1 David fled from Naioth in Ramah and went to Jonathan to ask him, “What have I done? What am I guilty of? What sin have I committed against your father that he wants to kill me?” 2 Jonathan, however, assured him, “No! You shall not die. My father does nothing small or great without informing me. Why should he hide this from me? No, this cannot be.”
3 But David replied, “Your father knows very well that you are pleased with me, so he thinks it is better not to tell you and grieve you. But I swear there is but one step between death and me!” 4 Then Jonathan told David, “What can I do for you?” 5 David answered, “Tomorrow is the new moon and I should be dining with the king. But let me hide myself in the open country until the evening of the third day. 6 If your father looks for me, say to him: ‘David asked me to let him go over to Bethlehem because they have their yearly sacrifice there with the entire family.’ 7 If he says, ‘Good’ then I am in no danger. But if he gets angry, then you can be certain that he wants to harm me. 8 Do this for me according to our agreement. But if I am guilty, kill me yourself. Why hand me over to your father to be killed?”
9 Jonathan answered, “Nonsense! If I knew that my father wanted to harm you, would I not warn you?” 10 David then asked him, “Who will tell me if your father answers you angrily?” 11 Jonathan said, “Come, let us go into the open country.” So they both left for the open country.
12 Then Jonathan said to David, “Yahweh, the God of Israel, be our witness. About this time tomorrow or the following day, I shall be sounding out my father. If he is well- dis posed toward you, I shall send you word. 13 But if my father intends to do you harm, may Yah weh punish me if I do not warn you that you may escape safely. Surely Yahweh will be with you as he has been with my father. 14 If I live, always be kind to me. But if I die, 15-16 never cut off your friendship with my family even when Yah weh takes ven geance on David’s enemies and wipes them out from the face of the earth.”
14 So Jonathan made a covenant with the fami ly of David. 17 And he made David swear once more because of the affection he felt for him for he loved David as himself.
18 Then Jonathan said, “Tomorrow is the new moon. Your absence will be no ticed because your seat will be vacant. 19 On the third day it will be noticed all the more. So go and hide yourself where you hid before and stay beside the heap of stones there. 20 I will shoot three arrows near the stones as if I were aiming at a target. 21 I will then send a lad with this instruction: ‘Go, look for the arrows.’ If I say to the lad: ‘The arrows are on this side, pick them up,’ then you may come out for, I swear, you are not in danger. 22 But if I say to the lad: ‘The arrows are beyond you,’ leave, for Yahweh is sending you away. 23 But as to our covenant, Yahweh is our witness forever.”
24 So David hid himself in the open country. On the day of the new moon the king came to dine. 25 He took his usual place on the seat against the wall while Jonathan sat facing him and Abner was beside him. David’s seat remained vacant.
26 Saul did not say anything on that day, thinking that something may have happened and David was unclean. 27 On the second day of the new moon, David’s seat was still vacant and Saul asked his son Jonathan, “Why has the son of Jesse not come to table yesterday and today?” 28 Jonathan answered, “David asked leave to go over to Bethlehem for he said, 29 ‘Our family is offering a sacrifice in the city and my brothers insisted that I be present. So please allow me to go and visit my brothers.’ This is why he has not come to the king’s table.”
30 Saul became very angry at Jona than and told him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Do I not know that you prefer the son of Jesse to your shame and your mother’s shame? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives, neither you nor your Kingdom can stand. Send for him and bring him to me for he is doomed to die!” 32 Then Jonathan asked his father, “Why should he die? What has he done?” 33 At this, Saul pointed his spear at him and Jonathan understood that his father intended to kill David. 34 Jo nathan rose angrily from the table and did not eat that second day of the month, grieving for David, because of what his father said against him.
35 The next morning, Jonathan went to the open country with a young man, according to what he and David had agreed on. 36 He told the lad, “Run, fetch the arrows.” While the lad was running, Jonathan shot an arrow that flew beyond the lad. 37 When the lad reached the spot where Jonathan had shot the arrow, Jonathan called after him and said, “The arrow is beyond you! 38 Run quickly and do not waste time!” The lad picked up the arrow and ran back to his master. 39 The lad knew nothing of Jonathan and David’s agreement.
40 After that, Jonathan gave his weapons to the lad and commanded him to take them to the city. 41 When the lad had gone, David came out from behind the mound and lay on the ground. The two embraced each other and wept with one another until David was through. 42 Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have made an oath to one another in Yahweh’s name when we said: Yahweh shall be between you and me and between your descendants and mine forever.”