1David fled from Naioth in Ramah. He came before Jonathan and said, “What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin against your father that he is trying to take my life?” 2He said to him, “Perish the thought! You shall not die. My father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me; and why should my father hide this from me? Never!” 3But David also swore, “Your father knows well that you like me; and he thinks, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, or he will be grieved.’ But truly, as the LORD lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death.” 4Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.” 5David said to Jonathan, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at the meal; but let me go, so that I may hide in the field until the third evening. 6If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city; for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.’ 7If he says, ‘Good!’ it will be well with your servant; but if he is angry, then know that evil has been determined by him. 8Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a sacred covenant with you. But if there is guilt in me, kill me yourself; why should you bring me to your father? 9Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! If I knew that it was decided by my father that evil should come upon you, would I not tell you?” 10Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?” 11Jonathan replied to David, “Come, let us go out into the field.” So they both went out into the field.
12Jonathan said to David, “By the LORD, the God of Israel! When I have sounded out my father, about this time tomorrow, or on the third day, if he is well disposed toward David, shall I not then send and disclose it to you? 13But if my father intends to do you harm, the LORD do so to Jonathan, and more also, if I do not disclose it to you, and send you away, so that you may go in safety. May the LORD be with you, as he has been with my father. 14If I am still alive, show me the faithful love of the LORD; but if I die, 15never cut off your faithful love from my house, even if the LORD were to cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” 16Thus Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the LORD seek out the enemies of David.” 17Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him; for he loved him as he loved his own life.
18Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon; you will be missed, because your place will be empty. 19On the day after tomorrow, you shall go a long way down; go to the place where you hid yourself earlier, and remain beside the stone there. 20I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark. 21Then 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, collect them,’ then you are to come, for, as the LORD lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. 22But if I say to the young man, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go; for the LORD has sent you away. 23As for the matter about which you and I have spoken, the LORD is witness between you and me for ever.”