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1 Samuel 20:24-42Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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?” 28 Y’honatan answered Sha’ul, “David begged me to let him go to Beit-Lechem. 29 He said, ‘Please let me go, because our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother demanded that I come. So now, if you look on me favorably, please let me get away and see my brothers.’ That’s why he hasn’t come to the king’s table.” 30 At that Sha’ul flew into a rage at Y’honatan and said, “You crooked rebel! Don’t I know that you’ve made this son of Yishai your best friend? You don’t care that you’re shaming yourself and dishonoring your mother, do you? 31 Because as long as the son of Yishai lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be secure. Now send and bring him here to me — he deserves to die.” 32 Y’honatan answered Sha’ul his father, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33 But Sha’ul threw his spear at him, aiming to kill; Y’honatan could no longer doubt that his father was determined to put David to death. 34 Y’honatan got up from the table in a fury, and he ate no food the second day of the month, both because he was upset over David and because his father had put him to shame.

35 The next morning Y’honatan went out into the country at the time he had arranged with David, taking with him a young boy. 36 He told the boy, “Now run and find the arrows I’m about to shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy reached the place where the arrow was that Y’honatan had shot, Y’honatan shouted at the boy, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?” 38 Y’honatan continued shouting after the boy, “Quick! Hurry! Don’t just stand there!” Y’honatan’s boy gathered the arrows and returned to his master, 39 but the boy didn’t understand anything about the matter — only Y’honatan and David understood. 40 Y’honatan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, “Go, carry them to the city.”

41 As soon as the boy had gone, David got up from a place south of the stone, fell face down on the ground and prostrated himself three times; and they kissed one another and wept each with the other until it became too much for David. 42 Y’honatan said to David, “Go in peace; because we have sworn, both of us, in the name of Adonai, that Adonai will be between me and you, and between my descendants and yours, forever.”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

1 Samuel 20:24-42New King James Version (NKJV)

24 Then David hid in the field. And when the New Moon had come, the king sat down to eat the feast. 25 Now the king sat on his seat, as at other times, on a seat by the wall. And Jonathan arose,[a] and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty. 26 Nevertheless Saul did not say anything that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to him; he is unclean, surely he is unclean.” 27 And it happened the next day, the second day of the month, that David’s place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has the son of Jesse not come to eat, either yesterday or today?”

28 So Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked permission of me to go to Bethlehem. 29 And he said, ‘Please let me go, for our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. And now, if I have found favor in your eyes, please let me get away and see my brothers.’ Therefore he has not come to the king’s table.”

30 Then Saul’s anger was aroused 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, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom. Now therefore, send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.”

32 And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said to him, “Why should he be killed? What has he done?” 33 Then Saul cast a spear at him to kill him, by which Jonathan knew that it was determined by his father to kill David.

34 So Jonathan arose 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 treated him shamefully.

35 And so it was, in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad was with him. 36 Then he said to his lad, “Now run, find the arrows which I shoot.” As the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the lad had come to the place where the arrow was which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried out after the lad and said, “Is not the arrow beyond you?” 38 And Jonathan cried out after the lad, “Make haste, hurry, do not delay!” So Jonathan’s lad gathered up the arrows and came back to his master. 39 But the lad did not know anything. Only Jonathan and David knew of the matter. 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to his lad, and said to him, “Go, carry them to the city.”

41 As soon as the lad had gone, David arose from a place toward the south, fell on his face to the ground, and bowed down three times. And they kissed one another; and they wept together, but David more so. 42 Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘May the Lord be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.’” So he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 20:25 Following Masoretic Text, Syriac, Targum, and Vulgate; Septuagint reads he sat across from Jonathan.
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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