David and Jonathan’s Friendship
18 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan dloved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day eand would not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because dhe loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. 5 And David went out fand was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.
Saul’s Jealousy of David
6 As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, gthe women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments.1 7 And the women hsang to one another as they celebrated,
i“Saul has struck down his thousands,
and David his ten thousands.”
8 And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but jthe kingdom?” 9 And Saul eyed David from that day on.
10 The next day ka harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and lhe raved within his house while David was mplaying the lyre, as he did day by day. nSaul had his spear in his hand. 11 And Saul ohurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice.
12 pSaul was afraid of David because qthe Lord was with him rbut had departed from Saul. 13 So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. sAnd he went out and came in before the people. 14 And David thad success in all his undertakings, qfor the Lord was with him. 15 And when Saul saw that the had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. 16 uBut all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them.
David Marries Michal
17 Then Saul said to David, “Here is vmy elder daughter Merab. wI will give her to you for a wife. Only be valiant for me xand fight the Lord’s battles.” For Saul thought, “Let not my hand be against him, ybut let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” 18 And David said to Saul, z“Who am I, and who are my relatives, my father’s clan in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” 19 But at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, she was given to aAdriel the bMeholathite for a wife.
20 Now vSaul’s daughter Michal cloved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. 21 Saul thought, “Let me give her to him, that she may dbe a snare for him eand that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time,2 f“You shall now be my son-in-law.” 22 And Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David in private and say, ‘Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now then become the king’s son-in-law.’” 23 And Saul’s servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, g“Does it seem to you a little thing to become the king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man and have no reputation?” 24 And the servants of Saul told him, “Thus and so did David speak.” 25 Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no hbride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, ithat he may be avenged of the king’s enemies.’” jNow Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26 And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law. kBefore the time had expired, 27 David arose and went, lalong with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. mAnd David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife. 28 But when Saul saw and knew that nthe Lord was with David, oand that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him, 29 Saul was even more afraid of David. So Saul was David’s enemy continually.
30 pThen the commanders of the Philistines came out to battle, and as often as they came out qDavid had more success than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was highly esteemed.
Saul Tries to Kill David
19 And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David. rBut Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David. 2 And Jonathan told David, “Saul my father seeks to kill you. Therefore be on your guard in the morning. Stay in a secret place and hide yourself. 3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you. And if I learn anything I will tell you.” 4 And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king ssin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you. 5 For the took his life in his hand uand he struck down the Philistine, vand the Lord worked a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against winnocent blood by killing David without cause?” 6 And Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan. Saul swore, x“As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” 7 And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan reported to him all these things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence yas before.
8 And there was war again. And David went out and fought with the Philistines and struck them with a great blow, so that they fled before him. 9 zThen a harmful spirit from the Lord came upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. aAnd David was playing the lyre. 10 bAnd Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he eluded Saul, so that he struck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night.
11 cSaul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him, that he might kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, told him, “If you do not escape with your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.” 12 dSo Michal let David down through the window, and he fled away and escaped. 13 Michal took ean image1 and laid it on the bed and put a pillow of goats’ hair at its head and covered it with the clothes. 14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.” 15 Then Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.” 16 And when the messengers came in, behold, ethe image was in the bed, with the pillow of goats’ hair at its head. 17 Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me thus and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?” And Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go. fWhy should I kill you?’”
18 Now David fled and escaped, and he came to Samuel at gRamah and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and lived at Naioth. 19 And it was told Saul, “Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David, and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as head over them, hthe Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, iand they also prophesied. 21 When it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, iand they also prophesied. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, iand they also prophesied. 22 Then he himself went to Ramah and came to the great well that is in Secu. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” And one said, “Behold, they are at Naioth in gRamah.” 23 And he went there to Naioth in Ramah. jAnd the Spirit of God came upon him also, and as he went he prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 kAnd he too stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay naked all that day and all that night. Thus it is said, l“Is Saul also among the prophets?”
Jonathan Warns David
20 Then David fled from Naioth min Ramah and came and said before Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?” 2 And he said to him, “Far from it! You shall not die. Behold, my father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me. And why should my father hide this from me? It is not so.” 3 But David vowed again, saying, “Your father knows well that nI have found favor in your eyes, and he thinks, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.’ But truly, oas the Lord lives and pas your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.” 4 Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.” 5 David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is qthe new moon, and I should not fail to sit at table with the king. But let me go, rthat I may hide myself in the field till the third day at evening. 6 sIf your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run tto Bethlehem his city, for there is a yearly usacrifice there for all the clan.’ 7 If he says, ‘Good!’ it will be well with your servant, but if he is angry, then know that vharm is determined by him. 8 Therefore deal kindly with your servant, wfor you have brought your servant into a covenant of the Lord with you. xBut if there is guilt in me, kill me yourself, for why should you bring me to your father?” 9 And Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! If I knew that vit was determined by my father that harm should come to you, would I not tell you?” 10 Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you roughly?” 11 And Jonathan said to David, “Come, let us go out into the field.” So they both went out into the field.
