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me and death.” Jonathan promised to do whatever David wished, and it was settled that David should not take his place, as was due, at the king's table the next day, which was a feast, and then Jonathan was to see whether Saul
was well or ill-disposed to his friend. He was ito come out afterwards into the field where David lay hid, and to give him a sign by shootring some arrows. Moreover David and Jonathan made a solemn covenant, in which David promised to show kindness to Jonathan and his a family for ever. bevit fell out as David expected. Saul was very (angry, and accused his son of taking part with an enemy, who would utterly destroy his own greatness. The king ended by bidding Jonathan fetch David, for he should surely die. When Jonathan withstood his fierce anger, Saul cast a javelin at his own son, as he had before idone at David. Jonathan saw by this that there was no hope left of winning his father to justice and gentleness; and he left the royal table sorely grieved. The next morning he went out to the field where David lay hidden, and gave the promised sign. Then David came forth, and fell on his face to the ground, and the two friends kissed one another, and wept one with the other, until David's grief became excessive. It was plain now that he must go away, and leave the friend whom he loved as his own soul. Jonathan said, “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 for ever.” Then they parted. Jonathan returned to the city, where his duty kept him by his father, and David went forth in the strength of the LORD-perhaps say. ing in the words of his own psalm," I shall find trouble and heaviness, and I will call upon the Name of the LORD: O LORD, I beseech Thee, deliver my soul.
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous, yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple, I was in misery, and He helped me.”
David went first to Abimelech the priest, and asked him for food and armour. Abimelech had no bread but the hallowed shewbread, but God permitted this to be given to His anointed servant. The priest told David that “My soul
he had no arms save the huge sword which David himself had taken from the giant Goliath ; but David took that, and then fled to Achish, King of Gath. But there was danger for him here too. The people knew him to be the promised king of Israel, the great warrior who had conquered Goliath and the Philistines, and Da. vid was forced to fly again. This time he went to the cave of Adullam, and there he is believed to have composed two of his most touching Psalms, the 57th and 142nd. trusteth in Thee, yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. My soul is among lions. I poured out my complaint before God, I showed Him my trouble. . . . I looked on my right hand, but there was no man that would know me, refuge failed me. I cried unto Thee, O LORD; I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion."
While David was at Adullam, about four hundred men joined him, and soon after he went with them to the forest of Hareth in Judah, in consequence of an order from the sprophet Gad, through whom the Lord often
spoke to David. isd; When Saul heard this, he was angry, and asked who of his servants took part with the rebel, accusing them of conspiring with David, and concealing Jonathan's league with him.
It chanced that Saul's chief herdsman, Doegs an Edomite, had been at Nob when David went to Abimelech, and now he told Saul how the priest had inquired of God for David, and had supplied him with food and with Goliath's sword. Saul forth with took vengeance upona Abimelech : he slew eighty-five priests and those that ministered at the altar, destroying all the inhabitants of Nob, the priests' city, killing even the little children, and all their cattle. Only one of Abimelech's sons, called Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David, and/ told him of Saul's cruelty. Abiathar remaineda with David as his priest, and in each fresh dif-} ficulty, as it arose, David inquired of the LORD what he should do, and was careful to obey ind everything. First he was directed to go against Keilah, a city of the Philistines, which God delivered into his hands. Soon David heard that Saul was coming against him there, ands by the Lord's counsel David fled again intox the wilderness of Ziph, and remained 'hidden 7 in strong places amid the mountains. We are told that “Saul sought him every day, but GOD
delivered him not into his hand.” Jonathan came to see David, and, like a true friend, “strengthened his hand in God," encouraging him not to be afraid, for that Saul would not find him. It is very striking to see how free from envy or jealousy Jonathan was, since he knew well and told David that he should be king of Israel. They renewed their covenant, and Jonathan went home. Very soon afterwards, the people of Ziph came to Saul and offered to betray David to him. But the LORD was pleased continually to save His servant, even as a bird out of the fowler's net; and now David fled to a mountain in the wilderness of Maon, and just when Saul had followed, and seemed to have surrounded the little band so that they could not escape, he was obliged to return suddenly and fight the Philistines who had invaded the land.
J-As soon as Saul had beaten the Philistines, he again went in pursuit of David, who was by this time in the wilderness of En-gedi, dwelling among “ the rocks of the wild goats.' These were wild places, as the name promises, and it was not easy to find the fugitives. Once Saul went into the very cave where David and his men were hidden; but David would not let