David Is Persecuted by Saul
1Saul told his son Jonathan and all his officials that he planned to kill David. But Jonathan was very fond of David, 2and so he told him, “My father is trying to kill you. Please be careful tomorrow morning; hide in some secret place and stay there. 3I will go and stand by my father in the field where you are hiding, and I will speak to him about you. If I find out anything, I will let you know.”
4Jonathan praised David to Saul and said, “Sir, don't do wrong to your servant David. He has never done you any wrong; on the contrary, everything he has done has been a great help to you. 5He risked his life when he killed Goliath, and the Lord won a great victory for Israel. When you saw it, you were glad. Why, then, do you now want to do wrong to an innocent man and kill David for no reason at all?”
6Saul was convinced by what Jonathan said and made a vow in the Lord's name that he would not kill David. 7So Jonathan called David and told him everything; then he took him to Saul, and David served the king as he had before.
8War with the Philistines broke out again. David attacked them and defeated them so thoroughly that they fled.
9One day an evil spirit from the Lord took control of Saul. He was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was there, playing his harp. 10Saul tried to pin David to the wall with his spear, but David dodged, and the spear stuck in the wall. David ran away and escaped.
11 That same night Saul sent some men to watch David's house and kill him the next morning. Michal, David's wife, warned him, “If you don't get away tonight, tomorrow you will be dead.” 12She let him down from a window, and he ran away and escaped. 13Then she took the household idol, laid it on the bed, put a pillow made of goats' hair at its head, and put a cover over it. 14When Saul's men came to get David, Michal told them that he was sick. 15But Saul sent them back to see David for themselves. He ordered them, “Carry him here in his bed, and I will kill him.” 16They went inside and found the household idol in the bed and the goats' hair pillow at its head. 17Saul asked Michal, “Why have you tricked me like this and let my enemy escape?”
She answered, “He said he would kill me if I didn't help him escape.”
18David escaped and went to Samuel in Ramah and told him everything that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19Saul was told that David was in Naioth in Ramah, 20so he sent some men to arrest him. They saw the group of prophets dancing and shouting, with Samuel as their leader. Then the spirit of God took control of Saul's men, and they also began to dance and shout. 21When Saul heard of this, he sent more messengers, and they also began to dance and shout. He sent messengers the third time, and the same thing happened to them. 22Then he himself started out to Ramah. When he came to the large well in Secu, he asked where Samuel and David were and was told that they were at Naioth. 23As he was going there, the spirit of God took control of him also, and he danced and shouted all the way to Naioth. 24 He took off his clothes and danced and shouted in Samuel's presence, and lay naked all that day and all that night. (This is how the saying originated, “Has even Saul become a prophet?”)