1 Samuel 19-21
New Revised Standard Version
Jonathan Intercedes for David
19 Saul spoke with his son Jonathan and with all his servants about killing David. But Saul’s son Jonathan took great delight in David. 2 Jonathan told David, “My father Saul is trying to kill you; therefore be on guard tomorrow morning; stay in a secret place and hide yourself. 3 I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you; if I learn anything I will tell you.” 4 Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him, “The king should not sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have been of good service to you; 5 for he took his life in his hand when he attacked the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced; why then will you sin against an innocent person by killing David without cause?” 6 Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan; Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” 7 So Jonathan called David and related all these things to him. Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.
Michal Helps David Escape from Saul
8 Again there was war, and David went out to fight the Philistines. He launched a heavy attack on them, so that they fled before him. 9 Then an evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand, while David was playing music. 10 Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear; but he eluded Saul, so that he struck the spear into the wall. David fled and escaped that night.
11 Saul sent messengers to David’s house to keep watch over him, planning to kill him in the morning. David’s wife Michal told him, “If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down through the window; he fled away and escaped. 13 Michal took an idol[a] and laid it on the bed; she put a net[b] of goats’ hair on its head, and covered it with the clothes. 14 When Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.” 15 Then Saul sent the messengers to see David for themselves. He said, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.” 16 When the messengers came in, the idol[c] was in the bed, with the covering[d] of goats’ hair on its head. 17 Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this, and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?” Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go; why should I kill you?’”
David Joins Samuel in Ramah
18 Now David fled and escaped; he came to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. He and Samuel went and settled at Naioth. 19 Saul was told, “David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David. When they saw the company of the prophets in a frenzy, with Samuel standing in charge of[e] them, the spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also fell into a prophetic frenzy. 21 When Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they also fell into a frenzy. Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also fell into a frenzy. 22 Then he himself went to Ramah. He came to the great well that is in Secu;[f] he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” And someone said, “They are at Naioth in Ramah.” 23 He went there, toward Naioth in Ramah; and the spirit of God came upon him. As he was going, he fell into a prophetic frenzy, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 He too stripped off his clothes, and he too fell into a frenzy before Samuel. He lay naked all that day and all that night. Therefore it is said, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
The Friendship of David and Jonathan
20 David fled from Naioth in Ramah. He came before Jonathan and said, “What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin against your father that he is trying to take my life?” 2 He said to him, “Far from it! You shall not die. My father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me; and why should my father hide this from me? Never!” 3 But David also swore, “Your father knows well that you like me; and he thinks, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, or he will be grieved.’ But truly, as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death.” 4 Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.” 5 David said to Jonathan, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at the meal; but let me go, so that I may hide in the field until the third evening. 6 If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city; for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.’ 7 If he says, ‘Good!’ it will be well with your servant; but if he is angry, then know that evil has been determined by him. 8 Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a sacred covenant[g] with you. But if there is guilt in me, kill me yourself; why should you bring me to your father?” 9 Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! If I knew that it was decided by my father that evil should come upon you, would I not tell you?” 10 Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?” 11 Jonathan replied to David, “Come, let us go out into the field.” So they both went out into the field.
12 Jonathan said to David, “By the Lord, the God of Israel! When I have sounded out my father, about this time tomorrow, or on the third day, if he is well disposed toward David, shall I not then send and disclose it to you? 13 But if my father intends to do you harm, the Lord do so to Jonathan, and more also, if I do not disclose it to you, and send you away, so that you may go in safety. May the Lord be with you, as he has been with my father. 14 If I am still alive, show me the faithful love of the Lord; but if I die,[h] 15 never cut off your faithful love from my house, even if the Lord were to cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” 16 Thus Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord seek out the enemies of David.” 17 Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him; for he loved him as he loved his own life.
