1 Samuel Chapter 20  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 20
 
David and Jonathan

1David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came and said to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity? What is my sin before your father, that he is seeking my life?”
 

2But he said to him, “Far from it! You will not die. Behold, my father does nothing either great or small without making it known to me, so why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so.”
 

3But David swore again and said, “Your father knows, yes, knows that I have found favor in your eyes, and he said to himself, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.’ But truly as Yahweh lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.”
 

4Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever your soul desires, I will do it for you.”
 

5So David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I am to sit, yes, sit with the king to eat, but let me go so that I can hide myself in the field until the third day at evening.
  6If your father notices, yes, notices my absence, then say, ‘David asked, yes, asked me if he could run to Bethlehem, his city, for it is the yearly sacrifice there for the entire clan.’
  7If he says, ‘Good,” then it is well with your servant. But if he becomes angry, yes, angry, then know that evil has been decided by him.
  8So deal faithfully with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of Yahweh with you. But if there is iniquity in me, kill me yourself. Why should you bring me to your father?”
 

9But Jonathan said, “Heaven forbid!” For if I were to know, yes, know that evil has been decided by my father to come upon you, then would I not tell that to you?”
 

10Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me? What if your father answers you roughly?”
 

11Jonathan said to David, “Come and let us go out into the field.” So they both went out into the field.
  12Jonathan said to David, “By Yahweh the God of Israel, when I have investigated my father about this time tomorrow or the third day, behold, if there is good toward David, will I not then send to you and make it known to you?
  13Yahweh do so to Jonathan, and more also, should it please my father to do you evil, if I do not make it known to you and send you away, so that you can go in peace, and Yahweh be with you as he has been with my father.
  14Will you not, while I am still alive, will you not deal with me according to the faithfulness of Yahweh, so that I do not die?
  15And also do not cut off your faithfulness from my house forever, no, not even when Yahweh has cut off the enemies of David—every one of them—from the face of the ground.”
  16So Jonathan cut a covenant with the house of David, saying, “Let Yahweh seek it from the hand of David’s enemies.”
  17And Jonathan made David swear an oath again because of the love that he had for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
 

18Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be noticed because your empty place will be noticed.
  19When you have stayed away three days, go down quickly and come to the place where you hid yourself when this started, and wait by the stone Ezel.
  20I will shoot three arrows to its side as though I shot at a target.
  21Behold, I will send the boy, saying, ‘Go find the arrows!’ If I say to the boy, ‘Behold, the arrows are on this side of you, get them,’ then come, for as Yahweh lives there is peace to you and no problem.
  22But if I say this to the boy, ‘Behold, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go, for Yahweh has sent you away.
  23And as for the matter about which you and I have spoken, behold, Yahweh is between you and me forever.”
  24So David hid himself in the field.

And when the new moon had come, the king sat down at the feast to eat.
  25The king sat on his seat as at other times, on the seat by the wall, and Jonathan stood up, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty.
  26Nevertheless, Saul did not say anything that day because he said to himself, “It is an accident. He is not ritually clean. Surely he is not clean.”
 

27But on the next day after the new moon, the second day, David’s place was empty. Then Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has the son of Jesse not come to the feast either yesterday or today?”
 

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

30Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse rebellion! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness?
  31For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth you will not be established, nor your kingdom. So now send and bring him to me, for he must die!”a
 

32And Jonathan answered Saul his father and said to him, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?”
 

33Then Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him down, and so Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death.
  34So Jonathan arose from the table in blazing anger and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was pained for David because his father had dishonored him.
 

35So in the morning Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a young boy was with him.
  36And he said to his lad, “Run, find the arrows that I shoot.” As the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
  37When the boy had come to the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called to the boy and said, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?”
  38Jonathan called out to the boy, “Go fast! Hurry! Do not stop!” So Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows and came to his lord.
  39But the boy did not know anything. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter.
  40Then Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, “Go, carry them to the city.”
 

41As soon as the boy was gone, David arose from the south of the stone Ezel and fell with his face to the ground and bowed himself three times. They kissed one another and wept with one another, and David continued weeping a great deal.
 

42Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn, the two of us, in the name of Yahweh, saying, ‘Yahweh will be between me and you, and between my seed and your seed forever.’” So he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.
 


a[31]
Heb. “he is a son of death”

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