Workers For Jesus Online Bible Study Table of Contents

About this Bible Study........The King James Version of the Bible is written in a beautiful form of the English language. It can be hard for modern English readers to understand.  In this study, you will find notes and summaries in brown just above the the verses from the Bible. We recommend that you read the notes and summaries first, and then read the verses in their KJV form. 

The Book of 1 Samuel

This book starts with the birth of Samuel.  Samuel is the last judge of Israel. Samuel is also a prophet--he tells people what God wants them to know.   During Samuel's life, the Israelites decide that they want to have a king. This book tells the story of Samuel's life, the first king of Israel, Saul, and the second king of Israel, David.

Bible Timeline
Here is a good timeline to see the book of 1 Samuel in the history of the Bible


1 Samuel 19 -21
Saul continues to try and kill David.
Saul's daughter, Michal, helps David escape.
Jonathan and David plan a test for Saul.
Jonathan helps David escape.


1 Samuel 19

Jonathan tells Saul that he should not kill David.

Saul talked to his son, Jonathan, and his helpers. Saul wanted them to kill David.
[1] And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David.

Jonathan loved David. Jonathan told David that Saul wanted to kill him. Jonathan told David that he should hide. The next morning, he should hide in a field. Then Jonathan will bring Saul to the field. Jonathan will talk to his father. Then, Jonathan will tell David what Saul says.
[2] But Jonathan Saul's son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself:
[3] And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee; and what I see, that I will tell thee.

Jonathan talked to Saul. Jonathan talked about David. He that Saul should not try to kill David.  Jonathan talked about the good things that David did.  David has always been good to Saul. David killed Goliath and saved Israel.  Saul was happy when David killed Goliath.  Jonathan asked Saul why he wanted to kill David.
[4] And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to theeward very good:
[5] For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?

Saul listened to Jonathan. Then Saul promised that he would not kill David.
[6] And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain.

Jonathan called David. Jonathan told David what Saul said. Then Jonathan brought David to Saul. Saul and David were together again like they were in the past.
[7] And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan shewed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as in times past.


The Israelites and the Philistines had a war again.  David went to the war. He fought against the Philistines. He killed many Philistines and many other Philistines ran away from him.

[8] And there was war again: and David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter; and they fled from him.

Saul tries to kill David with a javelin.

God sent an evil spirit on Saul. Saul was holding a javelin (long, sharp stick). David was playing music on the harp.
[9] And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.

Saul tried to kill David with the javelin. He threw the javelin and hit the wall. But David escaped. Saul did not kill him.
[10] And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night.


Saul sent people to David's house. The people would watch David and then kill him in the morning. David's wife, Michal, told David about Saul's plan. David needed to escape that night. If he did not escape that night, Saul's people would kill him in the morning.
[11] Saul also sent messengers unto David's house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David's wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain.

Michal helped David escape. David went out the window and down to the ground. Michal got a statue and some goat's hair. She put them in the bed and covered them so that it looked like David was sleeping.
[12] So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.
[13] And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth.

When Saul's people came to get David, Michal told them he was sick.

[14] And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick.

After the people told Saul that David was sick, Saul sent the people back to see David.  If David was sick in the bed, they should bring him in the bed to Saul.  Saul will kill David in the bed.
[15] And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him.

Saul's helpers went back to get David. They saw that David was not really in the bed. It was really a statue and some goat's hair.
[16] And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster.

Saul asked Michal why she tricked him. He asked why she helped David escape. Michal said she helped David because David threatened her. She said she was afraid David would kill her.
[17] And Saul said unto Michal, Why hast thou deceived me so, and sent away mine enemy, that he is escaped? And Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go; why should I kill thee?



David goes to Samuel's school for prophets

Samuel's school for prophets

Naioth was part of the area called Ramah.  Ramah was Samuel's home. Samuel had a school in Naioth. People came there to prophesy or tell the future. They also praised God  and sang there.

David escaped. David went to see Samuel in the place called Ramah. David told Samuel what Saul did. Samuel and David both went to stay in the place called Naioth.

[18] So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth.

Later, someone told Saul that David was in Naioth.
[19] And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.

Saul sent some helpers to get David. When Saul's helpers arrived in Naioth, they saw Samuel and other prophets. They were prophesying (telling about the future and worshiping God). Then God's spirit was on Saul's helpers. The helpers started to worship, too.
[20] And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.

Saul heard about the first helpers, so he sent another group of helpers.  They also started worshiping at Naioth. Saul sent a third group of helpers. They also started worshiping.
[21] And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.

Saul traveled to Ramah. He stopped by a water well in the place called Sechu. Saul asked some people where Samuel and David were. One person said they were at Naioth.
[22] Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah.

Saul traveled to Naioth. On the road, God's spirit was on Saul. Saul started to prophesy and worship. Then he arrived at Naioth.  
[23] And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.

Saul took off his war clothes. He also prophesied and worshiped God with Samuel. He stayed all day and night. The other people were surprised that Saul was there with the other prophets.
[24] And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

1 Samuel 20

Jonathan and David make a plan to test Saul.

