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1 Samuel 20-21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 20

David Consults with Jonathan. David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and went to Jonathan. “What have I done?” he asked him. “What crime or what offense does your father hold against me that he seeks my life?” Jonathan answered him: “Heaven forbid that you should die! My father does nothing, great or small, without telling me. Why, then, should my father conceal this from me? It cannot be true!” But David replied: “Your father is well aware that I am favored with your friendship, so he has decided, ‘Jonathan must not know about this or he will be grieved.’ Nevertheless, as the Lord lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.” Jonathan then said to David, “I will do whatever you say.” David answered: “Tomorrow is the new moon, when I should in fact dine with the king. Let me go and hide in the open country until evening. If it turns out that your father misses me, say, ‘David urged me to let him go on short notice to his city Bethlehem, because his whole clan is holding its seasonal sacrifice there.’ If he says, ‘Very well,’ your servant is safe. But if he becomes quite angry, you can be sure he has planned some harm. Do this kindness for your servant because of the Lord’s covenant into which you brought us: if I am guilty, kill me yourself! Why should you give me up to your father?” But Jonathan answered: “Not I! If ever I find out that my father is determined to harm you, I will certainly let you know.” 10 David then asked Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father gives you a harsh answer?”

Mutual Agreement. 11 Jonathan replied to David, “Come, let us go out into the field.” When they were out in the open country together, 12 Jonathan said to David: “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, I will sound out my father about this time tomorrow. Whether he is well disposed toward David or not, I will inform you. 13 Should it please my father to bring any harm upon you, may the Lord do thus to Jonathan and more,[a] if I do not inform you of it and send you on your way in peace. May the Lord be with you even as he was with my father. 14 Only this: if I am still alive, may you show me the kindness of the Lord. But if I die, 15 never cut off your kindness from my house. And when the Lord cuts off all the enemies of David from the face of the land, 16 the name of Jonathan must never be cut off from the family of David, or the Lord will make you answer for it.” 17 And in his love for David, Jonathan renewed his oath to him, because he loved him as he loved himself.

18 Jonathan then said to him: “Tomorrow is the new moon; you will be missed, since your place will be vacant. 19 On the third day you will be missed all the more. Go to the spot where you hid on the other occasion and wait near the mound there. 20 On the third day of the month I will shoot arrows to the side of it, as though aiming at a target. 21 I will then send my attendant to recover the arrows. If in fact I say to him, ‘Look, the arrow is this side of you; pick it up,’ come, for you are safe. As the Lord lives, there will be nothing to fear. 22 But if I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrow is beyond you,’ go, for the Lord sends you away. 23 However, in the matter which you and I have discussed, the Lord shall be between you and me forever.” 24 So David hid in the open country.

David’s Absence. On the day of the new moon, when the king sat down at the feast to dine, 25 he took his usual place against the wall. Jonathan sat facing him, while Abner sat at the king’s side. David’s place was vacant. 26 Saul, however, said nothing that day, for he thought, “He must have become unclean by accident.”[b] 27 On the next day, the second day of the month, David’s place was still vacant. So Saul asked his son Jonathan, “Why has the son of Jesse not come to table yesterday or today?” 28 Jonathan explained to Saul: “David pleaded with me to let him go to Bethlehem. 29 ‘Please let me go,’ he begged, ‘for we are having a clan sacrifice in our city, and my brothers insist on my presence. Now then, if you think well of me, give me leave to visit my brothers.’ That is why he has not come to the king’s table.” 30 But Saul grew angry with Jonathan and said to him: “Son of a rebellious woman, do I not know that, to your own disgrace and to the disgrace of your mother’s nakedness, you are the companion of Jesse’s son? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives upon the earth, you cannot make good your claim to the kingship![c] Now send for him, and bring him to me, for he must die.” 32 But Jonathan argued with his father Saul: “Why should he die? What has he done?” 33 At this Saul brandished his spear to strike him, and thus Jonathan learned that his father was determined to kill David. 34 Jonathan sprang up from the table in a rage and ate nothing that second day of the month, because he was grieved on David’s account, and because his father had humiliated him.

