1Samuel 20

 

וַיִּבְרַח דָּוִד (מִנּוֹות) [מִנָּיוֹת] בָּרָמָה וַיָּבֹא וַיֹּאמֶר לִפְנֵי יְהוֹנָתָן מֶה עָשִׂיתִי מֶה־עֲוֺנִי וּמֶה־חַטָּאתִי   20:1

  לִפְנֵי אָבִיךָ כִּי מְבַקֵּשׁ אֶת־נַפְשִׁי׃

1Sam. 20:1   And David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came and said to the face of Jonathan, “What have I done?  What is my iniquity?  And what is my sin before your father for seeking my life?”

Here again is the error we’ve seen now several times.

וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ חָלִילָה לֹא תָמוּת הִנֵּה (לוֹ־עָשָׂה) [לֹא־יַעֲשֶׂה] אָבִי דָּבָר גָּדוֹל אוֹ דָּבָר קָטֹן וְלֹא יִגְלֶה    20:2

 אֶת־אָזְנִי וּמַדּוּעַ יַסְתִּיר אָבִי מִמֶּנִּי אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֵין זֹאת׃

1Sam. 20:2   And he said to him, “Forbid!  You shall not die.  Behold, my father will not do anything large or anything small and not tell my ears, so why would my father conceal this thing from me?  It is not so.”

This verse contains a rather revealing error, once more hinting -- strongly -- at the haste of the scribe in recording this narrative.  The words in parentheses are really misspelled, and have little meaning in the context.  The corrections, translated as will not do, are given in the brackets.

וַיִּשָּׁבַע עוֹד דָּוִד וַיֹּאמֶר יָדֹעַ יָדַע אָבִיךָ כִּי־מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ וַיֹּאמֶר אַל־יֵדַע־זֹאת יְהוֹנָתָן פֶּן־יֵעָצֵב   20:3 וְאוּלָם חַי־יְהוָה וְחֵי נַפְשֶׁךָ כִּי כְפֶשַׂע בֵּינִי וּבֵין הַמָּוֶת׃

1Sam. 20:3   Then David charged further and said, “Your father assuredly knows that I have found favor in your eyes, so he has thought, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he will be grieved.’  But truly, as the Lord lives and your soul lives, there is only a step between me and death.”

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹנָתָן אֶל־דָּוִד מַה־תֹּאמַר נַפְשְׁךָ וְאֶעֱשֶׂה־לָּךְ׃   20:4

1Sam. 20:4   And Jonathan replied to David, “What does your soul say that I should do for you?”

וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל־יְהוֹנָתָן הִנֵּה־חֹדֶשׁ מָחָר וְאָנֹכִי יָשֹׁב־אֵשֵׁב עִם־הַמֶּלֶךְ לֶאֱכוֹל וְשִׁלַּחְתַּנִי וְנִסְתַּרְתִּי   20:5 בַשָּׂדֶה עַד הָעֶרֶב הַשְּׁלִשִׁית׃

1Sam. 20:5   And David said to Jonathan, “Behold, the new moon is tomorrow, and I am supposed to sit with the king to eat, so you should let me go so I can hide in the field until the third evening.”

אִם־פָּקֹד יִפְקְדֵנִי אָבִיךָ וְאָמַרְתָּ נִשְׁאֹל נִשְׁאַל מִמֶּנִּי דָוִד לָרוּץ בֵּית־לֶחֶם עִירוֹ כִּי זֶבַח הַיָּמִים שָׁם   20:6 לְכָל־הַמִּשְׁפָּחָה׃

1Sam. 20:6   “If your father at all misses me, then you should say, ‘He earnestly asked of me to run to Beth-lehem, his city, for it is the sacrifice of the year there for the whole family.’”

אִם־כֹּה יֹאמַר טוֹב שָׁלוֹם לְעַבְדֶּךָ וְאִם־חָרֹה יֶחֱרֶה לוֹ דַּע כִּי־כָלְתָה הָרָעָה מֵעִמּוֹ׃   20:7

1Sam. 20:7   “If he says thus, ‘It is well,’ peace shall be your servant’s.   But if there is much anger in him, know that the evil is determined by him.”

