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1 Samuel 20:5-27 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

David answered Y’honatan, “Look, tomorrow is Rosh-Hodesh, and I ought to be dining with the king. Instead, let me go and hide myself in the countryside until evening of the third day. If your father misses me at all, say, ‘David begged me to let him hurry to Beit-Lechem, his city; because it’s the annual sacrifice there for his whole family.’ If he says, ‘Very good,’ then your servant will be all right. But if he gets angry, you will know that he has planned something bad. Therefore show kindness to your servant, for you bound your servant to yourself by a covenant before Adonai. But if I have done something wrong, kill me yourself! Why turn me over to your father?” Y’honatan said, “Heaven forbid! If I ever were to learn that my father had definitely decided to do you harm, wouldn’t I tell you?” 10 Then David asked Y’honatan, “Who will tell me in the event your father gives you a harsh answer?” 11 Y’honatan said to David, “Come, let’s go out in the countryside.”

They went out, both of them, to the countryside. 12 Y’honatan said to David, “Adonai, the God of Isra’el [is witness]: after I have sounded out my father, about this time tomorrow, or the third day, then, if things look good for David, I will send and let you know. 13 But if my father intends to do you harm, may Adonai do as much and more to me if I don’t let you know and send you away, so that you can go in peace. And may Adonai be with you, just as he used to be with my father. 14 However, you are to show me Adonai’s kindness not only while I am alive, so that I do not die; 15 but also, after Adonai has eliminated every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth, you are to continue showing kindness to my family forever.” 16 Thus Y’honatan made a covenant with the family of David, adding, “May Adonai seek its fulfillment even through David’s enemies.” 17 Y’honatan had David swear it again, because of the love he had for him — he loved him as he loved himself. 18 Y’honatan said to him, “Tomorrow is Rosh-Hodesh, and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19 The third day, hide yourself well in the same place as you did before; stay by the Departure Stone. 20 I will shoot three arrows to one side, as if I were shooting at a target. 21 Then I will send my boy to recover them. If I tell the boy, ‘They’re here on this side of you, take them,’ then come — it means that everything is peaceful for you; as Adonai lives, there’s nothing wrong. 22 But if I tell the boy, ‘The arrows are out there, beyond you,’ then get going, because Adonai is sending you away. 23 As for the matter we discussed earlier, Adonai is between you and me forever.”

24 So David hid himself in the countryside. When Rosh-Hodesh came, the king sat down to eat his meal. 25 The king sat at his usual place by the wall. Y’honatan stood up, and Avner sat next to Sha’ul, but David’s place was empty. 26 However, Sha’ul didn’t say anything that day; because he thought, “Something has happened to him, he is unclean. Yes, that’s it, he isn’t clean.” 27 The day after Rosh-Hodesh, the second day, David’s place was empty; and Sha’ul said to Y’honatan his son, “Why hasn’t Yishai’s son come to the meal either yesterday or today?”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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