Then David left Naioth and went to see Jonathan. David asked him why Saul is trying to kill him. He asked what he had done wrong.
[1] And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life?

Jonathan told David that Saul wasn't trying to kill him. Jonathan said that Saul told him everything he was doing.  Jonathan said that Saul would not hide this from him.
[2] And he said unto him, God forbid; thou shalt not die: behold, my father will do nothing either great or small, but that he will shew it me: and why should my father hide this thing from me? it is not so.

David said that Saul knows that he and Jonathan are good friends. Saul wouldn't want Jonathan to know because he wouldn't want Jonathan to be upset.  David said again strongly that Saul is trying to kill him. He said it is true just the same as it is true that God lives and Jonathan lives. 

[3] And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.

Jonathan said he would do anything that David wanted him to do.
[4] Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee.

David had a plan to test Saul. The next day was a special celebration day. It was the day of the new moon. Usually, David ate dinner with Saul on special days. David said that he would not go to the dinner the next day. He would go out in the field and hide for 3 days.
[5] And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even.

At the dinner, Saul will probably ask about David. Saul will want to know why he is not at the dinner. Jonathan will say that David went to his family's home in Bethlehem. He will say that David is making a yearly sacrifice with his family. 
[6] If thy father at all miss me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.

If Saul doesn't say anything bad, then David will feel safe. But if Saul gets very mad, then Jonathan will know that David is right. Jonathan will know that Saul wants to kill David.
[7] If he say thus, It is well; thy servant shall have peace: but if he be very wroth, then be sure that evil is determined by him.

Back in 1 Samuel 18, David and Jonathan made a special promise to each other. David talks about that promise.
If Jonathan finds out that David is lying, Jonathan can kill David himself.

[8] Therefore thou shalt deal kindly with thy servant; for thou hast brought thy servant into a covenant of the LORD with thee: notwithstanding, if there be in me iniquity, slay me thyself; for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father?

Jonathan said that if he knew Saul was planning to kill David, he would tell David.
[9] And Jonathan said, Far be it from thee: for if I knew certainly that evil were determined by my father to come upon thee, then would not I tell it thee?

David asks how he will find out Saul's answer. He wants to know how Jonathan will let him know about the test for Saul.
[10] Then said David to Jonathan, Who shall tell me? or what if thy father answer thee roughly?

Jonathan wanted David to go out into the field with them. They talked in the field.
[11] And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field.

Jonathan promises to tell David what Saul thinks. If Jonathan sees that Saul wants to kill David, he will tell David. Then David can escape and run away. If Jonathan does not keep his promise, he says that God can punish him. God helped Saul in the past, but now Jonathan prays that God will help David.
[12] And Jonathan said unto David, O LORD God of Israel, when I have sounded my father about to morrow any time, or the third day, and, behold, if there be good toward David, and I then send not unto thee, and shew it thee;
[13] The LORD do so and much more to Jonathan: but if it please my father to do thee evil, then I will shew it thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and the LORD be with thee, as he hath been with my father.

Jonathan asks David to be good to him for his whole life. He also asks David to be good to his children, grandchildren, and forever. Later, God will kill all of David's enemies (Saul and his family). Jonathan asks David to save him and his descendants.

[14] And thou shalt not only while yet I live shew me the kindness of the LORD, that I die not:
[15] But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the LORD hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth.

Jonathan and David promised to keep their agreement. If Jonathan does not keep his promise, he says that God can punish him. God can let Saul's family kill Jonathan. Jonathan loved David as much as he loved himself.
[16] So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the LORD even require it at the hand of David's enemies.
[17] And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.

Jonathan continued talking.  He said that tomorrow is the celebration for the new moon. David will not be there. After 3 days, David should go and hide near the big rock named Ezel.
[18] Then Jonathan said to David, To morrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty.
[19] And when thou hast stayed three days, then thou shalt go down quickly, and come to the place where thou didst hide thyself when the business was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone Ezel.

Jonathan will have a signal for David to tell him what Saul said. Jonathan and a boy will go out to the field near the rock Ezel.  Jonathan will practice shooting arrows.  He will shoot 3 arrows, but miss the target. Then Jonathan will tell the boy to go get the arrows. If Jonathan tells the boy that the arrows are close, David will hear that. He will  know that means Saul is not trying to kill him. If Jonathan tells the boy that the arrows are far, then David will know that means Saul is trying to kill him. He should run away.
[20] And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark.
[21] And, behold, I will send a lad, saying, Go, find out the arrows. If I expressly say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee, take them; then come thou: for there is peace to thee, and no hurt; as the LORD liveth.
[22] But if I say thus unto the young man, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee; go thy way: for the LORD hath sent thee away.

God will watch them and make sure they keep their promise.
[23] And as touching the matter which thou and I have spoken of, behold, the LORD be between thee and me for ever.


Jonathan tests Saul, and he sees that Saul wants to kill David.

David hid in the field. At the new moon celebration, Saul sat down for the special dinner. Like always, Jonathan and Abner were there to eat, too. But David was not there.
[24] So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat meat.
[25] And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul's side, and David's place was empty.