וְעָשִׂיתָ חֶסֶד עַל־עַבְדֶּךָ כִּי בִּבְרִית יְהוָה הֵבֵאתָ אֶת־עַבְדְּךָ עִמָּךְ וְאִם־יֶשׁ־בִּי עָוֺן הֲמִיתֵנִי אַתָּה וְעַד־   20:8 אָבִיךָ לָמָּה־זֶּה תְבִיאֵנִי׃

1Sam. 20:8   “Then bestow favor on your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the Lord with you.  If there is iniquity in me, slay me yourself, for why need you bring me all the way to your father?”

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹנָתָן חָלִילָה לָּךְ כִּי אִם־יָדֹעַ אֵדַע כִּי־כָלְתָה הָרָעָה מֵעִם אָבִי לָבוֹא עָלֶיךָ וְלֹא אֹתָהּ אַגִּיד   20:9 לָךְ׃

1Sam. 20:9   And Jonathan said, “Far be it for you!  For should I assuredly discover that it is determined the evil to come upon you is from my father, then would I not tell it to you?”

וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל־יְהוֹנָתָן מִי יַגִּיד לִי אוֹ מַה־יַּעַנְךָ אָבִיךָ קָשָׁה׃   20:10

1Sam. 20:10   And David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if what your father answers you is cruel?”

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹנָתָן אֶל־דָּוִד לְכָה וְנֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה וַיֵּצְאוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם הַשָּׂדֶה׃   20:11

1Sam. 20:11   And Jonathan said to David, “Come and we will go out to the field.”  And they went out, both of them, to the field.

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹנָתָן אֶל־דָּוִד יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי־אֶחְקֹר אֶת־אָבִי כָּעֵת מָחָר הַשְּׁלִשִׁית וְהִנֵּה־טוֹב   20:12

  אֶל־דָּוִד וְלֹא־אָז אֶשְׁלַח אֵלֶיךָ וְגָלִיתִי אֶת־אָזְנֶךָ׃

1Sam. 20:12   Then Jonathan said to David, “The Lord, God of Israel!   When I sound out my father now about on the third morrow and lo, it is well for David, then should I not then send to you and disclose to your ears?”

כֹּה־יַעֲשֶׂה יְהוָה לִיהוֹנָתָן וְכֹה יֹסִיף כִּי־יֵיטִב אֶל־אָבִי אֶת־הָרָעָה עָלֶיךָ וְגָלִיתִי אֶת־אָזְנֶךָ וְשִׁלַּחְתִּיךָ   20:13 וְהָלַכְתָּ לְשָׁלוֹם וִיהִי יְהוָה עִמָּךְ כַּאֲשֶׁר הָיָה עִם־אָבִי׃

1Sam. 20:13   “So shall the Lord do to Jonathan and much more, if the evil upon you is a benefit to my father, then I will disclose to your ears and send you away, and you shall go in peace, and may the Lord be with you as He was with my father.”

וְלֹא אִם־עוֹדֶנִּי חָי וְלֹא־תַעֲשֶׂה עִמָּדִי חֶסֶד יְהוָה וְלֹא אָמוּת׃   20:14

1Sam. 20:14   “And not only while I am yet alive, that you will surely exercise with me the kindness of the Lord so I do not die,

וְלֹא־תַכְרִת אֶת־חַסְדְּךָ מֵעִם בֵּיתִי עַד־עוֹלָם וְלֹא בְּהַכְרִת יְהוָה אֶת־אֹיְבֵי דָוִד אִישׁ מֵעַל פְּנֵי   20:15 הָאֲדָמָה׃

1Sam. 20:15   but you shall not cut off your kindness from my house for ever, even not when the Lord cuts off the enemies of David, everyone, from off the face of the earth.”

וַיִּכְרֹת יְהוֹנָתָן עִם־בֵּית דָּוִד וּבִקֵּשׁ יְהוָה מִיַּד אֹיְבֵי דָוִד׃   20:16

1Sam. 20:16   So Jonathan covenanted with the house of David as the Lord would require of the hand of the enemies of David.

