1 Samuel 18-20 Bible in Basic English

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Jonathan's Covenant with David

18 1  Now after David's talk with Saul was ended, the soul of Jonathan was joined with the soul of David, and David became as dear to him as his very life. 2  And that day Saul took David and would not let him go back to his father's house. 3  Then Jonathan and David made an agreement together, because of Jonathan's love for David. 4  And Jonathan took off the robe he had on and gave it to David, with all his military dress, even to his sword and his bow and the band round his body. 5  And David went wherever Saul sent him, and did wisely: and Saul put him at the head of his men of war, and this was pleasing to all the people as well as to Saul's servants.

Saul Becomes Jealous of David

6  Now on their way, when David came back after the destruction of the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, with songs and dances, meeting David with melody and joy and instruments of music. 7  And the women, answering one another in their song, said, Saul has put to death his thousands and David his tens of thousands. 8  And Saul was very angry and this saying was unpleasing to him; and he said, They have given David credit for tens of thousands, and to me for only thousands: what more is there for him but the kingdom? 9  And from that day Saul was looking with envy on David. 10  Now on the day after, an evil spirit from God came on Saul with great force and he was acting like a prophet among the men of his house, while David was making music for him, as he did day by day: and Saul had his spear in his hand. 11  And Saul, balancing the spear in his hand, said, I will give David a blow, pinning him to the wall. And David got away from him twice.

12  And Saul went in fear of David, because the Lord was with David and had gone away from Saul. 13  So Saul sent him away, and made him a captain over a thousand; and he went about his business before the people. 14  And in all his undertakings David did wisely; and the Lord was with him. 15  And when Saul saw how wisely he did, he was in fear of him. 16  But David was loved by all Israel and Judah, for he went out and came in before them. 17  And Saul said to David, Here is my oldest daughter Merab, whom I will give you for your wife: only be strong for me, fighting in the Lord's wars. For Saul said, Let it not be through me that his fate comes to him, but through the Philistines. 18  And David said to Saul, Who am I, and what is my father's family in Israel, that I am to be son-in-law to the king? 19  But when the time came to give Merab, Saul's daughter, to David, she was given to Adriel of Meholath. 20  And Saul's daughter Michal was in love with David: and Saul had word of it and was pleased. 21  And Saul said, I will give her to him, so that she may be a cause of danger to him, and so that the hands of the Philistines may be against him. So Saul said to David, Today you are to become my son-in-law for the second time. 22  And Saul gave his servants orders saying, Have talk with David secretly and say to him, See how the king has delight in you, and how you are loved by all his servants: then be the king's son-in-law. 23  And Saul's servants said these things to David. And David said, Does it seem to you a small thing to be the king's son-in-law, seeing that I am a poor man, of no great name? 24  And the servants of Saul gave him an account of what David had said. 25  And Saul said, Then say to David, The king has no desire for any bride-price, but only for the private parts of a hundred Philistines so that the king may get the better of his haters. But it was in Saul's mind that David might come to his end by the hands of the Philistines. 26  And when his servants said these words to David, he was well pleased to be the son-in-law of the king. And the days were still not past. 27  So David and his men got up and went, and put to death two hundred of the Philistines; and David took their private parts and gave the full number of them to the king, so that he might be the king's son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for his wife. 28  And it was clear to Saul that the Lord was with David; and he was loved by all Israel. 29  And Saul's fear of David became all the greater, and he went on hating him, day by day. 30  Then the rulers of the Philistines went out to war: and whenever they went out, David did more wisely than all the other servants of Saul, so that his name became greatly honoured.

