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From Eternity Past

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    David Hides From Saul

    But David was not convinced. He declared to Jonathan, “As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.”EP 475.6

    At the time of the new moon, a sacred festival was celebrated in Israel. It was expected that both David and Jonathan would appear at the king's table. But David feared to be present, and it was arranged that he visit his brothers in Bethlehem. On his return he was to hide in a field not far from the banqueting hall, for three days absenting himself from the presence of the king. Jonathan would note the effect upon Saul. If no angry demonstration were made by the king, then it would be safe for David to return to court.EP 475.7

    When the place was vacant the second day the king questioned, “Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday nor today? And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem: and he said, Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favor in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he cometh not unto the king's table.”EP 476.1

    When Saul heard these words, his anger was ungovernable. He declared that as long as David lived, Jonathan could not come to the throne. David should be sent for immediately, that he might be put to death. Jonathan again pleaded, “Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done?” This only made the king more satanic in his fury, and the spear intended for David he now hurled at his own son.EP 476.2

    The prince was grieved and indignant. Leaving the royal presence, he repaired at the appointed time to the spot where David was to learn the king's intentions. They wept bitterly. The dark passion of the king cast its shadow upon the young men, and their grief was too intense for expression. Jonathan's last words fell upon the ear of David as they separated: “Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed forever.”EP 476.3

    David hastened to reach Nob. The tabernacle had been taken to this place from Shiloh, and here Ahimelech the high priest ministered. The priest looked upon David in astonishment, as he came in haste and apparently alone. He inquired what had brought him there. The young man in his extremity resorted to deception. David told the priest he had been sent by the king on a secret errand.EP 476.4

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