So David said, "Look, tomorrow is the New Moon festival,1 and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide2 in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow.
If your father misses me at all, tell him, 'David earnestly asked my permission3 to hurry to Bethlehem,4 his hometown, because an annual5 sacrifice is being made there for his whole clan.'
If he says, 'Very well,' then your servant is safe. But if he loses his temper,6 you can be sure that he is determined7 to harm me.
As for you, show kindness to your servant, for you have brought him into a covenant8 with you before the LORD. If I am guilty, then kill9 me yourself ! Why hand me over to your father?"
"Never!" Jonathan said. "If I had the least inkling that my father was determined to harm you, wouldn't I tell you?"
David asked, "Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?"
"Come," Jonathan said, "let's go out into the field." So they went there together.
Then Jonathan said to David: "By the LORD, the God of Israel, I will surely sound10 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?
But if my father is inclined to harm you, may the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely,11 if I do not let you know and send you away safely. May the LORD be with12 you as he has been with my father.
But show me unfailing kindness13 like that of the LORD as long as I live, so that I may not be killed,
and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family14--not even when the LORD has cut off every one of David's enemies from the face of the earth."
So Jonathan15 made a covenant16 with the house of David, saying, "May the LORD call David's enemies to account.17"
And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath18 out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.
Then Jonathan said to David: "Tomorrow is the New Moon festival. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty.1919
The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid20 when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel.
I will shoot three arrows21 to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target.
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.
But if I say to the boy, 'Look, the arrows are beyond22 you,' then you must go, because the LORD has sent you away.
And about the matter you and I discussed--remember, the LORD is witness23 between you and me forever."
So David hid in the field, and when the New Moon festival24 came, the king sat down to eat.