3 But David took an oatho and said, “Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, ‘Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.’ Yet as surely as the Lord lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.”
5 So David said, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon feast,p and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hideq in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow. 6 If your father misses me at all, tell him, ‘David earnestly asked my permissionr to hurry to Bethlehem,s his hometown, because an annualt sacrifice is being made there for his whole clan.’ 7 If he says, ‘Very well,’ then your servant is safe. But if he loses his temper,u you can be sure that he is determinedv to harm me. 8 As for you, show kindness to your servant, for you have brought him into a covenantw with you before the Lord. If I am guilty, then killx me yourself! Why hand me over to your father?”
12 Then Jonathan said to David, “I swear by the Lord, the God of Israel, that I will surely soundy out my father by this time the day after tomorrow! If he is favorably disposed toward you, will I not send you word and let you know? 13 But if my father intends to harm you, may the Lord deal with Jonathan, be it ever so severely,z if I do not let you know and send you away in peace. May the Lord be witha you as he has been with my father. 14 But show me unfailing kindnessb like the Lord’s kindness as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, 15 and do not ever cut off your kindness from my familyc—not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.”
16 So Jonathand made a covenante with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account.f” 17 And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oathg out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.
18 Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon feast. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty.h 19 The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hidi when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrowsj to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target. 21 Then I will send a boy and say, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to him, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,’ then come, because, as surely as the Lord lives, you are safe; there is no danger. 22 But if I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are beyondk you,’ then you must go, because the Lord has sent you away. 23 And about the matter you and I discussed—remember, the Lord is witnessl between you and me forever.”
24 So David hid in the field, and when the New Moon feastm came, the king sat down to eat. 25 He sat in his customary place by the wall, opposite Jonathan,a and Abner sat next to Saul, but David’s place was empty.n 26 Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, “Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean—surely he is unclean.o” 27 But the next day, the second day of the month, David’s place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, “Why hasn’t the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?”
28 Jonathan answered, “David earnestly asked me for permissionp to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrificeq in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there. If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.’ That is why he has not come to the king’s table.”
30 Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? 31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdomr will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!”
35 In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him, 36 and he said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy came to the place where Jonathan’s arrow had fallen, Jonathan called out after him, “Isn’t the arrow beyondv you?” 38 Then he shouted, “Hurry! Go quickly! Don’t stop!” The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. 39 (The boy knew nothing about all this; only Jonathan and David knew.) 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, “Go, carry them back to town.”
41 After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground.w Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most.
42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace,x for we have sworn friendshipy with each other in the name of the Lord,z saying, ‘The Lord is witnessa between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.b’ ” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.b
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