1 Samuel 20-21
David Makes a Promise to Jonathan
20 David fled from the pastures at Ramah, came to Jonathan, and asked, “What have I done? What crime am I guilty of? What sin have I committed against your father that he’s trying to kill me?”
2 Jonathan answered, “That’s unthinkable! You’re not going to die! My father does nothing without telling me, whether it’s important or not. Why should my father hide this from me? It’s just not that way.”
3 But David took an oath, saying, “Your father certainly knows that you support me, so he said to himself, ‘Jonathan must not know about this. It will bring him distress.’ But I solemnly swear, as Yahweh and you live, I’m only one step away from death.”
4 Jonathan said to David, “I’ll do whatever you say.”
5 David replied, “Tomorrow is the New Moon Festival, when I should sit and eat at the king’s table. But let me go and hide in the countryside for two more nights. 6 If your father really misses me, tell him, ‘David repeatedly begged me to let him run to Bethlehem, his hometown, because his relatives are offering the annual sacrifice there.’ 7 If he says, ‘Good!’ then I will be safe. But if he gets really angry, then you’ll know for sure that he has decided to harm me. 8 Now, be kind to me. After all, you forced me into an agreement with Yahweh. If I have committed any crime, kill me yourself. Why bother taking me to your father?”
9 Jonathan answered, “That’s unthinkable! If I knew for sure that my father had decided to harm you, I would have told you about it.”
10 Then David asked, “Who will tell me whether or not your father gives you a harsh answer?”
11 Jonathan said, “Let’s go out into the country.” So they went out into the country.
12 “As Yahweh Elohim of Israel is my witness,” Jonathan continued, “I’ll find out in the next two or three days how my father feels about you. If he does feel kindly toward you, then I will send someone to tell you. 13 If my father plans to harm you and I fail to tell you and send you away safely, may Yahweh harm me even more. May Yahweh be with you as he used to be with my father. 14 But as long as I live, promise me that you will show me kindness because of Yahweh. And even when I die, 15 never stop being kind to my family. Yahweh will wipe each of David’s enemies off the face of the earth. 16 At that time, if Jonathan’s name[a] is cut off from David’s family, then may Yahweh punish David’s house.”[b]
17 Once again Jonathan swore an oath to David because of his love for David. He loved David as much as he loved himself. 18 “Tomorrow is the New Moon Festival,” Jonathan told him, “and you will be missed when your seat is empty. 19 The day after tomorrow you will be missed even more.[c] So go to the place where you hid on that other occasion, and stay by the rock. 20 I will shoot three arrows from beside it toward a target. 21 Then I will send out a boy and say, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ Now, if I tell the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are next to you; get them,’ then come back with me. You will be safe, and there will be no trouble. I swear it, as Yahweh lives. 22 But if I tell the boy, ‘The arrows are next to you,’ then go, because Yahweh has sent you away. 23 We have made a promise to each other, and Yahweh is a witness between you and me forever.”
24 So David hid in the countryside. When the New Moon Festival came, King Saul sat down to eat the festival meal. 25 He sat in his usual seat by the wall, while Jonathan stood. Abner sat beside Saul, but David’s place was empty. 26 Saul didn’t say anything that day, thinking, “Something has happened to him so that he’s unclean.[d] He must be unclean.” 27 But on the second day of the month, David’s place was still empty.
Saul asked his son Jonathan, “Why hasn’t Jesse’s son come to the meal either yesterday or today?”
28 Jonathan answered Saul, “David repeatedly begged me to let him go to Bethlehem. 29 David said to me ‘Please let me go. Our relatives will offer a sacrifice in the city, and my brother ordered me to be there. If you will permit it, please let me go to see my brothers.’ This is why he hasn’t come to your banquet.”
30 Then Saul got angry with Jonathan. “Son of a crooked and rebellious woman!” he called Jonathan. “I know you’ve sided with Jesse’s son. You have no shame. You act as if you are your mother’s son but not mine.[e] 31 As long as Jesse’s son lives on earth, neither you nor your right to be king is secure. Now, send some men to bring him to me. He’s a dead man!”
32 Jonathan asked his father, “Why should he be killed? What has he done?”
33 Saul raised his spear to strike him. Then Jonathan knew his father was determined to kill David. 34 Jonathan got up from the table very angry and ate nothing that second day of the month. He was worried sick about David because Jonathan had been humiliated by his own father.
35 In the morning Jonathan went out to the country to the place he and David had agreed on. Jonathan had a young boy with him. 36 “Run,” he told the boy, “please find the arrows I shoot.”
