April 2

1 Samuel 20:1 — 22:23

20 And David went running away from Naioth in Ramah. However, he came and said in front of Jonathan: “What have I done? What is my error, and what sin have I committed before your father, for he is seeking for my soul?” 2 At this he said to him: “It is unthinkable! You will not die. Look! My father will not do a big thing or a little thing and not disclose it to my ear; and for what reason should my father conceal this matter from me? This does not happen.” 3 But David swore in addition and said: “Your father must surely know that I have found favor in your eyes, and so would say, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this for fear he may feel hurt.’ But, in fact, as Jehovah is living and as your soul is living, there is just about a step between me and death!”

4 And Jonathan went on to say to David: “Whatever your soul may say I shall do for you.” 5 At this David said to Jonathan: “Look! Tomorrow is new moon, and I myself ought, without fail, to be sitting with the king to eat; and you must send me away, and I must conceal myself in the field until the evening on the third day. 6 If your father should miss me at all, then you must say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of absence of me to run to Bethlehem his city, because there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.’ 7 If the way he should say is, ‘It is all right!’ it means peace to your servant. But if he should at all become angry, know that what is bad has been determined upon by him. 8 And you must render loving-kindness toward your servant, for it is into a covenant of Jehovah that you have brought your servant with you. But if there is error in me, put me to death yourself, since why should it be to your father that you should bring me?”

9 To this Jonathan said: “That is unthinkable respecting you! But if I should at all get to know that evil has been determined upon by my father to come upon you, shall I not tell it to you?” 10 Then David said to Jonathan: “Who will tell me whether what your father may answer you is harsh?” 11 In turn Jonathan said to David: “Just come, and let us go out into the field.” So both of them went out into the field. 12 And Jonathan went on to say to David: “Jehovah the God of Israel [be a witness] that I shall sound out my father about this time tomorrow, or the third day, and if he is well-disposed toward David, shall I not then send to you and certainly disclose it to your ear? 13 So may Jehovah do to Jonathan and so may he add to it, if, in case it should seem good to my father to do evil against you, I do not indeed disclose it to your ear and send you away, and you do not certainly go in peace. And may Jehovah prove to be with you, just as he proved to be with my father. 14 And will you not, if I shall be still alive, yes, will you not exercise the loving-kindness of Jehovah toward me, that I may not die? 15 And you will not cut off your own loving-kindness from being with my household to time indefinite. Nor, when Jehovah cuts off the enemies of David, every one from the surface of the ground, 16 will [the name of] Jonathan be cut off from the house of David. And Jehovah must require it at the hand of David’s enemies.” 17 So Jonathan swore again to David because of his love for him; for as he loved his own soul he loved him.

18 And Jonathan went on to say to him: “Tomorrow is new moon, and you will certainly be missed, because your seat will be vacant. 19 And certainly on the third day you will be missed very much; and you must come to the place where you concealed yourself on the working day, and you must dwell near this stone here. 20 And as for me, I shall shoot three arrows to one side of it, to send them where I will to a target. 21 And, look! I shall send the attendant, [saying,] ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I should specifically say to the attendant, ‘Look! The arrows are on this side of you, take them,’ then you come, for it means peace for you and there is nothing the matter, as Jehovah is living. 22 But if this is the way I should say to the lad, ‘Look! The arrows are farther away from you,’ go, for Jehovah has sent you away. 23 And as for the word that we have spoken, I and you, why, may Jehovah be between me and you to time indefinite.”