The Hebrew in this verse is rather strange.  As a result it is translated in a number of different ways, none of which is strictly true to the Hebrew.  My translation is indeed literally true to the Hebrew, but the only way it can make much sense is if the covenant mentioned here consists of the words spoken by Jonathan in the first part of v. 20:13:  “So shall the Lord do to Jonathan and much more, if the evil upon you is a benefit to my father, ....”  So be it!”

וַיּוֹסֶף יְהוֹנָתָן לְהַשְׁבִּיעַ אֶת־דָּוִד בְּאַהֲבָתוֹ אֹתוֹ כִּי־אַהֲבַת נַפְשׁוֹ אֲהֵבוֹ׃   20:17

1Sam. 20:17   And Jonathan made David to swear again by his loving him, for his love was the love of his soul.

The Hebrew in this verse is also strange.  It is also translated in a variety of ways, again none of which is true to the Hebrew.  My translation  -- again -- is strictly true to the Hebrew, but it seems strange at first glance.  Some of the problem with the Hebrew is that the word for his loving is feminine in gender.  But the problem is satisfactorily resolved if we realize that the pronoun refers to Jonathan, and the loving is of his soul (which is feminine), as explained in the latter part of the verse.  The verse might more understandably be exposed as “And Jonathan made David swear by his [Jonathan’s] loving him [David], for his love was the love of his soul’”

וַיֹּאמֶר־לוֹ יְהוֹנָתָן מָחָר חֹדֶשׁ וְנִפְקַדְתָּ כִּי יִפָּקֵד מוֹשָׁבֶךָ׃   20:18

1Sam. 20:18   And Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon and you will be missed, for your seat will be empty.”

וְשִׁלַּשְׁתָּ תֵּרֵד מְאֹד וּבָאתָ אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־נִסְתַּרְתָּ שָּׁם בְּיוֹם הַמַּעֲשֶׂה וְיָשַׁבְתָּ אֵצֶל הָאֶבֶן הָאָזֶל׃   20:19

1Sam. 20:19   “When three days pass you shall come down and go to the place where you hid there in the days of action, and remain close to the stone of Ezel.”

וַאֲנִי שְׁלֹשֶׁת הַחִצִּים צִדָּה אוֹרֶה לְשַׁלַּח־לִי לְמַטָּרָה׃   20:20

1Sam. 20:20   “And I will shoot three arrows to its side as if shot by me to a mark.”

וְהִנֵּה אֶשְׁלַח אֶת־הַנַּעַר לֵךְ מְצָא אֶת־הַחִצִּים אִם־אָמֹר אֹמַר לַנַּעַר הִנֵּה הַחִצִּים מִמְּךָ וָהֵנָּה קָחֶנּוּ   20:21 וָבֹאָה כִּי־שָׁלוֹם לְךָ וְאֵין דָּבָר חַי־יְהוָה׃

1Sam. 20:21   “And behold, I will send the lad to go find the arrows.  If I say plainly to the lad, ‘Behold, the arrows are by you.’ and we take them, then go, for it is well for you and there is no concern.”

וְאִם־כֹּה אֹמַר לָעֶלֶם הִנֵּה הַחִצִּים מִמְּךָ וָהָלְאָה לֵךְ כִּי שִׁלַּחֲךָ יְהוָה׃   20:22

1Sam. 20:22   “But if I say thus to the young man, ‘Behold, the arrows are by you and beyond,’ go, for the Lord has sent you away,

וְהַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְנוּ אֲנִי וָאָתָּה הִנֵּה יְהוָה בֵּינִי וּבֵינְךָ עַד־עוֹלָם׃   20:23

1Sam. 20:23   and of the matter of which we talked, I and you, behold, the Lord is between me and you for ever.”

וַיִּסָּתֵר דָּוִד בַּשָּׂדֶה וַיְהִי הַחֹדֶשׁ וַיֵּשֶׁב הַמֶּלֶךְ עַל־הַלֶּחֶם לֶאֱכוֹל׃   20:24

1Sam. 20:24   And David hid in the field, and it was the new moon, and the king sat down over the food to eat.

