CHOOSE YOUR BIBLE VERSION

1 Samuel chapter 20

New International Version

1 Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, 'What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?'
2 Never!' Jonathan replied. 'You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn't do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn't so!'
3 But David took an oath and said, 'Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, 'Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.' Yet as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death."
4 Jonathan said to David, 'Whatever you want me to do, I'll do for you.'
5 So David said, 'Look, tomorrow is the New Moon feast, and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow. 6 If your father misses me at all, tell him, 'David earnestly asked my permission to hurry to Bethlehem, his hometown, because an annual sacrifice is being made there for his whole clan.' 7 If he says, 'Very well,' then your servant is safe. But if he loses his temper, you can be sure that he is determined to harm me. 8 As for you, show kindness to your servant, for you have brought him into a covenant with you before the LORD. If I am guilty, then kill me yourself! Why hand me over to your father?'
9 Never!' Jonathan said. 'If I had the least inkling that my father was determined to harm you, wouldn't I tell you?'
10 David asked, 'Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?'
11 Come,' Jonathan said, 'let's go out into the field.' So they went there together.
12 Then Jonathan said to David, 'I swear by the LORD, the God of Israel, that I will surely sound out my father by this time the day after tomorrow! If he is favorably disposed toward you, will I not send you word and let you know? 13 But if my father intends to harm you, may the LORD deal with Jonathan, be it ever so severely, if I do not let you know and send you away in peace. May the LORD be with you as he has been with my father. 14 But show me unfailing kindness like the LORD's kindness as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, 15 and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family--not even when the LORD has cut off every one of David's enemies from the face of the earth.'
16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, 'May the LORD call David's enemies to account.' 17 And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.
18 Then Jonathan said to David, 'Tomorrow is the New Moon feast. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19 The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target. 21 Then I will send a boy and say, 'Go, find the arrows.' If I say to him, 'Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,' then come, because, as surely as the LORD lives, you are safe; there is no danger. 22 But if I say to the boy, 'Look, the arrows are beyond you,' then you must go, because the LORD has sent you away. 23 And about the matter you and I discussed--remember, the LORD is witness between you and me forever.'
24 So David hid in the field, and when the New Moon feast came, the king sat down to eat. 25 He sat in his customary place by the wall, opposite Jonathan, and Abner sat next to Saul, but David's place was empty. 26 Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, 'Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean--surely he is unclean.' 27 But the next day, the second day of the month, David's place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, 'Why hasn't the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?'
28 Jonathan answered, 'David earnestly asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, 'Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrifice in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there. If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.' That is why he has not come to the king's table.'
30 Saul's anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, 'You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don't I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? 31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!'
32 Why should he be put to death? What has he done?' Jonathan asked his father. 33 But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.
34 Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; on that second day of the feast he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father's shameful treatment of David.
35 In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him, 36 and he said to the boy, 'Run and find the arrows I shoot.' As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy came to the place where Jonathan's arrow had fallen, Jonathan called out after him, 'Isn't the arrow beyond you?' 38 Then he shouted, 'Hurry! Go quickly! Don't stop!' The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. 39 (The boy knew nothing about all this; only Jonathan and David knew.) 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, 'Go, carry them back to town.'
41 After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together--but David wept the most.
42 Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, 'The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.'' Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.
English Standard Version

1 Then David fled from Naioth in 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 I have found favor in your eyes, and he thinks, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.’ But truly, as the LORD lives and as 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 the new moon, and I should not fail to sit at table with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field till the third day at evening. 6 If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice 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 harm is determined by him. 8 Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the LORD with you. But 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 it 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! 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, the 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. May 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 and do not cut off 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, “May the LORD take vengeance on David’s enemies.” 17 And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
18 Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed, because your 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. 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, as the LORD lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. 22 But if I say to the youth, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go, for the LORD has sent you away. 23 And as for the matter of which you and I have spoken, behold, the 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, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty.
26 Yet Saul did not say anything that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to him. He is not clean; surely he is not clean.” 27 But on the second day, the day after the new moon, David’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, “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, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33 But Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him. So Jonathan knew that 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, “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 heap 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, “Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.’” And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.
King James Version

