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1 Samuel 19-21 American Standard Version (ASV)

19 And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should slay David. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David. And Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to slay thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself in the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself: and I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee; and if I see aught, I will tell thee. And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good: for he put his life in his hand, and smote the Philistine, and Jehovah wrought a great [a]victory for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice; wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause? And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As Jehovah liveth, he shall not be put to death. And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan showed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as beforetime.

And there was war again: and David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter; and they fled before him. And [b]an evil spirit from Jehovah was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand; and David was playing with his hand. 10 And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the spear; but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and he smote the spear into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night. 11 And Saul sent messengers unto David’s house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to-night, to-morrow thou wilt be slain. 12 So Michal let David down through the window: and he went, and fled, and escaped. 13 And Michal took the teraphim, and laid it in the bed, and put a [c]pillow of goats’ hair at the head thereof, and covered it with the clothes. 14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick. 15 And Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him. 16 And when the messengers came in, behold, the teraphim was in the bed, with the [d]pillow of goats’ hair at the head thereof. 17 And Saul said unto Michal, Why hast thou deceived me thus, and let mine enemy go, so that he is escaped? And Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go; why should I kill thee?

18 Now David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth. 19 And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah. 20 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as head over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. 21 And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Then went he also to Ramah, and came to the great [e]well that is in Secu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah. 23 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God came upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 And he also stripped off his clothes, and he also prophesied before Samuel, and [f]lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

20 And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life? And he said unto him, Far from it; thou shalt not die: behold, my father doeth nothing either great or small, but that he [g]discloseth it unto me; and why should my father hide this thing from me? it is not so. And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father knoweth well that I have found favor in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as Jehovah liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death. Then said Jonathan unto David, [h]Whatsoever thy soul [i]desireth, I will even do it for thee. And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to-morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even. If thy father miss me at all, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Beth-lehem his city; for it is the yearly sacrifice there for all the family. If he say thus, It is well; thy servant shall have peace: but if he be wroth, then know that evil is determined by him. Therefore deal kindly with thy servant; for thou hast brought thy servant into a covenant of Jehovah with thee: but if there be in me iniquity, slay me thyself; for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father? And Jonathan said, Far be it from thee; for if I should at all know that evil were determined by my father to come upon thee, then would not I tell it thee? 10 Then said David to Jonathan, Who shall tell me if perchance thy father answer thee roughly? 11 And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field.

12 And Jonathan said unto David, Jehovah, the God of Israel, be witness: when I have sounded my father about this time to-morrow, or the third day, behold, if there be good toward David, shall I not then send unto thee, and disclose it unto thee? 13 Jehovah do so to Jonathan, and more also, should it please my father to do thee evil, if I disclose it not unto thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and Jehovah be with thee, as he hath been with my father. 14 And thou shalt not only while yet I live show me the lovingkindness of Jehovah, that I die not; 15 but also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever; no, not when Jehovah hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth. 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, And Jehovah will require it at the hand of David’s enemies.

17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again, [j]for the love that he had to him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul. 18 Then Jonathan said unto him, To-morrow is the new moon: and thou wilt be missed, because thy seat will be [k]empty. 19 And when thou hast stayed three days, thou shalt go down [l]quickly, and come to the place where thou didst hide thyself [m]when the business was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone Ezel. 20 And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark. 21 And, behold, I will send the lad, saying, Go, find the arrows. If I say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee; take [n]them, and come; for there is peace to thee and [o]no hurt, as Jehovah liveth. 22 But if I say thus unto the boy, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee; go thy way; for Jehovah hath sent thee away. 23 And as touching the matter which thou and I have spoken of, behold, Jehovah is between thee and me for ever.

24 So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat food. 25 And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon the seat by the wall; and Jonathan stood up, and Abner sat by Saul’s side: but David’s place was empty. 26 Nevertheless Saul spake not anything that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean. 27 And it came to pass on the morrow after the new moon, which was the second day, that David’s place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to-day? 28 And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Beth-lehem: 29 and he said, Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favor in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he is not come unto the king’s table.

30 Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of a perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own shame, and unto the shame of thy mother’s nakedness? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he [p]shall surely die. 32 And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore should he be put to death? what hath he done? 33 And Saul cast his spear at him to smite him; whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to put David to death. 34 So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no food the second day of the month; for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.

35 And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field [q]at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him. 36 And he said unto his lad, Run, find now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow [r]beyond him. 37 And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee? 38 And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not. And Jonathan’s lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master. 39 But the lad knew not anything: only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40 And Jonathan gave his weapons unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city. 41 And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose [s]out of a place toward the South, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded. 42 And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of Jehovah, saying, Jehovah shall be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed, for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.

21 Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech came to meet David trembling, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee? And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know anything of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed the young men to such and such a place. Now therefore what is under thy hand? give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatsoever there is present. And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under my hand, but there is holy bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women. And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days; when I came out, the vessels of the young men were holy, [t]though it was but a common journey; how much more then to-day shall their vessels be holy? So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread, that was taken from before Jehovah, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.

Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before Jehovah; and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the [u]chiefest of the herdsmen that belonged to Saul. And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under thy hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste. And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the vale of [v]Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it; for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.

10 And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying,

Saul hath slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands?

12 And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 And he changed his behavior before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and [w]scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard. 14 Then said Achish unto his servants, Lo, ye see the man is mad; wherefore then have ye brought him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that ye have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 19:5 Hebrew salvation.
  2. 1 Samuel 19:9 Or, the spirit of Jehovah was evil toward Saul
  3. 1 Samuel 19:13 Or, quilt. Or, network
  4. 1 Samuel 19:16 Or, quilt. Or, network
  5. 1 Samuel 19:22 Or, cistern
  6. 1 Samuel 19:24 Or, fell
  7. 1 Samuel 20:2 Hebrew uncovereth mine ear.
  8. 1 Samuel 20:4 Or, What doth thy soul desire, that I should do it for thee?
  9. 1 Samuel 20:4 Hebrew saith.
  10. 1 Samuel 20:17 Or, by his love toward him
  11. 1 Samuel 20:18 Hebrew missed.
  12. 1 Samuel 20:19 Hebrew greatly.
  13. 1 Samuel 20:19 Hebrew in the day of the business. See 19:2.
  14. 1 Samuel 20:21 Or, him
  15. 1 Samuel 20:21 Hebrew not any thing.
  16. 1 Samuel 20:31 Or, is worthy to die. Hebrew is a son of death.
  17. 1 Samuel 20:35 Or, to the place
  18. 1 Samuel 20:36 Hebrew making it pass over him.
  19. 1 Samuel 20:41 Hebrew from beside the South.
  20. 1 Samuel 21:5 Or, and it may be used as common bread; and especially since to-day it will be holy in respect of their vessels
  21. 1 Samuel 21:7 Or, mightiest
  22. 1 Samuel 21:9 Or, the terebinth
  23. 1 Samuel 21:13 Or, made marks
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