1 Samuel 19

Saul tries to kill David

1 Saul spoke to his son Jonathan and to all his servants. ‘You must kill David,’ he said. But Jonathan liked David very much. 2 So he told David, ‘My father Saul is trying to kill you. Be careful tomorrow morning. Hide in a secret place and stay there. 3 I will go out. And I will stand with my father in the field where you are hiding. I will talk to him about you. Then I will tell you what I find out.’

4 Jonathan spoke to his father Saul. Jonathan said good things about David. Jonathan said, ‘The king should not do anything that is wrong. He should not punish his servant David. David has not done anything that is wrong. And he has been a great help to you. 5 David was not afraid to die when he killed Goliath the Philistine. The Lord helped him to win an important fight on behalf of all Israel. You saw it and you were happy. I do not know why you want to punish him. He has not done anything that was wrong. You have no reason to kill him.’

6 Saul listened to Jonathan. Then Saul said a promise in the Lord's name. Saul said that he would not kill David. 7 So Jonathan called to David. He told David everything that they had said. Jonathan took David to Saul. So David remained with Saul as before.

8 The war with the Philistines started again. David went out and he fought the Philistines. He beat them. He killed so many of them that the other soldiers ran away.

9 But an evil spirit from the Lord came. It caused Saul to think bad thoughts and to do evil things. Saul was sitting in his house. He had a spear in his hand. David was playing his harp. 10 Saul tried to push his spear through David and into the wall behind him. David moved out of the way and Saul's spear went into the wall. David ran away that night.

11 Saul sent some of his servants to watch David's house. Saul said that they must kill David in the morning. But Michal, David's wife, told him about Saul's idea. She said, ‘You must go away tonight. If you do not go away, someone will kill you tomorrow.’ 12 So Michal helped David to get down through a window. He ran away and they did not catch him. 13 Then Michal took an idol from their house and she put it in the bed. She put hair from a goat on the idol's head. Then she covered it.

14 Saul sent some men to bring David to him. Michal told them that David was ill. 15 Saul told the men that they must return to David. And Saul said, ‘Bring David to me on his bed so that I can kill him.’ 16 The men returned to David's house. They found the idol on the bed and the goat's hair was on its head.

17 Saul said to Michal, ‘You should have told me what was true. You let my enemy go away. He has run away.’ Michal replied, ‘David asked me to help him. He said, “I will kill you if you do not help me.” ’

18 David ran away and he was safe. He went to visit Samuel at Ramah. David told Samuel everything that Saul had done to him. Then David and Samuel went to Naioth and they stayed there.

19 Somebody told Saul that David was in Naioth in Ramah. 20 So Saul sent men to bring David to him. When the men arrived, they saw a group of prophets. Samuel was their leader. They were all prophesying. Then the Spirit of God came and he started to use Saul's men. They started to prophesy too. 21 When people told Saul about this, he sent more men. But they prophesied too. So Saul sent a third group of men. These men also prophesied. 22 Then Saul himself went to Ramah. He went as far as the large well at Secu. He asked the people, ‘Where are Samuel and David?’ The people replied, ‘They are at Naioth in Ramah.’

23 Saul went to Naioth in Ramah. The Spirit of God came and he caused even Saul to prophesy. Saul continued to prophesy until he came to Naioth. 24 Then he took off his clothes and he prophesied in front of Samuel. He lay down and he wore no clothes all that day and all that night. So people still say, ‘Has Saul really become a prophet?’

19:24Samuel and his prophets did not live in the main part of the town of Ramah. ‘Naioth’ means ‘tents’. So they probably lived at the edge of the town.