1 Samuel 20:18-42
Complete Jewish Bible
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?” 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.”Read full chapter