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David and Jonathan

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Jonathan, the King's son, was kind. He was a good friend to David. They make a promise to each other that whatever happened, they would always be friends

David wanted to leave the palace. He was afraid King Saul would kill him. But Jonathan did not want him to go. "My father will not hurt you," he said. "He always tells me what he wants to do."

But David was still afraid. He knew that he was in real danger. King Saul began to hate David. He told Jonathan to kill him. But Jonathan loved David and so he made a plan. "In a field not far from here, there is a great stone," said Jonathan. "Go and hide behind it. In three days, I will come with my servant and shoot three arrows by its side. If I say to my servant, 'Go and find the arrows, they are on this side of you, bring them here,' then you will know that it is safe and there is no danger. But if I say to the boy, 'Look the arrows are beyond you,' then you must run away for there is great danger."

So David hid in the field. Jonathan went to King Saul. He begged him not to kill David. King Saul did not listen. He became very angry. He threw his sword at Jonathan, but it missed him.

Jonathan ran from the palace, calling his servant. He went to the field near the great stone. Soon his arrows flew through the air. "Find the arrows," called Jonathan. "They are beyond you!"

David heard and he was very sad. The servant found the arrows. Jonathan sent him home. Then David came out of his hiding place. He put his arms around Jonathan. Jonathan told David of his father's plans to kill him and urged him to go far away where he would be safe. He asked David to remember that they would always be friends.

David ran away. He found a cave near the desert, where he lived for a long time.

Another picture of David and Jonathan 1

Read the story in Spanish David y Jonatán

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What does this story
mean to me?

We learn a lesson in friendship from the story of David and Jonathan. They were loyal friends throughout their lives. Are you a true friend? Do you take up for your friend if someone starts saying bad things about him or her? Do you come to their defense? You would want your friend to do the same for you.

The story of the friendship of David and Jonathan can be found in the Bible in First Samuel chapter 20.

Memory Verse

Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord." First Samuel 20:42

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The Bible says that David tells Jonathan about his plan to hide in the field. Not Jonathan is the one telling him to hide. It's David's plan.

Webmaster's note: See 1 Samuel 20:19-23
Then Jonathan said to David, "Tomorrow is the New Moon; and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty. And when you have stayed three days, go down quickly and come to the place where you hid on the day of the deed; and remain by the stone Ezel. Then I will shoot three arrows to the side, as though I shot at a target; and there I will send a lad, saying, 'Go, find the arrows.' If I expressly say to the lad, 'Look, the arrows are on this side of you; get them and come' then, as the LORD lives, there is safety for you and no harm. But if I say thus to the young man, 'Look, the arrows are beyond you' go your way, for the LORD has sent you away. And as for the matter which you and I have spoken of, indeed the LORD be between you and me forever.

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