David and Jonathan's Friendship

18 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan (A)loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day (B)and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because (C)he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. And David went out (D)and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul's servants.

Saul's Jealousy of David

As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, (E)the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments.[a] And the women (F)sang to one another as they celebrated,

(G)“Saul has struck down his thousands,
    and David his ten thousands.”

And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but (H)the kingdom?” And Saul eyed David from that day on.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 18:6 Or triangles, or three-stringed instruments

18 Then Jonathan said to him, (A)“Tomorrow is the new moon, and (B)you will be missed, because (C)your seat will be empty. 19 On the third day go down quickly to the place where you hid yourself when the matter was in hand, and remain beside the stone heap.[a] 20 And I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark. 21 And behold, I will send the boy, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you, take them,’ then you are to come, for, (D)as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. 22 But if I say to the youth, (E)‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go, for the Lord has sent you away. 23 (F)And as for the matter of which you and I have spoken, behold, (G)the Lord is between you and me forever.”

24 So David hid himself in the field. And when the new moon came, the king sat down to eat food. 25 The king sat on his seat, as at other times, on the seat by the wall. Jonathan sat opposite,[b] and Abner sat by Saul's side, (H)but David's place was empty.

26 Yet Saul did not say anything that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to him. (I)He is not clean; surely he is not clean.” 27 But on (J)the second day, the day after the new moon, (K)David's place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has not the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?” 28 Jonathan answered Saul, (L)“David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Let me go, for our clan holds a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. So now, if I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away and see my brothers.’ For this reason he has not come to the king's table.”

30 Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.” 32 Then Jonathan answered Saul his father, (M)“Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33 (N)But Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him. So Jonathan knew (O)that his father was determined to put David to death. 34 And Jonathan rose from the table in fierce anger and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had disgraced him.

35 In the morning Jonathan went out into the field to the appointment with David, and with him a little boy. 36 And he said to his boy, “Run and find the arrows that I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 And when the boy came to the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the boy and said, (P)“Is not the arrow beyond you?” 38 And Jonathan called after the boy, “Hurry! Be quick! Do not stay!” So 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 And Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, “Go and carry them to the city.” 41 And as soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap[c] and fell on his face to the ground and bowed three times. And they kissed one another and wept with one another, David weeping the most. 42 Then Jonathan said to David, (Q)“Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, (R)‘The Lord shall be between me and you, (S)and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.’” And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.[d]

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 20:19 Septuagint; Hebrew the stone Ezel
  2. 1 Samuel 20:25 Compare Septuagint; Hebrew stood up
  3. 1 Samuel 20:41 Septuagint; Hebrew from beside the south
  4. 1 Samuel 20:42 This sentence is 21:1 in Hebrew

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