Now Saul told Jonathan his son and all his servants to put David to death. But Jonathan, Saul's son, greatly delighted in David.
So Jonathan told David saying, "Saul my father is seeking to put you to death. Now therefore, please be on guard in the morning, and stay in a secret place and hide yourself.
"I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father about you; if I find out anything, then I will tell you."
Then Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, "Do not let the king sin against his servant David, since he has not sinned against you, and since his deeds [have been] very beneficial to you.
"For he took his life in his hand and struck the Philistine, and the LORD brought about a great deliverance for all Israel; you saw [it] and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by putting David to death without a cause?"
Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan, and Saul vowed, "As the LORD lives, he shall not be put to death."
Then Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all these words. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as formerly.
When there was war again, David went out and fought with the Philistines and defeated them with great slaughter, so that they fled before him.
Now there was an evil spirit from the LORD on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was playing [the harp] with [his] hand.
Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, so that he stuck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night.
Then Saul sent messengers to David's house to watch him, in order to put him to death in the morning. But Michal, David's wife, told him, saying, "If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be put to death."
So Michal let David down through a window, and he went out and fled and escaped.
Michal took the household idol and laid [it] on the bed, and put a quilt of goats' [hair] at its head, and covered [it] with clothes.
When Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, "He is sick."
Then Saul sent messengers to see David, saying, "Bring him up to me on his bed, that I may put him to death."
When the messengers entered, behold, the household idol [was] on the bed with the quilt of goats' [hair] at its head.
So Saul said to Michal, "Why have you deceived me like this and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?" And Michal said to Saul, "He said to me, 'Let me go! Why should I put you to death?'"
Now David fled and escaped and came to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth.
It was told Saul, saying, "Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah."
Then Saul sent messengers to take David, but when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing [and] presiding over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul; and they also prophesied.
When it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. So Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied.
Then he himself went to Ramah and came as far as the large well that is in Secu; and he asked and said, "Where are Samuel and David?" And [someone] said, "Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah."
He proceeded there to Naioth in Ramah; and the Spirit of God came upon him also, so that he went along prophesying continually until he came to Naioth in Ramah.
He also stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, "Is Saul also among the prophets?"
Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said to Jonathan, "What have I done? What is my iniquity? And what is my sin before your father, that he is seeking my life?"
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. So why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so!"
Yet David vowed again, saying, "Your father knows well that I have found favor in your sight, and he has said, 'Do not let Jonathan know this, or he will be grieved.' But truly as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, there is hardly a step between me and death."
Then Jonathan said to David, "Whatever you say, I will do for you."
So David said to Jonathan, "Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I ought to sit down to eat with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field until the third evening.
"If your father misses me at all, then say, 'David earnestly asked [leave] of me to run to Bethlehem his city, because it is the yearly sacrifice there for the whole family.'
"If he says, 'It is good,' your servant [will be] safe; but if he is very angry, know that he has decided on evil.
"Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the LORD with you. But if there is iniquity in me, put me to death yourself; for why then should you bring me to your father?"
Jonathan said, "Far be it from you! For if I should indeed learn that evil has been decided by my father to come upon you, then would I not tell you about it?"
Then David said to Jonathan, "Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?"
Jonathan said to David, "Come, and let us go out into the field." So both of them went out to the field.
Then Jonathan said to David, "The LORD, the God of Israel, [be witness]! When I have sounded out my father about this time tomorrow, [or] the third day, behold, if there is good [feeling] toward David, shall I not then send to you and make it known to you?
"If it please my father [to do] you harm, may the LORD do so to Jonathan and more also, if I do not make it known to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. And may the LORD be with you as He has been with my father.
"If I am still alive, will you not show me the lovingkindness of the LORD, that I may not die?
"You shall not cut off your lovingkindness from my house forever, not even when the LORD cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth."
So Jonathan made a [covenant] with the house of David, [saying], "May the LORD require [it] at the hands of David's enemies."
Jonathan made David vow again because of his love for him, because he loved him as he loved his own life.
Then Jonathan said to him, "Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed because your seat will be empty.
