Monday, 21 September 2009

David and Jonathan - friendship - KS 1&2

David and Jonathan

There was once a boy called Jonathan. And Jonathan was a prince. He was the son of a king- king Saul of Israel. Saul loved being a king. He loved wearing the crown, sitting on the throne, leading his soldiers out into battle…and one day he knew that Jonathan would be king after him, and his children after him, for ever and ever. And people would look at the great kings of Israel and say – what a mighty man that King Saul was, to have started all of this….

But there was a problem. There was another young man in King Saul’s household, about the same age as Jonathan. His name was David, and he had come to live with Saul when he was just a boy. Saul had first noticed him when he was fighting against a neighbouring country, the Philistines. They had a great soldier in their army – a giant called Goliath. None of King Saul’s soldiers wanted to fight Goliath. They were all too scared. But then David had stepped forward. He was a little shepherd boy with no weapons and no armour. I’ll fight Goliath, he said. Everyone laughed. You! But he went out with just a few stones, like those he would throw at the wild animals who attacked his sheep, and he killed Goliath – with one stone.

Saul thought – that’s a boy to watch! I’ve got to have him in my army. So he took him home to live with him.

But as David grew people started to look at this fine young man and to think to themselves that he might be a better king than Saul. Saul started to get worried – he liked being king! And there was Jonathan as well. If David was king, he never could be!
The last straw came one day when he heard some people singing a song they’d made up. It started out all right. “Saul is a strong man, a mighty man- he has killed thousands…” That’s all right , thought Saul. But then they went on “ But David is a stronger man, a mightier man – he has killed tens of thousands”…Saul was furious – he’d have to get rid of David! So he called all his advisers together, and Prince Jonathan too, and he told them what had happened – we have to get rid of David, he said… I want him killed.

But what Saul didn’t know was that while David and Jonathan had been growing up together in the royal palace they had become best friends. There was nothing David wouldn’t do for Jonathan, and nothing Jonathan wouldn’t do for David. And Jonathan, though he was a prince, had looked at David when they first met and thought to himself, he would make a better king than me. Jonathan had given David  his robe, and his sword and told him that he thought he should be king.
So when he heard his father saying he wanted to kill David, Jonathan was very worried. He tried to persuade his father not to do this, but Saul said to him “what are you saying?! If David is king you can’t be – what kind of man are you…?”

So Jonathan ran to find David – you must hide, I don’t know what my father is planning. Hide overnight and I’ll try to find out. He might have calmed down in the morning and it might be safe for you to come back, but if it isn’t you’ll have to run away. I’ll really miss you but what is important is that you are safe and that one day you are king. In the morning, I’ll give you a secret signal to tell you whether it’s safe for you to come back. You see that field, outside the palace, where we practice with our bows and arrows. In the morning, I’ll come out with my friends and servants, just like I usually do. There’s a rock, there – you hide behind that. I’ll fire three arrows. If they land in front of the rock on my side, then it is safe for you to come back. If they land on the other side of the rock, beyond it, then you must go. When I send my servant to collect the arrows I’ll call out either – the arrows are on this side of the rock, or the arrows are beyond the rock. Then you’ll know…

David went and hid. All night long he hid. And he waited.

And in the morning Jonathan came out to the field. David was waiting behind the rock. He heard Jonathan bend the bow back and the first arrow swished through the air. David couldn’t see where it had landed. Then the second arrow, then the third. Shouted to servant – arrows are beyond the rock.
And David knew he’d have to leave.

David never saw Jonathan again – Saul and Jonathan killed in battle, but he did become king – a very great king, and he never forgot his best friend Jonathan.

Don’t know about you but I think Jonathan is the real hero of that story – David was a great king, but Jonathan was a great friend – more important. Helped his friend to be the best he could.

Think of a friend who can do something really well/ better than you.
How can you help them to do that?


  1. This looks good! have been trying to find a way to present this story as part of a Friendship theme so will try it.

  2. Thanks - let me know how it goes.