1 Samuel 18; 1 Samuel 19; 1 Samuel 20

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1 Samuel 18

1 David finished talking with Saul. After that, Jonathan and David became close friends. Jonathan loved David just as he loved himself.
2 From that time on, Saul kept David with him. He didn't let him return to his father's home.
3 Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him just as he loved himself.
4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David. He also gave him his military clothes. He even gave him his sword, his bow and his belt.
5 David did everything Saul sent him to do. He did it so well that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. That pleased Saul's whole army, including his officers.
6 After David had killed Goliath, the men of Israel returned home. The women came out of all of the towns of Israel to meet King Saul. They danced and sang joyful songs. They played lutes and tambourines.
7 As they danced, they sang, "Saul has killed thousands of men. David has killed tens of thousands."
8 That song made Saul very angry. It really upset him. He said to himself, "They are saying David has killed tens of thousands of men. But they are saying I've killed only thousands. The only thing left for him to get is the kingdom itself."
9 From that time on, Saul became very jealous of David. So he watched him closely.
10 The next day an evil spirit that was sent by God came on Saul with power. Saul began to prophesy in his house. At that same time David began to play the harp, just as he usually did. Saul was holding a spear.
11 He threw it at David. As he did, he said to himself, "I'll pin David to the wall." But David got away from him twice.
12 The LORD had left Saul and was with David. So Saul was afraid of David.
13 He sent David away. He put him in command of 1,000 men. David led the troops in battle.
14 In everything he did, he was very successful. That's because the LORD was with him.
15 When Saul saw how successful David was, he became afraid of him.
16 But all of the troops of Israel and Judah loved David. That's because he led them in battle.
17 Saul said to David, "Here is my older daughter Merab. I'll give her to you to be your wife. Just serve me bravely and fight the LORD's battles." Saul said to himself, "I won't have to lift my hand to strike him down. The Philistines will do that!"
18 But David said to Saul, "Who am I? Is anyone in my whole family that important in Israel? Am I worthy to become the king's son-in-law?"
19 The time came for Saul to give his daughter Merab to David. Instead, Saul gave her to Adriel from Meholah to be his wife.
20 Saul's daughter Michal was in love with David. When they told Saul about it, he was pleased.
21 "I'll give her to him to be his wife," he said to himself. "Then maybe she'll trap him. And maybe the powerful hand of the Philistines will strike him down." So Saul said to David, "Now you have a second chance to become my son-in-law."
22 Then Saul gave an order to his attendants. He said, "Speak to David in private. Tell him, 'The king is pleased with you. All of his attendants like you. So become his son-in-law.' "
23 Saul's attendants spoke those very words to David. But David said, "Do you think it's a small thing to become the king's son-in-law? I'm only a poor man. I'm not very well known."
24 Saul's attendants told him what David had said.
25 Saul said, "Tell David, 'Here's the price the king wants for the bride. He wants you to kill 100 Philistines. Then bring back the skins you cut off when you circumcise them. That's how Saul will get even with his enemies.' " Saul hoped that the powerful hand of the Philistines would strike David down.
26 Saul's attendants also told David those things. Then David was pleased to become the king's son-in-law. So before the day that was set for the wedding,
27 David and his men went out and killed 200 Philistines. They circumcised them. Then David brought all of the skins and gave them to the king. By doing that, he could become the king's son-in-law. So Saul gave David his daughter Michal to be his wife.
28 Saul realized that the LORD was with David. He also realized that his daughter Michal loved David.
29 So Saul became even more afraid of him. He remained David's enemy as long as he was king.
30 The Philistine commanders kept on going out to battle. Every time they did, David had more success against them than the rest of Saul's officers. So his name became well known.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

