1 Samuel 18; 1 Samuel 19; 1 Samuel 20

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1 Samuel 18

1 As soon as David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan's life became bound up with David's life, and Jonathan loved David as much as himself.
2 From that point forward, Saul kept David in his service and wouldn't allow him to return to his father's household.
3 And Jonathan and David made a covenant together because Jonathan loved David as much as himself.
4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his armor, as well as his sword, his bow, and his belt.
5 David went out and was successful in every mission Saul sent him to do. So Saul placed him in charge of the soldiers, and this pleased all the troops as well as Saul's servants.
6 After David came back from killing the Philistine, and as the troops returned home, women from all of Israel's towns came out to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with tambourines, rejoicing, and musical instruments.
7 The women sang in celebration: "Saul has killed his thousands, but David has killed his tens of thousands!"
8 Saul burned with anger. This song annoyed him. "They've credited David with tens of thousands," he said, "but only credit me with thousands. What's next for him—the kingdom itself?"
9 So Saul kept a close eye on David from that point on.
10 The next day an evil spirit from God came over Saul, and he acted like he was in a prophetic frenzy in his house. So David played the lyre as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand,
11 and he threw it, thinking, I'll pin David to the wall. But David escaped from him two different times.
12 Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with David but no longer with Saul.
13 So Saul removed David from his service, placing him in command of a unit of one thousand men. David led the men out to war and back.
14 David was successful in everything he did because the LORD was with him.
15 Saul saw that he was very successful, and he was afraid of him.
16 Everyone in Israel and Judah loved David because he led them out in war and back again.
17 Saul said to David, "Look, here is my oldest daughter Merab. I will give her to you in marriage on this condition: you must be my warrior and fight the LORD's battles." I won't raise my hand against him, Saul thought; let the Philistines do that!
18 "I'm not worthy," David replied to Saul, "and neither is my family or my father's clan in Israel, to become the king's son-in-law."
19 And so when the time came for Saul's daughter Merab to be married to David, she was given to Adriel from Meholah instead.
20 Now Saul's younger daughter Michal loved David. When this was reported to Saul, he was happy about it.
21 I'll give her to him, Saul thought; she'll cause him problems, and the Philistines will be against him. So Saul said to David a second time, "Become my son-in-law now."
22 Saul instructed his servants, "Tell David in private: ‘Look, the king likes you, and all his servants love you. You should become the king's son-in-law.'"
23 Saul's servants whispered these things in David's ear. But David said, "Do you think it's a simple matter to become the king's son-in-law? I don't! I'm poor and insignificant."
24 Saul's servants reported what David said,
25 and Saul replied, "Tell David this: ‘The king doesn't want any bridal gift, just a hundred Philistine foreskins as vengeance on the king's enemies.'" (Saul was hoping that David would die at the hands of the Philistines.)
26 When the servants reported this to David, he was happy to become the king's son-in-law. Even before the allotted time had expired,
27 David got up and went with his soldiers and killed one hundred Philistines. David brought their foreskins and counted them out for the king so he could become the king's son-in-law. Then Saul gave his daughter Michal to him in marriage.
28 When Saul knew for certain that the LORD was with David and that his daughter Michal loved him,
29 then Saul was even more afraid of David. Saul was David's enemy for the rest of his life.
30 And whenever the Philistine commanders came out for battle, David would have more success than the rest of Saul's officers, so his fame spread widely.

