‟Why should  

The man be put to death?” 33 But King Saul hurled

               His spear at Jonathan, intending to

               Kill him, so Jonathan at last perceived  

His father meant it when he said that he

               Would murder David. 34 Jonathan went from

               The table in fierce anger and refused

To eat all day, for he was hurt and grieved

               By King Saul’s shameful treatment of his friend.

                    35 Next morning, as agreed, he went out to

The field and took a young boy with him to

               Collect his arrows, 36 and he said to him,

               ‟Go, run and find the arrows as I shoot.”

So as the boy was running, Jonathan

               Released an arrow past him. 37 When the boy

               Had almost reached the arrow, Jonathan

Exclaimed, ‟The arrow’s still ahead of you,”

               38 And then he shouted, ‟Hurry! Hurry! Go

               At once! Don’t stop!” And so the boy retrieved

The arrow and returned to Jonathan,

               His master 39 (but the boy knew nothing of

               The secret signal−only Jonathan

And David knew), 40 then Jonathan conveyed

               His weapons to the boy and said, ‟Go, take

               Them back to town.” 41 As soon as he was gone,

The son of Jesse got up from the south

               Side of the stone, and bowed before his friend 

               Three times, his face down to the ground, and then

They kissed and wept together. David wept

               The most, and wept ‘til he could weep no more,

               42 Then Jonathan told David, ‟Go in peace,

For we’ve sworn friendship to each other in

               The name of God, and put our children in

               His hands, forever,” and so David left,

And Jonathan returned to town, bereft.