Jonathan’s soul burned within him as he walked, remembering his father’s words.
The quick, low chirruping of a sandgrouse in a cypress tree echoed across the plain. The morning clouds glowed fiery orange against the lightening purple sky.
When he reached the field, he stopped and turned to the boy with him. “‘Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot.’”
The boy took off through the prairie grass with the swiftness of youth.
Jonathan pulled an arrow out of the quiver at his back, readied it in his longbow, and released. It whipped through the air and landed several hundred feet beyond the boy.
Jonathan shot two more arrows and the boy dashed forward, searching for them in the grass.
“‘Is not the arrow beyond thee?’” Jonathan yelled.
The boy walked a little further on and found the place where the arrows lay upon the ground.
Jonathan cupped his hand to his mouth and called out, “‘Make speed, haste, stay not.’”
His voice was thick with emotion for the true meaning of the words.
The boy returned with the arrows and Jonathan handed him his bow and arrows. “‘Go, carry them to the city.”
The boy sprinted away and Jonathan looked out across the field. He saw David come out from his hiding place and ran to meet him. David fell to the ground and bowed three times before the king’s son, but Jonathan fell to his knees and embraced his friend. Together they wept, more than brothers. Jonathan knew David’s soul was afflicted to the point of pain.
But he must not delay his mission.
He held David at arm’s length and looked him in the eye. “‘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.’”
When David hesitated, he pushed him away and cried, “Go!”
David stood and fled across the field, like a gazelle escaping from the hand of a hunter.
Jonathan watched him go. At least he would be safe from his father’s wrath.
© Whitney L. Schwartz
Scripture quotations from the King James Version