Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty. On the third day go down quickly to the place where you hid yourself when the matter was in hand, and remain beside the stone heap. And I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark. And behold, I will send the boy, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you, take them,’ then you are to come, for, as the LORD lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. But if I say to the youth, Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go, for the LORD has sent you away. And as for the matter of which you and I have spoken, behold, the LORD is between you and me forever.”
So David hid himself in the field. And when the new moon came, the king sat down to eat food. The king sat on his seat, as at other times, on the seat by the wall. Jonathan sat opposite, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty.
Yet Saul did not say anything that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to him. He is not clean; surely he is not clean.” But on the second day, the day after the new moon, David’s place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has not the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?” Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem. He said, ‘Let me go, for our clan holds a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. So now, if I have found favour in your eyes, let me get away and see my brothers.’ For this reason he has not come to the king’s table.”
Comment: They work out a simple plan. David will hide about an arrow’s shot away. Jonathan will shoot either to the side or beyond him. The message will be doubled up by a child. If the kid is to pick up the side-shot arrows Jonathan will in essence shout OK, you can come in. If the arrow is shot too far, the message is escape for your life but don’t, don’t forget me!
On the first evening, watching carefully Saul finds an excuse for David’s absence. On the second evening Jonathan has to blurt out the concocted story! This is a good point to take a break and have a cup of tea!
Prayer: Thank you that we can know that whatever happens You are in control.
One thought on “1 Samuel 20: 18-29…. Missed, excused, questioned.”
Thank you Barry for your comments on this passage. Unfortunately I can’t have a cup of tea. But it is interesting to see that once again, a concocted story, or an untruth, has to be part of this saga. It reminds me of Rahab who hid the Hebrew spies in her house, and concocted a story, which was not true, to put those who were seeking the spies, on the wrong track. This is not to say that we do this as part of our lifestyle as a Christian, but there may be times when it seems to be a necessary way of escape. God bless you.