1 Samuel 19

1 Saul ordered his son Jonathan and all his servants to kill David, but Jonathan, Saul's son, liked David very much.
2 So Jonathan warned David, "My father Saul is trying to kill you. Be on guard tomorrow morning. Stay somewhere safe and hide.
3 I'll go out and stand by my father in the field where you'll be. I'll talk to my father about you, and I'll tell you whatever I find out."
4 So Jonathan spoke highly about David to his father Saul, telling him, "The king shouldn't do anything wrong to his servant David, because he hasn't wronged you. In fact, his actions have helped you greatly.
5 He risked his own life when he killed that Philistine, and the LORD won a great victory for all Israel. You saw it and were happy about it. Why then would you do something wrong to an innocent person by killing David for no reason?"
6 Saul listened to Jonathan and then swore, "As surely as the LORD lives, David won't be executed."
7 So Jonathan summoned David and told him everything they had talked about. Then Jonathan brought David back to Saul, and David served Saul as he had previously.
8 War broke out again. When David went out to fight the Philistines, he struck them with such force that they ran from him.
9 Then an evil spirit from the LORD came over Saul. He was sitting in his house with his spear in hand while David was playing music.
10 Saul tried to pin David to the wall with his spear, but David escaped Saul. Saul drove the spear into the wall, but David fled and got away safely. That night
11 Saul sent messengers to David's house to keep watch on it and kill him in the morning. David's wife Michal warned him, "If you don't escape with your life tonight, you are a dead man tomorrow."
12 So Michal lowered David through a window. He took off and ran, and he got away.
13 Then Michal took the household's divine image and laid it in the bed, putting some goat's hair on its head and covering it with clothes.
14 Saul sent messengers to arrest David, but she said, "He's sick."
15 Saul sent the messengers back to check on David for themselves. "Bring him to me on his bed," he ordered, "so he can be executed."
16 When the messengers arrived, they found the idol in the bed with the goat's hair on its head.
17 Saul said to Michal, "Why could you betray me like this, letting my enemy go so that now he has escaped?" Michal said to Saul, "David told me, ‘Help me get away or I'll kill you!'"
18 So David fled and escaped. When he reached Samuel at Ramah, he reported to him everything Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to stay in the camps.
19 When Saul was told that David was in the camps at Ramah,
20 he sent messengers to arrest David. They saw a group of prophets in a prophetic frenzy, with Samuel standing there as their leader. God's spirit came over Saul's messengers, and they also fell into a prophetic frenzy.
21 This was reported to Saul, and he sent different messengers, but they also fell into a prophetic frenzy. So Saul sent a third group of messengers, and they did the very same thing.
22 At that point, Saul went to Ramah himself. He came to the well at the threshing floor that was on the bare hill there and asked, "Where are Samuel and David?" "In the camps at Ramah," he was told.
23 So Saul went to the camps at Ramah, and God's spirit came over him too. So as he traveled, he was in a prophetic frenzy until he reached the camps at Ramah.
24 He even took off all his clothes and fell into a prophetic frenzy in front of Samuel. He lay naked that whole day and night. That's why people say, "Is Saul also one of the prophets?"