24 And David proceeded to conceal himself in the field. And it came to be new moon, and the king took his seat at the meal to eat. 25 And the king was sitting in his seat as at other times, in the seat by the wall; and Jonathan was facing him, and Abner was sitting at Saul’s side, but David’s place was vacant. 26 And Saul did not say anything at all on that day, for he said to himself: “Something has happened so that he is not clean, for he has not been cleansed.” 27 And it came about the day after the new moon, on the second day, that David’s place continued vacant. At this Saul said to Jonathan his son: “Why has not the son of Jesse come to the meal either yesterday or today?” 28 So Jonathan answered Saul: “David earnestly asked leave of absence from me [to go] to Bethlehem. 29 And he went on to say, ‘Send me away, please, because we have a family sacrifice in the city, and it was my own brother that commanded me. So now, if I have found favor in your eyes, let me slip away, please, that I may see my brothers.’ That is why he has not come to the king’s table.” 30 Then Saul’s anger grew hot against Jonathan and he said to him: “You son of a rebellious maid, do I not well know that you are choosing the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the secret parts of your mother? 31 For all the days that the son of Jesse is alive on the ground, you and your kingship will not be firmly established. So now send and fetch him to me, for he is destined for death.”

32 However, Jonathan answered Saul his father and said to him: “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33 At that Saul went hurling the spear at him to strike him; and Jonathan came to know that it had been determined upon by his father to put David to death. 34 Immediately Jonathan rose up from the table in the heat of anger, and he did not eat bread on the second day after the new moon, for he had been hurt respecting David, because his own father had humiliated him.

35 And it came about in the morning that Jonathan made his way out to the field of David’s appointed place, and a young attendant was with him. 36 And he proceeded to say to his attendant: “Run, please, find the arrows that I am shooting.” The attendant ran, and he himself shot the arrow to make it pass beyond him. 37 When the attendant came as far as the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan began to call from behind the attendant and say: “Is not the arrow farther away from you?” 38 And Jonathan went on calling from behind the attendant: “In haste! Act quickly! Do not stand still!” And the attendant of Jonathan went picking up the arrows and then came to his master. 39 As for the attendant, he did not know anything; only Jonathan and David themselves knew about the matter. 40 After that Jonathan gave his weapons to the attendant that belonged to him and he said to him: “Go, take them to the city.”

41 The attendant went. As for David, he rose up from nearby to the south. Then he fell on his face to the earth and bowed three times; and they began kissing each other and weeping for each other, until David had done it the most. 42 And Jonathan went on to say to David: “Go in peace, since we have sworn, both of us, in the name of Jehovah, saying, ‘May Jehovah himself prove to be between me and you and between my offspring and your offspring to time indefinite.’”

Accordingly David rose up and went his way, and Jonathan himself came into the city.

Later David came into Nob to Ahimelech the priest; and Ahimelech began to tremble at meeting David and then said to him: “Why is it you are by yourself, and no one is with you?” 2 At this David said to Ahimelech the priest: “The king himself commanded me as to a matter, and he went on to say to me, ‘Let no one know anything at all of the matter concerning which I am sending you and concerning which I have commanded you.’ And I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. 3 And now, if there are five loaves of bread at your disposal, just give them into my hand, or whatever may be found.” 4 But the priest answered David and said: “There is no ordinary bread under my hand, but there is holy bread; provided that the young men have at least kept themselves from womankind.” 5 So David answered the priest and said to him: “But womankind has been kept away from us the same as formerly when I went out, and the organisms of the young men continue holy, although the mission itself is ordinary. And how much more so today, when one becomes holy in [his] organism?” 6 At that the priest gave him what was holy, because there happened to be no bread there but the showbread that had been removed from before Jehovah so as to place fresh bread there on the day of its being taken away.

7 Now one of Saul’s servants was there on that day, detained before Jehovah, and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the principal one of the shepherds that belonged to Saul.

8 And David went on to say to Ahimelech: “And is there nothing here at your disposal, a spear or a sword? For neither my own sword nor my weapons did I take in my hand, because the king’s matter proved to be urgent.” 9 To this the priest said: “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in the low plain of Elah—here it is, wrapped up in a mantle, behind the ephod. If it is what you would take for yourself, take it, because there is no other here except it.” And David went on to say: “There is none like it. Give it to me.”

10 Then David rose up and continued running away on account of Saul on that day, and at length came to Achish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of Achish began to say to him: “Is not this David the king of the land? Was it not to this one that they kept responding with dances, saying,

‘Saul has struck down his thousands,

And David his tens of thousands’?”