Saul noticed that David wasn't there. He thought that David was not clean and couldn't come to the dinner.  Saul said nothing about David.
[26] Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean.

The next day, they had another special dinner for the new moon. David was not there. Saul asked Jonathan why David was not there. He was not there that day or the day before.
[27] And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David's place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day?

Jonathan said that David went to Bethlehem. He said that David asked to go to Bethlehem with his family. He said that David wanted to go to Bethlehem to make a sacrifice with his family. Jonathan said that David's brother said he should come to Bethlehem.
[28] And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem:
[29] 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 favour in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he cometh not unto the king's table.

Saul was very angry at Jonathan. Saul said that Jonathan chose David, and he is a traitor (did not help his own family). Saul said that Jonathan is a shame to his mother. Saul said that as long as David is living, Jonathan will never be Israel's king. Saul told Jonathan to go and bring David to him. Saul will kill David.
[30] Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother's nakedness?
[31] For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.

Jonathan asked Saul why he will kill David.  Then Saul threw a javelin (spear, long sharp stick) at Jonathan. Jonathan knew that Saul was planning to kill David.
[32] And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done?
[33] And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David.

Jonathan left the dinner. He was very mad at Saul. He was sad for David because Saul said bad things about him.
[34] So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month: for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.


Jonathan tells David that Saul wants to kill him.

The next morning, Jonathan kept his promise to David.  Jonathan took a boy to help him and went out to the field. Jonathan practiced shooting his bow and arrow. The boy got the arrows after Jonathan shot them.

[35] And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him.

The boy was running to get the arrows. Then Jonathan shot an arrow far ahead of the boy.
[36] And he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.

Jonathan yelled to the boy. He said that the last arrow was far away from him. He told the boy to hurry and get the arrow.  The boy hurried and got the arrows, then came back to Jonathan.
[37] And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee?
[38] And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not. And Jonathan's lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master.

The boy didn't know anything. But Jonathan and David knew what that meant. It meant that David was right. Saul was trying to kill him. David should hurry and escape.

[39] But the lad knew not any thing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter.

Jonathan gave his bow and arrows to the boy. He told the boy to take them back to the city.
[40] And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city.

The boy left. Then David came out from his hiding place behind the rock. He bowed down to Jonathan 3 times. Jonathan and David kissed each other and cried very much. David cried more than Jonathan.
[41] And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.


"David and Jonathan" by Gustave Dore

Jonathan told David to go. He wished him peace. Jonathan talked about their promise. Back in verses 14 and 15, Jonathan asked David to be good to him for his whole life. He also asked David to be good to his children, grandchildren, and forever. Later, God will kill all of David's enemies (Saul and his family). Jonathan asked David to save him and his descendants.

Then David left. Jonathan went back to the city.
[42] And Jonathan said to David, 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. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.

1 Samuel 21

David escapes goes to the place called Nob, then to Gath.

David went to the place called Nob. He went to see the priest named Ahimelech. Ahimelech was afraid of David. He asked David why he was alone. No one else was traveling with David.

[1] Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?

David said that he was doing secret work for Saul.  David lied, and he said that he had other soldiers with him. He said that the other soldiers were hiding someplace else.
[2] And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.


David asked Ahimelech if he had any food. David asked for 5 loaves of bread or any other food that Ahimelech had.
[3] Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present.

The priest said that he only had the holy bread. David and his soldiers could eat the holy bread if they had not been with women recently.
[4] And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women.

David said that his soldiers were not with women for 3 days. He said his men were clean, and the holy bread was also clean.

[5] And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.

The priest gave David the holy bread. He gave David the bread after he put new, hot bread in the holy place.
[6] So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.

One of Saul's workers was there. His name was Doeg. Doeg was from the area of Edom. He was one of Saul's workers who took care of the sheep.
[7] Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.

David asked Ahimelech if he had a spear or sword. He said that he left in a hurry and didn't have time to get his own sword or spear. He lied and said that he had to leave fast to do Saul's work.
[8] And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under thine hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste.

Ahimelech, the priest, had Goliath's sword. The priest had the sword in a special place behind the ephod (the priest's special vest).  He said David could have it if he wanted it. He said that was the only weapon he had. David said the sword was special, and he would take it.
[9] And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.

David left because he was afraid of Saul. He went to the place named Gath. The king of Gath was named Achish.
[10] And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

The people who worked for Achish, the king, saw David. They knew who David was. They had heard about him.  They heard the song that the women sang about David back in 1 Samuel 18:7-9. The women sang that Saul killed 1000's of Philistines but that David killed 10,000's.
[11] And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?

David thought about what the people said. The people knew his name. Then he was afraid of Achish, the king.
[12] And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath.

David wanted to fool the people in Gath. He pretended that he was mentally ill. He scratched on the gate door. He slobbered.
[13] And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.

Achish talked to his helpers. He asked why they brought David to him. Achish said he did not need any mentally ill people. Achish didn't want David there.
[14] Then said Achish unto his servants, Lo, ye see the man is mad: wherefore then have ye brought him to me?
[15] Have I need of mad men, that ye have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?

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