THE LITTLE BOY LOOKING FOR THE ARROWS
I Samuel xvii: 55, to xx: 42.
FTER David had slain the giant he was brought before King
Saul, still holding the giant's head. Saul did not
remember in this bold fighting man the boy who a few
years before had played in his presence. He took him
into his own house, and made him an officer among his
soldiers. David was as wise and as brave in the army as
he had been when facing the giant, and very soon he was
in command of a thousand men. All the men loved him,
both in Saul's court and in his camp, for David had the
spirit that drew all hearts toward him.
DAVID BROUGHT BEFORE SAUL WITH THE GIANT'S HEAD
When David was returning from his battle with the
Philistines the women of Israel came to meet him out of
the cities, with instruments of music, singing and
dancing, and they sang:
"Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his ten thousands."
This made Saul very angry, for he was jealous and
suspicious in his spirit. He thought constantly of
Samuel's words, that God would take the kingdom from
him and would give it to one who was more worthy of it.
He began to think that perhaps this young man, who had
come in a single day to greatness before the people,
might try to make himself king.
THE WOMEN MEETING DAVID WITH DANCING AND SINGING
His former feeling of unhappiness again came over Saul.
He raved in his house, talking as a man talks who is
crazed. By this time they all knew that David was a
musician, and they called him again to play on his harp
and to sing before the troubled king. But now, in his
madness, Saul would not listen to David's voice. Twice
he threw his spear at him; but each time David leaped
aside, and the spear went into the wall of the house.
 Saul was afraid of David, for he saw that the Lord was
with David, as the Lord was no longer with himself. He
would have killed David, but did not dare to kill him,
because everybody loved David. Saul said to himself,
"Though I cannot kill him myself, I will have him
killed by the Philistines."
And he sent David out on dangerous errands of war; but
David came home in safety, all the greater and the more
beloved after each victory. Saul said, "I will give you
my daughter Merab for your wife if you will fight the
Philistines for me."
David fought the Philistines; but when he came home
from the war he found that Merab, who had been promised
to him, had been given as wife to another man. Saul had
another daughter, named Michal. She loved David, and
showed her love for him. Then Saul sent word to David,
saying, "You shall have Michal, my daughter, for your
wife when you have killed a hundred Philistines."
Then David went out and fought the Philistines, and
killed two hundred of them; and they brought the word
to Saul. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal as his
wife; but he was all the
 more afraid of David as he saw him growing in power and
drawing nearer to the throne of the kingdom.
But if Saul hated David, Saul's son, Jonathan, loved
David with all his heart. This was the brave young
warrior of whom we read in Story 55, who
with his armor-bearer went out alone to fight the
Philistine army. Jonathan saw David's courage and
nobility of soul, and loved him with all his heart. He
took off his own royal robe, and his sword, and his
bow, and gave them all to David. It grieved Jonathan
greatly that his father, Saul, was so jealous of David.
He spoke to his father, and said: "Let not the king do
harm to David; for David has been faithful to the king,
and he has done great things for the kingdom. He took
his life in his hand, and killed the Philistine, and
won a great victory for the Lord and for the people.
Why should you seek to kill an innocent man?"
 For the time Saul listened to Jonathan, and said, "As
the Lord lives, David shall not be put to death."
And again David sat at the king's table, among the
princes; and when Saul was troubled again David played
on his harp and sang before him. But once more Saul's
jealous anger arose, and he threw his spear at David.
David was watchful and quick. He leaped aside, and, as
before, the spear fastened into the wall.
SAUL THROWS HIS SPEAR AT DAVID
Saul sent men to David's house to seize him; but
Michal, Saul's daughter, who was David's wife, let
David down out of the window, so that he escaped. She
placed an image on David's bed
 and covered it with the bed-clothes. When the men came,
she said, "David is ill in the bed, and cannot go."
They brought the word to Saul, and he said, "Bring him
to me in the bed, just as he is."
When the image was found in David's bed, David was in a
safe place, far away. David went to Samuel at Ramah,
and stayed with him among the men who were prophets
worshipping God and singing and speaking God's word.
Saul heard that David was there, and sent men to take
him. But when these men came and saw Samuel and the
prophets praising God and praying, the same spirit came
on them, and they began to praise and to pray. Saul
sent other men, but these also, when they came among
the prophets, felt the same power, and joined in the
Finally, Saul said, "If no other man will bring David
to me, I will go myself and take him."
And Saul went to Ramah; but when he came near to the
company of the worshippers, praising God, and praying,
and preaching, the same spirit came on Saul. He, too,
began to join in the songs and the prayers, and stayed
there all that day and that night, worshipping God very
earnestly. When the next day he went again to his home
in Gibeah, his feeling was changed for the time, and he
was again friendly to David.
But David knew that Saul was at heart his bitter enemy
and would kill him if he could as soon as his madness
came upon him. He met Jonathan out in the field away
from the place. Jonathan said to David:
"Stay away from the king's table for a few days, and I
will find out how he feels toward you, and will tell
you. Perhaps even now my father may become your friend.
But if he is to be your enemy, I know that the Lord is
with you, and that Saul will not succeed against you.
Promise me that as long as you live you will be kind to
me, and not only to me while I live, but to my children
Jonathan believed, as many others believed, that David
would yet become the king of Israel, and he was willing
to give up to David his right to be king, such was his
great love for him. That day a promise was made between
Jonathan and David, that they and their children, and
those who should come after them, should be friends
 Jonathan said to David, "I will find how my father
feels toward you, and will bring you word. After three
days I will be here with my bow and arrows, and I will
send a little boy out near your place of hiding, and I
will shoot three arrows. If I say to the boy, 'Run,
find the arrows, they are on this side of you,' then
you can come safely, for the king will not harm you.
But if I call out to the boy, 'The arrows are away
beyond you,' that will mean that there is danger, and
you must hide from the king."
 So David stayed away from Saul's table for two days. At
first Saul said nothing of his absence, but at last he
"Why has not the son of Jesse come to meals yesterday
And Jonathan said, "David asked leave of me to go to
his home at Bethlehem and visit his oldest brother."
Then Saul was very angry. He cried out, "You are a
disobedient son! Why have you chosen this enemy of mine
as your best friend? Do you not know that as long as he
is alive you can never be king? Send after him, and let
him be brought to me, for he shall surely die!"
Saul was so fierce in his anger that he threw his spear
at his own son Jonathan. Jonathan rose up from the
table, so anxious for his friend David that he could
eat nothing. The next day, at the hour agreed upon,
Jonathan went out into the field with a little boy. He
said to the boy, "Run out yonder, and be ready to find
the arrows that I shoot."
And as the boy was running Jonathan shot arrows beyond
him, and he called out, "The arrows are away beyond
you; run quickly and find them."
JONATHAN SHOOTS THE ARROW
The boy ran, and found the arrows, and brought them to
Jonathan. He gave the bow and arrows to the boy, saying
to him, "Take them back to the city. I will stay here a
And as soon as the boy was out of sight David came from
his hiding-place and ran to Jonathan. They fell into
each other's arms and kissed each other again and
again, and wept together. For David knew now that he
must no longer hope to be safe in Saul's hands. He must
leave home, and wife, and friends, and his father's
house, and hide wherever he could from the hate of King
Jonathan said to him, "Go in peace; for we have sworn
together saying, 'The Lord shall be between you and me,
and between your children and my children forever.' "
Then Jonathan went again to his father's palace, and
David went out to find a hiding-place.