וַיֵּשֶׁב הַמֶּלֶךְ עַל־מוֹשָׁבוֹ כְּפַעַם בְּפַעַם אֶל־מוֹשַׁב הַקִּיר וַיָּקָם יְהוֹנָתָן וַיֵּשֶׁב אַבְנֵר מִצַּד שָׁאוּל   20:25

  וַיִּפָּקֵד מְקוֹם דָּוִד׃

1Sam. 20:25   And the king sat on his seat like time after time by the seat of the wall, and Jonathan rose as Abner sat beside Saul, and the place of David was empty.

וְלֹא־דִבֶּר שָׁאוּל מְאוּמָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא כִּי אָמַר מִקְרֶה הוּא בִּלְתִּי טָהוֹר הוּא כִּי־לֹא טָהוֹר׃   20:26

1Sam. 20:26   Yet Saul did not speak anything on that day, for he thought, “He has had an accident, unless he is purifying himself because he is not clean.”

וַיְהִי מִמָּחֳרַת הַחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי וַיִּפָּקֵד מְקוֹם דָּוִד וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל אֶל־יְהוֹנָתָן בְּנוֹ מַדּוּעַ לֹא־בָא בֶן־יִשַׁי   20:27 גַּם־תְּמוֹל גַּם־הַיּוֹם אֶל־הַלָּחֶם׃

1Sam. 20:27   Then it was the second day of the month that the place of David was empty, and Saul said to Jonathan, his son, “Why has the son of Jesse not come either yesterday or today to the meal?”

וַיַּעַן יְהוֹנָתָן אֶת־שָׁאוּל נִשְׁאֹל נִשְׁאַל דָּוִד מֵעִמָּדִי עַד־בֵּית לָחֶם׃   20:28

1Sam. 20:28   And Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly requested to be away from me as far as Beth-lehem,

וַיֹּאמֶר שַׁלְּחֵנִי נָא כִּי זֶבַח מִשְׁפָּחָה לָנוּ בָּעִיר וְהוּא צִוָּה־לִי אָחִי וְעַתָּה אִם־מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ   20:29 אִמָּלְטָה נָּא וְאֶרְאֶה אֶת־אֶחָי עַל־כֵּן לֹא־בָא אֶל־שֻׁלְחַן הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

1Sam. 20:29   and he said, ‘Let me go please, for it is the sacrifice of the family for us in the city.  And he commanded me, My brother, so now, if I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away, please, that I may see my brothers.’  Therefore, he has not come to the table of the king.”

וַיִּחַר־אַף שָׁאוּל בִּיהוֹנָתָן וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ בֶּן־נַעֲוַת הַמַּרְדּוּת הֲלוֹא יָדַעְתִּי כִּי־בֹחֵר אַתָּה לְבֶן־יִשַׁי   20:30

  לְבָשְׁתְּךָ וּלְבֹשֶׁת עֶרְוַת אִמֶּךָ׃

1Sam. 20:30   Then the anger of Saul was kindled against Jonathan and he said to him, “Perverse rebellious son!  Do I not know that you have chosen for the son of Jesse, to your shame and to the shame of the nakedness of your mother?”

Some commentators suggest that the last phrase in this verse means that Jonathan’s mother will be ashamed that her son would not be king, but her son-in-law.  A wasted birth would be thus implied here.

כִּי כָל־הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר בֶּן־יִשַׁי חַי עַל־הָאֲדָמָה לֹא תִכּוֹן אַתָּה וּמַלְכוּתֶךָ וְעַתָּה שְׁלַח וְקַח אֹתוֹ אֵלַי   20:31

  כִּי בֶן־מָוֶת הוּא׃

1Sam. 20:31   “For all the days that the son of Jesse is alive on the earth, you or your kingdom shall not be established.  And now send and get him to me, for he is worthy of death.”

וַיַּעַן יְהוֹנָתָן אֶת־שָׁאוּל אָבִיו וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לָמָּה יוּמַת מֶה עָשָׂה׃   20:32

1Sam. 20:32   And Jonathan answered Saul, his father, and he said to him, “Why should he be put to death?  What has he done?”

וַיָּטֶל שָׁאוּל אֶת־הַחֲנִית עָלָיו לְהַכֹּתוֹ וַיֵּדַע יְהוֹנָתָן כִּי־כָלָה הִיא מֵעִם אָבִיו לְהָמִית אֶת־דָּוִד׃   20:33

1Sam. 20:33   And Saul cast forth the spear on him to strike him, so Jonathan knew that it was determined from his father to put David to death.