1 And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life? 2 And he said unto him, God forbid; thou shalt not die: behold, my father will do nothing either great or small, but that he will shew it me: and why should my father hide this thing from me? it is not so. 3 And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death. 4 Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee. 5 And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even. 6 If thy father at all miss me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family. 7 If he say thus, It is well; thy servant shall have peace: but if he be very wroth, then be sure that evil is determined by him. 8 Therefore thou shalt deal kindly with thy servant; for thou hast brought thy servant into a covenant of the LORD with thee: notwithstanding, if there be in me iniquity, slay me thyself; for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father?
9 And Jonathan said, Far be it from thee: for if I knew certainly that evil were determined by my father to come upon thee, then would not I tell it thee? 10 Then said David to Jonathan, Who shall tell me? or what if thy father answer thee roughly? 11 And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field. 12 And Jonathan said unto David, O LORD God of Israel, when I have sounded my father about to morrow any time, or the third day, and, behold, if there be good toward David, and I then send not unto thee, and shew it thee; 13 The LORD do so and much more to Jonathan: but if it please my father to do thee evil, then I will shew it thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and the LORD be with thee, as he hath been with my father. 14 And thou shalt not only while yet I live shew me the kindness of the LORD, that I die not: 15 But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the LORD hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth. 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the LORD even require it at the hand of David's enemies. 17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul. 18 Then Jonathan said to David, To morrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty. 19 And when thou hast stayed three days, then thou shalt go down quickly, and come to the place where thou didst hide thyself when the business was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone Ezel. 20 And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark. 21 And, behold, I will send a lad, saying, Go, find out the arrows. If I expressly say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee, take them; then come thou: for there is peace to thee, and no hurt; as the LORD liveth. 22 But if I say thus unto the young man, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee; go thy way: for the LORD hath sent thee away. 23 And as touching the matter which thou and I have spoken of, behold, the LORD be between thee and me for ever.
24 So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat meat. 25 And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul's side, and David's place was empty. 26 Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean. 27 And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David's place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day? 28 And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem: 29 And he said, Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favour in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he cometh not unto the king's table. 30 Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother's nakedness? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die. 32 And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done? 33 And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David. 34 So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month: for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.
35 And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him. 36 And he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee? 38 And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not. And Jonathan's lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master. 39 But the lad knew not any thing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40 And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city. 41 And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded. 42 And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, The LORD be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.
New American Standard Bible

