1 DAVID FLED from Naioth in Ramah and came and said to Jonathan, What have I done? Of what am I guilty? What is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?
2 Jonathan said, God forbid! You shall not die. My father does nothing great or small but what he tells me. And why should [he] hide this thing from me? It is not so.
3 But David replied, Your father certainly knows that I have found favor in your eyes, and he thinks, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved. But truly as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.
4 Then Jonathan said to David, Whatever you desire, I will do for you.
5 David said to Jonathan, Tomorrow is the New Moon [festival], and I should not fail to sit at the table with the king; but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field till the third day at evening.
6 If your father misses me at all, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem, his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.
7 If he says, All right, then it will be well with your servant; but if he is angry, then be sure that evil is determined by him.
8 Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought [me] into a covenant of the Lord with you. But if there is guilt in me, kill me yourself; for why should you bring me to your father?
9 And Jonathan said, Far be it from you! If I knew that evil was determined for you by my father, would I not tell you?
10 Then said David to Jonathan, Who will tell me if your father answers you roughly?
11 Jonathan said, Come, let us go into the field. So they went into the field.
12 Jonathan said to David, The Lord, the God of Israel, be witness. When I have sounded out my father about this time tomorrow, or the third day, behold, if he is well inclined toward David, and I do not send and let you know it,
13 The Lord do so, and much more, to Jonathan. But if it please my father to do you harm, then I will disclose it to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. And may the Lord be with you as He has been with my father.
14 While I am still alive you shall not only show me the loving-kindness of the Lord, so that I die not,
15 But also you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever–no, not even when the Lord has cut off every enemy of David from the face of the earth.
16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, And the Lord will require that this covenant be kept at the hands of David's enemies.
17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again by his love for him, for Jonathan loved him as he loved his own life.
18 Then Jonathan said to David, Tomorrow is the New Moon festival; and you will be missed, for your seat will be empty.
19 On the third day you will go quickly and come to the place where you hid yourself when the matter was in hand, and remain by the stone Ezel.
20 And I will shoot three arrows on the side of it, as though I shot at a mark.
21 And I will send a lad, saying, Go, find the arrows. If I expressly say to the lad, Look, the arrows are on this side of you, take them–then you are to come, for it is safe for you and there is no danger, as the Lord lives.
22 But if I say to the youth, Look, the arrows are beyond you–then go, for the Lord has sent you away.
23 And as touching the matter of which you and I have spoken, behold, the Lord is between you and me forever.
24 So David hid himself in the field, and when the New Moon [festival] came, the king sat down to eat food.
25 The king sat, as at other times, on his seat by the wall, and Jonathan sat opposite, and Abner sat by Saul's side, but David's place was empty.
26 Yet Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, Something has befallen him and he is not clean–surely he is not clean.
27 But on the morrow, the second day after the new moon, David's place was empty; and Saul said to Jonathan his son, Why has not the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?
28 And Jonathan answered, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem.
29 He said, Let me go, I pray, for our family holds a sacrifice in the city and my brother commanded me to be there. Now, if I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away and see my brothers. That is why he has not come to the king's table.
30 Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan and he said to him, You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do not I know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother who bore you?
31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives upon the earth, you shall not be established nor shall your kingdom. So now send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.
32 Jonathan answered Saul his father, Why should he be killed? What has he done?
33 But Saul cast his spear at him to smite him, by which Jonathan knew that his father had determined to kill David.
34 So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and ate no food that second day of the month, for he grieved for David because his father had disgraced him.
35 In the morning Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad was with him.
36 And he said to his lad, Run, find the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
37 When the lad came to the place where Jonathan had shot the arrow, Jonathan called to [him], Is not the arrow beyond you?
38 And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not! The lad gathered up the arrow and came to his master.
39 But the lad knew nothing; only Jonathan and David knew the matter.
40 Jonathan gave his weapons to his lad and told him, Go, carry them to the city.
41 And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose from beside the heap of stones and fell on his face to the ground and bowed himself three times. And they kissed one another and wept with one another until David got control of himself.
42 And Jonathan told David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn to each other in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my descendants and yours forever. And Jonathan arose and departed into the city.