1 Samuel 20:3

3 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.”

1 Samuel 20:3 in Other Translations

KJV
3 And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.
ESV
3 But David vowed again, saying, "Your father knows well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he thinks, 'Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.' But truly, as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death."
NLT
3 Then David took an oath before Jonathan and said, “Your father knows perfectly well about our friendship, so he has said to himself, ‘I won’t tell Jonathan—why should I hurt him?’ But I swear to you that I am only a step away from death! I swear it by the LORD and by your own soul!”
MSG
3 But David said, "Your father knows that we are the best of friends. So he says to himself, 'Jonathan must know nothing of this. If he does, he'll side with David.' But it's true - as sure as God lives, and as sure as you're alive before me right now - he's determined to kill me."
CSB
3 But David said, "Your father certainly knows that you have come to look favorably on me. 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."

1 Samuel 20:3 Meaning and Commentary

1 Samuel 20:3

And David sware moreover, and said
To assure Jonathan of the truth of it, that he did most certainly seek after his life, of which, as he had no doubt himself, by an oath he endeavoured to remove any that might be in Jonathan, who was not willing to believe his father could be guilty of so foul a crime:

thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes:
that he was high in his favour, that he had a great value for him, and he had a large share in his love and friendship, and that was the reason why he hid from him his base intentions:

and he saith, let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved;
as he would be, both for the evil his father would be guilty of, and the danger David, his beloved friend, would be in:

but truly, [as] the Lord liveth, and [as] thy soul liveth, [there is]
but a step between me and death;
as appeared by his casting a javelin at him, ( 1 Samuel 18:11 ) , sending messengers to his own house to slay him, ( 1 Samuel 19:11 ) , and others to Naioth to seize him, ( 1 Samuel 19:20 ) , and coming himself thither with an intention to kill him, ( 1 Samuel 19:22 1 Samuel 19:23 ) , and in each of these instances he had a narrow escape for his life; and this he declared in the most solemn manner by an oath, for the confirmation of the truth of it to Jonathan.

1 Samuel 20:3 In-Context

1 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 kill me?”
2 “Never!” Jonathan replied. “You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn’t so!”
3 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.”
4 Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.”
5 So David said, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon feast, 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.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Deuteronomy 6:13