1 Samuel 20:24-42

NSB(i) 24 David hid there in the field. It was the New Moon Festival. Saul sat down to eat. 25 He ate by the wall, just as he always did. Jonathan sat across from him. Abner sat next to him. But David’s place was empty. 26 Saul was in deep thought. So he did not say anything that day. Something must have happened to make David unfit to be at the Festival. Yes, something must have happened. 27 David’s place was still empty the day after the New Moon Festival. Saul asked Jonathan: »Why has that son of Jesse not come to eat with us? He was not here yesterday, and he still is not here today!« 28 Jonathan answered Saul: »David earnestly asked permission of me to go to Bethlehem. 29 »David said to me: ‘Please let me go, since our family must make a sacrifice in the city. My brother has commanded me to attend. If I have found favor in your sight, please let me get away that I may see my brothers.’ For this reason he has not come to the king’s table.’« 30 Saul got angry with Jonathan and he said, »You are Son of a crooked and rebellious woman Jonathan! I know you have sided with Jesse’s son, Saul accused. You have no shame. You act as if you are your mother’s son not mine. 31 »As long as Jesse’s son lives on earth, neither you nor your right to be king is secure. Send some men to bring him to me. He is a dead man!« 32 Jonathan asked his father: »Why should he be killed? What has he done?« 33 Saul threw his spear at Jonathan and tried to kill him. Then Jonathan was sure that his father really did want to kill David. 34 Jonathan was angry that his father had insulted David. He got up and left the table. He did not eat anything all that day. 35 In the morning Jonathan went out to the field to meet David. He took a servant boy along. 36 Jonathan told him: »When I shoot the arrows, you run and find them for me.« The boy started running, and Jonathan shot an arrow so that it would go beyond him. 37 When the boy reached the place where the arrow fell Jonathan shouted to him: »The arrow is farther on! 38 »Do not just stand there! Hurry up! »The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. 39 The boy did not know what it all meant. Only Jonathan and David knew. 40 Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and told him to take them back to town. 41 After the boy left, David got up from behind the pile of stones. He fell on his knees and bowed with his face to the ground three times. Both he and Jonathan cried as they kissed each other. David’s grief was even greater than Jonathan’s. 42 Jonathan said to David: »God be with you. Jehovah will make sure that you and I, and your descendants and mine, will keep the sacred promise we have made to each other for as long as we live.« Then David left and Jonathan went back to town.