1 Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and he came and said to Jonathan, 'What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin before your father, that he is seeking my life?' 2 He said to him, 'Far from it, you shall not die! Behold, my father does nothing either great or small without informing me. So why would my father hide this thing from me? It is not so!' 3 Yet David vowed again, saying, 'Your father is well aware that I have found favor in your sight, and he has said, ‘Jonathan is not to know this, otherwise he will be worried.’ But indeed as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, there is just a step between me and death.' 4 Then Jonathan said to David, 'Whatever you say, I will do for you.' 5 So David said to Jonathan, 'Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I am obligated to sit down to eat with the king. But let me go so that I may hide myself in the field until the third evening. 6 If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly requested leave of me to run to Bethlehem, his city, because it is the yearly sacrifice there for the whole family.’ 7 If he says, ‘That is good,’ your servant will be safe; but if he is very angry, be aware that he has decided on evil. 8 So deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the LORD with you. But if I am guilty of wrongdoing, kill me yourself; for why then should you bring me to your father?' 9 Jonathan said, 'Far be it from you! For if I in fact learn that my father has decided to inflict harm on you, would I not inform you?' 10 Then David said to Jonathan, 'Who will inform me if your father answers you harshly?' 11 Jonathan said to David, 'Come, and let’s go out to the field.' So both of them went out to the field.
12 Then Jonathan said to David, 'The LORD, the God of Israel, is my witness! When I have sounded out my father about this time tomorrow or the third day, behold, if he has a good feeling toward you, shall I not then send word to you and inform you? 13 If it pleases my father to do you harm, may the LORD do so to me and more so, if I fail to inform you and send you away, so that you may go in safety. And may the LORD be with you as He has been with my father. 14 And if I am still alive, will you not show me the faithfulness of the LORD, so that I do not die? 15 And you shall never cut off your loyalty to my house, not even when the LORD cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.' 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, 'May the LORD demand it from the hands of David’s enemies.' 17 And Jonathan made David vow again because of his love for him, because he loved him as he loved his own life.
18 Then Jonathan said to him, 'Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed since your seat will be empty. 19 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 beside the stone Ezel. 20 And I will shoot three arrows to the side, as though I shot at a target. 21 Then behold, I will send the boy, telling him, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I specifically say to the boy, ‘Behold, the arrows are on this side of you, get them,’ then come, because it is safe for you and there is nothing to harm you, as the LORD lives. 22 But if I say to the youth, ‘Behold, the arrows are beyond you,’ go, because the LORD has sent you away. 23 As for the agreement of which you and I have spoken, behold, the 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 Now the king sat on his seat as usual, the seat by the wall; then Jonathan stood up and Abner sat down by Saul’s side; but David’s place was empty. 26 Nevertheless Saul did not say anything that day, because he thought, 'It must have been an accident; he is not clean, undoubtedly he is not clean.' 27 But it came about the next day, the second day of the new moon, that David’s place was empty again; so Saul said to his son Jonathan, 'Why has the son of Jesse not come to the meal, either yesterday or today?' 28 And Jonathan answered Saul, 'David earnestly requested leave of me to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Please let me go, because our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has ordered me to attend. So now, if I have found favor in your sight, please let me slip away so that I may see my brothers.’ For this reason he has not come to the king’s table.'
30 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? 31 For, as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now then, send men and bring him to me, for he is doomed to die!' 32 But Jonathan replied to his father Saul and said to him, 'Why must he be put to death? What has he done?' 33 Then Saul hurled his spear at him to strike and kill him; so Jonathan knew that his father had decided to put David to death. 34 Then Jonathan got up from the table in the heat of anger, and did not eat food on the second day of the new moon, because he was worried about David since his father had insulted him.
35 Now it came about in the morning that Jonathan went out to the field at the time agreed upon with David, and a little boy was with him. 36 He said to his boy, 'Run, find now the arrows which I am about to shoot.' The boy ran, and he shot an arrow past him. 37 When the boy reached the location of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the boy and said, 'Is the arrow not beyond you?' 38 Then Jonathan called after the boy, 'Hurry, be quick, do not stay!' And Jonathan’s boy picked up the arrow and came to his master. 39 But the boy was not aware of anything; only Jonathan and David knew about the matter. 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, 'Go, bring them to the city.' 41 When the boy was gone, David got up from the south side, then he fell on his face to the ground and bowed three times. And they kissed each other and wept together, until David wept immeasurably. 42 Then Jonathan said to David, 'Go in safety, since 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.’?' So David set out and went on his way, while Jonathan went into the city.
New Living Translation