"When you have stayed for three days, you shall go down quickly and come to the place where you hid yourself on that eventful day, and you shall remain by the stone Ezel.
"I will shoot three arrows to the side, as though I shot at a target.
"And behold, I will send the lad, [saying], 'Go, find the arrows.' If I specifically say to the lad, 'Behold, the arrows are on this side of you, get them,' then come; for there is safety for you and no harm, as the LORD lives.
"But if I say to the youth, 'Behold, the arrows are beyond you,' go, for the LORD has sent you away.
"As for the agreement of which you and I have spoken, behold, the LORD is between you and me forever."
So David hid in the field; and when the new moon came, the king sat down to eat food.
The king sat on his seat as usual, the seat by the wall; then Jonathan rose up and Abner sat down by Saul's side, but David's place was empty.
Nevertheless Saul did not speak anything that day, for he thought, "It is an accident, he is not clean, surely [he is] not clean."
It came about the next day, the second [day] of the new moon, that David's place was empty; so Saul said to Jonathan his son, "Why has the son of Jesse not come to the meal, either yesterday or today?"
Jonathan then answered Saul, "David earnestly asked leave of me [to go] to Bethlehem,
for he said, 'Please let me go, since our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to attend. And now, if I have found favor in your sight, please let me get away that I may see my brothers.' For this reason he has not come to the king's table."
Then Saul's anger burned against Jonathan and he said to him, "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you are choosing the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother's nakedness?
"For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Therefore now, send and bring him to me, for he must surely die."
But Jonathan answered Saul his father and said to him, "Why should he be put to death? What has he done?"
Then Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him down; so Jonathan knew that his father had decided to put David to death.
Then Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did not eat food on the second day of the new moon, for he was grieved over David because his father had dishonored him.
Now it came about in the morning that Jonathan went out into the field for the appointment with David, and a little lad [was] with him.
He said to his lad, "Run, find now the arrows which I am about to shoot." As the lad was running, he shot an arrow past him.
When the lad reached the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the lad and said, "Is not the arrow beyond you?"
And Jonathan called after the lad, "Hurry, be quick, do not stay!" And Jonathan's lad picked up the arrow and came to his master.
But the lad was not aware of anything; only Jonathan and David knew about the matter.
Then Jonathan gave his weapons to his lad and said to him, "Go, bring [them] to the city."
When the lad was gone, David rose from the south side and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed three times. And they kissed each other and wept together, but David [wept] the more.
Jonathan said to David, "Go in safety, inasmuch as we have sworn to each other in the name of the LORD, saying, 'The LORD will be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants forever.'" Then he rose and departed, while Jonathan went into the city.
Then David came to Nob to Ahimelech the priest; and Ahimelech came trembling to meet David and said to him, "Why are you alone and no one with you?"
David said to Ahimelech the priest, "The king has commissioned me with a matter and has said to me, 'Let no one know anything about the matter on which I am sending you and with which I have commissioned you; and I have directed the young men to a certain place.'
"Now therefore, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever can be found."
The priest answered David and said, "There is no ordinary bread on hand, but there is consecrated bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women."
David answered the priest and said to him, "Surely women have been kept from us as previously when I set out and the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was an ordinary journey; how much more then today will their vessels [be holy]?"
So the priest gave him consecrated [bread]; for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence which was removed from before the LORD, in order to put hot bread [in its place] when it was taken away.
Now one of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul's shepherds.
David said to Ahimelech, "Now is there not a spear or a sword on hand? For I brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's matter was urgent."
Then the priest said, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, behold, it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you would take it for yourself, take [it]. For there is no other except it here." And David said, "There is none like it; give it to me."
Then David arose and fled that day from Saul, and went to Achish king of Gath.
But the servants of Achish said to him, "Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of this one as they danced, saying, 'Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands '?"
David took these words to heart and greatly feared Achish king of Gath.
So he disguised his sanity before them, and acted insanely in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down into his beard.
Then Achish said to his servants, "Behold, you see the man behaving as a madman. Why do you bring him to me?
"Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this one to act the madman in my presence? Shall this one come into my house?"