Jonathan’s Farewell. 35 The next morning Jonathan, accompanied by a young boy, went out into the field for his appointment with David. 36 There he said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows.” And as the boy ran, he shot an arrow past him. 37 When the boy made for the spot where Jonathan had shot the arrow, Jonathan called after him, “The arrow is farther on!” 38 Again he called to the boy, “Hurry, be quick, don’t delay!” Jonathan’s boy picked up the arrow and brought it to his master. 39 The boy suspected nothing; only Jonathan and David knew what was meant. 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, “Go, take them to the city.” 41 When the boy had gone, David rose from beside the mound and fell on his face to the ground three times in homage. They kissed each other and wept aloud together. 42 At length Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, in keeping with what the two of us have sworn by the name of the Lord: ‘The Lord shall be between you and me, and between your offspring and mine forever.’”

Chapter 21

Then David departed on his way, while Jonathan went back into the city.

The Holy Bread. David went to Ahimelech, the priest of Nob, who came trembling to meet him. He asked, “Why are you alone? Is there no one with you?”[d] David answered the priest: “The king gave me a commission and told me, ‘Do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I have sent you or the commission I have given you.’ For that reason I have arranged a particular meeting place with my men. Now what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves, or whatever you can find.” [e]But the priest replied to David, “I have no ordinary bread on hand, only holy bread; if the men have abstained from women, you may eat some of that.” David answered the priest: “We have indeed stayed away from women. In the past whenever I went out on a campaign, all the young men were consecrated—even for an ordinary campaign. All the more so are they consecrated with their weapons today!” So the priest gave him holy bread, for no other bread was on hand except the showbread which had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by fresh bread when it was taken away. One of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the Lord;[f] his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds.

The Sword of Goliath. David then asked Ahimelech: “Do you have a spear or a sword on hand? I brought along neither my sword nor my weapons, because the king’s business was urgent.” 10 The priest replied: “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here wrapped in a garment behind an ephod.[g] If you wish to take it, do so; there is no sword here except that one.” “There is none like it,” David cried, “give it to me!”

David a Fugitive. 11 That same day David fled from Saul, going to Achish, king of Gath. 12 But the servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David, the king of the land? Is it not for him that during their dances they sing out,

‘Saul has slain his thousands,
    David his tens of thousands’?”

13 David took note of these remarks and became very much afraid of Achish, king of Gath.[h] 14 So, he feigned insanity in front of them and acted like a madman in their custody, drumming on the doors of the gate and drooling onto his beard. 15 Finally Achish said to his servants: “You see the man is mad. Why did you bring him to me? 16 Do I not have enough madmen, that you bring this one to rant in my presence? Should this fellow come into my house?”


  1. 20:13 See note on 3:17.
  2. 20:26 The meal on the first day of the month would have had religious overtones, and a ritual impurity (Lv 15:16; Dt 23:10–12) would have barred David from sharing in it.
  3. 20:31 Your claim to the kingship: Saul admits his intention that Jonathan should succeed him and that David is a threat to his lineage (cf. 23:17). However Jonathan has already acknowledged David’s kingship (18:3–4) and his own subservient role (20:13–16).
  4. 21:2 Ahimelech realizes that he risks incurring Saul’s anger if David has come to Nob as a fugitive.
  5. 21:5–6 According to Lv 24:5–9, the showbread consisted of twelve loaves that were replaced each sabbath. Since the old bread was to be consumed by the priests, Ahimelech questions David regarding the ritual purity of his men (see 2 Sm 11:11). David’s answer supposes the discipline of a military campaign under the conditions of “holy war” (Dt 23:10–15).
  6. 21:8 Detained before the Lord: perhaps to fulfill a ritual obligation. David’s arrival at Nob seems to coincide with a festival day, since the showbread has recently been replaced with fresh bread. Shepherds: i.e., Saul’s palace guard. Cf. 22:9–10, where Doeg has easy access to Saul.
  7. 21:10 Ephod: here an object or image large enough to conceal Goliath’s sword. Cf. Gideon’s ephod in Jgs 8:27.
  8. 21:13 Gath: a Philistine city (see note on 5:1–12), the home of Goliath.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Psalm 126 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 126[a]

The Reversal of Zion’s Fortunes

A song of ascents.