1 Samuel 19

1 Saul told his son Jonathan and all of the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan liked David very much.
2 So Jonathan warned him, "My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be very careful tomorrow morning. Find a place to hide and stay there.
3 My father and I will come and stand in the field where you are hiding. I'll speak to him about you. Then I'll tell you what I find out."
4 Jonathan told his father Saul some good things about David. He said to him, "Please don't do anything to harm David. He hasn't done anything to harm you. And what he's done has helped you a lot.
5 He put his own life in danger when he killed Goliath. The LORD used him to win a great battle for the whole nation of Israel. When you saw it, you were glad. So why would you do anything to harm a man like David? He isn't guilty of doing anything to harm you. Why would you want to kill him without any reason?"
6 Saul paid attention to Jonathan. He took an oath and made a promise. He said, "You can be sure that the LORD lives. And you can be just as sure that David will not be put to death."
7 So Jonathan sent for David and told him everything he and Saul had said. Then he brought David to Saul. David served Saul as he had done before.
8 Once more war broke out. So David went out and fought against the Philistines. He struck them down with so much force that they ran away from him.
9 But an evil spirit that was sent by the LORD came on Saul. It happened as he was sitting in his house and holding his spear. While David was playing the harp,
10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear. But David got away from him just as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David escaped.
11 Saul sent some men to watch David's house. He told them to kill David the next morning. But David's wife Michal warned him. She said, "You must run for your life tonight. If you don't, tomorrow you will be killed."
12 So Michal helped David escape through a window. He ran and got away.
13 Then Michal got a statue of a god. She laid it on David's bed. She covered it with clothes. And she put some goat hair at the place where David's head would have been.
14 Saul sent the men to capture David. But Michal told them, "He's sick."
15 Then Saul sent the men back to see David. He told them, "Bring him up here to me in his bed. Then I'll kill him."
16 But when the men entered, they found nothing but the statue in the bed. Some goat hair was at the place where David's head would have been.
17 Saul said to Michal, "Why did you trick me like this? Why did you help my enemy escape?" Michal told him, "He said to me, 'Help me get away. If you don't, I'll kill you.' "
18 After David had run away and escaped, he went to Samuel at Ramah. He told him everything Saul had done to him. Then David and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there.
19 Saul was told, "David is in Naioth at Ramah."
20 So Saul sent some men to capture him. When they got there, they saw a group of prophets who were prophesying. Samuel was standing there as their leader. Then the Spirit of God came on Saul's men. So they also began to prophesy.
21 Saul was told about it. So he sent some more men. They began to prophesy too. Saul sent some men a third time. And they also began to prophesy.
22 Finally, Saul decided to go to Ramah himself. He went to the large well at Secu. He asked some people, "Where are Samuel and David?" "Over in Naioth at Ramah," they said.
23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God even came on him. He walked along and prophesied until he came to Naioth.
24 There he took off his royal robes. Then he prophesied in front of Samuel. He lay there without his robes on all that day and night. That's why people say, "Is Saul also one of the prophets?"
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