1 David now fled from Naioth in Ramah and found Jonathan. 'What have I done?' he exclaimed. 'What is my crime? How have I offended your father that he is so determined to kill me?'
2 'That's not true!' Jonathan protested. 'You're not going to die. He always tells me everything he's going to do, even the little things. I know my father wouldn't hide something like this from me. It just isn't so!'
3 Then David took an oath before Jonathan and said, 'Your father knows perfectly well about our friendship, so he has said to himself, 'I won't tell Jonathan--why should I hurt him?' But I swear to you that I am only a step away from death! I swear it by the LORD and by your own soul!'
4 'Tell me what I can do to help you,' Jonathan exclaimed.
5 David replied, 'Tomorrow we celebrate the new moon festival. I've always eaten with the king on this occasion, but tomorrow I'll hide in the field and stay there until the evening of the third day. 6 If your father asks where I am, tell him I asked permission to go home to Bethlehem for an annual family sacrifice. 7 If he says, 'Fine!' you will know all is well. But if he is angry and loses his temper, you will know he is determined to kill me. 8 Show me this loyalty as my sworn friend--for we made a solemn pact before the LORD--or kill me yourself if I have sinned against your father. But please don't betray me to him!'
9 'Never!' Jonathan exclaimed. 'You know that if I had the slightest notion my father was planning to kill you, I would tell you at once.'
10 Then David asked, 'How will I know whether or not your father is angry?'
11 'Come out to the field with me,' Jonathan replied. And they went out there together. 12 Then Jonathan told David, 'I promise by the LORD, the God of Israel, that by this time tomorrow, or the next day at the latest, I will talk to my father and let you know at once how he feels about you. If he speaks favorably about you, I will let you know. 13 But if he is angry and wants you killed, may the LORD strike me and even kill me if I don't warn you so you can escape and live. May the LORD be with you as he used to be with my father. 14 And may you treat me with the faithful love of the LORD as long as I live. But if I die, 15 treat my family with this faithful love, even when the LORD destroys all your enemies from the face of the earth.'
16 So Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, saying, 'May the LORD destroy all your enemies!' 17 And Jonathan made David reaffirm his vow of friendship again, for Jonathan loved David as he loved himself.
18 Then Jonathan said, 'Tomorrow we celebrate the new moon festival. You will be missed when your place at the table is empty. 19 The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid before, and wait there by the stone pile. 20 I will come out and shoot three arrows to the side of the stone pile as though I were shooting at a target. 21 Then I will send a boy to bring the arrows back. If you hear me tell him, 'They're on this side,' then you will know, as surely as the LORD lives, that all is well, and there is no trouble. 22 But if I tell him, 'Go farther--the arrows are still ahead of you,' then it will mean that you must leave immediately, for the LORD is sending you away. 23 And may the LORD make us keep our promises to each other, for he has witnessed them.'
24 So David hid himself in the field, and when the new moon festival began, the king sat down to eat. 25 He sat at his usual place against the wall, with Jonathan sitting opposite him and Abner beside him. But David's place was empty. 26 Saul didn't say anything about it that day, for he said to himself, 'Something must have made David ceremonially unclean.' 27 But when David's place was empty again the next day, Saul asked Jonathan, 'Why hasn't the son of Jesse been here for the meal either yesterday or today?'
28 Jonathan replied, 'David earnestly asked me if he could go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, 'Please let me go, for we are having a family sacrifice. My brother demanded that I be there. So please let me get away to see my brothers.' That's why he isn't here at the king's table.'
30 Saul boiled with rage at Jonathan. 'You stupid son of a whore!' he swore at him. 'Do you think I don't know that you want him to be king in your place, shaming yourself and your mother? 31 As long as that son of Jesse is alive, you'll never be king. Now go and get him so I can kill him!'
32 'But why should he be put to death?' Jonathan asked his father. 'What has he done?' 33 Then Saul hurled his spear at Jonathan, intending to kill him. So at last Jonathan realized that his father was really determined to kill David.
34 Jonathan left the table in fierce anger and refused to eat on that second day of the festival, for he was crushed by his father's shameful behavior toward David.
35 The next morning, as agreed, Jonathan went out into the field and took a young boy with him to gather his arrows. 36 'Start running,' he told the boy, 'so you can find the arrows as I shoot them.' So the boy ran, and Jonathan shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy had almost reached the arrow, Jonathan shouted, 'The arrow is still ahead of you. 38 Hurry, hurry, don't wait.' So the boy quickly gathered up the arrows and ran back to his master. 39 He, of course, suspected nothing; only Jonathan and David understood the signal. 40 Then Jonathan gave his bow and arrows to the boy and told him to take them back to town.
41 As soon as the boy was gone, David came out from where he had been hiding near the stone pile. Then David bowed three times to Jonathan with his face to the ground. Both of them were in tears as they embraced each other and said good-bye, especially David.
42 At last Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, for we have sworn loyalty to each other in the LORD's name. The LORD is the witness of a bond between us and our children forever.' Then David left, and Jonathan returned to the town.
Christian Standard Bible

