If your father notices I am gone, tell him, ‘David wanted to go home to Bethlehem. His family is having its own feast for this monthly sacrifice. David asked me to let him run down to Bethlehem and join his family.’
If your father actually notices that I’m not there, then you are to say, ‘David urgently requested that I allow him to run to his hometown of Bethlehem because the yearly sacrifice for the entire family was taking place there.’
David said, “Tomorrow marks the New Moon. I’m scheduled to eat dinner with the king. Instead, I’ll go hide in the field until the evening of the third. If your father misses me, say, ‘David asked if he could run down to Bethlehem, his hometown, for an anniversary reunion, and worship with his family.’ If he says, ‘Good!’ then I’m safe. But if he gets angry, you’ll know for sure that he’s made up his mind to kill me. Oh, stick with me in this. You’ve entered into a covenant of God with me, remember! If I’m in the wrong, go ahead and kill me yourself. Why bother giving me up to your father?”
If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David asked me to let him leave to run to his city Bethlehem. It is the time for the whole family to gather there for the gift given on the altar in worship each year.’
And if thy father beholdeth, and asketh after me, thou shalt answer to him, David prayed me, that he might go at once into Bethlehem, his city, for solemn sacrifices be now there to all [the] men of his lineage (for now is the time of the annual sacrifice there for all the men of his family).
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