1 Samuel 18; 1 Samuel 19; 1 Samuel 20

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1 Samuel 18

1 David finished talking to Saul. After that, Jonathan became David's closest friend. He loved David as much as [he loved] himself.
2 (From that day on Saul kept David [as his servant] and didn't let him go back to his family.)
3 So Jonathan made a pledge of mutual loyalty with David because he loved him as much as [he loved] himself.
4 Jonathan took off the coat he had on and gave it to David along with his battle tunic, his sword, his bow, and his belt.
5 David was successful wherever Saul sent him. Saul put him in charge of the fighting men. This pleased all the people, including Saul's officials.
6 As they arrived, David was returning from a campaign against the Philistines. Women from all of Israel's cities came to meet King Saul. They sang and danced, accompanied by tambourines, joyful music, and triangles.
7 The women who were celebrating sang, "Saul has defeated thousands but David tens of thousands!"
8 Saul became very angry because he considered this saying to be insulting. "To David they credit tens of thousands," he said, "but to me they credit [only] a few thousand. The only thing left for David is my kingdom."
9 From that day on Saul kept an eye on David.
10 The next day an evil spirit from God seized Saul. He began to prophesy in his house while David strummed a tune on the lyre as he did every day. Now, Saul had a spear in his hand.
11 He raised the spear and thought, "I'll nail David to the wall." But David got away from him twice.
12 Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had left Saul.
13 So he kept David away. He made David captain of a regiment. David led the troops out [to battle] and back again.
14 He was successful in everything he undertook because the LORD was with him.
15 Saul noticed how very successful he was and became [even more] afraid of him.
16 Everyone in Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in and out [of battle].
17 Finally, Saul said to David, "Here is my oldest daughter Merab. I will give her to you as your wife if you prove yourself to be a warrior for me and fight the LORD's battles." (Saul thought, "I must not lay a hand on him. Let the Philistines do that.")
18 "Who am I?" David asked Saul. "And how important are my relatives or my father's family in Israel that I should be the king's son-in-law?"
19 But when the time came to give Saul's daughter Merab to David, she was married to Adriel from Meholah.
20 However, Saul's daughter Michal fell in love with David. When Saul was told about it, the news pleased him.
21 Saul thought, "I'll give her to David. She will trap him, and the Philistines will get him." So he said to David a second time, "You will now be my son-in-law."
22 Saul ordered his officers, "Talk to David in private. Tell him, 'The king likes you, and all his officers are fond of you. Become the king's son-in-law.'"
23 When Saul's officers made it a point to say this, David asked, "Do you think it's easy to become the king's son-in-law? I am a poor and unimportant person."
24 When the officers told Saul what David had said,
25 Saul replied, "Tell David, 'The king doesn't want any payment for the bride except 100 Philistine foreskins so that he can get revenge on his enemies.'" In this way Saul planned to have David fall into the hands of the Philistines.
26 When his officers told David this, David concluded that it was acceptable to become the king's son-in-law. Before the time was up,
27 David and his men went out and struck down 200 Philistines. David brought the foreskins, and they counted them out for the king so that David could become the king's son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal as his wife.
28 Saul realized that the LORD was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David.
29 Then Saul was even more afraid of David, and so Saul became David's constant enemy.
30 The Philistine generals still went out [to fight Israel]. But whenever they went out [to fight], David was more successful than the rest of Saul's officers. So David gained a good reputation.
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

1 Samuel 19

1 Saul told his son Jonathan and all his officers to kill David. But Saul's son Jonathan was very fond of David,
2 so he reported to David, "My father Saul is trying to kill you. Please be careful tomorrow morning. Go into hiding, and stay out of sight.
3 I'll go out and stand beside my father in the field where you'll be. I'll speak with my father about you. If I find out anything, I'll tell you."
4 So Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul. "You should not commit a sin against your servant David," he said. "He hasn't sinned against you. Instead, he has done some very fine things for you:
5 He risked his life and killed the Philistine Goliath, and the LORD gave all Israel a great victory. When you saw it, you rejoiced. Why then should you sin by shedding David's innocent blood for no reason?"
6 Saul listened to Jonathan, and he promised, "I solemnly swear, as the LORD lives, he will not be killed."
7 Jonathan told David all of this. Then Jonathan took David to Saul. So David was returned to his former status in Saul's court.
8 When war broke out again, David went to fight the Philistines. He defeated them so decisively that they fled from him.
9 Then an evil spirit from the LORD came over Saul while he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. David was strumming a tune.
10 Saul tried to nail David to the wall with his spear. But David dodged it, and Saul's spear struck the wall. David fled, escaping [from Saul] that night.
11 Saul sent messengers to watch David's house and kill him in the morning. But Michal, David's wife, advised him, "If you don't save yourself tonight, you'll be dead tomorrow!"
12 So Michal lowered David through a window, and he ran away to escape.
13 Then Michal took some idols, laid them in the bed, put a goat-hair blanket at its head, and covered the idols with a garment.
14 When Saul sent messengers to get David, Michal said, "He's sick."
15 Then Saul sent the messengers back to see David themselves. Saul told them, "Bring him here to me in his bed so that I can kill him."
16 The messengers came, and there in the bed were the idols with the goat-hair blanket at its head.
17 Saul asked Michal, "Why did you betray me by sending my enemy away so that he could escape?" Michal answered, "He told me, 'Let me go! Why should I kill you?'"
18 David escaped and went to Samuel at Ramah. He told Samuel everything Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to the pastures and lived there.
19 When it was reported to Saul that David was in the pastures at Ramah,
20 Saul sent messengers to get David. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying with Samuel serving as their leader, God's Spirit came over Saul's messengers so that they also prophesied.
21 When they told Saul [about this], he sent other messengers, but they also prophesied. Saul even sent a third group of messengers, but they also prophesied.
22 Then he went to Ramah himself. He went as far as the big cistern in Secu and asked [the people], "Where are Samuel and David?" He was told, "Over there in the pastures at Ramah."
23 As he went toward the pastures at Ramah, God's Spirit came over him too. He continued his journey, prophesying until he came to the pastures at Ramah.
24 He even took off his clothes as he prophesied in front of Samuel and lay there naked all day and all night. This is where the saying, "Is Saul one of the prophets?" came from.
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