Saul Seeks to Kill David

19 1  And Saul gave orders to his son Jonathan and to all his servants to put David to death. But Saul's son Jonathan had great delight in David. 2  And Jonathan said to David, Saul, my father, is purposing your death: so now, take care in the morning, and keep yourself safe in a secret place: 3  And I will go out and take my place by my father's side in the field near where you are; and I will get into talk with my father about you, and when I see how things are, I will give you word. 4  And Jonathan gave his father Saul a good account of David, and said to him, Let not the king do wrong against his servant, against David; because he has done you no wrong, and all his acts have had a good outcome for you: 5  For he put his life in danger and overcame the Philistine, and the Lord gave all Israel salvation: you saw it and were glad: why then are you sinning against him who has done no wrong, desiring the death of David without cause? 6  And Saul gave ear to the voice of Jonathan, and said with an oath, By the living Lord, he is not to be put to death. 7  Then Jonathan sent for David and gave him word of all these things. And Jonathan took David to Saul, who kept him by his side as in the past.

8  And there was war again: and David went out fighting the Philistines, causing great destruction among them; and they went in flight before him. 9  And an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul, when he was seated in his house with his spear in his hand; and David made music for him. 10  And Saul would have sent his spear through him, pinning him to the wall, but he got away and the spear went into the wall: and that night David went in flight and got away.

11  Then in that night Saul sent men to David's house to keep watch on him so as to put him to death in the morning: and David's wife Michal said to him, If you do not go away to a safe place tonight you will be put to death in the morning. 12  So Michal let David down through the window, and he went in flight and got away. 13  Then Michal took the image and put it in the bed, with a cushion of goat's hair at its head, and she put clothing over it. 14  And when Saul sent men to take David, she said, He is ill. 15  And Saul sent his men to see David, saying, Do not come back without him, take him in his bed, so that I may put him to death. 16  And when the men came in, there was the image in the bed, with the cushion of goat's hair at its head 17  And Saul said to Michal, why have you been false to me, letting my hater go and get safely away? And in answer Michal said to Saul, He said to me, Let me go, or I will put you to death.

18  So David went in flight and got away and came to Ramah, to Samuel, and gave him an account of all Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and were living in Naioth. 19  And word was given to Saul that David was at Naioth in Ramah. 20  And Saul sent men to take David; and when they saw the band of prophets at work, with Samuel in his place at their head, the spirit of God came on Saul's men, and they became like prophets. 21  And Saul, having news of this, sent other men, who in the same way became like prophets. And a third time Saul sent men, and they like the others became like prophets. 22  Then he himself went to Ramah, and came to the great water-spring in Secu; and questioning the people he said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, They are at Naioth in Ramah. 23  And he went on from there to Naioth in Ramah: and the spirit of God came on him, and he went on, acting like a prophet, till he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24  And he took off his clothing, acting like a prophet before Samuel, and falling down he was stretched out, without his clothing, all that day and all that night. This is the reason for the saying, Is even Saul among the prophets?

The Friendship of David and Jonathan

20 1  And David went in flight from Naioth in Ramah and came to Jonathan and said, What have I done? What is my crime and my sin against your father that he is attempting to take my life? 2  And he said to him, Far be the thought: you will not be put to death: see, my father does nothing, great or small, without giving me word of it: would he keep this secret from me? It is not so. 3  But David took his oath again and said, Your father sees that I am dear to you; so he says to himself, Let Jonathan have no idea of this, for it will be a grief to him; but as the Lord is living, and as your soul is living, there is only a step between me and death. 4  Then Jonathan said to David, Whatever your desire is, I will do it for you. 5  And David said to Jonathan, Tomorrow is the new moon, and I will not be seated with the king at his table: but let me go to a safe place in the country till the evening. 6  And if your father takes note of the fact that I am away, say, David made a request to me for himself that he might go to Beth-lehem, to his town: for it is the time when his family make their offering year by year. 7  If he says, It is well, your servant will be at peace: but if he is angry, then it will be clear to you that he has an evil purpose in mind against me. 8  So, then, be kind to your servant; for you have been united with your servant in an agreement made before the Lord: but if there is any wrongdoing in me, put me to death yourself; why take me to your father?

