20 2 Jonathan comforteth David. 3 They renew their league. 33 Saul would have killed Jonathan. 38 Jonathan advertiseth David by three arrows, of his father’s fury.

And David [a]fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what sin have I committed before thy father, that he seeketh my life?

And he said unto him, God forbid, thou shalt not die: behold, my father will do nothing great nor small, but he will [b]show it me: and why should my father hide this thing from me? he will not do it.

And David swore again and said, Thy father knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes: therefore he thinketh, Jonathan shall not know it, lest he be sorry: but indeed, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a [c]step between me and death.

Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul [d]requireth, that I will do unto thee.

And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, tomorrow is the [e]first day of the month, and I should sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the fields unto the third day at even.

If thy father make mention of me, then say, David asked leave of me, that he might go to Bethlehem to his own city: for there is a [f]yearly sacrifice for all that family.

And if he say thus, It is well, thy servant shall have peace: but if he be angry, be sure that wickedness is concluded of him.

So shalt thou show mercy unto thy servant: (A)for thou hast joined thy servant into a covenant of the Lord with thee, and if there be in me iniquity, slay thou me? for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father?

¶ And Jonathan answered, God keep that from thee: for if I knew that wickedness were [g]concluded of my father to come upon thee, would not I tell it thee?

10 Then said David to Jonathan, Who [h]shall tell me? how shall I know, if thy father answer thee cruelly?

11 And Jonathan said to David, Come and let us go out into the field: and they twain went out into the field.

12 Then Jonathan said to David, O Lord God of Israel, when I have groped my father’s mind tomorrow at this time, or within this three days, and if it be well with David, and I then send not unto thee, and show it thee,

13 The Lord [i]do so and much more unto Jonathan: but if my father have mind to do thee evil, I will show thee also, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and the Lord be with thee as he hath been with my father.

14 Likewise I require not whiles I live: for I doubt not but thou wilt show me the mercy of the Lord, [j]that I die not.

15 But I require that thou cut not off thy mercy from mine house forever: no, not when the Lord hath destroyed the enemies of David, every one from the earth.

16 So Jonathan made a bond with the house of David, saying, Let the Lord require it at the hands of David’s enemies.

17 And again Jonathan swore unto David, because he loved him (for he loved him as his own soul,)

18 Then said Jonathan to him, Tomorrow is the first day of the month: and thou shalt be [k]looked for, for thy place shall be empty.

19 Therefore thou shalt hide thyself three days, then thou shalt go down quickly and come to the place where thou didst hide thyself, when this matter was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone [l]Ezel.

20 And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark.

21 And after I will send a boy, saying, Go, seek the arrows. If I say unto the boy, See, the arrows are on this side thee, bring them, and come thou: for it is [m]well with thee, and no hurt, as the Lord liveth.

22 But if I say thus unto the boy, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee, go thy way: for the [n]Lord hath sent thee away.

23 As touching the thing which thou and I have spoken of, behold, the Lord be between thee and me forever.

24 ¶ So David hid himself in the field: and when the first day of the month came, the king sat to eat meat.

25 And the king sat, as at other times upon his seat, even upon his seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty.

26 And Saul said nothing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, though he were [o]clean, or else because he was not purified.

27 But on the morrow which was the second day of the month, David’s place was empty again: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not [p]the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday nor today?

28 And Jonathan answered unto Saul, David required of me, that he might go to Bethlehem.

29 For he said, Let me go, I pray thee: for our family offereth [q]a sacrifice in the city, and my brother hath sent for me: therefore now, if I have found favor in thine eyes, let me go, I pray thee, and see my [r]brethren: this is the cause that he cometh not unto the king’s table.

30 Then was Saul angry with Jonathan, and said unto him, Thou [s]son of the wicked rebellious woman, do not I know, that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thy confusion, and to the confusion and shame of thy mother?

31 For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the earth, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom: wherefore now send and fet him unto me, for he [t]shall surely die.

32 And Jonathan answered unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he [u]die? what hath he done?

33 And Saul cast a spear at him to hit him, whereby Jonathan knew, that it was determined of his father to slay David.

34 ¶ So Jonathan arose from the table in a great anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month: for he was sorry for David, and because his father had reviled him.

35 On the next morning therefore Jonathan went out into the field, [v]at the time appointed with David, and a little boy with him.

36 And he said unto his boy, Run now, seek the arrows which I shoot, and as the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.

37 And when the boy was come to the place where the arrow was that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the boy, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee?

38 And Jonathan cried after the boy, [w]Make speed, haste and stand not still: and Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows, and came to his master,

39 But the boy knew nothing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter.

40 Then Jonathan gave his [x]bow and arrows unto the boy that was with him, and said unto him, Go, carry them into the city.

41 ¶ As soon as the boy was gone, David arose out of a place that was toward the [y]South, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept both twain, till David exceeded.

42 Therefore Jonathan said to David, Go in peace: that which we have [z]sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and between thy seed, let it stand forever.

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


  1. 1 Samuel 20:1 For Saul was stayed, and prophesied a day and a night by God’s providence, that David might have time to escape.
  2. 1 Samuel 20:2 Hebrew, reveal it in mine ear.
  3. 1 Samuel 20:3 I am in great danger of death.
  4. 1 Samuel 20:4 Hebrew, saith.
  5. 1 Samuel 20:5 At what time there should be a solemn sacrifice, Num. 28:11, to the which they added peace offerings and feasts.
  6. 1 Samuel 20:6 Read 1 Sam. 1:21.
  7. 1 Samuel 20:9 That he were fully determined.
  8. 1 Samuel 20:10 If thy father do favor me.
  9. 1 Samuel 20:13 The Lord punish me most grievously.
  10. 1 Samuel 20:14 I know that if thou werest now preferred to the Kingdom, thou wouldest not destroy me, but show thyself friendly to my posterity.
  11. 1 Samuel 20:18 Or, mentioned.
  12. 1 Samuel 20:19 Hebrew, of the way, because it served as a sign to show the way to them that passed by.
  13. 1 Samuel 20:21 Hebrew, peace.
  14. 1 Samuel 20:22 The Lord is the author of thy departure.
  15. 1 Samuel 20:26 Yet he might have some business to let him.
  16. 1 Samuel 20:27 Thus he speaketh contemptuously of David.
  17. 1 Samuel 20:29 That is, a peace offering.
  18. 1 Samuel 20:29 Meaning, all his kinsfolk.
  19. 1 Samuel 20:30 Thou art ever contrary unto me as thy mother is.
  20. 1 Samuel 20:31 Hebrew, son of death.
  21. 1 Samuel 20:32 For it were too great tyranny to put one to death and not to show the cause why.
  22. 1 Samuel 20:35 For this was the third day, as it was agreed upon, verse 5.
  23. 1 Samuel 20:38 By these words he admonished David what he ought to do.
  24. 1 Samuel 20:40 Hebrew, instruments.
  25. 1 Samuel 20:41 It seemeth that he had shot on the North side of the stone, lest the boy should have espied David.
  26. 1 Samuel 20:42 Which oath he calleth in the eighth verse, the covenant of the Lord.