18 Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon; you will be missed, because your place will be empty. 19 On the day after tomorrow, you shall go a long way down; go to the place where you hid yourself earlier, and remain beside the stone there.[i] 20 I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark. 21 Then 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, collect them,’ then you are to come, for, as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. 22 But if I say to the young man, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go; for the Lord has sent you away. 23 As for the matter about which you and I have spoken, the Lord is witness[j] between you and me forever.”
24 So David hid himself in the field. When the new moon came, the king sat at the feast to eat. 25 The king sat upon his seat, as at other times, upon the seat by the wall. Jonathan stood, while Abner sat by Saul’s side; but David’s place was empty.
26 Saul did not say anything that day; for he thought, “Something has befallen him; he is not clean, surely he is not clean.” 27 But on the second day, the day after the new moon, David’s place was empty. And Saul said to his son Jonathan, “Why has the son of Jesse not come to the feast, either yesterday or today?” 28 Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem; 29 he said, ‘Let me go; for our family is holding a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. So now, if I have found favor in your sight, 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. 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 upon the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Now send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.” 32 Then Jonathan answered his father Saul, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33 But Saul threw his spear at him to strike him; so Jonathan knew that it was the decision of his father to put David to death. 34 Jonathan rose from the table in fierce anger and ate no food on the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, and because his father had disgraced him.
35 In the morning Jonathan went out into the field to the appointment with David, and with him was a little boy. 36 He said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows that 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 after the boy and said, “Is the arrow not beyond you?” 38 Jonathan called after the boy, “Hurry, be quick, do not linger.” 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 arrangement. 40 Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said to him, “Go and carry them to the city.” 41 As soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap[k] and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. He bowed three times, and they kissed each other, and wept with each other; David wept the more.[l] 42 Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since both of us have sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants, forever.’” He got up and left; and Jonathan went into the city.[m]
David and the Holy Bread
21 [n] David came to Nob to the priest Ahimelech. Ahimelech came trembling to meet David, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” 2 David said to the priest Ahimelech, “The king has charged me with a matter, and said to me, ‘No one must know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment[o] with the young men for such and such a place. 3 Now then, what have you at hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” 4 The priest answered David, “I have no ordinary bread at hand, only holy bread—provided that the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5 David answered the priest, “Indeed women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition; the vessels of the young men are holy even when it is a common journey; how much more today will their vessels be holy?” 6 So the priest gave him the holy bread; for there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.
7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord; his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds.
8 David said to Ahimelech, “Is there no spear or sword here with you? I did not bring my sword or my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.” 9 The priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you will take that, take it, for there is none here except that one.” David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”
David Flees to Gath
10 David rose and fled that day from Saul; he went to King Achish of Gath. 11 The servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances,
‘Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his ten thousands’?”
12 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of King Achish of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior before them; he pretended to be mad when in their presence.[p] He scratched marks on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle run down his beard. 14 Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see the man is mad; why then have you brought him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”
- 1 Samuel 19:13 Heb took the teraphim
- 1 Samuel 19:13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
- 1 Samuel 19:16 Heb the teraphim
- 1 Samuel 19:16 Meaning of Heb uncertain
- 1 Samuel 19:20 Meaning of Heb uncertain
- 1 Samuel 19:22 Gk reads to the well of the threshing floor on the bare height
- 1 Samuel 20:8 Heb a covenant of the Lord
- 1 Samuel 20:14 Meaning of Heb uncertain
- 1 Samuel 20:19 Meaning of Heb uncertain
- 1 Samuel 20:23 Gk: Heb lacks witness
- 1 Samuel 20:41 Gk: Heb from beside the south
- 1 Samuel 20:41 Vg: Meaning of Heb uncertain
- 1 Samuel 20:42 This sentence is 21.1 in Heb
- 1 Samuel 21:1 Ch 21.2 in Heb
- 1 Samuel 21:2 Q Ms Vg Compare Gk: Meaning of MT uncertain
- 1 Samuel 21:13 Heb in their hands