1 Samuel 20

1 David fled from the pastures at Ramah, came to Jonathan, and asked, "What have I done? What crime am I guilty of? What sin have I committed against your father that he's trying to kill me?"
2 Jonathan answered, "That's unthinkable! You're not going to die! My father does nothing without telling me, whether it's important or not. Why should my father hide this from me? It's just not that way."
3 But David took an oath, saying, "Your father certainly knows that you support me, so he said [to himself], 'Jonathan must not know about this. It will bring him distress.' But I solemnly swear, as the LORD and you live, I'm only one step away from death."
4 Jonathan said to David, "I'll do whatever you say."
5 David replied, "Tomorrow is the New Moon Festival, when I should sit and eat at the king's [table]. But let me go and hide in the countryside for two more nights.
6 If your father really misses me, tell him, 'David repeatedly begged me to let him run to Bethlehem, his hometown, because his relatives are offering the annual sacrifice there.'
7 If he says, 'Good!' then I will be safe. But if he gets really angry, then you'll know for sure that he has decided to harm me.
8 Now, be kind to me. After all, you forced me into an agreement with the LORD. If I have committed any crime, kill me yourself. Why bother taking me to your father?"
9 Jonathan answered, "That's unthinkable! If I knew for sure that my father had decided to harm you, I would have told you about it."
10 Then David asked, "Who will tell me whether or not your father gives you a harsh answer?"
11 Jonathan said, "Let's go out into the country." So they went out into the country.
12 "As the LORD God of Israel [is my witness]," Jonathan continued, "I'll find out in the next two or three days how my father feels about you. If he does feel kindly toward you, then I will send someone to tell you.
13 If my father plans to harm you and I fail to tell you and send you away safely, may the LORD harm me even more. May the LORD be with you as he used to be with my father.
14 But as long as I live, [promise me that you will] show me kindness because of the LORD. And even when I die,
15 never stop being kind to my family. The Lord will wipe each of David's enemies off the face of the earth.
16 At that time, if Jonathan's name is cut off from David's family, then may the LORD punish David's house."
17 Once again Jonathan swore an oath to David because of his love for David. He loved David as much as [he loved] himself.
18 "Tomorrow is the New Moon Festival," Jonathan told him, "and you will be missed when your seat is empty.
19 The day after tomorrow you will be missed even more. So go to the place where you hid on that other occasion, and stay by the rock.
20 I will shoot three arrows from beside it toward a target.
21 Then I will send out a boy and say, 'Go, find the arrows.' Now, if I tell the boy, 'Look, the arrows are next to you; get them,' then come [back with me]. You will be safe, and there will be no trouble. I swear it, as the LORD lives.
22 But if I tell the boy, 'The arrows are next to you,' then go, because the LORD has sent you away.
23 We have made a promise to each other, and the LORD is [a witness] between you and me forever."
24 So David hid in the countryside. When the New Moon Festival came, King Saul sat down to eat the festival meal.
25 He sat in his usual seat by the wall, while Jonathan stood. Abner sat beside Saul, but David's place was empty.
26 Saul didn't say anything that day, thinking, "Something has happened to him so that he's unclean. He must be unclean."
27 But on the second day of the month, David's place was still empty. Saul asked his son Jonathan, "Why hasn't Jesse's son come to the meal either yesterday or today?"
28 Jonathan answered Saul, "David repeatedly begged me [to let him go] to Bethlehem.
29 David said to me 'Please let me go. Our relatives will offer a sacrifice in the city, and my brother ordered me to be there. If you will permit it, please let me go to see my brothers.' This is why he hasn't come to your banquet."
30 Then Saul got angry with Jonathan. "Son of a crooked and rebellious woman!" he called Jonathan. "I know you've sided with Jesse's son. You have no shame. [You act] as if you are your mother's son but not mine.
31 As long as Jesse's son lives on earth, neither you nor your right to be king is secure. Now, send some men to bring him to me. He's a dead man!"
32 Jonathan asked his father, "Why should he be killed? What has he done?"
33 Saul raised his spear to strike him. Then Jonathan knew his father was determined to kill David.
34 Jonathan got up from the table very angry and ate nothing that second day of the month. He was worried sick about David because Jonathan had been humiliated by his own father.
35 In the morning Jonathan went out to the country to the place he and David had agreed on. Jonathan had a young boy with him.
36 "Run," he told the boy, "please find the arrows I shoot." The boy ran, and Jonathan shot the arrow over him.
37 When the boy reached the place where Jonathan's arrow [had landed], Jonathan called after him, "The arrows are next to you!"
38 Jonathan added, "Quick! Hurry up! Don't stand there!" Jonathan's young servant gathered the arrows and came to his master.
39 The boy had no idea what was going on, but Jonathan and David understood.
40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy. He told the boy, "Take them back into town."
41 When the boy had left, David came out from the south side [of the rock] and quickly bowed down three times with his face touching the ground. Then they kissed each other and cried together, but David cried the loudest.
42 "Go in peace!" Jonathan told David. "We have both taken an oath in the LORD's name, saying, 'The LORD will be [a witness] between me and you and between my descendants and your descendants forever.'" So David left, and Jonathan went into the city.
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved. Used by permission.