1 Samuel 20)
1: And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, (Thus protecting the seed line of David, with God's intervention, through which Christ comes [another part of the Key of David].)
W I 20:-1-42. Visit of David to Jonathan. Covenant. J 21:1–23:15. Saul's pursuit of David. I 23:16-18. Visit of Jonathan to David. Covenant. J 23:19–27:4. Saul's pursuit of David.
I K¹ -1-4. David's peril. K² 5-42. David's expedients.
K¹ y -1. David's complaint. z 2. Jonathan's reassurance. y 3. David's plea. z 4. Jonathan's promise.
and came and said before Jonathan, “What have I done? what is my iniquity? and what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?” (= my soul. Heb. nephesh. "Me" emphatic)
2: And he said to him, “God forbid; you shall not die: behold, my father will do nothing either great or small, but that he will show it to me: and why should my father hide this thing from me? it is not so.”
3: And David swore moreover, and said, “Your father certainly knows that I have found grace in your eyes; and he says, ‘Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved:’ but truly as the Lord lives, and as you live, there is but a stride between me and death.”
4: Then said Jonathan to David, “Whatsoever you desire, I will even do it for you.”
K² L¹ a¹ 5-9. Expedient. David's. b¹ 10. Signal desired. c¹ 11-17. Covenant made. L² a² 18,19. Expedient. Jonathan's. b² 20-22. Signal arranged. c² 23. Covenant asserted. L³ a³ 24-34. Expedient carried out. b³ 35-41. Signal given. c³ 42. Covenant reasserted.
5: And David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at evening.
6: If your father at all miss me, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice (= Passover) there for all the family.’
7: If he say thus, ‘It is well;’ your servant shall have peace: but if he be very wroth, then be sure that evil is determined by him.
8: Therefore you shall deal kindly with your servant; for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the Lord with you: notwithstanding, if there be in me iniquity, slay me yourself; for why should you bring me to your father?” (they were blood-brothers so to speak. This shows David's honesty)
9: And Jonathan said, “Far be it from you: for if I knew certainly that evil were determined by my father to come upon you, then would not I tell it you?”
10: Then said David to Jonathan, “Who shall tell me? or what if your father answer you roughly?”
11: And Jonathan said to David, “Come, and let us go out into the field.” And they went out both of them into the field. (Q: Why would they go out in the field? A: Walls have ways of having ears!)
12: And Jonathan said to David (learn a lesson: he didn't move without prayer to our Father), “O the Lord God of Israel, be witness that I will sound, when I have sounded my father about tomorrow any time, or the third day, and, behold, if there be good toward David, and I then send not to you, and show it to you;
13: The Lord do so and much more to Jonathan: but if it please my father to do you evil, then I will show it you, and send you away, that you may go in peace: and the Lord be with you, according as He has been with my father. (Jonathan showing excellency of friendship.)
14: And you shall not only while yet I live show me the kindness of the Lord, that I die not:
15: But also you shall not cut off your kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the Lord has cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth.”
16: So Jonathan solemnized a covenant with the house of David, saying, “Let the Lord even require it at the hand of David's enemies.”
17: And again Jonathan swore to David, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul. (These were TRUE friends)
18: Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the new moon: and you shall be missed, because your seat will be empty.
19: And when you have stayed three days, then you shall go down quickly, and come to the place where you did hide yourself when the business was in hand (i.e. the day Jonathan arranged for David to overhear Saul's murderous intention [19:2,3], and when Jonathan devoted himself to the business of David's safety), and shall remain by the stone Ezel (= departure. Sept. reads "the side of this mound").
20: And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark.
21: And, behold, I will send a lad, saying, ‘Go, find out the arrows.’ If I expressly say to the lad, ‘Behold, the arrows are on this side of you, take them;’ then you come: for there is peace to you, and no hurt; as the Lord lives.
22: But if I say thus to the young man, ‘Behold, the arrows are beyond you;’ go your way: for the Lord has sent you away.
23: And as touching the matter which you and I have spoken of, behold, the Lord be between you and me for ever.”
24: So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat meat (put for foods of all kinds).
25: And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul's side, and David's place was empty.
26: Nevertheless Saul spoke not any thing that day (i.e. "nothing concerning David's absence that day"): for he thought, Something has befallen him, he is not clean (some sort of spiritual defilement); surely he is not clean.
27: And it came to pass on the next day, which was the second day of the month, that David's place was empty: and Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why does not the son of Jesse come to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day?”
28: And Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem:”
29: And he said, ‘Let me go, I pray you; for our family has a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he has commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away, I pray you, and see my brethren.’ Therefore he comes not to the king's table.” (Jonathan gave him permission)
30: Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, “A son of the rebellious perversity woman (i.e. a rebel like David. cp. 18:19), do not I know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own confusion, and to the confusion of thy mother's nakedness? (This the insult of insults, and a lie!)
31: For as long as the son of Jesse lives upon the ground, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.” (= the son of death, i.e. doomed to die).
32: And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said to him, “Why shall he be slain? what has he done?”
33: And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David.
34: So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month: for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.
35: And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him.
36: And he said to his lad, “Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot.” And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
37: And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, “Is not the arrow beyond you?”
38: And Jonathan cried after the lad, “Make speed, haste, stay not.” And Jonathan's lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master.
39: But the lad knew not any thing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter.
40: And Jonathan gave his weapons to his lad (word extended from Latin ars= art. The oldest art was ploughing, but the chief weapon in the art of war has usurped to itself this word), and said to him, “Go, carry them to the city.”
41: And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south (Sept. reads "from beside the mound": ie, Ezel, in v.19), and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded. (He knew he was losing his best friend. But it was for nothing [Saul's jealousy]. David has lost his friend, Country, King, home, wife. Everything except God!)
42: And Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord be between me and you, and between my seed and your seed for ever.’ ” And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.