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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 19


Saul discussed his intention of killing David with his son Jonathan and with all his servants. But Saul's son Jonathan, who was very fond of David,


told him: "My father Saul is trying to kill you. Therefore, please be on your guard tomorrow morning; get out of sight and remain in hiding.


I, however, will go out and stand beside my father in the countryside where you are, and will speak to him about you. If I learn anything, I will let you know."


Jonathan then spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him: "Let not your majesty sin against his servant David, for he has committed no offense against you, but has helped you very much by his deeds.


When he took his life in his hands and slew the Philistine, and the LORD brought about a great victory for all Israel through him, you were glad to see it. Why, then, should you become guilty of shedding innocent blood by killing David without cause?"


Saul heeded Jonathan's plea and swore, "As the LORD lives, he shall not be killed."


So Jonathan summoned David and repeated the whole conversation to him. Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and David served him as before.


When war broke out again, David went out to fight against the Philistines and inflicted a great defeat upon them, putting them to flight.


Then an evil spirit from the LORD came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with spear in hand and David was playing the harp nearby.


Saul tried to nail David to the wall with the spear, but David eluded Saul, so that the spear struck only the wall, and David got away safe.


1 The same night, Saul sent messengers to David's house to guard it, that he might kill him in the morning. David's wife Michal informed him, "Unless you save yourself tonight, tomorrow you will be killed."


Then Michal let David down through a window, and he made his escape in safety.


Michal took the household idol and laid it in the bed, putting a net of goat's hair at its head and covering it with a spread.


When Saul sent messengers to arrest David, she said, "He is sick."


Saul, however, sent the messengers back to see David and commanded them, "Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him."


But when the messengers entered, they found the household idol in the bed, with the net of goat's hair at its head.


Saul therefore asked Michal: "Why did you play this trick on me? You have helped my enemy to get away!" Michal answered Saul: "He threatened me, 'Let me go or I will kill you.'"


Thus David got safely away; he went to Samuel in Ramah, informing him of all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to stay in the sheds.


When Saul was told that David was in the sheds near Ramah,


he sent messengers to arrest David. But when they saw the band of prophets, presided over by Samuel, in a prophetic frenzy, they too fell into the prophetic state.


Informed of this, Saul sent other messengers, who also fell into the prophetic state. For the third time Saul sent messengers, but they too fell into the prophetic state.


Saul then went to Ramah himself. Arriving at the cistern of the threshing floor on the bare hilltop, he inquired, "Where are Samuel and David?", and was told, "At the sheds near Ramah."


As he set out from the hilltop toward the sheds, the spirit of God came upon him also, and he continued on in a prophetic condition until he reached the spot. At the sheds near Ramah


he, too, stripped himself of his garments and he, too, remained in the prophetic state in the presence of Samuel; all that day and night he lay naked. That is why they say, "Is Saul also among the prophets?"



1 [11] This story in all probability orignially followed 1 Sam 18:29, placing the episode of David's escape on the night of his marriage with Michal.

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