12 And David began to take these words to his heart, and he became very much afraid on account of Achish the king of Gath. 13 So he disguised his sanity under their eyes and began acting insane in their hand and kept making cross marks on the doors of the gate and let his saliva run down upon his beard. 14 Finally Achish said to his servants: “Here YOU see a man behaving crazy. Why should YOU bring him to me? 15 Am I in need of people driven crazy, so that YOU have brought this one to behave crazy by me? Should this one come into my home?”

22 So David proceeded to go from there and escape to the cave of Adullam; and his brothers and the entire house of his father got to hear of it and made their way down there to him. 2 And all men in distress and all men who had a creditor and all men bitter in soul began to collect together to him, and he came to be a chief over them; and there came to be with him about four hundred men.

3 Later David went from there to Mizpeh in Moab and said to the king of Moab: “Let my father and my mother, please, dwell with YOU people until I know what God will do to me.” 4 Accordingly he settled them before the king of Moab, and they continued dwelling with him all the days that David happened to be in the inaccessible place.

5 In time Gad the prophet said to David: “You must not keep dwelling in the inaccessible place. Go away, and you must come yourself into the land of Judah.” Hence David went away and came into the forest of Hereth.

6 And Saul got to hear that David and the men that were with him had been discovered, while Saul was sitting in Gibeah under the tamarisk tree on the high place with his spear in his hand and all his servants stationed about him. 7 Then Saul said to his servants stationed about him: “Listen, please, YOU Benjaminites. Will the son of Jesse also give to all of YOU fields and vineyards? Will he appoint all of YOU chiefs of thousands and chiefs of hundreds? 8 For YOU have conspired, all of YOU, against me; and there is no one disclosing it to my ear when my own son concludes [a covenant] with the son of Jesse, and there is no one of YOU having sympathy for me and disclosing to my ear that my own son has raised up my own servant against me as a lier in ambush the way it is this day.”

9 At this Doeg the Edomite, being stationed as he was over the servants of Saul, answered and said: “I saw the son of Jesse come to Nob to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10 And he proceeded to inquire of Jehovah for him; and provisions he gave him, and the sword of Goliath the Philistine he gave him.” 11 At once the king sent to call Ahimelech the son of Ahitub the priest and all the house of his father, the priests that were in Nob. So all of them came to the king.

12 Saul now said: “Listen, please, you son of Ahitub!” to which he said: “Here I am, my lord.” 13 And Saul went on to say to him: “Why have YOU men conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, by your giving him bread and a sword, and there being an inquiry of God for him, to rise up against me as a lier in ambush the way it is this day?” 14 At this Ahimelech answered the king and said: “And who among all your servants is like David, faithful, and the son-in-law of the king and a chief over your bodyguard and honored in your house? 15 Is it today that I have started to inquire of God for him? It is unthinkable on my part! Do not let the king lay anything against his servant [and] against the entire house of my father, for in all this your servant did not know a thing small or great.”

16 But the king said: “You will positively die, Ahimelech, you with all the house of your father.” 17 With that the king said to the runners stationed about him: “Turn and put to death the priests of Jehovah, because their hand also is with David and because they knew that he was a runaway and they did not disclose it to my ear!” And the servants of the king did not want to thrust out their hand to assault the priests of Jehovah. 18 Finally the king said to Doeg: “You turn and assault the priests!” Immediately Doeg the Edomite turned and himself assaulted the priests and put to death on that day eighty-five men bearing an ephod of linen. 19 Even Nob the city of the priests he struck with the edge of the sword, man as well as woman, child as well as suckling and bull and ass and sheep with the edge of the sword.

20 However, one son of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, whose name was Abiathar, made his escape and went running away to follow David. 21 Then Abiathar told David: “Saul has killed the priests of Jehovah.” 22 At this David said to Abiathar: “I well knew on that day, because Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would without fail tell Saul. I personally have wronged every soul of the house of your father. 23 Just dwell with me. Do not be afraid, for whoever looks for my soul looks for your soul, for you are one needing protection with me.”