Jonathan had a best friend named David. They were closer than brothers. Jonathan's father, King Saul, wanted to harm David. King Saul resented David. He feared David would take over as the king of Israel.
King Saul told his son, Jonathan, and all his servants to kill David. But Jonathan was a loyal friend. So he made a plan to keep David safe. In I Samuel 20:11, Jonathan said to David, "Come, let us go out into the field."
David would hide in the field for three days. In the morning, on the third day, David would wait for Jonathan by the stone of Ezel. And Jonathan would give David a sign.
Now the New Moon came. King Saul sat down to eat the feast. David's seat at the table was empty. King Saul commanded Jonathan to bring David to him. Jonathan refused. For now he knew his father would kill David. It was not safe for David to return. King Saul was stirred to anger.
Jonathan met David the morning of the third day, just as he had promised. He brought a young lad with him. Only Jonathan and David knew the plan.
Now Jonathan excelled at the bow and arrow. If Jonathan shot his three arrows to the side of the young lad, David was safe to return to the city. But if his three arrows landed beyond the young lad, David would flee from King Saul.
Jonathan said to the young lad, "Look, the arrows are beyond you."
The young lad collected Jonathan's arrows and returned to the city. Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace." David left, and Jonathan went into the city.
Jonathan and David met again in the Wilderness of Ziph. Jonathan said to David, "Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you."
Then Jonathan fell in battle against the Philistines at Mt. Gilboa. His brothers and King Saul, his father, also fell.
The people of Jabesh Gilead heard the news. They came and buried Saul and his sons under the tamarisk tree.
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Parent Tip: David's fortified camps at Horesh were located south of Hebron in the Wilderness of Ziph. Ask your child to find Hebron on the map. King Saul and his sons fell in battle at Mt. Gilboa on the map. Ask your child to find Mt. Gilboa on the map. Is Mt. Gilboa north or south of Hebron? Find Saul's kingdom on the map with your child.