When Saul realized that the LORD was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David,
Saul became still more afraid of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days.
The Philistine commanders continued to go out to battle, and as often as they did, David met with more success than the rest of Saul's officers, and his name became well known.
Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan was very fond of David
and warned him, "My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there.
I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I'll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out."
Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, "Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly.
He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The LORD won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?"
Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: "As surely as the LORD lives, David will not be put to death."
So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.
Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.
But an evil spirit from the LORD came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the harp,
Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.
Saul sent men to David's house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David's wife, warned him, "If you don't run for your life tonight, tomorrow you'll be killed."
So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped.
Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats' hair at the head.
When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, "He is ill."
Then Saul sent the men back to see David and told them, "Bring him up to me in his bed so that I may kill him."
But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats' hair.
Saul said to Michal, "Why did you deceive me like this and send my enemy away so that he escaped?" Michal told him, "He said to me, 'Let me get away. Why should I kill you?' "
When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there.
Word came to Saul: "David is in Naioth at Ramah";
so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came upon Saul's men and they also prophesied.
Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied.
Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Secu. And he asked, "Where are Samuel and David?" "Over in Naioth at Ramah," they said.
So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even upon him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth.
He stripped off his robes and also prophesied in Samuel's presence. He lay that way all that day and night. This is why people say, "Is Saul also among the prophets?"
Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, "What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to take my life?"
"Never!" Jonathan replied. "You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn't do anything, great or small, without confiding in me. Why would he hide this from me? It's not so!"
But David took an oath and said, "Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, 'Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.' Yet as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death."
Jonathan said to David, "Whatever you want me to do, I'll do for you."
So David said, "Look, tomorrow is the New Moon festival, and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow.
If your father misses me at all, tell him, 'David earnestly asked my permission to hurry to Bethlehem, his hometown, because an annual 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, you can be sure that he is determined to harm me.
As for you, show kindness to your servant, for you have brought him into a covenant with you before the LORD. If I am guilty, then kill 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?"