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The Story of the Love of David and Jonathan,
(From the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 23d, 24th, 26th, and 31st Chapters of 1 SAMUEL.)
And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, the giant Goliath of Gath, he said unto Abner the captain of the host, “ Abner, whose son is this youth ?” And Abner said, “ As thy soul liveth, 0 king, I cannot tell.” And the king said, “Inquire thou whose son the stripling is.” And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul, with the head of the Philistine in his hand. And Saul said unto him, “ Whose son art thou, thou young man ?” And David answered, “I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Beth-lehemite." And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him go no more home to his father's house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely : and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants. And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands : and what can he have more but the kingdom ?” And Saul eyed David from that day and forward with envy.
And Saul sought to kill David. But Jonathan loved David, and told him, saying, “Saul, my father, seeketh to kill thee; now therefore hide thyself, and I will plead with my father for thee.” And Saul hearkened unto Jonathan and sware, “ As the Lord liveth he shall not be slain.” So Jonathan brought David again unto Saul, and he was in his presence as in time past.
And there was war again: and David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter; and they fled from him. And an evil spirit came upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand. And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall : and David fled, and escaped that night.
THE LOVE OF DAVID AND JONATHAN.
And afterwards David came and said unto Jonathan, “ What have I done ? and what is my sin that thy father should seek my life? For truly now there is but a step between me and death!” Then said Jonathan unto David, “ Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee.” And David made a covenant with Jonathan, that he would show kindness unto him and unto his seed forever.
And Jonathan loved David as his own soul. And Jonathan said, “ To-morrow is the feast of the new moon, and thou wilt be missed because thy seat will be empty; and after three days come thou and hide in the field, and I will go out and shoot arrows; and if I say unto the lad the arrow is on this side, behold my father is not angry, and thou mayest come and fear not; but if I say the arrows are beyond thee then thou must flee, and the Lord go with thee.”
And when the new moon was come, the king sat down to meat. And David's place was empty. And Saul said unto Jonathan his son, " Wherefore cometh not David to meat ?” And Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Beth-lehem; and he said, “Let me go I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother hath commanded me to be there;' therefore he cometh not to the king's table.” Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he cast a javelin at him. But Jonathan arose from the table in anger, for he was grieved for David when he saw that Saul, his father, was determined to slay him.
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. And he said unto the lad, “Run and find the arrows which I shoot.” And as the lad ran he shot an arrow over beyond him—and Jonathan cailed after the lad, “The arrow is beyond thee." And the lad gathered up the arrows and came to his master; and Jonathan gave his bow and arrows unto his lad, and said unto him, “Go carry them to the city.” And as soon as the lad was gone, David came out of his hiding-place. And Jonathan and David kissed one another and wept. And Jonathan said unto 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.
And David abode in the wilderness; and Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand. And Jonathan, Saul's son, arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God. And he said unto him, “ Fear not; for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth.” And they two made a covenant before the Lord : and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his own house.
And it came to pass that on a day while Saul was seeking David, that Saul was weary and went into a cave and fell asleep. Now David and his men were hid in the cave; and they said unto David, “Behold now hath the Lord delivered THE LOVE OF DAVID AND JONATHAN..
thine enemy into thy hand.” But David said, “ The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth my hand against my master, the Lord's anointed !” So David suffered them not to rise against Saul ; but he cut off the skirt of Saul's robe. And when Saul arose and went on his way, David arose afterward, and went out of the cave and cried after Saul, saying, “My lord, the king !” And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth and bowed himself. And David said unto Saul, “Wherefore hearest thou men's words, saying: “Behold, David seeketh thy hurt?' Behold, this day thou wert delivered into my hand in the cave; and some bade me kill thee; but I spared thee.' And I said, “I will not put forth my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord's anointed. Moreover, my father, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand; I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not; therefore, know thou that there is no evil in my hand, and I have not sinned against thee; and yet thou huntest my soul to take it.”
And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, “ Is this thy voice, my son David ?” And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. And he said to David, “ Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil. And thou hast showed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the Lord had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not. The Lord reward thee good for that thou hast done this day;” and Saul went home, and David returned to the cave.