1 Samuel 20

1 David fled from the camps at Ramah. He came to Jonathan and asked, "What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father that he wants me dead?"
2 Jonathan said to him, "No! You are not going to die! Listen: My father doesn't do anything big or small without telling me first. Why would my father hide this from me? It isn't true!"
3 But David solemnly promised in response, "Your father knows full well that you like me. He probably said, ‘Jonathan must not learn about this or he'll be upset.' But I promise you—on the LORD's life and yours!—that I am this close to death!"
4 "What do you want me to do?" Jonathan said to David. "I'll do it."
5 "Okay, listen," David answered Jonathan. "Tomorrow is the new moon, and I'm supposed to sit with the king at the feast. Instead, let me go and I'll hide in the field until nighttime.
6 If your father takes note of my absence, tell him, ‘David begged my permission to run down to his hometown Bethlehem, because there is an annual sacrifice there for his whole family.'
7 If Saul says ‘Fine,' then I, your servant, am safe. But if he loses his temper, then you'll know for certain that he intends to harm me.
8 So be loyal to your servant, because you've brought your servant into a sacred covenant with you. If I'm guilty, then kill me yourself; just don't take me back to your father."
9 "Enough!" Jonathan replied. "If I can determine for certain that my father intends to harm you, of course I'll tell you!"
10 "Who will tell me if your father responds harshly?" David asked Jonathan.
11 "Come on," Jonathan said to David. "Let's go into the field." So both of them went out into the field.
12 Then Jonathan told David, "I pledge by the LORD God of Israel that I will question my father by this time tomorrow or on the third day. If he seems favorable toward David, I will definitely send word and make sure you know.
13 But if my father intends to harm you, then may the LORD deal harshly with me, Jonathan, and worse still if I don't tell you right away so that you can escape safely. May the LORD be with you as he once was with my father.
14 If I remain alive, be loyal to me. But if I die,
15 don't ever stop being loyal to my household. Once the LORD has eliminated all of David's enemies from the earth,
16 if Jonathan's name is also eliminated, then the LORD will seek retribution from David!"
17 So Jonathan again made a pledge to David because he loved David as much as himself.
18 "Tomorrow is the festival of the new moon," Jonathan told David. "You will be missed because your seat will be empty.
19 The day after tomorrow, go all the way to the spot where you hid on the day of the incident, and stay close to that mound.
20 On the third day I will shoot an arrow to the side of the mound as if aiming at a target.
21 Then I'll send the servant boy, saying, ‘Go retrieve the arrow.' If I yell to the boy, ‘Hey! The arrow is on this side of you. Get it!' then you can come out because it will be safe for you. There won't be any trouble—I make a pledge on the LORD's life.
22 But if I yell to the young man, ‘Hey! The arrow is past you,' then run for it, because the LORD has sent you away.
23 Either way, the LORD is witness between us forever regarding the promise we made to each other."
24 So David hid himself in the field. When the new moon came, the king sat at the feast to eat.
25 He took his customary seat by the wall. Jonathan sat opposite him while Abner sat beside Saul. David's seat was empty.
26 Saul didn't say anything that day because he thought, Perhaps David became unclean somehow. That must be it.
27 But on the next day, the second of the new moon, David's seat was still empty. Saul said to his son Jonathan, "Why hasn't Jesse's son come to the table, either yesterday or today?"
28 Jonathan answered Saul, "David begged my permission to go to Bethlehem.
29 He said, ‘Please let me go because we have a family sacrifice there in town, and my brother has ordered me to be present. Please do me a favor and let me slip away so I can see my family.' That's why David hasn't been at the king's table."
30 At that, Saul got angry at Jonathan. "You son of a stubborn, rebellious woman!" he said. "Do you think I don't know how you've allied yourself with Jesse's son? Shame on you and on the mother who birthed you!
31 As long as Jesse's son lives on this earth, neither you nor your dynasty will be secure. Now have him brought to me because he's a dead man!"
32 But Jonathan answered his father Saul, "Why should David be executed? What has he done?"
33 At that, Saul threw his spear at Jonathan to strike him, and Jonathan realized that his father intended to kill David.
34 Jonathan got up from the table in a rage. He didn't eat anything on the second day of the new moon because he was worried about David and because his father had humiliated him.
35 In the morning, Jonathan went out to the field for the meeting with David, and a young servant boy went with him.
36 He said to the boy, "Go quickly and retrieve the arrow that I shoot." So the boy ran off, and he shot an arrow beyond him.
37 When the boy got to the spot where Jonathan shot the arrow, Jonathan yelled to him, "Isn't the arrow past you?"
38 Jonathan yelled again to the boy, "Quick! Hurry up! Don't just stand there!" So Jonathan's servant boy gathered up the arrow and came back to his master.
39 The boy had no idea what had happened; only Jonathan and David knew.
40 Jonathan handed his weapons to the boy and told him, "Get going. Take these back to town."
41 As soon as the boy was gone, David came out from behind the mound and fell down, face on the ground, bowing low three times. The friends kissed each other, and cried with each other, but David cried hardest.
42 Then Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace because the two of us made a solemn pledge in the LORD's name when we said, ‘The LORD is witness between us and between our descendants forever.'" Then David got up and left, but Jonathan went back to town.