9  And Jonathan said, Do not have such a thought: for if I saw that my father was designing evil against you, would I not give you word of it? 10  Then David said to Jonathan, Who will give me word if your father gives you a rough answer? 11  And Jonathan said to David, Come, let us go out into the country. And the two of them went out together into the open country. 12  And Jonathan said to David, May the Lord, the God of Israel, be witness; when I have had a chance of talking to my father, about this time tomorrow, if his feelings to David are good, will I not send and give you the news? 13  May the Lord's punishment be on Jonathan, if it is my father's pleasure to do you evil and I do not give you word of it and send you away so that you may go in peace: and may the Lord be with you, as he has been with my father. 14  And may you, while I am still living, O may you be kind to me, as the Lord is kind, and keep me from death! 15  And let not your mercy ever be cut off from my family, even when the Lord has sent destruction on all David's haters, cutting them off from the face of the earth. 16  And if it comes about that the name of Jonathan is cut off from the family of David, the Lord will make David responsible. 17  And Jonathan again took an oath to David, because of his love for him: for David was as dear to him as his very soul. 18  Then Jonathan said to him, Tomorrow is the new moon: and it will be seen that you are not present, for there will be no one in your seat. 19  And on the third day it will be specially noted, and you will go to the place where you took cover when the other business was in hand, waiting by the hill over there. 20  And on the third day I will send arrows from my bow against its side as if at a mark. 21  And I will send my boy to have a look for the arrow. And if I say to him, See, the arrow is on this side of you; take it up! then you may come; for there is peace for you and no evil, by the living Lord. 22  But if I say to the boy, See, the arrow has gone past you: then go on your way, for the Lord has sent you away. 23  As for what you and I were talking of, the Lord is between you and me for ever.

24  So David went to a secret place in the country: and when the new moon came, the king took his place at the feast. 25  And the king took his seat, as at other times, by the wall: and Jonathan was in front, and Abner was seated by Saul's side, but there was no one in David's seat. 26  But Saul said nothing that day, for his thought was, Something has taken place making him unclean; it is clear that he is not clean. 27  And on the day after the new moon, that is, the second day, there was still no one in David's seat: and Saul said to his son Jonathan, Why has the son of Jesse not come to the feast yesterday or today? 28  And answering Saul, Jonathan said, He made a request to me that he might go to Beth-lehem, 29  Saying, Our family is making an offering in the town, and my brothers have given me orders to be there: so now, if I have grace in your eyes, let me go away and see my brothers. This is why he has not come to the king's table. 30  Then Saul was moved to wrath against Jonathan, and he said to him, You son of an evil and uncontrolled woman, have I not seen how you have given your love to the son of Jesse, to your shame and the shame of your mother? 31  For while the son of Jesse is living on the earth, your position is unsafe and your kingdom is in danger. So make him come here to me, for it is certainly right for him to be put to death. 32  And Jonathan, answering his father Saul, said to him, Why is he to be put to death? What has he done? 33  And Saul, pointing his spear at him, made an attempt to give him a wound: from which it was clear to Jonathan that his father's purpose was to put David to death. 34  So Jonathan got up from the table, burning with wrath, and took no part in the feast the second day of the month, being full of grief for David because his father had put shame on him.

35  Now in the morning, Jonathan went out into the fields at the time he had said to David, and he had a little boy with him. 36  And he said to the boy, Go and get the arrow I let loose from my bow. And while the boy was running, he sent an arrow past him. 37  And when the boy came to the place where the arrow was, Jonathan, crying out after the boy, said, Has it not gone past you? 38  And Jonathan went on crying out after the boy, Be quick, do not keep waiting about, go quickly. And Jonathan's boy got the arrow and came back to his master. 39  But the boy had no idea what was going on; only Jonathan and David had knowledge of it. 40  And Jonathan gave his bow and arrows to the boy, and said to him, Take these and go back to the town. 41  And when the boy had gone, David came from his secret place by the hill, and falling to the earth went down on his face three times: and they gave one another a kiss, weeping together, till David's grief was the greater. 42  And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, for we two have taken an oath, in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord will be between me and you, and between my seed and your seed for ever. Then David went away, and Jonathan went into the town.

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