The boy ran, and Jonathan shot the arrow over him. 37 When the boy reached the place where Jonathan’s arrow had landed, Jonathan called after him, “The arrows are next to you!” 38 Jonathan added, “Quick! Hurry up! Don’t stand there!” Jonathan’s young servant gathered the arrows and came to his master. 39 The boy had no idea what was going on, but Jonathan and David understood. 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy. He told the boy, “Take them back into town.”
41 When the boy had left, David came out from the south side of the rock and quickly bowed down three times with his face touching the ground. Then they kissed each other and cried together, but David cried the loudest.[f]
42 “Go in peace!” Jonathan told David. “We have both taken an oath in Yahweh’s name, saying, ‘Yahweh will be a witness between me and you and between my descendants and your descendants forever.’”[g]
So David left, and Jonathan went into the city.
David at Nob
21 [h]David went to the priest Ahimelech at Nob. Ahimelech was trembling as he went to meet David. “Why are you alone?” he asked David. “Why is no one with you?”
2 “The king ordered me to do something,” David answered the priest Ahimelech, “and he told me, ‘No one must know anything about this mission I’m sending you on and about the orders I’ve given you. I’ve stationed[i] my young men at a certain place.’” 3 David added, “Now, what do you have to eat? Give me five loaves of bread or whatever you can find.”
4 “I don’t have any ordinary bread,” the chief priest answered David. “But there is holy bread for the young men if they haven’t had sexual intercourse today.”
5 David answered the priest, “Of course women have been kept away from us as usual when we go on a mission. The young men’s bodies are kept holy even on ordinary campaigns. How much more then will their bodies be holy today?”
6 So the priest gave him holy bread because he only had the bread of the presence which had been taken from Yahweh’s presence and replaced with warm bread that day.
7 That same day one of Saul’s servants who was obligated to stay in Yahweh’s presence was there. His name was Doeg. A foreman for Saul’s shepherds, he was from Edom.
8 David asked Ahimelech, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I didn’t take either my spear or any other weapon because the king’s business was urgent.”
9 The chief priest answered, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Elah Valley, is here. It is wrapped in a cloth behind the priestly ephod.[j] If you want to take it, take it. There’s no other weapon here.”
David said, “There’s none like it. Let me have the sword.”
David at Gath
10 That day David left. He was still fleeing from Saul when he came to King Achish of Gath. 11 Achish’s officers asked, “Isn’t this David, the king of his country? He’s the one they used to sing about in the dances:
‘Saul has defeated thousands
but David tens of thousands.’”
12 When David realized what they had said, he was terrified of King Achish of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior when he was in their presence and acted insane as long as he was under their authority. He scribbled on the doors of the city gate and let his spit run down his beard.
14 Achish said to his officers, “Look at him! Don’t you see that he’s insane? Why bring him to me? 15 Do I have such a shortage of lunatics that you bring this man so that he can show me he is insane? Does this man have to come into my house?”
- 1 Samuel 20:16 Greek; Masoretic Text omits “name.”
- 1 Samuel 20:16 Ancient scribal tradition; Masoretic Text “punish David’s enemies.” At times some scribes would alter the text when they thought it was disrespectful.
- 1 Samuel 20:19 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
- 1 Samuel 20:26 “Unclean” refers to anything that Moses’ Teachings say is not presentable to God.
- 1 Samuel 20:30 English equivalent difficult.
- 1 Samuel 20:41 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
- 1 Samuel 20:42 1 Samuel 20:42b in English Bibles is 1 Samuel 21:1 in the Hebrew Bible.
- 1 Samuel 21:1 1 Samuel 21:1–15 in English Bibles is 1 Samuel 21:2–16 in the Hebrew Bible.
- 1 Samuel 21:2 Dead Sea Scrolls, Greek; Masoretic Text “I’ve informed.”
- 1 Samuel 21:9 Ephod is a technical term for a part of the priest’s clothes. Its exact usage and shape are unknown.
Jesus Gives Sight to a Blind Man
9 As Yeshua walked along, he saw a man who had been born blind. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, why was this man born blind? Did he or his parents sin?”
3 Yeshua answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. Instead, he was born blind so that God could show what he can do for him. 4 We must do what the one who sent me wants us to do while it is day. The night when no one can do anything is coming. 5 As long as I’m in the world, I’m light for the world.”
6 After Yeshua said this, he spit on the ground and mixed the spit with dirt. Then he smeared it on the man’s eyes 7 and told him, “Wash it off in the pool of Siloam.” (Siloam means “sent.”) The blind man washed it off and returned. He was able to see.
