1Sa 20: The situation created by Saul caused the separation of
these two faithful friends. Jonathan chooses affliction with God's beloved
rather than the pleasure of sin for a season (Heb 11:25).
"The friendship of David and Jonathan was based upon the
common experiences of trial in the court of Saul, and a mutual respect and
acceptance of the divine will. Although Jonathan was the king-elect as son of
Saul, he willingly submitted to the divine choice of David as Israel's next
king, and his soul was thereby knit with his great friend in truth and
understanding. David required Jonathan's help in his extremities in the
household of Saul. He was in great danger, and the presence of Saul at Ramah
showed that the king would not respect the presence of Samuel, and therefore
David was not even safe with the prophet. As a member of Saul's household, his
duty was to be present at the feast of the new moon about to take place. But
knowing full well that Saul was determined on his death, David hastened back
before the king to enlist the help of Jonathan. Though Yahweh had promised him
the kingdom, it was still necessary to exercise wisdom to attain it faith,
courage and patience would not lack its reward. Meanwhile the difficulties David
experienced moulded his life, preparing him to assume the exalted position of
Shepherd and Ruler of Israel" (GEM).
Background: The Spirit of God seems to have temporarily
changed Saul's outlook, so that for a brief time David the fugitive was again
welcome at his table (vv 5,25,27). But David seems to have good reason to doubt
this extended hospitality.
THERE IS ONLY A STEP BETWEEN ME AND DEATH: David seems
unnerved by the nearness of death, seeming to forget (so it seems) that God has
promised to be with him.
AN ANNUAL SACRIFICE...: This suggests a sort of
disorganization of national religious life at this time.
Cp Gen 4:8.
MAY THE LORD BE WITH YOU AS HE HAS BEEN WITH MY FATHER:
Jonathan knew that David was God's choice to be king. See Lesson,
LXX reads: "If I die, thou shalt not cut off thy kindness..."
(cp v 42).
THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW: Thus three days
WHEN THIS TROUBLE BEGAN: Where David had hid before,
awaiting Jonathan's reconciliation (1Sa 19:2-7).
THE STONE EZEL: Lit "the stone which showed the way":
Christ the stone (Psa 118:22). Christ the way (Joh 14:6). "Ezel" sig "departure"
-- ie, separation from the world. David's righteousness had alienated him from
Saul. Also the separation of two godly men -- who will yet meet in God's Kingdom
(cp 1Sa 23:17).
AND ABNER SAT NEXT TO SAUL: Jonathan seems to be
falling in the esteem of his father -- due to his love for David (cp v
Prob Saul tries to appear indifferent (hoping to lure David to
Saul's pent-up passions are released all at one
YOU SON OF A PERVERSE AND REBELLIOUS WOMAN: Perhaps
Jonathan's mother was a worshiper of the one true God, and Jonathan had learned
from her. For this reason, she came to be hated by Saul.
Jonathan now suffers the same as did his friend
BUT SAUL HURLED HIS SPEAR AT HIM TO KILL HIM: Saul,
though placated before (1Sa 19:6), would not be denied this time. Saul, not
having David as his target as on two previous occasions (1Sa 18:10-11; 19:9-10),
tried to pin David's surrogate Jonathan to the wall with his spear (v 33).
Jonathan needed no further convincing that Saul indeed intended to kill David
(something David had obviously known much earlier: v 7) and that the spear had
really been meant for his covenanted friend. In Saul's eyes, Jonathan and David
had momentarily become one.
IN THE MORNING: The third day (cp v 19), the morning of
"The concluding verse is a wonderful testimony to spiritual
understanding and commitment. Jonathan acknowledges the divine purpose beyond
his own opportunities. The compact would be assured, and ultimately both David
and Jonathan will be united in glory 'forever' " (GEM).
THE LORD IS WITNESS BETWEEN YOU AND ME: Confidence in
the watchful care of God: "I am with you always."
BETWEEN YOUR DESCENDANTS AND MY DESCENDANTS FOREVER:
Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth, eats meat at David's table (2Sa 9:7).
THEN DAVID LEFT: When he at last returned, it was to
establish the Kingdom. (Cp Christ's departure from his apostles.)