1 David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came to Jonathan and asked, "What have I done? What did I do wrong? How have I sinned against your father so that he wants to take my life? "
2 Jonathan said to him, "No, you won't die. Listen, my father doesn't do anything, great or small, without telling me. So why would he hide this matter from me? This can't be true."
3 But David said, "Your father certainly knows that I have found favor with you. He has said, 'Jonathan must not know of this, or else he will be grieved.' " David also swore, "As surely as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death."
4 Jonathan said to David, "Whatever you say, I will do for you."
5 So David told him, "Look, tomorrow is the New Moon, and I'm supposed to sit down and eat with the king. Instead, let me go, and I'll hide in the countryside for the next two nights. 6 If your father misses me at all, say, 'David urgently requested my permission to go quickly to his hometown, Bethlehem, for an annual sacrifice there involving the whole clan.' 7 If he says, 'Good,' then your servant is safe, but if he becomes angry, you will know he has evil intentions. 8 Deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought me into a covenant with you before the Lord. If I have done anything wrong, then kill me yourself; why take me to your father? "
9 "No! " Jonathan responded. "If I ever find out my father has evil intentions against you, wouldn't I tell you about it? "
10 So David asked Jonathan, "Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly? "
11 He answered David, "Come on, let's go out to the countryside." So both of them went out to the countryside. 12 "By the Lord, the God of Israel, I will sound out my father by this time tomorrow or the next day. If I find out that he is favorable toward you, will I not send for you and tell you? 13 If my father intends to bring evil on you, may the Lord punish Jonathan and do so severely if I do not tell you and send you away so you may leave safely. May the Lord be with you, just as he was with my father. 14 If I continue to live, show me kindness from the Lord, but if I die, 15 don't ever withdraw your kindness from my household--not even when the Lord cuts off every one of David's enemies from the face of the earth." 16 Then Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "May the Lord hold David's enemies accountable." 17 Jonathan once again swore to David in his love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.
18 Then Jonathan said to him, "Tomorrow is the New Moon; you'll be missed because your seat will be empty. 19 The following day hurry down and go to the place where you hid on the day this incident began and stay beside the rock Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows beside it as if I'm aiming at a target. 21 Then I will send a servant and say, 'Go and find the arrows! ' Now, if I expressly say to the servant, 'Look, the arrows are on this side of you--get them,' then come, because as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no problem. 22 But if I say this to the youth, 'Look, the arrows are beyond you! ' then go, for the Lord is sending you away. 23 As for the matter you and I have spoken about, the Lord will be a witness between you and me forever."
24 So David hid in the countryside.At the New Moon, the king sat down to eat the meal. 25 He sat at his usual place on the seat by the wall. Jonathan sat facing him and Abner took his place beside Saul, but David's place was empty. 26 Saul did not say anything that day because he thought, "Something unexpected has happened; he must be ceremonially unclean--yes, that's it, he is unclean."
27 However, the day after the New Moon, the second day, David's place was still empty, and Saul asked his son Jonathan, "Why didn't Jesse's son come to the meal either yesterday or today? "
28 Jonathan answered, "David asked for my permission to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, 'Please let me go because our clan is holding a sacrifice in the town, and my brother has told me to be there. So now, if I have found favor with you, let me go so I can see my brothers.' That's why he didn't come to the king's table."
30 Then Saul became angry with Jonathan and shouted, "You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don't I know that you are siding with Jesse's son to your own shame and to the disgrace of your mother? 31 Every day Jesse's son lives on earth you and your kingship are not secure. Now send for him and bring him to me--he must die! "
32 Jonathan answered his father back, "Why is he to be killed? What has he done? "
33 Then Saul threw his spear at Jonathan to kill him, so he knew that his father was determined to kill David. 34 He got up from the table fiercely angry and did not eat any food that second day of the New Moon, for he was grieved because of his father's shameful behavior toward David.
35 In the morning Jonathan went out to the countryside for the appointed meeting with David. A young servant was with him. 36 He said to the servant, "Run and find the arrows I'm shooting." As the servant ran, Jonathan shot an arrow beyond him. 37 He came to the location of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, but Jonathan called to him and said, "The arrow is beyond you, isn't it? " 38 Then Jonathan called to him, "Hurry up and don't stop! " Jonathan's servant picked up the arrow and returned to his master. 39 He did not know anything; only Jonathan and David knew the arrangement. 40 Then Jonathan gave his equipment to the servant who was with him and said, "Go, take it back to the city."
41 When the servant had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone Ezel, fell facedown to the ground, and paid homage three times. Then he and Jonathan kissed each other and wept with each other, though David wept more.
42 Jonathan then said to David, "Go in the assurance the two of us pledged in the name of the Lord when we said, 'The Lord will be a witness between you and me and between my offspring and your offspring forever.' " Then David left, and Jonathan went into the city.

What does 1 Samuel chapter 20 mean?

Coming Soon!