Jonathan Helps David
1 Saul told his son Jonathan and his officers to kill David. But Jonathan liked David very much, 2-3 so he warned him. “Be careful! Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. In the morning go into the field and hide. I will go out into the field with my father. We will stand in the field where you are hiding. I will talk to my father about you, and I will tell you what I learn.”
4 Jonathan talked to his father Saul. Jonathan said good things about David. He said, “You are the king. David is your servant. David hasn’t done anything wrong to you, so don’t do anything wrong to him. He has always been good to you. 5 He risked his life when he killed the Philistine. The LORD won a great victory for all Israel. You saw it, and you were happy. Why do you want to hurt David? He’s innocent. There is no reason to kill him.”
6 Saul listened to Jonathan and made a promise. He said, “As surely as the LORD lives, David won’t be put to death.”
7 So Jonathan called David and told him everything that was said. Then Jonathan brought David to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.
Saul Tries Again to Kill David
8 Once again there was war with the Philistines, and David went out to fight. He defeated them badly, and they ran away. 9 Later, in Saul’s house, David was playing the harp. Saul was there with his spear in his hand. Then an evil spirit from the LORD came on Saul. 10 Saul threw his spear at David and tried to pin him to the wall. David jumped out of the way, so the spear missed him and stuck in the wall. That night, David ran away.
11 Saul sent men to watch David’s house. They stayed there all night. They were waiting to kill David in the morning, but David’s wife Michal warned him. She said, “You must run away tonight and save your life. If you don’t, you will be killed tomorrow.” 12 Then Michal let David down out of a window, and he escaped and ran away. 13 Michal took the household god, put clothes on it, and put goats’ hair on its head. Then she put the statue in the bed.
14 Saul sent messengers to take David prisoner. But Michal said, “David is sick.”
15 The men went and told Saul, but he sent the messengers back to see David. Saul told these men, “Bring David to me. Bring him lying on his bed if you must, even if it kills him.”
16 The messengers went to David’s house. They went inside to get him, but they saw it was only a statue and that its hair was only goat’s hair.
17 Saul said to Michal, “Why did you trick me like this? You let my enemy escape, and now he is gone.”
Michal answered Saul, “David told me he would kill me if I didn’t help him escape.”
David Goes to the Camps at Ramah
18 David escaped and ran away to Samuel at Ramah. He told Samuel everything that Saul had done to him. Then David and Samuel went to the camps where the prophets stayed. David stayed there.
19 Saul heard that David was there in the camps near Ramah. 20 So he sent some men to arrest David. But when they came to the camps, there was a group of prophets prophesying.* prophesying This usually means “speaking for God.” But here, this also means that the Spirit of God took control of the people, causing them to sing and dance. Also in verse 23. Samuel was standing there leading the group. The Spirit of God came on Saul’s messengers and they began prophesying.
21 Saul heard about this, so he sent other messengers, but they also began prophesying. So Saul sent messengers a third time, and they also began prophesying. 22 Finally, Saul himself went to Ramah. Saul came to the big well by the threshing floor at Secu. He asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”
The people answered, “In the camps near Ramah.”
23 So Saul went out to the camps near Ramah. The Spirit of God came on Saul, and he also began prophesying. He prophesied all the way to the camps at Ramah. 24 Saul even took off his clothes. He lay there naked all day and through the night. So even Saul prophesied there in front of Samuel.
That is why people say, “Is Saul also one of the prophets?”
*19:20 prophesying This usually means “speaking for God.” But here, this also means that the Spirit of God took control of the people, causing them to sing and dance. Also in verse 23.