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1 Samuel 20Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

20 But David fled from Najoth, which is in Ramatha, and came and said to Jonathan: What have I done? what is my iniquity, and what is my sin against thy father, that he seeketh my life?

And he said to him: God forbid, thou shalt not die: for my father will do nothing great or little, without first telling me: hath then my father hid this word only from me? no, this shall not be.

And he swore again to David. And David said: Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, and he will say: Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved. But truly as the Lord liveth, and thy soul liveth, there is but one step (as I may say) between me and death.

And Jonathan said to David: Whatsoever thy soul shall say to me, I will do for thee.

And David said to Jonathan: Behold to morrow is the new moon, and I according to custom am wont to sit beside the king to eat: let me go then that I may be hid in the field till the evening of the third day.

If thy father look and inquire for me, thou shalt answer him: David asked me that he might run to Bethlehem his own city: because there are solemn sacrifices there for all his tribe.

If he shall say, It is well: thy servant shall have peace: but if he be angry, know that his malice is come to its height.

Deal mercifully then with thy servant: for thou hast brought me thy servant into a covenant of the Lord with thee. But if there be any iniquity in me, do thou kill me, and bring me not in to thy father.

And Jonathan said: Far be this from thee: for if I should certainly know that evil is determined by my father against thee, I could do no otherwise than tell thee.

10 And David answered Jonathan: Who shall bring me word, if thy father should answer thee harshly concerning me?

11 And Jonathan said to David: Come and let us go out into the field. And when they were both of them gone out into the field,

12 Jonathan said to David: O Lord God of Israel, if I shall discover my father's mind, to morrow or the day after, and there be any thing good for David, and I send not immediately to thee, and make it known to thee,

13 May the Lord do so and so to Jonathan and add still more. But if my father shall continue in malice against thee, I will discover it to thy ear, and will send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace, and the Lord be with thee, as he hath been with my father.

14 And if I live, thou shalt shew me the kindness of the Lord: but if I die,

15 Thou shalt not take away thy kindness from my house for ever, when the Lord shall have rooted out the enemies of David, every one of them from the earth, may he take away Jonathan from his house, and may the Lord require it at the hands of David's enemies.

16 Jonathan therefore made a covenant with the house of David: and the Lord required it at the hands of David's enemies.

17 And Jonathan swore again to David, because he loved him: for he loved him as his own soul.

18 And Jonathan said to him: To morrow is the new moon, and thou wilt be missed:

19 For thy seat will be empty till after to morrow. So thou shalt go down quickly, and come to the place, where thou must be hid on the day when it is lawful to work, and thou shalt remain beside the stone, which is called Ezel.

20 And I will shoot three arrows near it, and will shoot as if I were exercising myself at a mark.

21 And I will send a boy, saying to him: Go and fetch me the arrows.

22 If I shall say to the boy: Behold the arrows are on this side of thee, take them up: come thou to me, because, there is peace to thee, and there is no evil, as the Lord liveth. But if I shall speak thus to the boy: Behold the arrows are beyond thee: go in peace, for the Lord hath sent thee away.

23 And concerning the word which I and thou have spoken, the Lord be between thee and me for ever.

24 So David was hid in the field, and the new moon came, and the king sat down to eat bread.

25 And when the king sat down upon his chair (according to custom) which was beside the wall, Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul's side, and David's place appeared empty.

26 And Saul said nothing that day, for he thought it might have happened to him, that he was not clean, nor purified.

27 And when the second day after the new moon was come, David's place appeared empty again. And Saul said to Jonathan his son: Why cometh not the son of Isai to meat neither yesterday nor to day?

28 And Jonathan answered Saul: He asked leave of me earnestly to go to Bethlehem,

29 And he said: Let me go, for there is a solemn sacrifice in the city, one of my brethren hath sent for me: and now if I have found favour in thy eyes, I will go quickly, and see my brethren. For this cause he came not to the king's table.

30 Then Saul being angry against Jonathan said to him: Thou son of a woman that is the ravisher of a man, do I not know that thou lovest the son of Isai to thy own confusion and to the confusion of thy shameless mother?

31 For as long as the son of Isai liveth upon earth, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Therefore now presently send, and fetch him to me: for he is the son of death.

32 And Jonathan answering Saul his father, said: Why shall he die: what hath he done?

33 And Saul caught up a spear to strike him. And Jonathan understood that it was determined by his father to kill David.

34 So Jonathan rose from the table in great anger, and did not eat bread on the second day after the new moon. For he was grieved for David, because his father had put him to confusion.

35 And when the morning came, Jonathan went into the field, according to the appointment with David, and a little boy with him.

36 And he said to his boy: Go, and fetch me the arrows which I shoot. And when the boy ran, he shot another arrow beyond the boy.

37 The boy therefore came to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot: and Jonathan cried after the boy, and said: Behold the arrow is there further beyond thee.

38 And Jonathan cried again after the boy, saying: Make haste speedily, stand not. And Jonathan's boy gathered up the arrows, and brought them to his master:

39 And he knew not at all what was doing: for only Jonathan and David knew the matter.

40 Jonathan therefore gave his arms to the boy, and said to him: Go, and carry them into the city.

41 And when the boy was gone, David rose out of his place, which was towards the south, and falling on his face to the ground, adored thrice: and kissing one another, they wept together, but David more.

42 And Jonathan said to David: Go in peace: and let all stand that we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying: The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever.

43 And David arose, and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.

1 Samuel 20New International Version (NIV)

David and Jonathan

20 Then 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?”

“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!”

But 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.”

Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.”

So 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. If 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.’ If 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. As 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?”

“Never!” Jonathan said. “If I had the least inkling that my father was determined to harm you, wouldn’t I tell you?”

10 David 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.

12 Then 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? 13 But 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. 14 But show me unfailing kindness like the Lord’s kindness as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, 15 and 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.”

16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account. 17 And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.

18 Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon feast. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19 The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target. 21 Then 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. 22 But if I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then you must go, because the Lord has sent you away. 23 And about the matter you and I discussed—remember, the Lord is witness between you and me forever.”

24 So David hid in the field, and when the New Moon feast came, the king sat down to eat. 25 He sat in his customary place by the wall, opposite Jonathan,[a] and Abner sat next to Saul, but David’s place was empty. 26 Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, “Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean—surely he is unclean. 27 But 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?”

28 Jonathan answered, “David earnestly asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem. 29 He 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.”

30 Saul’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? 31 As 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. 33 But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.

34 Jonathan 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.

35 In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him, 36 and he said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy came to the place where Jonathan’s arrow had fallen, Jonathan called out after him, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?” 38 Then 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.) 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, “Go, carry them back to town.”

41 After 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.

42 Jonathan 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.[b]

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 20:25 Septuagint; Hebrew wall. Jonathan arose
  2. 1 Samuel 20:42 In Hebrew texts this sentence (20:42b) is numbered 21:1.
New International Version (NIV)

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