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The Blue Letter Bible

1 Samuel 20 :: Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

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Jonathan Protects David
Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:1 -

David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What did I do wrong? How have I sinned against your father so that he wants to take my life? ”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:2 -

Jonathan said to him, “No, you won’t die. Listen, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without telling me.[fn] So why would he hide this matter from me? This can’t be true.”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:3 -

But David said, “Your father certainly knows that I have found favor with you. He has said, ‘Jonathan must not know of this, or else he will be grieved.’ ” David also swore, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death.”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:4 -

Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:5 -

So David told him, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon, and I’m supposed to sit down and eat with the king. Instead, let me go, and I’ll hide in the countryside for the next two nights.[fn]

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:6 -

“If your father misses me at all, say, ‘David urgently requested my permission to go quickly to his hometown Bethlehem for an annual sacrifice there involving the whole clan.’

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:7 -

“If he says, ‘Good,’ then your servant is safe, but if he becomes angry, you will know he has evil intentions.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:8 -

“Deal kindly with[fn] your servant, for you have brought me into a covenant with you before the LORD. If I have done anything wrong, then kill me yourself; why take me to your father? ”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:9 -

“No! ” Jonathan responded. “If I ever find out my father has evil intentions against you, wouldn’t I tell you about it? ”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:10 -

So David asked Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly? ”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:11 -

He answered David, “Come on, let’s go out to the countryside.” So both of them went out to the countryside.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:12 -

“By the LORD, the God of Israel, I will sound out my father by this time tomorrow or the next day. If I find out that he is favorable toward you, will I not send for you and tell you?[fn]

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:13 -

“If my father intends to bring evil on you, may God punish Jonathan and do so severely if I do not tell you[fn] and send you away so you may leave safely. May the LORD be with you, just as he was with my father.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:14 -

“If I continue to live, show me kindness[fn] from the LORD, but if I die,

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:15 -

“don’t ever withdraw your kindness from my household ​— ​not even when the LORD cuts off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:16 -

Then Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the LORD hold David’s enemies accountable.”[fn]

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:17 -

Jonathan once again swore to David[fn] in his love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:18 -

Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the New Moon; you’ll be missed because your seat will be empty.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:19 -

“The following day hurry down and go to the place where you hid on the day this incident began and stay beside the rock Ezel.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:20 -

“I will shoot three arrows beside it as if I’m aiming at a target.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:21 -

“Then I will send a servant and say, ‘Go and find the arrows! ’ Now, if I expressly say to the servant, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you ​— ​get them,’ then come, because as the LORD lives, it is safe for you and there is no problem.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:22 -

“But if I say this to the youth, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you! ’ then go, for the LORD is sending you away.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:23 -

“As for the matter you and I have spoken about, the LORD will be a witness[fn] between you and me forever.”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:24 -

So David hid in the countryside.

At the New Moon, the king sat down to eat the meal.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:25 -

He sat at his usual place on the seat by the wall. Jonathan sat facing him[fn] and Abner took his place beside Saul, but David’s place was empty.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:26 -

Saul did not say anything that day because he thought, “Something unexpected has happened; he must be ceremonially unclean ​— ​yes, that’s it, he is unclean.”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:27 -

However, the day after the New Moon, the second day, David’s place was still empty, and Saul asked his son Jonathan, “Why didn’t Jesse’s son come to the meal either yesterday or today? ”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:28 -

Jonathan answered, “David asked for my permission to go to Bethlehem.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:29 -

“He said, ‘Please let me go because our clan is holding a sacrifice in the town, and my brother has told me to be there. So now, if I have found favor with you, let me go so I can see my brothers.’ That’s why he didn’t come to the king’s table.”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:30 -

Then Saul became angry with Jonathan and shouted, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you are siding with Jesse’s son to your own shame and to the disgrace of your mother?[fn]

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:31 -

“Every day Jesse’s son lives on earth you and your kingship are not secure. Now send for him and bring him to me ​— ​he must die! ”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:32 -

Jonathan answered his father back: “Why is he to be killed? What has he done? ”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:33 -

Then Saul threw his spear at Jonathan to kill him, so he knew that his father was determined to kill David.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:34 -

He got up from the table fiercely angry and did not eat any food that second day of the New Moon, for he was grieved because of his father’s shameful behavior toward David.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:35 -

In the morning Jonathan went out to the countryside for the appointed meeting with David. A young servant was with him.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:36 -

He said to the servant, “Run and find the arrows I’m shooting.” As the servant ran, Jonathan shot an arrow beyond him.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:37 -

He came to the location of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, but Jonathan called to him and said, “The arrow is beyond you, isn’t it? ”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:38 -

Then Jonathan called to him, “Hurry up and don’t stop! ” Jonathan’s servant picked up the arrow and returned to his master.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:39 -

He did not know anything; only Jonathan and David knew the arrangement.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:40 -

Then Jonathan gave his equipment to the servant who was with him and said, “Go, take it back to the city.”

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:41 -

When the servant had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone Ezel, fell facedown to the ground, and payed homage three times. Then he and Jonathan kissed each other and wept with each other, though David wept more.

Unchecked Copy Box1Sa 20:42 -

Jonathan then said to David, “Go in the assurance the two of us pledged in the name of the LORD when we said: The LORD will be a witness between you and me and between my offspring and your offspring forever.” Then David left, and Jonathan went into the city.

CSB Footnotes
Lit without uncovering my ear
Lit countryside until the third night
Or Show loyalty to
Lit and uncover your ear
Lit severely ​— ​I will uncover your ear
Or loyalty, also in v. 15
Lit Lord require it from the hand of David’s enemies
LXX; MT reads Jonathan once again made David swear
LXX; MT omits a witness
Text emended; MT reads Jonathan got up
Lit your mother’s nakedness

Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers.

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CSB Front Matter also provided.

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