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Knit Together, Slightly Raveled

Chapter Text

David had been down into Judah for some months such that the New Moon feast had once more come.

Jonathan went to the feast of the New Moon.

An evil spirit sent by the Lord had come into Saul. He looked at the place where David should have been. He raged to his son that David should have an empty place at their table. He called out for David's death.

Jonathan said, "What has David done that he should die."

Saul cried out, "Wretched son of an ungrateful woman." He threw his javelin at Jonathan. By this Jonathan knew that David could not return from Judah.

He looked at the place where David should have been. David whom he loved more than his own soul. But he could be not be there to eat of the feast. He could not be there to drink of the wine. David was far away. At the place where his soul was knit together with David, he felt a pain. He felt a great pain in his soul.

A sickness came over Jonathan as if he were ceremonially unclean. As if he had eaten meat with blood still on it.

He was taken to his bed with a great fever. He cried out for his soul. He cried out. He would not take meat. He would not take broth. Neither milk or bread would he eat, nor even watered wine, so great was his fever.

David on learning in Judah that Jonathan was laid low, he felt the pain of it. A fever came to him. He longed to be in the place where Jonathan would be. He took off his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. In their place, he put on sackcloth. He rubbed ashes from the fire in his hair. He wept and he cried out to God. He pleaded with God for Jonathan's life. He fasted and prostrated himself on the stones. He prayed for three days. For three days, he wept and the prayed before God. Those around him feared for him, so excessive was his weeping.

Abigail who was his wife in Judah, she said to him, "Husband, please get up from the ground and eat of this bread," but he would not get up. He would not eat.

On the third day, he fell into sleep. In his sleep, a dream came to him. In his dream, a brown bird landed upon a barren tree. The bird began to sing sweetly and the barren tree budded and its limbs grew heavy with leaves. He was light in his heart when he woke.

He bathed himself. He put on his robes. He went to Abigail and he bid her to go to Jonathan. To take to him David's richest garment. He bid her to go in and out of the house of Jonathan. He bid her to go in and out of the city gates. Then to wait for David in the field where the shepherds take their rest at the end of the day.

Abigail did it even as David asked. She went to the place where Jonathan lay and gave to his servant's David's richest garment to be placed next to him as he lay crying out in his sickness. She went in and out of the house. She went in and out of the city gates. She waited for David in the place where the shepherds take their rest.

There David on put the dress that she had worn that day. He put on the cloth that she had about her head. He went in through the city gates. He went to the place where Jonathan lay ill. He wept to see him there. He took Jonathan's hand in his. He fell with his face against Jonathan's side. He kissed him and wept to see him so ill.

He pulled himself away. He let go of Jonathan's hand though it pained him in his soul. He sat with Jonathan upon his bed that they might be touching. He set to playing upon his harp and singing to Jonathan through the night.

When the sun rose upon the morning, Jonathan opened his eyes and he spoke to David. He said, "Greatly is my heart eased to have you beside me. When I went with my father to face the Philistines, there was a honey comb on the ground. I tasted it with the tip of my spear and it revived me. To hear your voice, I feel as if a comb of honey lies before me upon my spear. The Lord be between me and you, and between my seed and your seed forever." David wept to hear Jonathan speak for he had all but despaired to hear him again. He kissed him. They kissed each other. Jonathan fell to weeping to see David once more and felt the easing of his heart.

David lay down with him then that there should be naught between his seed and Jonathan's. David made a covenant with him that never more would David allow them to be parted for such a length of time.

When David had assured himself of Jonathan's recovery, he went from that place. He charged his wife, Abigail, to look after Jonathan as closely as she would her wedded husband. He went back into Judah then.

Jonathan sent word to David. He told him, "I will go to hunt the birds that harry the flocks near to Bethlehem. I will bring my sling."

Johnathan did as he said he would do. He met with David. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. Jonathan fell to weeping with David. They kissed one another, and wept one with one another until David exceeded Jonathan in weeping.

David said to Jonathan let us go out to the pass at Micmash. Let us go over to the Philistines outpost on other side."

"Do all that you have in mind." Jonathan said. "I am with you, heart and soul."

David climbed up. Jonathan came after him. The Philistines fell before David and Jonathan. David killed his hundred and Jonathan killed his twenty. The day was hot with blood. Jonathan killed his twenty, but he received an injury on his breast. He did not say anything. He followed David with all his heart and soul.

When David saw that Jonathan bled from his breast, he cried out. He made Jonathan to climb back down off the pass. He searched him most thoroughly for injuries. He wept that Jonathan had taken an injury at David's request.

But Jonathan said, "I have made a covenant with you that takes no account of injury. Swear it now with me again." He made him do this because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.

David tended to Jonathan's injury. He tended to him with his own hands. He tended to Jonathan.

He took him up into his house in Judah. David bathed Jonathan with his own hands. He washed him with water filled with the richest of perfumes. He enriched Jonathan's body with oil. He gave to Jonathan his richest robe that he might wear it. He put it on him with his own hands saying, "Have you not taken off your robes. Have you not given to me your robes down even to your girdle."

Jonathan cried out that he had done so. He put himself into the hands of David. He put himself into David's home.

David commanded that a meal be set out for them. He commanded that a feast be set out. They were together at the feast. David fed to Jonathan cakes of raisins. Jonathan fed to David cakes of figs. They ate a dressed lamb together. They drank wine from the same cup.

As they ate, David saw that Jonathan was much refreshed. David rejoiced to see Jonathan's eyes brighten. For their souls were interwoven and David loved Jonathan as his own soul.

David pulled forth his harp. He played for Jonathan there in his house. He played for him there. He sang, "All night long on my bed, I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for him, but did not find him. I have searched for him. For the one my heart loves is a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person. His hair waves like the sweet water and black as a raven. His eyes are like eagles by the mountain tops washed in our enemies blood. His lips are like the rose of the valley dipped in myrrh. His body is polished bronze and his legs are pillars of stone. His mouth is like to the sweetest of wines that makes the head spin. Very pleasant has the sight of you been to me: your love to me is wonderful, passing the love of women. This is my friend, son of Jerusalem."

They took their rest together. David bid Jonathan to lie down with him in his own bed. Jonathan did.

Jonathan stayed in the house of David for three days. He stayed until he could not linger any longer. They made each other a covenant. They swore to each other that they would meet again in three months in Keliah. They swore that they would meet.

Jonathan said, "The sight of you brightens my eye like honey on the end of my spear." So saying Jonathan returned to Jerusalem while David remained down in Judah.