When the Lord restored the captives of Zion,
    we thought we were dreaming.
Then our mouths were filled with laughter;
    our tongues sang for joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord had done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us;
    Oh, how happy we were!
Restore our captives, Lord,
    like the dry stream beds of the Negeb.[b]


Those who sow in tears
    will reap with cries of joy.
Those who go forth weeping,
    carrying sacks of seed,
Will return with cries of joy,
    carrying their bundled sheaves.


  1. Psalm 126 A lament probably sung shortly after Israel’s return from exile. The people rejoice that they are in Zion (Ps 126:1–3) but mere presence in the holy city is not enough; they must pray for the prosperity and the fertility of the land (Ps 126:4). The last verses are probably an oracle of promise: the painful work of sowing will be crowned with life (Ps 126:5–6).
  2. 126:4 Like the dry stream beds of the Negeb: the psalmist prays for rain in such abundance that the dry riverbeds will run.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Mark 9:1-29 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 9

[a]He also said to them, “Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come in power.”

The Transfiguration of Jesus.[b] After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. [c]Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;[d] then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them.

The Coming of Elijah.[e] As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant. 11 Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 12 He told them, “Elijah will indeed come first and restore all things, yet how is it written regarding the Son of Man that he must suffer greatly and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”

The Healing of a Boy with a Demon.[f] 14 When they came to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them. 15 Immediately on seeing him, the whole crowd was utterly amazed. They ran up to him and greeted him. 16 He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit. 18 Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.” 19 He said to them in reply, “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.” 20 They brought the boy to him. And when he saw him, the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions. As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around and foam at the mouth. 21 Then he questioned his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” He replied, “Since childhood. 22 It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.” 24 Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” 25 Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering, rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it, “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!” 26 Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out. He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up. 28 When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private, “Why could we not drive it out?” 29 [g]He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”


  1. 9:1 There are some standing…come in power: understood by some to refer to the establishment by God’s power of his kingdom on earth in and through the church; more likely, as understood by others, a reference to the imminent parousia.
  2. 9:2–8 Mark and Mt 17:1 place the transfiguration of Jesus six days after the first prediction of his passion and death and his instruction to the disciples on the doctrine of the cross; Lk 9:28 has “about eight days.” Thus the transfiguration counterbalances the prediction of the passion by affording certain of the disciples insight into the divine glory that Jesus possessed. His glory will overcome his death and that of his disciples; cf. 2 Cor 3:18; 2 Pt 1:16–19. The heavenly voice (Mk 9:7) prepares the disciples to understand that in the divine plan Jesus must die ignominiously before his messianic glory is made manifest; cf. Lk 24:25–27. See further the note on Mt 17:1–8.
  3. 9:5 Moses and Elijah represent, respectively, law and prophecy in the Old Testament and are linked to Mount Sinai; cf. Ex 19:16–20:17; 1 Kgs 19:2, 8–14. They now appear with Jesus as witnesses to the fulfillment of the law and the prophets taking place in the person of Jesus as he appears in glory.
  4. 9:7 A cloud came, casting a shadow over them: even the disciples enter into the mystery of his glorification. In the Old Testament the cloud covered the meeting tent, indicating the Lord’s presence in the midst of his people (Ex 40:34–35) and came to rest upon the temple in Jerusalem at the time of its dedication (1 Kgs 8:10).
  5. 9:9–13 At the transfiguration of Jesus his disciples had seen Elijah. They were perplexed because, according to the rabbinical interpretation of Mal 3:23–24, Elijah was to come first. Jesus’ response shows that Elijah has come, in the person of John the Baptist, to prepare for the day of the Lord. Jesus must suffer greatly and be treated with contempt (Mk 9:12) like the Baptist (Mk 9:13); cf. Mk 6:17–29.
  6. 9:14–29 The disciples’ failure to effect a cure seems to reflect unfavorably on Jesus (Mk 9:14–18, 22). In response Jesus exposes their lack of trust in God (Mk 9:19) and scores their lack of prayer (Mk 9:29), i.e., of conscious reliance on God’s power when acting in Jesus’ name. For Matthew, see note on Mt 17:14–20. Lk 9:37–43 centers attention on Jesus’ sovereign power.
  7. 9:29 This kind can only come out through prayer: a variant reading adds “and through fasting.”
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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