8 His neighbors and those who had previously seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?”
9 Some of them said, “He’s the one.” Others said, “No, he isn’t, but he looks like him.” But the man himself said, “I am the one.”
10 So they asked him, “How did you receive your sight?”
11 He replied, “The man people call Yeshua mixed some spit with dirt, smeared it on my eyes, and told me, ‘Go to Siloam, and wash it off.’ So I went there, washed it off, and received my sight.”
12 They asked him, “Where is that man?”
The man answered, “I don’t know.”
13 Some people brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. 14 The day when Yeshua mixed the spit and dirt and gave the man sight was a day of worship. 15 So the Pharisees asked the man again how he received his sight.
The man told the Pharisees, “He put a mixture of spit and dirt on my eyes. I washed it off, and now I can see.”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “The man who did this is not from God because he doesn’t follow the traditions for the day of worship.” Other Pharisees asked, “How can a man who is a sinner perform miracles like these?” So the Pharisees were divided in their opinions.
17 They asked the man who had been born blind another question: “What do you say about the man who gave you sight?”
The man answered, “He’s a prophet.”
18 Until they talked to the man’s parents, the Jews didn’t believe that the man had been blind and had been given sight. 19 They asked his parents, “Is this your son, the one you say was born blind? Why can he see now?”
20 His parents replied, “We know that he’s our son and that he was born blind. 21 But we don’t know how he got his sight or who gave it to him. You’ll have to ask him. He’s old enough to answer for himself.” 22 (His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews. The Jews had already agreed to put anyone who acknowledged that Yeshua was the Christ out of the synagogue. 23 That’s why his parents said, “You’ll have to ask him. He’s old enough.”)
24 So once again the Jews called the man who had been blind. They told him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man who gave you sight is a sinner.”
25 The man responded, “I don’t know if he’s a sinner or not. But I do know one thing. I used to be blind, but now I can see.”
26 The Jews asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he give you sight?”
27 The man replied, “I’ve already told you, but you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear the story again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
28 The Jews yelled at him, “You’re his disciple, but we’re Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but we don’t know where this man came from.”
30 The man replied to them, “That’s amazing! You don’t know where he’s from. Yet, he gave me sight. 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners. Instead, he listens to people who are devout and who do what he wants. 32 Since the beginning of time, no one has ever heard of anyone giving sight to a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he couldn’t do anything like that.”
34 The Jews answered him, “You were born full of sin. Do you think you can teach us?” Then they threw him out of the synagogue.
35 Yeshua heard that the Jews had thrown the man out of the synagogue. So when Yeshua found the man, he asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 The man replied, “Sir, tell me who he is so that I can believe in him.”
37 Yeshua told him, “You’ve seen him. He is the person who is now talking with you.”
38 The man bowed in front of Yeshua and said, “I believe, Lord.”
39 Then Yeshua said, “I have come into this world to judge: Blind people will be given sight, and those who can see will become blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were with Yeshua heard this. So they asked him, “Do you think we’re blind?”
41 Yeshua told them, “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be sinners. But now you say, ‘We see,’ so you continue to be sinners.
You servants of Yahweh, praise him.
Praise the name of Yahweh.
2 Thank the name of Yahweh now and forever.
3 From where the sun rises to where the sun sets,
the name of Yahweh should be praised.
4 Yahweh is high above all the nations.
His glory is above the heavens.
5 Who is like Yahweh our Elohim?
He is seated on his high throne.
6 He bends down to look at heaven and earth.
7 He lifts the poor from the dust.
He lifts the needy from a garbage heap.
8 He seats them with influential people,
with the influential leaders of his people.
9 He makes a woman who is in a childless home
a joyful mother.
1 When Israel left Egypt,
when Jacob’s family left people who spoke a foreign language,
2 Judah became his holy place and Israel became his kingdom.
3 The Red Sea looked at this and ran away.
The Jordan River turned back.
4 The mountains jumped like rams.
The hills jumped like lambs.
5 Red Sea, why did you run away?
Jordan River, what made you turn back?
6 Mountains, what made you jump like rams?
Hills, what made you jump like lambs?
7 Earth, tremble in the presence of the Lord,
in the presence of the Elohim of Jacob.
8 He turns a rock into a pool filled with water
and turns flint into a spring flowing with water.
15 Every day is a terrible day for a miserable person,
but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.
16 Better to have a little with the fear of Yahweh
than great treasure and turmoil.
17 Better to have a dish of vegetables where there is love
than juicy steaks where there is hate.