וַיָּקָם יְהוֹנָתָן מֵעִם הַשֻּׁלְחָן בָּחֳרִי־אָף וְלֹא־אָכַל בְּיוֹם־הַחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי לֶחֶם כִּי נֶעְצַב אֶל־דָּוִד כִּי   20:34 הִכְלִמוֹ אָבִיו׃

1Sam. 20:34   Then Jonathan rose from the table in a fierce anger and he did not eat any food on the second day of the month, for he was grieved at David that his father put him to shame.

וַיְהִי בַבֹּקֶר וַיֵּצֵא יְהוֹנָתָן הַשָּׂדֶה לְמוֹעֵד דָּוִד וְנַעַר קָטֹן עִמּוֹ׃   20:35

1Sam. 20:35   And it was in the morning that Jonathan went out to the field at the time David had appointed, and a young lad was with him.

וַיֹּאמֶר לְנַעֲרוֹ רֻץ מְצָא נָא אֶת־הַחִצִּים אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מוֹרֶה הַנַּעַר רָץ וְהוּא־יָרָה הַחֵצִי לְהַעֲבִרוֹ׃   20:36

1Sam. 20:36   And he said to his lad, “Run, find now the arrows that I will be shooting.”  The lad ran and he shot the arrow to pass over him.

וַיָּבֹא הַנַּעַר עַד־מְקוֹם הַחֵצִי אֲשֶׁר יָרָה יְהוֹנָתָן וַיִּקְרָא יְהוֹנָתָן אַחֲרֵי הַנַּעַר וַיֹּאמֶר הֲלוֹא הַחֵצִי   20:37

  מִמְּךָ וָהָלְאָה׃

1Sam. 20:37   When the lad went as far as the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, then Jonathan called after the lad and said, “Is not the arrow by you and beyond?”

וַיִּקְרָא יְהוֹנָתָן אַחֲרֵי הַנַּעַר מְהֵרָה חוּשָׁה אַל־תַּעֲמֹד וַיְלַקֵּט נַעַר יְהוֹנָתָן אֶת־הַחֵצִי וַיָּבֹא   20:38

 אֶל־אֲדֹנָיו׃

1Sam. 20:38   And Jonathan called after the lad, “Quickly, hasten, do not tarry!”  Then the lad of Jonathan gathered up the arrow and came to his master.

וְהַנַּעַר לֹא־יָדַע מְאוּמָה אַךְ יְהוֹנָתָן וְדָוִד יָדְעוּ אֶת־הַדָּבָר׃   20:39

1Sam. 20:39   And the lad did not know anything; only Jonathan and David understood the message.

וַיִּתֵּן יְהוֹנָתָן אֶת־כֵּלָיו אֶל־הַנַּעַר אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ לֵךְ הָבֵיא הָעִיר׃   20:40

1Sam. 20:40   And Jonathan gave his weapons to the lad who was his and said, “Go, bring to the city.”

הַנַּעַר בָּא וְדָוִד קָם מֵאֵצֶל הַנֶּגֶב וַיִּפֹּל לְאַפָּיו אַרְצָה וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים וַיִּשְּׁקוּ אִישׁ אֶת־רֵעֵהוּ   20:41 וַיִּבְכּוּ אִישׁ אֶת־רֵעֵהוּ עַד־דָּוִד הִגְדִּיל׃

1Sam. 20:41   The lad left and David rose from the south side and fell to his face on the ground and bowed down three times.  Then they kissed each other and bewailed each other until David was exhausted.

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹנָתָן לְדָוִד לֵךְ לְשָׁלוֹם אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְנוּ שְׁנֵינוּ אֲנַחְנוּ בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה לֵאמֹר יְהוָה יִהְיֶה בֵּינִי   20:42 וּבֵינֶךָ וּבֵין זַרְעִי וּבֵין זַרְעֲךָ עַד־עוֹלָם׃

1Sam. 20:42   And Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace in as much as we have sworn, we two, in the name of the Lord saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you and between my seed and your seed for ever.’”

 

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