12 And Jonathan said to David, “The Lord, the God of Israel, be witness!1 When I have sounded out my father, about this time tomorrow, or the third day, behold, if he is well disposed toward David, shall I not then send and disclose it to you? 13 But should it please my father to do you harm, ythe Lord do so to Jonathan and more also if I do not disclose it to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. zMay the Lord be with you, as he has been with my father. 14 If I am still alive, show me the steadfast love of the Lord, that I may not die; 15 aand do not cut off2 your steadfast love from my house forever, when the Lord cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” 16 And Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, b“May3 the Lord take vengeance on David’s enemies.” 17 And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, cfor he loved him as he loved his own soul.
18 Then Jonathan said to him, d“Tomorrow is the new moon, and eyou will be missed, because fyour seat will be empty. 19 On the third day go down quickly to the place where you hid yourself when the matter was in hand, and remain beside the stone heap.4 20 And I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark. 21 And behold, I will send the boy, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you, take them,’ then you are to come, for, gas the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. 22 But if I say to the youth, h‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go, for the Lord has sent you away. 23 iAnd as for the matter of which you and I have spoken, behold, jthe Lord is between you and me forever.”
24 So David hid himself in the field. And when the new moon came, the king sat down to eat food. 25 The king sat on his seat, as at other times, on the seat by the wall. Jonathan sat opposite,5 and Abner sat by Saul’s side, kbut David’s place was empty.
26 Yet Saul did not say anything that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to him. lHe is not clean; surely he is not clean.” 27 But on mthe second day, the day after the new moon, kDavid’s place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has not the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?” 28 Jonathan answered Saul, n“David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Let me go, for our clan holds a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. So now, if I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away and see my brothers.’ For this reason he has not come to the king’s table.”
30 Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.” 32 Then Jonathan answered Saul his father, o“Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33 pBut Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him. So Jonathan knew qthat his father was determined to put David to death. 34 And Jonathan rose from the table in fierce anger and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had disgraced him.
35 In the morning Jonathan went out into the field to the appointment with David, and with him a little boy. 36 And he said to his boy, “Run and find the arrows that I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 And when the boy came to the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the boy and said, r“Is not the arrow beyond you?” 38 And Jonathan called after the boy, “Hurry! Be quick! Do not stay!” So Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows and came to his master. 39 But the boy knew nothing. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40 And Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, “Go and carry them to the city.” 41 And as soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap6 and fell on his face to the ground and bowed three times. And they kissed one another and wept with one another, David weeping the most. 42 Then Jonathan said to David, s“Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, t‘The Lord shall be between me and you, uand between my offspring and your offspring, forever.’” And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.7
David and the Holy Bread
21 1 Then David came to vNob, to wAhimelech the priest. And Ahimelech xcame to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” 2 And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” 4 And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is yholy bread—zif the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5 And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” 6 So the priest gave him ythe holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, awhich is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.
7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord. His name was bDoeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s herdsmen.
8 Then David said to Ahimelech, “Then have you not here a spear or a sword at hand? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.” 9 And the priest said, c“The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in dthe Valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it, for there is none but that here.” And David said, “There is none like that; give it to me.”
David Flees to Gath
10 And David rose and fled that day from Saul and went to eAchish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is not this David the king of the land? fDid they not sing to one another of him in dances,
‘Saul has struck down his thousands,
and David his ten thousands’?”
12 And David gtook these words to heart and was much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”
David at the Cave of Adullam
22 David departed from there and escaped to hthe cave of iAdullam. And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. 2 jAnd everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul,1 gathered to him. And he became commander over them. And there were with him kabout four hundred men.
3 And David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab. And he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother stay2 with you, till I know what God will do for me.” 4 And he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold. 5 Then the prophet lGad said to David, “Do not remain in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.
Saul Kills the Priests at Nob
6 Now Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men who were with him. Saul was sitting at Gibeah under mthe tamarisk tree on the height with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him. 7 And Saul said to his servants who stood about him, “Hear now, people of Benjamin; will the son of Jesse ngive every one of you fields and vineyards, will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, 8 that all of you have conspired against me? No one discloses to me owhen my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you pis sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, qto lie in wait, as at this day.” 9 Then answered rDoeg the Edomite, who stood by the servants of Saul, “I saw the son of Jesse scoming to Nob, to tAhimelech the son of Ahitub, 10 uand he inquired of the Lord for him and vgave him provisions and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”
11 Then the king sent to summon Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests who were at Nob, and all of them came to the king. 12 And Saul said, “Hear now, son of Ahitub.” And he answered, “Here I am, my lord.” 13 And Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword and uhave inquired of God for him, so that he has risen against me, wto lie in wait, as at this day?” 14 Then Ahimelech answered the king, “And who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, and captain over3 your bodyguard, and honored in your house? 15 Is today the first time uthat I have inquired of God for him? No! Let not the king impute anything to his servant or to all the house of my father, for your servant has known nothing of all this, xmuch or little.” 16 And the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house.” 17 And the king said to ythe guard who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because their hand also is with David, and they knew that he fled and did not disclose it to me.” But the servants of the king would not put out their hand to strike the priests of the Lord. 18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn and strike the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned and struck down the priests, zand he killed on that day eighty-five persons who wore the linen ephod. 19 And Nob, the city of the priests, he put to the sword; aboth man and woman, child and infant, ox, donkey and sheep, he put to the sword.
20 But one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named bAbiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21 And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 And David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, cwhen Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have occasioned the death of all the persons of your father’s house. 23 dStay with me; do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life. With me you shall be in safekeeping.”