1David ran away from the Naioth section of Ramah city. He went to Jonathan and asked him, “What have I done to displease your father? What did I do that was wrong? Why is he trying to kill me?”
2Jonathan replied, “My father is surely not trying to kill you! He always tells me before he does anything that he is planning. He tells me about important things and unimportant things that he plans to do. ◄Why would he refuse to tell me if he were planning to kill me?/I am sure that he would not refuse to tell me if he were planning to kill you. ► RHQ So what you are saying cannot be true.”
3Then David solemnly declared this to Jonathan: “Your father knows very well that you and I are very good friends, so he says to himself, ‘I will not tell Jonathan what I am going to do. If I tell Jonathan, he will be upset/distressed, and then he will tell David.’ But just as certain as Yahweh lives and you live, I am only one step away from being killed.”
4Jonathan said to David, “I will do whatever you tell me to do.”
5David replied, “Tomorrow we will celebrate the Festival of the New Moon. I always eat with the king at that festival. But tomorrow I will hide in the field, and I will stay there for one night. I will stay there until the evening of the day after tomorrow.
6If your father asks why I am not there at the festival, say to him, ‘David requested me to allow him to go to his home in Bethlehem, where his family will offer the sacrifice that they offer during this festival every year.’
7If your father says ‘That is okay’, then I know I will be safe. But if he becomes extremely angry, you will know that he is determined to harm me.
8Please be kind to me. Yahweh heard you when you made a solemn agreement with me that you and I will always be loyal friends. If I deserve to be punished MTY, kill me yourself. I do not want RHQ you to allow your father to punish IDM me.”
9Jonathan replied, “I will never do that! But if I find out that my father is determined to harm/kill you, I will certainly warn you.” RHQ
10David asked him, “How will I find out if your father answers you harshly?”
11Jonathan replied, “Come with me. We will go out into the field.” So they went together out into the field.
12There Jonathan said to David, “I promise this while Yahweh, the God whom we Israelis worship, is listening: At this time the day after tomorrow, I will find out what my father is thinking about you. If he is saying good things about you, I will certainly send a message to you to tell that to you RHQ.
13But if he is planning to hurt/kill you, I will enable you to know IDM that, and enable you to go away safely. I desire that Yahweh will punish me severely if I do not do that for you. I desire/hope that Yahweh will be with you and help you like he has helped my father.
14But while I am still alive, please be kind to me in the same way that Yahweh is kind to me, and do not kill me when you become king.
15But if I die, never stop beng kind to my family, even after Yahweh has gotten rid of all your enemies all over the earth.”
16David agreed. So Jonathan made a solemn agreement with David. And he said, “I hope/desire that Yahweh will get rid of all your enemies.”
17And Jonathan requested David to repeat his solemn promise to be his close friend, because Jonathan loved David as much as he loved himself.
18Then Jonathan said, “Tomorrow we will celebrate the Festival of the New Moon. When you are not sitting at your place when we eat, my father will ◄miss you/see that you are not there►.
19The day after tomorrow, in the evening, go to the place where you hid before. Wait by the pile of stones.
20I will come out and shoot three arrows as though I were trying to shoot at a target. The arrows will hit the ground close to the pile of stones.
21Then I will send a boy to bring the arrows back to me. If you hear me say to him, ‘They are closer to me’, then as surely as Yahweh lives, you will know that everything is fine, and that Saul will not kill you.
22But if I tell him, ‘The arrows are farther away’, you will know that you must leave immediately, because Yahweh wants you to run away.
23I hope/desire that Yahweh will watch you and me and enable us to never forget what we have promised each other.”
24So David went and hid in the field. When the Festival of the New Moon started, the king sat down to eat.
25He sat where he usually sat, close to the wall. Jonathan sat across from him, and Abner the army commander sat next to Saul. But no one was sitting in the place where David usually sat.
26On that day, Saul did not say anything about David, because he was thinking, “Something must have happened that caused David to become unacceptable to worship God.”
27But the next day, when David was not sitting at the place where he usually sat, Saul asked Jonathan, “Why has that son of Jesse not been here to eat with us yesterday and today?”
28Jonathan replied, “David earnestly requested me that I permit him to go to Bethlehem.
29He said, ‘Please allow me to go, because our family is going to offer a sacrifice. My older brother insisted that I be there. So please allow me to go to be with my older brothers.’ I allowed David to go, and that is the reason that he is not here eating with you.”
30Saul was ◄furious/very angry► with Jonathan. He yelled at him, “You stupid bastard EUP! I know that you are being loyal to that son of Jesse. By doing that, you will bring shame to yourself and to your mother.
31As long as Jesse's son is living, you will never become the king, and you will never rule over a kingdom! So now, summon David, and bring him to me. He must be executed!”
32Jonathan asked his father, “Why should David be executed? What wrong has he done?”
33Then Saul threw his spear at Jonathan in order to kill him, but the spear did not hit him. So Jonathan knew that his father really wanted to kill David.
34Jonathan was very angry, and he left the room. On that second day of the festival, he refused to eat anything. He was disgusted about what his father had done, and he was worried about David.
35The following morning Jonathan went out to the field to give a message to David, like he had agreed that he would do. He took a young boy with him.
36Jonathan said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows that I shoot.” The boy started running, and Jonathan shot an arrow ahead of the boy.
37When the boy ran to the place where the arrow hit the ground, Jonathan called out, “The arrow is further away!” RHQ
38Then he shouted to the boy, “Act quickly; do not wait! Do not stop!” The boy picked up the arrow and brought it back to Jonathan.
39But the boy did not understand the meaning of what Jonathan had said; only Jonathan and David knew.
40Then Jonathan gave his bow and arrows to the boy and told him, “Go back to the town.”
41When the boy left, David came out from the south side of the pile of stones behind which he had been hiding. He went to Jonathan and bowed in front of Jonathan three times, with his face touching the ground. Then David and Jonathan kissed each other on the cheek/neck, and they cried together. But David cried more than Jonathan.
42Jonathan said to David, “May things go well for you as you go. Yahweh has heard what we solemnly promised to always do for each other, and what we said that our descendants must do for each other.” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.