1 Samuel 20

1 David was in Naioth at Ramah. He ran away from there to where Jonathan was. He asked him, "What have I done? What crime have I committed? I haven't done anything to harm your father. So why is he trying to kill me?"
2 "That will never happen!" Jonathan replied. "You aren't going to die! My father doesn't do anything at all without telling me. So why would he hide that from me? He isn't going to kill you!"
3 But David took an oath. Then he said, "Your father knows very well that you are pleased with me. He has said to himself, 'I don't want Jonathan to know I'm planning to kill David. If he finds out, he'll be very sad.' But I'm very close to being killed. And that's just as sure as the LORD and you are alive."
4 Jonathan said to David, "I'll do anything you want me to do for you."
5 So David said, "Tomorrow is the time for the New Moon Feast. I'm supposed to eat with the king. But let me go and hide in the field. I'll stay there until the evening of the day after tomorrow.
6 Your father might miss me. If he does, then tell him, 'David begged me to let him hurry home to Bethlehem. A yearly sacrifice is being offered there for his whole family group.'
7 Your father might say, 'That's all right.' If he does, it will mean I'm safe. But he might become very angry. If he does, you can be sure he's made up his mind to harm me.
8 "Please be kind to me. You have made a covenant with me in the sight of the Lord. If I'm guilty, kill me yourself! Don't hand me over to your father!"
9 "I would never do that!" Jonathan said. "Suppose I had even the smallest clue that my father had made up his mind to harm you. Then I would tell you."
10 David asked, "Who will tell me if your father answers you in a mean way?"
11 "Come on," Jonathan said. "Let's go out to the field." So they went there together.
12 Then Jonathan spoke to David. He said, "I promise you that I'll find out what my father is planning to do. I'll find out by this time the day after tomorrow. The Lord, the God of Israel, is my witness. Suppose my father feels kind toward you. Then I'll send you a message and let you know.
13 But suppose he wants to harm you. And I don't let you know about it. I don't help you get away safely. Then may the LORD punish me greatly. May he be with you, just as he has been with my father.
14 "But always be kind to me, just as the LORD is. Be kind to me as long as I live. Then I won't be killed.
15 And never stop being kind to my family. Don't stop even when the LORD has cut off every one of your enemies from the face of the earth."
16 So Jonathan made a covenant with David and his family. He said, "May the LORD make David's enemies accountable for what they've done."
17 Jonathan had David take an oath again because he loved him. In fact, Jonathan loved David just as he loved himself.
18 Then Jonathan said to David, "Tomorrow is the time for the New Moon Feast. You will be missed, because your seat at the table will be empty.
19 Go to the place where you hid when all of this trouble began. Go there the day after tomorrow, when evening is approaching. There's a stone out there called Ezel.
20 Wait by it. "I'll shoot three arrows to one side of the stone. I'll pretend I'm practicing my shooting.
21 Then I'll send a boy out there. I'll tell him, 'Go and find the arrows.' Suppose I say to him, 'The arrows are on this side of you. Bring them here.' Then come. That will mean you are safe. You won't be in any danger. And that's just as sure as the LORD is alive.
22 But suppose I tell the boy, 'The arrows are far beyond you.' Then go. That will mean the LORD is sending you away.
23 "And remember what we talked about. Remember that the LORD is a witness between you and me forever."
24 So David hid in the field. When the time for the New Moon Feast came, the king sat down to eat.
25 He sat in his usual place by the wall. Jonathan sat across from him. Abner sat next to Saul. But David's place was empty.
26 Saul didn't say anything that day. He said to himself, "Something must have happened to David to make him 'unclean.' That must be why he isn't here."
27 But the next day, David's place was empty again. It was the second day of the month. Finally, Saul spoke to his son Jonathan. He said, "Why hasn't the son of Jesse come to the meal? He hasn't been here yesterday or today."
28 Jonathan replied, "David begged me to let him go to Bethlehem.
29 He said, 'Let me go. Our family is offering a sacrifice in the town. My brother has ordered me to be there. Are you pleased with me? If you are, let me go and see my brothers.' That's why he hasn't come to eat at your table."
30 Saul burned with anger against Jonathan. He said to him, "You are an evil son. You have refused to obey me. I know that you are on the side of Jesse's son. You should be ashamed of that. And your mother should be ashamed of having a son like you.
31 You will never be king as long as Jesse's son lives on this earth. And you will never have a kingdom either. So send for the son of Jesse. Bring him to me. He must die!"
32 "Why do you want to put him to death?" Jonathan asked his father. "What has he done?"
33 But Saul threw his spear at Jonathan to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father wanted to kill David.
34 So Jonathan got up from the table. He was burning with anger. On that second day of the month, he refused to eat. He was very sad that his father was treating David so badly.
35 The next morning Jonathan went out to the field to meet David. He took a young boy with him.
36 He said to the boy, "Run and find the arrows I shoot." As the boy ran, Jonathan shot an arrow far beyond him.
37 The boy came to the place where Jonathan's arrow had fallen. Then Jonathan shouted to him, "The arrow went far beyond you, didn't it?"
38 He continued, "Hurry up! Run fast! Don't stop!" The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master.
39 The boy didn't know what was going on. Only Jonathan and David knew.
40 Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy. He told him, "Go back to town. Take the weapons with you."
41 After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone. He bowed down in front of Jonathan with his face to the ground. He did it three times. Then they kissed each other and cried. But David cried more than Jonathan did.
42 Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace. In the name of the LORD we have taken an oath. We've promised to be friends. We've said, 'The LORD is a witness between you and me. He's a witness between your children and my children forever.' " Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.