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Jehovah’s Witnesses


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The Bible in Living English

1 Samuel 20:1-42

20  And David fled away from Nothab-Ramah. And he came and said in conversation with Jonathan “What have I done? what is my crime? what wrong have I done before your father, that he is hunting for my life?” 2  And he said to him “Away with the thought! you are not to die; why, my father does not do anything great or small without disclosing it to me, and how should my father conceal this thing from me? there is nothing to it.” 3*  But David answered again “Your father knows perfectly well that you like me, and he thinks ‘Let Jonathan not know this, for fear he should be pained’; but, by Jehovah and by your life, I am just about a pace from death.” 4  And Jonathan said to David “What would you suggests? and I will do it for you.” 5  And David said to Jonathan “Here it is new moon tomorrow, and I should sit down with the king to eat: give me leave of absence, and I will conceal myself out on the range till the third evening. 6  If your father should miss me, say ‘David asked leave of me to run to his city Bethlehem, because all the clan has an annual sacrifice there.’ 7  If he says ‘All right,’ your servant is safe; but if he is angry, be sure I am in for trouble from him, 8  and act a friend’s part by your servant (since you have taken your servant into a pledge in the name of Jehovah) and if there is crime in me, kill me yourself: what should you bring me to your father for?” 9  And Jonathan said “Away with the thought; if I do find that trouble is due to come upon you from my father, of course I will tell you of it.” 10  And David said to Jonathan “Who shall tell me if your father gives you a hard answer?” 11  And Jonathan said to David “Come out on the range”; and the two of them went out on the range. 12  And Jonathan said to David “Jehovah the God of Israel be witness: when I sound my father, right away tomorrow, and find that he is or is not well-disposed toward David, then I will send to you and give you notice. 13*  Jehovah do so to Jonathan, and more, but if my father is thinking fit to do you mischief I will give you notice and send you off to go where good shall betide you. And may Jehovah be with you as he has been with my father; 14  and if I should still be alive, I hope you will befriend me for Jehovah’s sake; and if I should be dead, 15  you will never cut off your friendship from my family, nor, when Jehovah cuts off David’s enemies each of them from the face of the earth, 16*  Jonathan be cut off from alongside David’s family; and may Jehovah hold David’s enemies to account.” 17*  And again Jonathan swore David, in the love that he had for him, because he loved him the same as himself. 18  And Jonathan said to David “Tomorrow it is new moon, and you will be missed because your seat will be vacant. 19**  And the third day lie very low, and come to the place where you concealed yourself on the day of the affair, and sit down beside yonder mound; 20*  and I will shoot roving arrows to one side of it, roving at a mark. 21*  And I will send the boy and tell him ‘Go find the arrow’; if I say to the boy ‘Here, the arrow is this side of you; pick it up,’ come, because you are safe and there is nothing afoot, by Jehovah. 22  But if I say to the boy ‘There, the arrow is beyond you,’ go, because Jehovah has sent you away. 23  And as to the promise you and I have given, Jehovah is between you and me forever.” 24*  And David concealed himself on the range; and new moon came, and the king sat down to his meal. 25  And the king sat in his place as usual, in the wall seat, and Jonathan was in front and Abner sat at Saul’s side, and David’s place was vacant. 26  And Saul said nothing that day, because he thought “He has had something happen; he is not clean because he has not purified himself.” 27  And on the day after the new moon, the second, David’s place was vacant, and Saul said to his son Jonathan “How comes it Jesse’s son did not come to the meal either yesterday or today?” 28  And Jonathan answered Saul “David got leave of me for a trip to Bethlehem, 29  and said ‘Give me leave of absence, because we have a clan sacrifice in the city, and here my brothers have summoned me; now please let me get off to see my brothers’; that is why he has not come to the king’s table.” 30  And Saul was angry at Jonathan and said to him “You son of disorderly girls, don’t I know you are associated with Jesse’s son to bring yourself to grief, yourself and your mother’s nakedness? 31  because just as long as Jesse’s son is alive above ground your kingship will not be secure. Now send and fetch him to me, for his life is forfeit.” 32  And Jonathan answered his father Saul “What should he die for? what has he done?” 33  and Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him; and Jonathan knew his father was bound to put David to death. 34  And Jonathan rose from the table in anger, and ate no food the second day of the moon, because he was pained about David, because his father had insulted him. 35  And in the morning Jonathan went out on the range to keep his appointment with David, taking a small boy with him, 36  and said to his boy “Run and find the arrows I shoot.” As the boy was running he shot an arrow to go beyond him; 37  and when the boy came to the place where the arrow Jonathan had shot was, Jonathan called after the boy “Why, the arrow is beyond you.” 38  And Jonathan called after the boy “Be quick, hurry up, don’t stand still”; and Jonathan’s boy picked up the arrow and brought it to his master, 39  the boy not knowing anything—only Jonathan and David knew the idea. 40  And Jonathan gave his boy the equipment he had, and said “Go take it into the city”; 41*  and the boy went in, and David stood up from beside the mound and threw himself down flat on his face and did reverence three times; and they kissed each other and wept for each other till broad day. 42**  And Jonathan said to David “Go, and good betide you; and as to what we have both sworn in Jehovah’s name, Jehovah shall be between you and me, and between your descendants and mine, forever”; and David went away, and Jonathan went into the city.


20:3 Var. swore again
20:13 Var. God do so
20:16 Var. Jonathan’s name be cut off Var. cut off with David’s family Var. cut off with Saul’s family Conj.* from my family; and if, when Jehovah cuts off David’s enemies each of them from the face of the earth, Jonathan shall be cut off from alongside David’s family, may Jehovah
20:17 Var. swore to David
20:19 Susp.; unc.
20:19 Or were concealed
20:20 Codd. shoot three arrows
20:21 Codd. this side of you,” take him and come
20:24 Lit. sat down over the bread to eat
20:41 Codd. till David made it great Var. till great consummation
20:42 Codd. in Jehovah’s name, ‘Jehovah shall be between you and me, and between your posterity and mine, forever,’—”
20:42 Lit. he went away