This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in 1 Samuel 20, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.
Once there was a man named David who was good friends with a man named Jonathan. But Jonathan’s dad, King Saul, did not like David and wanted to hurt him. David went to Jonathan and asked him why his dad wanted to hurt him. Jonathan said that his dad didn’t tell him anything, but if he did want to hurt David, Jonathan would warn him.
David and Jonathan made a plan. David was supposed to eat with the king, but he knew the king wanted to hurt him. So David asked Jonathan to cover for him by saying that he had to go to a special family event. If the king was okay with it, then David would be safe. But if the king was angry, then David would know he was in danger.
Then David and Jonathan talked about how they could communicate with each other after David left. Jonathan suggested shooting three arrows to the side of a rock and sending a boy to retrieve them. Depending on where the arrows landed, David would know if it was safe to come out or not. If the arrows were close to Jonathan, it meant that the king was okay with David. But if the arrows were far away, it meant that the king wanted to hurt David and he should stay hidden.
The next day, David’s seat was empty at the king’s table. The king was worried and asked Jonathan where David was. Jonathan told him the lie they had planned. But the king didn’t believe it and got very angry. Jonathan knew that his dad wanted to hurt David, so he warned David to hide.
The next morning, Jonathan went out to a field and shot three arrows to the side of a rock. He then sent a boy to go retrieve the arrows. As the boy ran, Jonathan called after him and said, “The arrows are beyond you.” This was a signal to David that he needed to stay hidden, because the king wanted to hurt him.
The boy had no idea what was going on, but he gathered up the arrows and came back to Jonathan. Jonathan then gave his weapons to the boy and told him to go back to the city. After the boy left, David came out of hiding and he and Jonathan said goodbye to each other.
Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.'” And David went on his way, while Jonathan returned to the city.
They were sad that they had to part ways, but they knew they would always be friends.
- True friendship is a gift from God and should be cherished.
- God can use our friends to help us in difficult situations.
- We should always stand up for what is right, even if it is hard.